SHANGRI-LA ~ Fever Pour Homme by Celine (100th post!)

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Leisurely the veils lift and fall and curl in the fir perfumed air high above the valleys of India.  Veils made of silk dyed a thousand years ago in saffron reds of the maharajahs  golden yellows of the sheikhs and violets of the princesses of Persia. The worn but still splendid and nearly transparent with age the veils are all shot with golden threads. Here in the Himalayas in the abandoned palace of the fallen Chauhan there lingers a memory of the old gods of India.  It is buried in the faded wall paintings of elephants and monkeys in jungle gardens stained with centuries of faded incense.

Occasionally someone stumbles upon the abandoned palace on their way to Kathmandu and beyond in search of fabled Shangri-La. When sudden twilight traps them here they crawl into sleeping bags laid out on old woven vetiver mats and turn to the walls against the bitter early spring cold night.  They huddle in corners way from the broken sandalwood fretwork windows and fall into exhausted sleep. It is only then when the fever dreams of the searchers come upon their heavily closing eyes does this place reveal its secrets.

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The painted monkeys awaken in the walls and begin to chatter as they eat petals of pink jungle roses and cardamom seeds and look down upon the sleeping visitors. Musk deer bound from one wall though a cracked plaster corner to the next. A bull Elephant trumpets a call to the herd to move deeper into the now steaming lush forest away from the river where the sage grows.  A hundred or more eyes open within the green painted fronds of palm, bamboo and rubber trees. Brown kohl painted and deep the imperious eyes look down upon the mortals who have invaded their sacred palace. A far radiant and distant music, ethereal, primal and sensual comes from deep within the walls. The eyes in the forest fronds shift to the windows of the palace and the veils flutter separating the world within from the mountains of the Himalayas. The monkeys laugh like humans as the veils swirl to the music of the gods in seductive undulation.  Within the silk shot with gold are a thousand dancers moving as one. The world of dreams is alive and floats inches above the sleeping men. Those mortals who paralyzed to myth and magic have forgotten how to dream.

Upon the touch of the henna orange fingers of the first rays of dawn the air stills. The veils fall straight again and the painted walls fade to amber hues and only the memory of burned incense hangs in a Morpheus cloud above the now stirring bodies of the strangers. Awake at first light to push on in search of Shangri-La not knowing they have just spent the night within its very walls.

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Fever Pour Homme by Celine is a remembered dream of incense perfume. It lies lightly upon the skin where is stays close and soft.  It opens with a fresh whiff of mountain sharp fir and a spicy sweet cardamom. This aromatic opening gives way fast to the lightly smoky incense which is the main focus of this perfume. Not heavy catholic incense but rather ethereal eastern and almost balmy incense. This note is made more interesting by the rose and at the same time tamed a bit by the dry influence of sage.   There is a solid masculine dry down of a sturdy blending of sandalwood, patchouli, musk and vetiver toward the end it becomes paper dry.

Fever is not a spectacular oriental incense perfume but rather a dreamy dry woody spicy well blended perfume that is light enough to wear in close quarters and still get away with a touch of glamour in the burning of incense cones. For what it is, the silage is light thus it has the ability to capture the attention of those who come into close orbit. Once they are within range, say kissing range, the gravity of the perfume will pull them closer and you will more likely than not have a complement to deal with. The longevity is moderate, about five hours at most on me. A short duration for me is no problem. I enjoy the ceremonies involved of perfume application. There is a sensuous joy I find in that act.

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In the end there is much to be said for a subtle touch in a perfume. This is a nice change of pace when you are feeling exotic but you don’t want to awaken the gods by ringing every gong in the temple.

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FOUR GOLD STARS **** 

(DHOOM TAANA from OM SHANTI OM  2007 INDIA

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25 Comments

  1. Happy 100th post anniversary Lanier!

  2. What a lovely scent to celebrate your 100th post!

  3. Congrats on 100 posts! That’s pretty impressive. Do you like them all or are you like most people who look back on their blog beginnings and cringe?

    • Thanks Poodle, No cringe here. I love them all! Now some of my early Fragantica reviews are, well cringe worthy.

  4. Seriously, Lanier, your writing makes me swoon.
    Happy 100th post!! You are a gift to the blogosphere.
    Much love,
    Lisa
    xoxo

    • Ah Lisa how sweet you always are to me. I am so flattered to be a gift… that bow keeps slipping down over my left eye though.
      Much love to you too!
      L

  5. Congratulations for your 100th birt… I mean scented post. Please, make the most of it, and enjoy yourself. Bravo.

    • Gracias mi amigo! I hope you enjoyed this flight of fancy as much as I did smelling and writing about it.

  6. Happy 100th post! Incense fragrances make me swoon, especially in the winter. Thanks for the wonderful story!

    • You are so welcome B.B.! I sure could go for some roasted Brussels sprouts and bacon right about now!

      • Come to New York! I’ll make you dinner with Brussels sprouts and lots of bacon! I’m serious 🙂

      • Next trip I will let you know I am on my way. Until then keep the bacon sizzling.

      • Definitely do!

        And we’ll keep the bacon crispy for you 🙂

  7. One hundred sacred monkey kisses, oh, what an evocative story… Blessings to you balladeer, you really do make our days beautiful. Much love, V

    • And may all the gods bring you silken dreams fragrant with saffron and jasmine.
      Xoxo
      L

  8. Hurrah on hitting 100!!! Congratulations!! May you have many hundreds more!

    Shangri-la has always fascinated me. One of my all-time favorite old-time Hollywood movies was Frank Capra’s Lost Horizon. And I always thought the amazing, cool, mysterious “She” by H. Rider Haggard was probably set in some sort of Tibetan shangri-la too.

    • OH thanks Kafkaesque! Yes Lost Horizon is a wonderful film. Oh and I loved “She” also when I was a kid. The one with Ursula Andress…”She” I believe was set in central Africa. But I could be wrong.

  9. Congratulations on your century Dear Lanier!!

    One hundred not out as we would say in cricketing countries.

    What better way to celebrate than a trip to Shangri-La.

    On the cinematic references, a very different picture, but I can’t get the incredible Ingrid Bergman in ‘The Inn of the Sixth Happiness’ out of my mind.

    There are worse images to carry with one throughout the day.

    • Yes the lovely Ingid is a nice image to walk the day with. Thank you P. Dandy.

  10. What a lovely one hundredth post! You do make me want to try Fever Pour Homme, and that is unusual for me, since incense is generally too serious. This sounds very subtle.

    • Thanks! Yes for me at least it is very light and dreamy.

  11. (catching up on my reading)

    Lanier, those were enjoyable 100 posts (I’ve read most of them). I’ll toast tonight for the next 100.


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