MONSIEUR PETRIZ WINTER HOLIDAY ~ Green by Byredo

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Even a gigolo needs a vacation. For Rene Michel Petriz it was time for an escape from Paris and the ladies who kept him in Charvet ties, Ferragamo shoes and luxuriously ensconced in his apartments at 56 Avenue Victor Hugo.

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Madame Pageau had seen him off in the snowy December cold with out a hint of a tear at Gere de Lyon. He knew his housekeeper was putting up a brave front she hated to have him out of her sight. On the night train to Nice he skipped dinner in the dining car where there was sure to be a woman or two and possibly a man who would to catch his eye with an invitation behind a smile. Instead he locked himself in his compartment and was asleep before Melun.  The next morning in Nice he picked up a 1966 Alfa Romeo Spider and hit the back roads rather than the A8 that would lead to his hideaway in the hills above Monte Carlo.

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He was surrounded by sudden Spring. The little red machine purred as he took the hairpin turns a hair to fast. Gravel was kicked into the sage by the back right tire and the wind in his face was liberating. It tore away all the cares of Paris and demands of his body. For two weeks he would luxuriated in being alone, completely and deliciously alone. He took a deep breath and smelled the green of the hills that climbed from the Mediterranean Sea up to the crystalline peaks of the Alps to the north. It smelled of green petitgrain, and almond trees growing on sage covered hills warmed by the unseasonably hot December sun.

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Everyone he knew, his clients, the boys from the Bar du Marche and anyone of consequence would be sprinkled across ski chalets and the slopes of Megève or Montgenèvre being frivolous in furs and trying desperately to have a good time.

“Bonjour Monsieur Petriz. Welcome back to Peillon.” The concierge of Hotel Auberge de la Madone greeted him as he had for the past ten years. He wore a violet boutonnière in his lapel and smelled of a perfume laced with Tonka.

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Peillon France

“Merci Henri, Peillon looks unchanged.”  Rene noticed that there was honeysuckle miraculously blooming in brightly lacquered terracotta pots just outside the windows.

“But of course Monsieur, we are close to the glitter of Monte Carlo but untouched by its extravagance. One might say that we are the simple country rose growing next to the glamorous jasmine.”

“Perfect Henri” He smiled more broadly and openly than he ever did in Paris and signed the ledger.

That afternoon he sat atop the highest hill above Peillon looking out to the south toward the sea beyond the last row of hills that separated him from Monte Carlo. To be left alone was a luxury he could barely afford. But for the next fourteen days isolation would be his.  Solace in solitude. The air was clean and green filled with memories of blessed beds of musk white sheets he shared with no one but those he met in sleepy dreams.  He fell back onto the grass and looked into the all encompassing sky and smiled once more as he never had in Paris. Rene Michel Petriz never looked, more handsome or more alive than now.

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*******

Green by Byredo is my favorite of the line. This green floral is said to be inspired by memories of the father of the creator of Byredo, Ben Gorham. Everyone should have such beautiful memories of their father.

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Ben Gorham

Green is a blend of what you would expect in green notes which meet in the most unexpected and charming way with a classic French perfume vibe. A kind of sensuous green oriental mash up that makes this a very exciting and vibrant olfactory experience. Pure magic if you ask me. Just a few sprays and you are transported to the south of France in early spring.

The top opens with fresh sunny petitgrain and sharp slightly bitter sage. It could be a hillside along the Mediterranean Sea  or a orange grove in Southern California. Where ever it is you want to be there. Super green and inviting these top notes fade off but never leave the perfume.

In the mid notes we get a spring garden with rose blooming in the afternoon and jasmine filling the night with its distinctive lush beauty. The honeysuckle and violet are intertwined into the rose and jasmine creating a cerebral vision of a classic floral perfume. It is glittering but not overly glamorous.

The dry down is clean and slightly woody with the arrival of a warm tonka, white scrubbed musk and hard edged but not too bitter almond. This brings in a bit of the barbershop for me and boosts the perfumes masculine edge making it a floral for men that is easy to wear. And on a woman it is stunningly beautiful a perfect example of what the real essence of perfume should be. Without gender and made to be loved.

