THE ROSE OF ISPAHAN ~ Oud Ispahan Christian Dior

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The old blind soothsayer’s breath fell upon the sands that were spread over the silver plate. The glittering grains moved slowly, almost imperceptibly. The Princess, daughter of the Caliph of Baghdad leaned closer to the shifting sands to see a shape begin to appear, the shape of a perfect rose.

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“The sands foretell my princess, the one who will win your heart and your hand; he shall be the first to touch the rose.”

The thief Ahmed perched in the highest branch of an agar tree that stretched out over the palace walls watched his beloved receive her fortune. She whom he loved from afar since his eyes first beheld her veiled beauty in the bazaar of the silk merchants, she who was so far above him, she whom he dare not dream of.

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“The rose?” the Princess looked up into the face of the blind man.

“Yes the rarest rose in the garden of your father, the Persian Rose of Ispahan.”

The Princess glanced across the garden of her father and beheld the perfection of pink and perfume which was the very rose the soothsayer spoke of. There by the palace wall near the old agar tree set in a planter made of sandalwood it bloomed in the sun. Its beauty only surpassed by its magical aroma that filled the garden.

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Ispahan Rose

“How can that be?”  The princes looked back to the old teller of impossible tales. “No man but my father is allowed near his precious rose. It is forbidden to all but him.”

“There is one, I see him, and he is very near. Even now my Princess, even now he knows of this rose. The having of it is the key to unlock your love. He will bring the rose to you in the lowly leather satchel of a thief.”

The Princess laughed and dropped three silver coins in the hand of the soothsayer. “A thief? You are mad my dear old one. Sweet and full of fantasies but quite mad. Now off with you and come back tomorrow to tell my fortune again.”

Ahmed watched as the ancient blind one was lead away by the princess’s servant. He watched as the princess walked though the garden past the green patchouli and the fragrant labdanum flowers. When she came to the Rose of Ispahan she bent down to smell it and as she did, one tear fell from her cheek onto the perfect petal of the rose.

“If only it were true.” She whispered. “Allah, please make it so.”

That night in the cover of a moonless sky with only the light of the stars to guide him the thief Ahmed again climbed the agar tree. With the aid of a magic rope he had stolen from a magician in the marketplace he dropped silently into the garden of the Caliph. He easily moved along the shadows of the blue night to where the rose grew. In one swift moment he snatched the bloom from the bush and gently placed in into his leather satchel

“Who’s there?” a voice rushed across the darkness. The Princess stood at the gate of the garden holding a sputtering golden lamp. Ahmed turned and smiled.

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Oud Ispahan by Christian Dior is a tale from the Arabian Nights. The perfume that Scheherazade might wear to tell her tales to the King and in so doing weave an even more enchanting spell over him. It is also the perfect rose scent for a thief of Bagdad to steal and wear to woo a princess. It is magical.

In this floral oriental there is all the beauty and splendor to be found in the gardens and bazaars of the Near East. The rarest and most romantically pungent and intoxicating oud is at the center of this fragrance. For it is all about the oud and the tale it tells here in conjunction with the other notes. This base note is the solid foundation upon which all else is presented. The perfume opens with the lush and overtly sensual labdanum (the very scent Madame de Pompadour used to seduce King Louis XV) it is rich and wonderful and smells of sexy warm flesh. A garden of exceptionally wonderful patchouli comes in to warm the middle and plays counterpoint to the song sung by the labdanum. Up then from the base floats the beautiful Damascus rose and very fine sandalwood.

Damascus Rose

(The Damascus Rose used in Oud Ispahan)

This rose, sandalwood and oud are fantastic together.  Out of the bottle or sprayed on a blotter it is beautiful. When it hits the skin it is a perfume of resplendent rose and agar wood oud of the most perfect creation.  It is miraculous.

The perfume has a wonderful life that lasts on my skin for many hours and even the next morning it lingers close to the skin in the most delightful and inviting way. As if calling you back for one more night in the garden of the Caliph. The projection is good but not overwhelming if you apply it with restraint; which is hard to do since it is so delicious upon the first application.

