We all learned just this Wednesday that visionary perfumer Vero Kern died. Visionary is not a term I throw around loosely, but in Vero Kern’s case, it fits. She never got on the bandwagon of putting out perfumes because she had a schedule to meet; if it was ready to go it was ready to go. (I believe she only ever did five, in extrait and eaux.
In addition to being a visionary, she was also one of nicest people you would want to meet. So many people out here in perfumeland, from Artists like Andy Tauer (who wrote of her as his “muse”) to bloggers like me were blessed with her correspondence, full of life and humor. She was responsible for two of my all-time favorites: onda, which on PST I originally wrote “it’s earthy yet glamorous. It’s Garbo joyfully tearing a root from the ground with her manicured fingers, brushing the dirt and laughing, biting in heedless of the juice that may stain her Adrian gown. It’s earthy, it’s glamorous, it’s gorgeous…. it’s not me. I might be an old man, but I think that there are a few scents that should be ladies only, and although I could wear this, I really think it’s best served by being worn by you ladies. “ later writing “(clearly I changed my mind about me wearing it, thank goodness). I wore it to my friends mom’s funeral in San Marino, in a suit, in 103° weather, outdoors and I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.. “ The other was the eau de parfum version of kiki, with the passionfruit making the lavender really sing. If you know me you know that fruit in perfume is a really hard sell; kiki is even more stunning in the edp than the extrait.
My only fear is that with the death of Vero that these beautiful creations will become but a memory. In addition to releasing scents only when she felt they were ready and necessary, she also as far as I know never made an arrangement to have another entity take over the reins. (She certainly didn’t sell out to Proctor and Gamble or L’Oreal.) I hope that doesn’t happen; these are too beautiful to lose.
Godspeed, Vero Kern. If there’s an afterlife I hope to meet you in it.