Corner View: collections
I am not, in general, a collector, though I do have a few small collections here in the house (very small) mostly oddments...Japanese "mystery box" toys (in the face of which I am helpless, so it's a good thing they're hard to find around here), miniature chairs, tiny antique apothecary bottles just big enough to hold a single spring bloom, a striped beetle in a glass box from a curiosity shop. But lately I find that I have become much less acquisitive.
Since Q has been with us, the things I value are things that come to us from creative people we have met through the blog world - people with great talent whose work I respect deeply. This dress from Charlotte (which you may have noticed is a favorite of ours) is a good example. A hand-sewn bunny with Q's name embroidered on it from Juniper, brilliant screen prints and a protective dragon from Guusje, a very special bathing costume from Nath, hand-printed mermaid shirts and Q's personalized hand stamp from Daan, a miniature handmade Pippi doll from Sanneke, a gorgeous tea towel from YanYan, tiny and magical crocheted friends from Evelyne, a beautiful summer shirt just for me from Valérie, and the list goes on and on.........
One of the most recent things that arrived in the mail from afar is this sample of scent from Alexander Lauber of the scent brand WienerBlut, relative of our blog friend Cara who makes the gorgeous dresses you've seen on Q from the Etsy shop MadeInMommy.

I posted about this rare and very exclusive scent here a while back, when Cara first told me about it. At the time, I had not sampled it, and posted only on the basis of the description, the reviews and the website.

I don't know Alexander, but he was nice enough to send this sample of his scent from Vienna, the city that inspired it. I can't tell you exactly what I expected - but just because the scent was created on the basis of the 19th century tradition of handkerchief perfumes, I assumed that it would be the sort of light and organic fragrance that smells heavenly at first application, but vanishes into thin air in less than twenty minutes.

In this, I was entirely wrong. The original WienerBlut scent (I believe this is the one called Clubwasser) is a strong, rich scent which lingers. It goes on pure and true, with none of the initial alcohol scent that makes so many modern perfumes and colognes difficult to digest for the first few minutes after application. It presents exactly as it should be perceived, in all its natural, warm, complex glory. And it stays. It stays, but it also changes. As time passes, one note after another gradually recedes to allow a new note its place in the olfactory spotlight. An hour later, or two, or even three, the scent remains, strong and assertive, but return to it and you will find a new dimension ready to be discovered.

I'm not by any stretch an expert at describing scents, but at first impression this scent is, for lack of a better word, rich. By that I mean that it embodies old-school luxury. It reminds me in some basic way of the heavy cut-glass bottles of Chanel that used to occupy the dressingrooms of glamorous people like my grandmother back in the early '60s. It has that quality of old-world glamour that have never, to my mind, been achieved in the modern day. I have always been a fan of old-world craftsmanship, and if there is craftsmanship in scent, this is certainly its epitome.
That said, Cara mentioned this scent to me because she knows I'm a fan of unisex scents - scents that are as easily masculine as feminine. This is a mercurial scent, which can change drastically depending on your mindset in the moment. When I first put a dab on my wrists, it felt deeply feminine to me - complex, sensual, voluptuous. But when I recalled its unisex marketing, I was immediately aware of its masculine qualities - woodsy, musky, bold, rich with spice, and yet still reminiscent of the simple pleasures of the first hay harvest of the year...sweat and musk and sun-baked wheat.

So, this collection of artisan wonders is something that I value on several levels. For now, it is largely for my own complex pleasure, both in the artifacts themselves and in the people behind them. Later, they will be a legacy, an heirloom for the Q.

Thank you to all those who have sent us magical things through the international post. It means so much to me. These are my treasures at this stage of my life, when acquisition takes a backseat to wonders of human relationships.


kenza said...

oh! this is really nice. such great feelings come out of this post. and the photos - magical! thank you sweet Maia.

likeschocolate said...

I like more masculine scents too! I just saw your illustrations on your other blog and they are amazing.

Yoli said...

You write so beautifully Maia, your good heart shows through every word. What a wonderful scent to be able to experience. The kindness of your friends is lovely to behold. Put that amazing scent in the refrigerator.

CARA said...

Maia, I was so touched by your thoughts on my brother's perfume. Thank you! And I agree with Yoli, you write so beautifully. It's such a pleasure to read your blog! Bises, Cara

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Cara, thank YOU, both for the wonderful creations in your shop, and for the introduction to your brother's amazing and rare scent creations. As I've said, I'm very picky when it comes to scents, but his is one so unique and masterful that I would actually go back and purchase (if I could find it!).

Theresa said...

Well put, especially the last sentence. Love the illustrations with Q, too.

Cara said...

Hi! I asked Alexander and it looks like they sold out of it at Colette in Paris and he won't be able to restock until sometime this summer... I'll keep you posted :)