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The entire Dior Privée Colletion

For me this is one of the top perfumes in the truly magnificent presentation by Christian Dior of the Privée line of fragrances. A masterpiece by a house I am coming to love even more with every new foray into each of their perfumes.

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 OUD ISPAHAN FIVE PLATINUM STARS *****

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year and Happy Endings to you all!

 

FLOWERS OF THE GODS ~ Flor y Canto by Arquiste

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Covered in blood sacrifice the god of the dawn drew back his bow and with eternal ease shot his arrow over the great city of Tenochtitlan. Thus by his grace the first rays of the sun once again touched the top of the temple Mayor. Snaking through the city were the aromas of the chocolate brew and maze tortillas which was the morning breakfast. Mothers up before light roused there husbands and children with laughter and songs.  It was a new day in the heart of the Aztec empire.

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  Near the great causeway famers rowed their long boats along the canals to tend their floating flower gardens; they spoke of rumblings from the East.  Daily there is news of the approach of strange fair skinned men with four legs who came out of the Eastern Sea. Could they be gods?  Or are they demons come to eat alive the inhabitants of the city in the center of the lake?  What sacrifice would they demand, flowers or blood?

Such thoughts were forgotten when the farmers were met with the brilliant golden shimmer of the god of the dawn’s blessing upon the canal.  There hearts leapt to their throats as they always did at the first sight of the gardens overflowing with the blossoms of the gods. These were sacred flowers grown only for the Emperor and the temple of Xochipilli, the god of love, dance and flowers.

As the famers worked and sang well into the mid-day they were ignorant to idea that these were to be the last days of the flowers of Mexico, the last days of peace, the last days of their world. They only knew this morning the embrace of the thick intoxicating dream educing aromas of the flowers of Xochipilli.  How could anything ever change when the gods had blessed them for eternity?

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Flor y Canto was created for Carlos Huber, the founder of Arquiste by the brilliant nose Rodrigo Flores-Roux. It was envisioned and created to capture a day in 1400 pre-Colombian Tenochtitlan of the most fragrant Aztec festival of the year. It is a resounding success for this floral is so very reminiscent of the gardens of Mexico I have visited in Guadalajara.

It is very linear and stays true to its opening all the way through. The eau de Parfume opens with a brightly romantic and lovely Mexican Tuberose. This is a soft and enveloping tuberose and not at all overwhelming. There is Frangipani of the Plumeria family to add a generous touch of the exotic. A fleshy rich Magnolia lends strength and presence to the mix and all is bordered by a very green note of golden marigold.

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The splendors of this ancient garden are not epic but rather soft and close to the skin. This perfume draws one in close and like a furtive kiss brushes your cheek with the promise of more.

It lasts about four to five hours on my skin and then whispers of memories of that romantic tryst in garden last summer for about another two hours.  This is a scent perfect for meetings set outdoors on a warm evening with someone special. Made for a woman it can work on the right man. After all there was no goddess of flowers for the Aztecs, No he was a big sexy tuberose wearing God!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

For all of you wonderful people out there in the dark.

CHRISTMAS IN PARIS ~ Fou D’Absinthe L’Artisan Parfumeur

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Snow flakes like Lalique crystal lace fell on the city catching a glint of glitter from the Eiffel Tower search light as it swept the sky. There was a cool blotter paper grey tint in the East behind the Louvre, a herald of the coming day. Finely crafted Italian shoes crunched the icy sidewalk as I walked alone up the gentle rise that is the Champs-Élysées.  The city was asleep on this Christmas morning.

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I passed Guerlain’s festive windows that cast a glow of amber on the snow banking around the door. On I went, up toward the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile. Fouquet’s was closed and the red awnings fluttered their scallops as I passed as if to wave me on.

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The street glinted and sparkled, the naked sycamore trees festooned for the holiday in no more than a negligee of colored lights. It was all lonely and lovely and cold.  Not where I should have been on this Christmas day in Pairs. Not were I longed to be.