The down side for me is the longevity that I find in all the Byredo perfumes. They seem to last only a few hours on my skin. But the good news for Green is that it is at the top of the spectrum in this respect. It last on my skin from four to six hours. And with me reapplication is not a problem but a fun ritual. I only mention this because for some longevity is an important issue when paying for expensive perfumes. The sillage is respectable at about three feet. With the short lifespan it does move toward a skin scent relatively quickly.  Having addressed those issues, for me Green is a winner. It is a green fragrance that an oriental lover can embrace, a perfect meeting of city and nature.

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Green by Byredo Four Gold Stars ****

IN MEMORIAM ~ Bryant Lanier January 19, 2012

-0 BRYANT

 

How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle!
Jonathan was slain in your high places.
I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
You have been very pleasant to me;
Your love to me was wonderful,
Surpassing the love of women.

2 SAMUEL 1:17

SONG OF INDIA ~ Ashoka by Neela Vermeire Creations

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“At sunset in the top of the jungle canopy the monkeys sing his name. Across the sky at dawn it is written by the clouds in the east as the sun guilds each letter in crimson and gold. At the roof of the world, where the mountain gods abide it is written a thousand thousand times in the stone of the Himalayas. Ashoka the Great.”

ashokaShah Rukh Khan as Ashoka in ASOKA (2001)

 The gasp from the circle of children was audible. Eyes wide in wonder at the splendor of his imperial glory began to unfold. The old storyteller continued.

“As a boy he was such a fierce warrior that he killed a lion with a stick.”

“No that is impossible.” Said little Parnashri in disbelief. “A boy and a lion? The Lion will always eat the boy.”

The old storyteller nodded and with a half smile raised his hand to beg for patience. “He was not an ordinary boy, but an exceptional boy who grew to be a great man.”

Parnashri gave him a displeased look that said with the tilt of her head. “Prove it.”

“After Ashoka came to the throne he desired to expand the empire of India wider than ever before. With great wars he pushed our boundaries to the west deep in to Persia. To the south almost as far as the very tip of India and eastward to the very gates of Burma, but this was not enough for the Emperor. His eyes fell upon the land of Kalinga.

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A great battle ensued and many thousands died. Kalinga fell to Ashoka and in his joy he walked into the filed of battle to celebrate and glory in his victory over his enemy. But his joy short lived. It was quickly transformed to grief. Ashoka the Fierce looked upon the hundred thousand dead and cried.

‘What have I done? If this is a victory, what’s a defeat then? Is this a victory or a defeat? Is this justice or injustice? Is it gallantry or a rout? Is it valor to kill innocent children and women? Did I do it to widen the empire and for prosperity or to destroy the other’s kingdom and splendor? One has lost her husband, someone else a father, someone a child, someone an unborn infant…. What’s this debris of the corpses? Are these marks of victory or defeat? Are these vultures, crows, eagles the messengers of death or evil?’

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His tears ran down his face and washed the bloody earth upon which he stood. In that moment his heart was softened by the savage sorrow and hideous death he had rendered upon Kalinga.”

“This makes him a great man? Because he cried after all the death he made” Said Parnashri.

“This was the transfiguring moment, Parnashri, the door to enlightenment was before him on the battlefield of Kalinga. If he embraced it and stepped through the door it would be the beginning for the boy inside the Emperor of becoming a great man.”

And did he step through the door?” Parnashri said as she and the entire circle of children under the Bodhi tree leaned forward in anticipation.

“He turned away from war and toward the path of the Buddha.  He found on that path a way to peace, for himself and for all the land. And in so doing he brought the teachings of the Buddha to all of India. He built monasteries and great Stupas across the land and hospitals for people and animals as well. For forty years he reined in peace and created a golden age to India.”

“And that is why the monkeys sing his name at sunset.”

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Ashoka by Neela Vermeire Creations is a contemplative beauty. A perfume for both men and women that is a thoughtful meditation on beauty and peace inspired buy one of the great leaders of not only Indian history but on the world stage as well.

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NEELA VERMEIRE

(photo from Ca Scent Bon! taken by Claudio Bonoldi Studio)

The nose behind the perfume is one of my favorite perfumers, Bertrand Duchaufour who has created for so many great houses from L’Artisan Parfumeur to Dior. Here in this perfume he has a soft symphony of notes. So many notes are in this perfume that in the mixing of them you find his great subtlety as an artist.

