Hot red lipstick kisses on cold white marble. Scott was suddenly moved to silent weeping by that expression of love and farewell expressed by countless lips that had be pressed as near as possible to what was left of Marilyn Monroe.
The tears took him by surprise.
“Dude look he’s crying.” Three angelic punked out skateboarders who on occasion glided into Westwood Village Memorial Park stood in a slouching tableau looking about as out of place as Roman Catholic priests on roller skates in a fashion show.
“Shush, be quiet man, he’s mourning her.”
The tears were not for the woman whose image graced his childhood bedroom walls, not really, it was more than that. He had just six months ago divorced his husband and recently the one who loved him without question or judgement had passed. Miss Opal Gardner, his sweet dog. That was part of it yes, but deep down, below all of that recent pain, he could feel that he was morning something much more significant, something lost.
He heard the rumble of distaste that always accompanied his father’s entrance into the kitchen. His father would find Scotty every morning wrapped up in dreams of an escape to New York, submerged to his eyebrows a world of movie made glamour behind is copy of Vogue magazine.
Scotty read Vogue and Andy Warhol’s Interview religiously and always at the breakfast table. How could you not start a day in the suburbs of Philadelphia any other way? At least that was how little Scotty looked at it. Someday his middleclass truck driver dad would get it, would understand. Would not scowl and disapprove. Every morning with with his father’s rumble Scotty breathed in that hope. His father’s disapproval was once again deflected with the armor of glamour that was Vogue.
Just about the only physical palpable magic at home was his mother’s perfume that enveloped him in layers of dreaminess. He would watch her applying her makeup for her Saturday night out. Durring her fascinating transformation into something chic and glamorous he would wait for the final thrilling moment that Yves Saint Laurent shared with him in the forbidden exotic bottle. Opium! Yet this small amount of magic wasn’t enough for the outsider child who didn’t know how to make friends, who when he looked at Marilyn Monroe’s champagne shine knew that when he grew up, he wanted to be a hairdresser. He loved his parents and with an understanding beyond his years he knew that to them he was like a baby from Mars that was left on their front porch as a present they had no idea how to unwrap.
The only place he truly could be himself, to step out of his star in disguise outfit he wore every day and shine was at his Godmother’s house. The most magical place of his childhood. The walls of her bathroom were covered in autographs of old movie stars. Real autographs she had collected over the years. Judy, and Joan, Gable and Grable, Lana and Lucy. And so many more names he knew nothing about. But the glamour of that room and the magic in its walls seduced him. He made it his business to learn from is Godmother who each and every one of those stars where and just where they hung in the heavens of Hollywood. On Saturday mornings he would watch old movies on TV with her. It was his graduate school of glamour. The perfume that permeated her home, that enshrined the stars he came to love while watching with his Godmother the dreams they wove into his soul was, Shalimar.
“You know what Scotty,” She said to him one day while they watched Clark Gable and Marilyn drive off into the starry Nevada night. “You have what Gable had. Something rare and beautiful. Starshine.”
The tryptic of skateboarders were gone now and he was alone with her. Maybe she wouldn’t mind if he took a selfie with her? Snap!
“Guardate qui è. Ora guarda bella con la rosa rossa. Giovane che si sa che è sepolto qui? Una grande stella, Marilyn Monroe.”
An old couple perhaps in their eighties sat down on the bench next to him and began a conversation with Scott as if he understood Italian. He smiled, he listened.
“ Siamo venuti da Italia a pagare il nostro rispetto per lei.”
It was suddenly joyous, Fellini had joined them and was directing the fadeout. Scott hugged the old couple.
“Puzzi meraviglioso. Si indossa Jicky.”
Scott laughed he somehow understood. “Yes I am wearing Jicky, It is a drug, it is a dream it is…magic.”
He said goodbye put his sad thoughts away and with Marilyn in his pocket walked out of the cemetery toward the next dream that waited for him in his blessed and lucky life.
Like Scott Patric said to the Italian couple, Jicky is a drug, a dream, it is magic. Created in 1889 by Aime Guerlain there are many stories associated with its creation. The most charming and melancholy is that he was inspired by lovely English girl Aime met while at university in England. But most likely he named it after his uncle Jacques whose nickname was Jicky. Aime is also the nose behind the beautiful Eau de Cologne du Coq, and several others from the Belle Epoch.
Yes it is of the gilded age, the belle epoch of Paris but it is anything but old and dated. Jicky is vibrant, rich and MODERN. Created in a time in perfumery when there were no genders applied to perfume…everyone wore Jicky. This fragrance in both its parfum and eau de toilet forms is spectacular on both men and women. It is of the now and always will be.
It opens with an herbal twang of rosemary blended in with mandarin orange, bergamot and lemon. Nice and safe yes? Not so fast there is something else, something coming up from eh bottom notes that just can’t wait to shine and sing. The spices and leather. List in the bottom they move forward in to the fading opening notes and take the lead of the middle notes.
The mid being a silky dark and dirty orris root that the leather notes latch on to. Brilliant. The spices from the base sift in with basil and Tonka creating a layer of swirling intoxicating vapors, a vail that blithely blankets each body it embraces creating a comforting caressing touch. A dry dusting of lavender on the petals of jasmine give it sparkle.
In the dry down the Leather and spices keep it warm and sensuous. There is sandalwood to add creamy smoothness along with a dash of vanilla, shimmering sunset amber and benzoin keep the embers of this masterpiece glowing long into the wee hours of its life.
Longevity for me is epic. Hours upon hours of bliss. The projection is at first impressive at about three feet then pulls in to about 18 inches for the long run. Perfect for a lady or gentleman who wants to give off an air of sophistication without the bullhorn. Jicky is something not everyone will love, it is different, challenging and more complex than most modern fragrances out there today. And yet for those of us who love the great classic perfumer of France it is essential.
Thanks to Scott Patric for sharing his memories of perfume and magic and for reminding me that Jicky is indeed wonder and bliss in a beautiful bottle.