The wheels of the cab spattered darkly stained snow up from the gutter as it carried me into Place Pigale. The spray hit the side of Le Cupidon nightclub as we spun past the multitude of “le sex shops” that line the Place then roared onto Rue Houdon. A few lights in the houses were coming on  as my cab snaked and turned north to the heart of Montmartre.

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Within moments I was released from the smoky cab onto the Rue de Cardinal Dubois. There it was only an angel’s fight of stairs above me, As I pulled my overcoat close against the cold morning, Paris awakened behind me. Sacré-Cœur, its absinthe white walls met the snow and melt the flakes to wash the sacred heart clean. I was almost there.

Once Behind the church I passed la Place du Tretre now devoid of the many painters of postcard Paris. It looked in the snow like it must have a hundred and thirteen years ago, when it was young and the wild impressionist painters were creating a new art. I slid and nearly fell on the icy cobblestones as I turned down Rue de Calvaire and there it was.  The old street lamp lit the way across the tiny Place du Calvaire in front of the little café where I knew I could get the best Absinthe in town. A small group were seated inside and they turned to greet me as I blundered in shaking snow from my hair.

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“Joyeux Noël!” they shouted and raised their glasses in toast. They had been here all night waiting for me.  A very slight man in a tall hat offered me a glass of cheer.

“Merci,” At the fist taste of the Absinthe the calendar slipped backward in time and it was a new Christmas day 1899. The little man who gave me the glass now offered me a chair at his table,

“Merci, Toulouse, and Merry Christmas my friend.” There in Chez Plumeau it was the best Christmas imaginable.

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Fou D’Absinthe by L’Artisan Parfumeur is the perfect fragrance for Christmas!  A festive if dangerous drink, good friends and wonderful smells, it is all here in this wonderful perfume.  The fragrance is light and close to the skin on me so it is the type of perfume I must revisit, which I don’t mind at all. And if you have the body cream that in conjunction with the perfume makes it last longer. So a low silage and longevity make it a perfect scent for the office. Or the office Christmas Party!

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Fou D’Absinthe (Crazy Absinthe) opens with a sensuous deep blackcurrant and the balancing act of the pungent and sweet angelica. Here is where the sinful fun begins. a rich Rum swirls into the wormwood note, the very thing Absinthe is made from is here meandering and slithering its way into the soul of this fragrance. What would Christmas be without a toast or two of the forbidden brew?

In the middle notes Christmas morning opens like festive packages one after another. There is sharp ginger as in the cookies, a pot of patchouli bubbles with a pinch of pepper, nutmeg and cloves. On the top of the Christmas tree a lovely licorice lick of Star Anise.

In the dry down we get to the where the Pagan and the Christian meet. Raw resinous fir trees and Pine needles of the Druids and their winter solstice ceremonies meet the catholic incense from the cathedral. The ending is magisterial, solemn and reflective. So in its way Fou D’Absinthe is anything but crazy. Rather it embraces all the joys of the season and then, just like Christmas it is gone at midnight. But then again…New Years Eve is just around the corner.

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FOU D’ABSINTHE ~ FIVE GOLD STARS *****

MAGIC IN THE MAKING ~ Enchanted Forest by The Vagabond Prince

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There is an enchanted forest, yes it really does exist. Mist shrouds it most of the year hiding it from almost everyone who comes near. You have to hike for miles to get there, and you can only find it if you believe it is real. I found it once years ago and as I grew older it faded to nothing more than a fleeting flicker of a memory that floats across the back of your eyelids just before you fall asleep.

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When I was very young and living on the wild north coast of California I lived at the edge of this enchanted forest, the great redwood forests of Humboldt County. My dorm was that last one in JollyGiantCanyon on the edge of my University campus. Beyond it was a road of dirt, mostly mud that cleaved the forest right up into the mountains, toward the unknown. Mountain lions, rattlesnakes and the legend of Bigfoot roamed those woods. And I knew there were other things, things of magic up there. Beings, that if you saw them you would be captured by their emerald and gold eyes and fall under a spell. You would in fact, if you saw one of them, become part of the enchanted forest and never return.