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BERTRAND DUCHAUFOUR

The perfume is green and calm with the major note of fig leaf and parsley leaf being a very easy green complemented by incense aromatic notes of styrax, incense, myrrh and osmanthus. It is the very picture of a smoky blue haze incense market under the shade of rows and rows of fig trees in the heat and heart of India.  Fig milk note along with vanilla and amber adds a creamy texture to the mix smoothing out all the incense. Other notes that flow through the perfume like a subterranean river are the florals of rose, water hyacinth, cassie flower, jasmine sambac, geranium, ylang-ylang and iris with the support of, rooty green vetiver, a soft tonka bean. There is a woody subtext and foundation of a tangy balsam fir and creamy sandalwood. The perfume is categorized as a Woody Aromatic. I find it to be more aromatic than woody.

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For me, on my skin it stays well bended and not one note other than the fig leaf dominate. It is not a huge dramatic perfume but rather a dreamy soft warm fragrance that longs to be on skin where it floats and shimmers in a nirvana bubble of beauty. It lasts on my skin about six to eight hours with a moderate sillage. And that is as it should be, one would not expect an enlightened perfume to be bombastic or all about ME! It is about sharing its beauty and inviting others in.

ZOOM_ON_CAP_FLACON_LAYING_DOWN-1-1-5 (1)Ashoka by Neela Vermeire Creations

ASHOKA by NEELA VERMEIRE CREATIONS ~ FIVE GOLD STARS *****

NEELA VERMEIRE CREATIONS: http://www.neelavermeire.com/

THE IMAGINARY LUNCH ~ L’Orchidée Terrible by Imaginary Authors

IA-logo360 Jessie StreetDOWNTOWN SAN FRANCISCO and 360 JESSIE STREET

Thrown into the hubbub holiday downtown crowd in the just after noon madness of  New Years Eve Robert was hungry. Usually he had an idea of where he would have lunch on a launch into a shopping excursion.  Yet this wasn’t really an excursion but rather a hop off on his way home on the holiday half day to pick up a few needed items at the new Super Walgreens on Powel Street. His stomach reminded him that it needed more than a muffin from Pazzo and three cups of coffee if it was going to allow him to buy some shampoo and then window shop at Bloomingdales.

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The Food Court at the Westfield San Francisco Centre was overstuffed with Christmas Break teenagers. He passed on through. Mels Dinner? Not in the mood for burgers and American Graffiti memorabilia. As he strolled through the perfume solon of Bloomingdales to the back door to Mission Street he suddenly thought of the perfect place to lunch.

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Just off of busy 5th Street at 360 Jessie Street Robert was standing at the door to The Cavalier reading the menu posted behind glass.  It looked very inviting and reasonable of an upscale menu. Oysters on the Half, Wild Mushroom Pie. Pork and Beef Bangers! The hostess was smiling at him though the open doors within the cozy darkness of the interior.

“Just one for lunch.”  he said with a well practiced “male model” smile. That’s who he would be for lunch he decided as the decidedly very beautiful young woman lead him into the main dining room.

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“Is this your first time with us?” she asked as they reached the table under the tall arching windows.

“Yes, I am thinking of bring friends here so I thought I would try it out on my own.”

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He tossed his Michael Kors tote onto the black leather banquet and settled in next to it. As he shuffled off his black wool Brooks Brother’s overcoat he looked around the room. The place was new but looked old, and English and very well appointed with a long elegant bar in the front room, shinny black oak walls hung with horsy etchings of very British horsey bent. The back room was more of the same but with a red instead of black leather banquet that ran along the wall. Robert was intrigued with what looked like stable doors opposite where he sat. Tall blond waiters slid the doors open just wide enough to disappear momentarily and then reappear to sally forth into the dining room like runway models on a mission.

“My name is Alan” Robert looked up to half smiling and very poised young waiter who placed the menu and wine list in front of him. “Would you like some water sir?”

After he ordered Lamb Scrumpets, only to be gently reminded that they were appetizers, Robert settled on Fish and Chips. He watched Alan glide away and thought that he was so graceful that he just might be the most elegant waiters in the City.  He opened his tote and pushed aside his copy of hit book of the season, L’Orchidée Terrible by his favorite French author, Audrey Blavot he found his mini iPad and jumped onto Twitter.

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Ditta Von Teese was tweeting about a photo shoot.  Make up master Wayne Goss was thanking his YouTube subscribers for a wonderful year. Ralph Lauren, Paris Review, Nina Garcia were ringing in the new year early. Sarah Colonna hoped that 2014 would bring the Angels to the World Series and a win. Then He popped up!

