L’Artisan Parfumeur – Séville à l’Aube
Eau de parfum
Bertrand Duchaufour, 2012
Notes: petitgrain, lavender, pink pepper, lemon tree leaves, orange blossom, jasmine, magnolia, beeswax, incense, Benzoin Siam, Luiseiri lavender
Séville à l’Aube is the passionate story of a romance during the Holy Week, in the most captivating city of Andalusia. From an encounter comes this incredible soliflore fragrance, a sublime orange blossom, alive with contrasts, inspired by the book The Perfume Lover by Denyse Beaulieu. Séville à l’Aube is a perfume filled with passion and desire. It is also the contrast between the joy of carnal pleasures and the dark, sombre aspect of the drama of Holy Week. The story takes place in Seville, Andalusia. Incense-burners imbue the city with a spiritual atmosphere, as flowering orange trees diffuse their sweet, delicate perfume. The lavender scent of eau de cologne emanates from the crowd, blending with the sweet smells of church candles that burn throughout the ceremonies. In this magnificent setting, a passion is born between a woman and a young Spanish man – a story translated into perfume thanks to the talent of Bertrand Duchaufour. The orange tree is the leitmotif of the perfume. Its green sap scent is present, blended with a fizzy aldehyde note that expresses intense emotion, from the outset. In this way, the fragrance opens with spicy, green and zesty notes. There is also a distinct lavender note redolent of the eau de cologne so typical of Spain. This initial sensation gives way to the passion of the heart notes, which strike us like lightning... Enhanced by a jasmine accord and beeswax, the orange flower absolute reveals its opulence and stunning sensuality. The indole accord resonates with this bouquet of white flowers, revealing the fragrance’s eroticism, while the whole ensemble is enveloped in the sweetness of Siam benzoin. Tinged with melancholy, the perfume’s base notes unveil a certain darkness, imparted by Luiseiri lavender from Seville, with its cistus, resiny, ambery notes. It echoes the lavender top notes, resonating harmoniously with frankincense to give a spiritual intensity to the entire perfume.
Excerpt from The Perfume Lover:
“I am in Seville, standing under a bitter orange tree in full bloom in the arms of Román, the black-clad Spanish boy who is not yet my lover. Since sundown, we’ve been watching the religious brotherhoods in their pointed caps and habits thread their way across the old Moorish town in the wake of gilded wood floats bearing statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary. This is the Madrugada, the longest night of Holy Week, and the whole city has poured into the streets: the processions will go on until the dawn sky is streaked with hunting swallows. In the tiny white-washed plaza in front of the church, wafts of lavender cologne rise from the tightly pressed bodies. As altar boys swing their censers, throat-stinging clouds of sizzling resins – humanity’s millennia-old message to the gods – cut through the fatty honeyed smell of the penitents’ beeswax candles.
“Under the silver-embroidered velvet of her dais, the Madonna, crystal tears on her cheek, tilts her head towards the spicy white lilies and carnations tumbling from her float. She is being carried into the golden whorls of a baroque chapel, smoothly manoeuvred in and out, in and out, in and out – they say the bearers get erections as they do this – while Román’s hand runs down my black lace shift and up my thigh to tangle with my garter-belt straps. His breath on my neck smells of blond tobacco and the manzanilla wine we’ve been drinking all night – here in Seville, Holy Week is a pagan celebration: resurrection is a foregone conclusion and there is no need to mourn or repent. As the crowd shifts to catch a last sight of the float before the chapel doors shut behind it, the church exhales a cold old-stone gust. I am in the pulsing, molten-gold heart of Seville, thrust into her fragrant flesh, and there is no need for Román to take me to bed at dawn: he’s already given me the night.”