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   I would set at my desk by the twilight window in my dorm room and look up that road into the dark heart of magic. The amber glow of my reading lamp was comforting. The room was warm and enfolding in cozy safeness, but still I was drawn to look out and dream of what lay deep in that dark place within the giant redwoods. Did I dare go up that road?

When I finally did get the courage to walk alone into the forest I could feel them watching from behind the giant dew laced ferns. Ferns grow there, as old as creation and taller than Adam. As I moved up the road I heard whispers in the wind.  I could hear their twittering laughter mix with the calls of owls and eagles. Despite my fear I pushed myself further up the slippery steep road; where even on the brightest days it is very dark and sinister in the place where the invisible reins over reason.

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I never saw them, never had the chance to look into there eyes. Every time I felt one was near I dropped my eyes to the puddles on the muddy road at my feet only to see my face gilded with foreboding looking back at me. And the smell of the earth came up to flood my senses mixed with wild berries and fresh green leaves, that sweet green sticky smell of new growth and the rotting floor of the primeval forest. All the while I wanted to turn and run towards the lights of the town but something drew me on and on toward the hearth of magic and the home of enchantment.

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When I first smelled Enchanted Forest Eau de Parfume by The Vagabond Prince I was hurled headlong into the dark lost memory of that magical enticing yet frightening forest of my youth.  This herbaceous woody blend is so much the smell of a forest that I was quite amazed at all the memory doors that swung open on rusted hinges in my mind at the first sniff.

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The opening is a rush of pink pepper, blackcurrant leaves, hawthorn, rosemary and aldehydes that sparkle and spark like the woody wet forest floor after the first winter rains. The rum and wine notes are like the smell of a fairy distillery bubbling over deep in the woods.  There is magic in the making.

The middle notes bring in more blackcurrant notes in the form of buds. Warming earthy carnation, coriander seed and a lush blend of wild roses and honeysuckle with a stinging vetiver blend here to a smooth and more restrained fragrance of the wild woods.

In the sunset of the fragrance amber warms the dying of the dry down with fir, balsam, cedar, velvety vanilla marries the warm glowing opopanax myrrh, there are the animalic of castoreum and musk nestled down for the night in a deep soft cushion of Oakmoss.

In his enchanted forest the Vagabond Prince dreamed of making a perfume based in Blackcurrant, a perfume like no other, filled with danger and mystery that called like a siren song to those with hearts open to invisible dreams. In this Enchanted Forest his dream was realized.

(Release date January 2013 ~ Vagabond Prince website for updates: http://vagabondprince.com/ )

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FIVE GOLD STARS *****

THE GREEN FAIRY’S CHRISTMAS VISIT!

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Dame Kylie Minogue as the Green Fairy

The loveliest thing happened yesterday. My dear friend Hilary asked me to stop into Barney’s yesterday on my way downtown  to my dinner and movie date with friends. She said she had a special present for me.

When I wrote my review of Al Oudh by L’Artisan Parfumeur: https://sentsmemory.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/i-dream-of-genie-al-oudh-by-lartisan-parfumeur-paris/ Hilary who represents the perfume house at Barney’s sent the review along to the powers that be at L’Artisan Parfumeur headquarters in Paris.  It turns out they loved the review and sent along a thank you present just in time for Christmas.

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Christmas in Union Square San Francisco

    I was gobsmacked by the gesture and floored when I opened the gift. The lovely people in Paris sent me a 100 m bottle of Fou D’Absinthe and to add to this delight they included a bottle of the Gel Parfume pour la Douche bath gel and Lait Parfume Pour le Corps bath milk.

