Les Heures de Parfum

I. L'Heure Promise

It was time to capture a life full of fresh early mornings, Petit grain, FRESH HERBS at the dawn of intentions. Everything seemed possible – love, creativity, faith. The time had come to embrace the day with IRIS clear-eyed confidence, to fly or walk in the first glimmers of a spring of existence. The sheer newness was just waiting to be explored like an undiscovered continent shrouded in hope and promises to indulge a little longer, as long as all remained quiet. Prolonging, preserving the moment: the promised hour by Cartier. An eiderdown of sandalwood perfume leaves the night behind without affronting sleep. Outside, I sense, a veil of MUSK, a scent of my own – that of my destiny unfolding, of an adventure anxious to take place.


It was red she craved, the blush of excitement, the tumescence of strawberry flesh bitten lips, the carnation in his buttonhole. Moving closer, driving him crazy, shedding her shyness to wrap herself in the steamy, playful, sensuous frills of CRÈME DE MARRON. No more stage fright, just a rhythmic dance her spotlit body wrapped in the aura of a velvet iris stage curtain. Look, here’s my CLOVE velvety shoulder, there my swaying curves, I vanish the better to come back to you, all limbs and pouting lips. Do you love my legs? The nape of my neck? The small of my back? Look, I’m your lover unveiled at the coveted hour, barely dressed in a dusting of nudity, my red rose lingerie flying off in a peal of FRESH GREEN laughter. And what if I said “vous” to you, just for show, like Juliette Gréco singing: “Undress me, but not too soon, not too fast, learn to covet me, captivate me!”


Rosemary green and lavender blue… An old nursery rhyme leads us back to a sprightly medicinal garden springing with wild aromatic herbs. Wise plants picked to cheer body and soul. The apothecary’s prescription: an infusion of joy and courage, lentiscus, a bracing cure for the blues, THYME, a secret antidote for intoxications gone sour, instilled with wild herbs, verbena. And so we are born anew, in a halo of good-natured gaiety, with a teasing lash of ABSINTH green, a calm waft of lavender, when the virtuous hour chases the clouds from our spirits in a soothing ALMOND embrace… Thyme and sweet marjoram, hyssop and rue.


The horizon cleared, sparking the desire to escape. Was it dawn or dusk? The moment smelt of the promised land, of alfalfa and a shimmering magnolia, BERGAMOT summer of the soul. An opportunity to be seized, as if hanging onto HORSEHAIR the flowing mane of life. And they're off! Together they charge upon vetiver challenges, clinging close to a YERBA-MATE tanned hide and glistening fur, each an accomplice in their own abduction, two lovers in hostage to an all-encompassing musk passion. Astride a steed galloping at full speed, this spirited hour, noble and imperious lavender, should rush towards freedom enveloped in the humid heat of COUMARINoak moss storm-struck hay.


The moment was electric, charged with lemonSWEET LIME energy. The unexpected laid down the law. The start was announced. Outside, the world accelerated. The hour when everything lights up, like hungry neon longing to consume. Abstain from nothing, drink in a jolt of acidity, feel the vibrating rhythm of the street, pound the asphalt in an outlandish escapade. And with gin toast life, the falling night, of parties past and celebrations yet to be dreamt up in the midst of euphoria. For Time is radiant ALDEHYDES, and happiness is in tune with these bodies charged with fantasy, the invigorating thrill of the electric hour served up in a tingling drop.


Let nothing be forbidden, resist not this desire shrouded in voluptuous amber mystery. Yes, it is unreasonable, but this silky bronzed SANDALWOOD skin is to blame. This soft, sun-kissed tolu velvet, so beautiful, so warm, with a taste I imagine to be all the more addictive because it is forbidden to me. Let nothing be forbidden, yield to the magnetic MUSK aura and to the subtle scent of this forbidden hour. Succumb to this sweet, unhearing patchouli temptation… spellbound by VANILLA and sweetened with absolute black cocoa.


The world stirred, greeting the day with the fresh joy of morning… Cleansed. That first gleam of light that caressed the eyelashes was soft peony, a stream so clear we could have bathed naked in it, sheer ROSE blossoming into life. Mouth, neck and shoulders, it mingled with the air with no airs, untamed and fresh lychee like a smile that still recalls the child. Everything seemed new and bright at the silver thread blooming AMBER WOOD source from which this translucent hour shone, its exquisite reflections dissolving everything, wrapping ionones in a cloud of pure emotion.


If we were playing at being lucky, we would dream up countless desires, longings for champagne and entrances on the arms of the most eligible. Of course, the world would be our oyster and we would explore it in our private jets. We would be diamond diggers or dollar princesses, hungry for all of those tempting fruits that are rich in carats: red redcurrant, PINK PEPPERCORNgrenadine, blue BLUEBERRYblackcurrantBLACKBERRYviolet, green leafy notesIVYboxwoodSHISO and white ALDEHYDESpolygonum. They are miracle-makers for the skin, “a girl’s best friend” – “boop boop bi doo”. Sleep in silk, live in euphoria, bathe in champagne, motor around in a coupé and splash on the decadent hour in self-congratulation for becoming the princess of our own imperial extravagance. 


Tangible, delicate, concrete reality, that's it! As long as you can find a way to reach it! Imagine it were possible, as a time traveller, to enter the lost hour, in which we could once again share the pleasure of a long-lost childhood treat. Ah, that tender sweetness that flows from all our childhoods, from a universal memory. Where does it come from, this hour for the senses with its creamy aroma, our familiar, our foundation? From a powdery memory of dainty HELIOTROPE, from one person’s appetite to another? Voluptuous intimacy of MUSCENONE like the scent of familiarity. Perhaps because everything is ruled by science, so clever in posing as natural when in fact it is a feat of alchemy, exploring the artificial through a precipitate of large synthetic molecules, with a predilection for VANILLIN, the aldehyde with sensual aromas whose silky IRACINE aura floats across the eleventh hour, the lost and progressive hour, demystifying the conventional idea that beauty is only worthwhile if it is NATURAL.


Silence was on the prowl. You could hear it breathing, lurking like desire. The calmness felt only temporary. Drowsiness gained life, slow jasmine and heavy PATCHOULI. This was the time for listening to your heart beat at the edge of abandon, like a reverse countdown, a voyage into the intimate where everything wraps up yet unravels. Withdraw and centre your mind on your sacred inner self, reaching in to the seat of your consciousness. Did you see elemi gumCORIANDER daytime? Or the incenseFRANKINCENSE of the night? Soon you must leave the juniper dusk, but not quite yet. First, savour the mysterious hour, for just one hour – no longer, that’s a promise – an hour plucked from deep within returning you to your roots.


There are moments like this, when all can be transformed, when it is impossible to distinguish real from unreal. The calculated seduction of leather notes, MATÉ, birch, the yearning of NARCISSUSbergamot shifting between shadow and light. This is the time to take a deep breath and brave the infinite and patchouli adventure. Here, where the thirteenth hour slips past, sensual VANILLA fatal as an emotion upon my skin, the exquisitely dizzying unknown. Then, true can no longer be distinguished from false, or night from day, and we surrender to the realm of the vague, the chiaroscuro of Nature that renders all things unique and possible.