Daybreak, Guernica, Serge Lutens La Myrrhe, L'Artisan Parfumeur La Haie Fleurie du Hameau {The Readers Talk Back}

We got a really interesting comment by a reader named Nlb/Angela on a post published in May 2006, so I decided to reproduce it in the section The Readers Talk Back.

The two posts that preceded that comment are:

On Comparing Perfumes

On Comparing Perfumes II

Since a blog is also a diary, I am keeping those posts as reflective of a state of mind and reflection early on in my journey as a perfume blogger, but it is manifest to me that I have evolved on a number of the points evoked then. I am grateful though that the blog medium allows you to keep that quality of the daily life and the ephemeral that are so important to me.

From reader Nlb/Angela:

This post fascinated me enough that I'm compelled to comment years after you've posted it. It reminded me of what some art critics say of what's patronizingly considered "decorative art" and "illustration" rather than "Fine Art"; there's always this distinct hierarchy of importance, where some art is deemed significant and provocative, while others just "pretty...only pleasant to look at". While "Guernica" by Picasso might be important for what it tells us about humanity, how does "Daybreak" by Maxfield Parrish tell us any less about ourselves?...


"Both remind us of our place against a vast, powerful world in an even vaster universe---a condition that can inspire us, embolden us or terrify us. The major difference between the two works, is that "Guernica" is violent and dissonant; "Daybreak" is subtle, languid and reflective...quiet. Both are beautiful; only one is enjoyable and doesn't conjure up a sense of anxiety (well, speaking for most, I'm sure).

La-Haie-Fleurie-du-Hameau.jpgI was thinking while wearing "La Myrrhe" by Serge Lutens that "it's interesting...but it also smells like a soggy crypt; albeit, an ancient one where rot doesn't linger in the air." I'll always appreciate it, but I'm not sure if I'll ever fully enjoy it on my skin. It's the same story with "La Haie Fleurie du Hameau" by L'Artisan Parfumeur [Editor's note: created by Jean-Claude Ellena] ---it's exquisite but philosophical and gets me brain-crunching about death and final transitions. I'll always find it beautiful, fascinating...and awful--the olfactive equivalent of a tragic ghost story or mystery."

You can also read a review by Dusan of La Myrrhe

Related Posts

4 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. I have never smelled La Myrrhe, but I understand perfectly about La Haie Fleurie - it is a melancholy fragrance, and I cannot experience it without feeling sad, despite its beauty. I miss things I never even had when I smell it.

    I happen to love Daybreak too, and I am a fan of Maxfield Parrish. Is there any color more sublime than "Parrish blue?" I think that art that is simply, openly beautiful is just as valuable as that which is meant to shock and provoke.


    • I need to re-smell La Haie because I don't remember experiencing it as sad. There is something a bit antique about it, especially after you have smelled M.A. Sillage de la Reine, which resembles it.

      Chant Wagner
  2. The difference between Picasso and Parrish is that Maxfield Parrish had actual talent and was a skilled artist while Picasso was another "modern art" fraud.

    I'm pretty sure I or anyone I know could have painted "Guernica", while I could stand at a blank canvas with paint brush in hand for a million years and never be able to render anything even close to "Daybreak".

    Why not?

    Because I dont have the skill to do so. I'm not an artist and I know my limitations. Unfortunately, Picasso and the modern art movement that foisted him down the public's throat don't understand that concept, or more likely, dont want to and expect the rest of us to pretend right along with them.

    • I can't really comment on that, but it does remind me of a comment I read Picasso once made himself about the ease with which he could slap a picture overnight calling it "any shit" and then always finding enamored buyers for it.

      Chant Wagner

Leave a Comment