I hugged Hilary and was quite frankly rendered a little tongue tied and speechless. What a lovely thing for the people at L’Artisan Parfumeur to do just because I wrote a favorable review for there perfume.  So you can bet I will be sending them a thank you note filled with gratitude and love.

An unbiased and clearheaded review is in store for Fou D’Absinthe, but I need a few days to clam down!

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(Crazy Absinthe!) 

What a perfectly lovely Christmas and birthday season this has been. Thank you Hilary and L’Artisan Parfumeur.

Artisan, 32 rue Bourg Tibourg 01 compr.

L’Artisan Parfumeur in Paris

THE BURNING HILLS ~ Leather Oud La Collection Privée by Dior

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It was the end of the world. Streaked of radiant raging red that swirled and boiled the sky had turned from indigo night to the roof of hell, the hills were on fire.  From the last street in town and across the vineyards where the Jurupa Hills climbed up from the inland basin they burned. For as far as I could see from the west off into the darkest blanket of night that was the east there was fire.

The entire neighborhood had turned out to line Jurupa Avenue to watch, and even more people were coming in cars from the center of town. It was oddly quite. Kids sat on their fathers shoulders, teenage girls leaned on the flaring finned fenders of cars, boys stood with bikes between there legs, and all looking south at the savage spectacle that was the great wild fire of that summer.

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   No one was up there in the flames, not even the firemen from three of the nearest towns. There was nothing to do as the great Santa Anna winds drove the fire up towards the summit but let it burn out. I had never seen a California wild fire before, the only way I could comprehend the mass and savagery of it was to see it as a movie. As the fire reached the top I could see in the flames flagellated by the winds lick the walls of Troy, A city burned for the love of a woman. The wind shifted and pushed hard up and over the exposed rocks near the top causing the flames to shoot into the sky and the image before my ten year old eyes changed to the burning of the railroad yards as Atlanta by Sherman. The dancing sheets of fire raged and the billowing smoke rose so high and then spread out across the arc of heaven like the plume of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Yes it was the end of the world.

Then there was the smell, the sage and the short tough gold grass that came from Spain with the Spanish to California and what ever else grew on those hills were consumed that night. When they died in the flames they created an incense that infused everything including my brain for days after the great conflagration of the summer of 1959. I haven’t thought of that fire or that smell for years,  that is until I smelled la collection couturier Parfumeur Leather Oud Dior. The burning hills came up from the ashes of my mind the moment it touched my skin.

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House of Dior 30 Avenue Montaigne Paris

Leather Oud opens with Cardamom, sharp vetiver, rich birch, sandal wood and sumptuous patchouli. Somehow for me this combination of notes by perfumer Francois Demachy sparks the fires of my memory. The heart of the fragrance is built on cloves and honey and the woody Amyris flower, Virginia Cedar finds a home here in the warm heart of the fragrance along with amber and lush labdanum from France. The heart of the fragrance is banked in the glowing embers which are created by Oud from Indonesia, civet, and a very refined fine and supple leather.

The fragrance has depth and longevity. It enters a room with you not ahead of you and lingers lightly in passing. The lasting impression stays on my skin a good six hours. Brilliantly blended from the finest source ingredients the house of Dior under its perfumer Demachy has a smoky mysteriously dangerous winner in Leather Oud. This is a great fragrance for a man of commanding presence and style. Pervasively masculine without being overtly aggressive it would also work very well on the skin of a woman. Who knows what conflagrations that combination of Woman and this Dior masterpiece might ignite?

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LEATHER OUD LA COLLECTION PRIVÉE BY DIOR ~ FIVE PLATINUM STARS *****

REBEL IN THE SNOW ~ Alfred Dunhill Desire for Men

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(Claudia Cardinale and David Niven in “The Pink Panther)

Ah the cultivated, stately, refined fragrances of Dunhill, The Class Act for fragrance from London. Mature, chic, reliable and yet dashing in a David Niven “Pink Panther” kind of way. Is that what we have here in Desire by Dunhill, a fragrance as suave as champagne and quail in some resplendent chateau in Cortina D’Ampezzo with a run away Middle Eastern Princess who just happens to be the divine Claudia Cardinale? NO!