“I used to spend countless hours picking out which outfit I was going to throw up all over on New Years Eve.”

It was Roberts’s favorite Hollywood Twitter Wit, Tony Gee.

Tony Gee: My New Years resolution is to just continue being fabulous.

RobertSF: @TheTonyGee that is not a resolution, that is a manifesto!

Tony Gee: @RobertSF you speak the #truth.

RobertSF: @TheTonyGee At lunch at The Cavalier and it is #TonyGeefabulous! Handsome waiters, want a photo?

TonyGee: Need I ask?

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TonyGee: Why is the waiter trying to escape?

RobertSF: That’s the back room.

TonyGee: What kind of place is this that has a back room?

RobertSF: A San Francisco kind of place. The Cavalier is the new IN spot in the City.

TonyGee: if you are there it is the IN spot.

RobertSF: You must come up sometime for lunch.

TonyGee: I will hire a private jet.

RobertSF: You will make a sensation when you enter the joint.

TonyGee: I make a sensation where ever I go even if it is just to the bathroom.

RobertSF: Oh yes, I forgot, you must be so very tired of causing glamour riots.

TonyGee” not at all, in fact I thrive of inciting glamour riots.

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When lunch arrived Robert sent Tony an Instagram of what he was about to consume. They had a wonderful time, the two friends who had never met in real life being WI-FI wits over fish and chips followed by piping hot coffee and doubly delicious Double Crusted Crumble. The age had arrived when one can lunch with someone who isn’t even there.

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Nowadays, when you can have lunch with a friend who isn’t there, you can also wear a scent inspired by a book that doesn’t exist.  The perfume house of Imaginary Authors is all about just such an imaginative approach to perfume. Each scent is named after a book and has a back story centered around the book and its author. Now that is taking the idea of fragrance as a story in a bottle to the maximum level. What could be more fragrant fun than that?

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AUDREY BLAVOT

1919 – 1999

Josh Meyer is the nose behind the house and I am happy to report that his work is beginning to find a lot of love with fragrance bloggers and YouTube reviewers. The big hits right now are Memoirs Of A Trespasser, and the just released Cape Heartache. Both are lovely to say the least, but I want to give some love to another in the line. The tragically beautiful L’Orchidée Terrible.  The “book” on which this perfume is inspired by is the tale of Honey Martine, English fashion model on a glamorous downward spiral in the fashion houses of Paris in the 1950’s.  And it quite possibly could be a thinly disguised autobiography of the author Audrey Blavot. Now what more could you ask for from an inspiration? High Glamour, high tragedy and haute couture are the order of the day.

The perfume opens with a nod to Ernest Beaux and the French Style with brilliant streamlined and modern aldehydes which do not fizz like champagne but pop like flashing paparazzi flashbulbs to announce the arrival of a star to center stage.  Clad in the synthetic but lovely note of Satin our star slithers over the skin awash in notes of golden honey, with a spray of muguet in her upswept hair. This is all in service to a sweet powdery orchid whose beauty is undeniable and the star note of the perfume.   What holds it all together and keeps it from careening into what would be a tragic over sweetness is the base of clean and warm white musk. It is scrubbed in white musk. It is very unique and at times angular, like the legendary supermodel of the 1950’s Dovima. The angularity of this perfume is what makes it so modern and fresh. L’Orchidée Terrible is all high cheekbones, poise and chic with a hint of danger in the undertones.

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Dovima

It remains linear on my skin and after the first hour moves in close lasting about seven hours. Like most niche perfumes L’Orchidée Terrible is marketed for both men and women. But to me it is walking the catwalk in heels and a ball gown.  But I suppose on the right guy on the right occasion it can be white tie and tails. Where ever it falls on the gender scale with your nose it is a beauty that should be explored. In fact the entire house of Imaginary Authors invites discovery and exploration.

L’Orchidée Terrible by Imaginary Authors Five Gold Stars *****

Orchidee

IMAGINARY AUTHORS: http://www.imaginaryauthors.com/

THE CAVALIER: http://thecavaliersf.com/

Address: 360 Jessie St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone:(415) 321-6000
FOLLOW TONY GEE ON TWITTER
HE IS LOADS OF FUN!
@theTonyGee
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