I love this Kerosene Whips and Roses. Truly, I do. I ordered a small decant (as I am not generally a floral girl) and as soon as I tried it wished I had ordered a much bigger one. As soon as it touches my skin, I feel like I am watching a story unfold. So, if you will all bear with me, I will attempt to share that story in a somewhat coherent manner…
Setting: Springtime in the Louisiana bayous, dusk
Scene 1: A young man pulls up beneath the flickering neon of a roadside gas station. The air is so still and quiet you can hear the neon sign humming. He gets out of the car, an old roadster of indeterminate make and age, and heads inside, the service bell pinging as the door pushes open. The young man heads for the flower display and stands a moment, considering. He finally choses a bouquet of white roses, releasing a dank smell as the water they rest in is disturbed. Heading for the front, he catches the attention of the young girl at the cash register – she notices his dark wavy hair and his curiously light eyes, which are the yellow-green of a cat’s. The man’s leather jacket creaks as he reaches for his wallet and he looks her up and down, saying nothing, as he waits for his change. The bell dings and he is gone, taillights fading into the distance.
Scene 2: A young woman sits on a creaking porch swing in front of a dilapidated wooden house, watching the road through the trees of her yard. Behind her, the windows have turned to mirrors, reflecting her silhouetted by the glow of the dying sun. She is wearing a lace dress, clearly vintage with its demure neckline and full circle skirt. If you looked closely you would see the fraying hems and the marks of discolouration from the passage of years. The woman has taken care over her hair and her makeup, accentuating her slender neck and topaz eyes. A faint scent of powder and roses rises from her skin, mingling with the verdant scent of the nearby bayou. Lights spark through the trees and gravel crunches. He’s here.
Scene 3: As she approaches the car, her stomach tightens. He opens his door and comes round to greet her, holding the bouquet of roses out to her. She smiles and steps forward to take them, burying her nose in the blooms. Their scent is somewhat strange, sweet with a fetid tinge and reminiscent of something just at the edge of memory. Before she has time to think on it further he is in front of her, bending to kiss her hand, the scent of his skin and his warm leather jacket coiling around her. He puts his hand on her back to guide her to the door of the car, steering her firmly forward and closing the door behind her with a solid thunk. The man gets behind the wheel and they drive off.
Scene 4: The young man and the young woman are inside a shadowy bar, filled with smoke, mirrors and amber lights. People seem to be merely wraiths moving through the gloom and the music is haunting. The man escorts the woman onto the dance floor and wraps his arms around her, inhaling the innocent smell of powder and roses. She in turn leans into him and feels his strength and warmth, the leather rough against her skin. As they sway together, she realises two things; 1) the smell at the edge of her memory was funeral roses and 2) in the mirror, she is dancing alone.
Still with me? …Thanks for hanging in there. Amateur hour, I know, but I really wanted to share how Kerosene Whips and Roses made me feel. The elegance of the roses and leather with the undercurrent of decay really captivated me and fired my imagination. Do any fragrances tell you a specific story? Do tell!
Notes on Kerosene Whips and Roses via Fragrantica: bergamot, blood orange, rose, jasmine, gardenia, iris, sandalwood, musk and leather. Whips and Roses Perfume Samples available at Surrender to Chance.
By the way, in my mind, the music in the bar is this: ‘Jezebel’ – Iron and Wine