Could it be a chance encounter in Megeve between urbane Cary Grant and the ever ready to ski in mink Audrey Hepburn?  NO!

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(Think Mink! Old style winter fun in Megeve.)

This fragrance is surprisingly youthful and vigorous with a hint of the rebel about it. No skiing in Cortina in a mink hat and champagne at the ski lodge,  but rather snowboarding in Megeve with acrobatics over an open bonfire! It is as bright as an apple martini in a hip flask and just as dangerous.

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(Total fun in Megeve)

It blasts out of the interestingly designed red flacon all ripe green apples and various blends of citrus. This gives it its initial youthfulness and vim. In its heart is a playful blend of Rose, Patchouli and Teakwood. I just flipped over this stunning combo. This is where it shows its unique stamp of being as sexually charged as a suddenly ripped shirt in the heat of the moment. You might expect this rebel to rock but no he is into a cool progressive jazz grove. Who says you can’t be young and have sophistication in your back pocket? At the dry down things mellow out into a lush vanilla with musky edges that trail ever so slowly out over the last hours to the fragrances’ demise.

Desire lasts six to seven hours on my skin and projects well for the first four then moves close to the skin. There it whispers at the nape of your neck or on the edge of your sleeve  of danger and desire and of things unsaid. Not for anyone over say, thirty five or so. But hold on! What am I saying?  I think anyone has the right to wear what ever he likes no matter his age. So rock on Men, no matter how young or old you may be. It really is all about what YOU like.

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Four Gold Stars ****

MOVIE MEMORY ~ Back Street 1961

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(PUSH THE RED AND WHITE BUTTON AN PLAY ME-FILM SCORE BY FRANK SKINNER)

Susan Hayward and Lana Turner battled it out on the screen in the early 1960’s for the heavy weight crown of tear stained mink queen of the movies. What was left for an actress over 40 in 1961 but the highly glamorous gloss of a Ross Hunter picture or the grand gargoyle glamour of something like “Baby Jane”? Not much. To be a female movie star of a certain age at that time in Hollywood and to some extent even today meant only one thing, you’re Over The Hill baby. Both actresses had done their best work during the preceding two decades. It was Lana of the tawdry emotions versus hard Hayward of the rat-a-tat Brooklyn delivery always punctuated with a Garlandesque gesture. With films like “Ada”, “Stolen Hours” and “Where Love Has Gone”, Hayward wins the crown.

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“Back Street” is the jewel in this crown. The essential Hayward tearjerker with all the required elements, an impossibly beautiful mannequin of a leading man for her and the audience to project their dreams upon. A truly wicked wife for him to make it almost impossible to denounce Hayward for coming between them, and two throwaway children to soften the tragic end of the film in one final surge of violins and Kleenex. All of this played out in the glamour capitals of New York, Rome and Paris provided by Universal’s backlot (and a few lovely locations in Monterey County doubling for the Italian coast). Add to the mix the highly sophisticated costumes of the early 60’s and sets of stunning beauty, all strung together to one of the most lyrically beautiful scores ever written for this genre. The result is the glossiest most improbably romantic film of her career that can be taken today in one of two ways, high camp comedy or lush romance. It all depends upon your point of view.

 
In support of Miss Hayward there is Virginia Grey as her older (and I mean much older!) sister Janenee. She provides throughout the picture the image Rae “All small letters, very chic” Smith, carries of what an ideal marriage and family means. She hits all the right notes as the loving sister who pushes Rae out of her small mid-western life in Lincoln Nebraska and into the world of high fashion in New York.

 
Reginald Gardner is the perfect picture of the perfunctorily gay designer Dalian who helps her to make her name and sends her off to Europe, or at least around the corner to the “Rome” set. His is just an extension of the Franklin Pangborne harmless gay man of the early years of movie history. Elegant sophisticate always ready with a bon mot and a hanky. He is alarmingly memorable in the role.

