When I came across this gorgeous painting in the Louvre, many years ago, I was shocked. Much in the way I believe Shakespeare’s contemporary audience was when they first saw the sleepwalking, murderous (at least complicit) Lady in the famous play. I adore painting and Fusli was as yet unknown to me. I pretty much stuck to the Italians and the Germans and well-known Dutch, etc at the time. I adore Shakespeare and embracing the tragic romantic that is me, I tend to go back to the great tragedies most often. Lear is of course the greatest, but I do love Macbeth. It is the most dramatic. What does this have to do with perfume? I will tell you. I see paintings like this and I immediately wonder….what do the doctor and the attendant in the background smell? What kind of dark sillage does the Lady leave behind as she wanders the halls, oblivious to her mutterings? Does she smell of bright, cheerful flowers to bely her foul heart? She was after all trying desperately to appear sunny, almost flirty three acts ago. She tried to shed her humanity (she asked to be unsexed, which of course meant humanity, not womanhood)….so would she have doused herself in the softest of rose oils? I think her sheets were heavy with sweat and tears and she, heavy with her deeds, smelled of darkness and despair….These are not Spring thoughts, but I can’t help myself. I think Lady Macbeth’s vanity would have been filled with “pretty” scents, but she would have loathed them all. She would have secretly longed to, “cross the aisle” as it were. She would have doused herself in her fathers’ and brothers’ scents (I have invented a family for her). I think her private collection would have been filled with birches and woods and other dark scents. This is not to say that her actions were typically “masculine”. I simply believe the character indulged a very distorted notion of what is feminine and what is masculine. She was quite simply one twisted woman. If I were to perfume this character, I think I would choose Lutens’ Rose de Nuit. A dark gorgeous rosy chypre with so much red rose and so much depth, I can see Lady Macbeth’s damned spot each time I smell it. So, whom would you love to scent and what would it be……doesn’t have to be the Bard.