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John Gavin, more beautiful than Rock Hudson and with a better body, is Paul Saxon, the spineless Ken Doll upon which Rae drapes all her dreams as if he were a mannequin to dress for each love scene. But with such a man around she and the audience need nothing more than what appears. He is the perfect vessel to dream about, create a personality for, and waste a good twenty years loving while passing up the opportunities presented for a real life.

About a quarter of the way into the film and the fun arrives in the cool resplendent form of Vera Miles as Liz (perhaps the screenwriter chose that name to make a subliminal connection with the then scandalous Elizabeth Taylor) Saxon, wife to Paul. She is given all the attributes of a monster, alcoholic, unfaithful and a lousy mother. (Sounds like the tabloid “Liz” we all know and love.) She is perfectly designed to make us love Rae and her sad little back street affair. For there was just no other way to get around the taboo of infidelity in those days but to have a Liz on hand. Her confrontation with Rae is supremely bitchy and utterly wonderful.

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As the beautiful Rae Susan Hayward plays one of her few completely sympathetic characters in her long and lustrous career. She approaches Rae as if this was a chance to win a second Oscar and in fact in the scene where she calls late one night from Rome back home on Thanksgiving she is magnificent. Her beautiful bourbon flavored voice is used to accentuate her loveliness in every scene. Her trademark gestures are at a minimum and only called into play when they are most needed. She carries the improbable picture on her perfect shoulders and gives a fine and detailed performance that is perfection in the soapy atmosphere of Europe. A few of the many highlights is the scene where she finds out that Paul is married, the phone call from the hospital and the race to the airport in Lincoln early on in the film. She is stunningly dressed in gowns by Jean Louis that are smart and very contemporary to what the ladies are wearing on the red carpet today. David Webs beautiful jewelery complements her and adds a feel of true richness to the picture. As I mentioned earlier the score by Frank Skinner is perfection and punctuates the drama in so many ways that are essential in this movie.

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The direction by stalwart David Miller is right on target. He should know how to do it, after all he did the same for Joan Crawford in “The Story of Esther Costello” and “Sudden Fear”, as well as Doris Day in “Midnight Lace” and Lana Turner in “Diane”. This all was helmed by the master of the genre, Producer Ross Hunter who defined the genre with such hits as “Imitation of Life”, “Portrait in Black”, and “Madam X”.

 
“Back Street” remains to this day the shinning beacon of the last gasp of the woman’s picture where women were smart, strong, self-made in a mans world and all the while ever glamorous in tear stained mink.

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What perfume would Rae Smith wear? Je Reviens by Worth was an elegant floral aldehyde created in 1932 by Maurice Blanchet. The notes are Top notes are aldehydes, orange blossom, jasmine, ylang-ylang, bergamot and lemon; middle notes are narcissus, lilac, orris root, hiacynth, cloves, ylang-ylang and rose; base notes are sandalwood, tonka bean, amber, musk, violet, oakmoss, vetiver and incense. Je Reviens means I return and for rae and Paul they always returned to eachother.

Paul Saxon would wear Chanel Pour Monsieur. Just about the best men’s fragrance from the 1950’s I have a feeling Paul would stick to this perfume and that Rae adored it on him. The notes are Created by nose Henri Robert  in 1955 the top notes are, verbena: lemon, verbena, neroli and orange. Mid notes of cardamom, coriander, basil and ginger, and base notes of oak moss and cedar.

For the wicked Liz Saxon there is only one perfume. Estée Lauder’s Youth Dew. Created by nose Josephine Catapano in 1953 this Spicy Oriental could comfort a bad hangover. The Top notes are aldehydes,  orange, spices, peach, bergamot, narcissus and lavender; middle notes are cinnamon, cassia, orchid, jasmine, cloves, ylang-ylang, rose, lily-of-the-valley and spicy notes; base notes are tolu balsam, peru balsam, amber, patchouli, musk, vanilla, oakmoss, vetiver and incense.

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