mardi 19 octobre 2010

Nuit de Tubéreuse and Fantastic Man Got Married: a True Story



They met through perfume.

She read my blog, where she left poetic, thoughtful comments. I’d seen her once at the Palais-Royal, a snow-white redhead with the charisma and tense elegance of a purebred cat, when she showed up with a mutual friend on the day El Attarine was launched.
When S. told me I could invite a few people to an informal gathering of perfume lovers, I immediately thought of her. It was S. who invited him because she’d done business with his company and he was curious about fragrance: he’d brought a bottle of his current favorite, Byredo’s Fantastic Man. That’s what she nicknamed him with a giggle, as she walked away draped in a purple shawl.

I saw her again a little over one year later, in June. We sat at the terrace of the Café Le Nemours near the Palais-Royal. She told me she’d seen the young man again. She’d worn Mitsouko. He’d said it was his mother’s perfume. She’d thought nothing of it: to her, the date wasn’t meant to be a romantic encounter. To him it had been.
She talked as though it wasn’t serious but behind her sunglasses her eyes were twinkling and she had that little laugh women have when they’re remembering a delightful little secret.
I’d promised to take her around the shops to show her the new perfumes launched during the time she’d dropped out of sight to pursue a creative endeavour. Serge Lutens she’d already been to, and had fallen for Bas de Soie. As she was practically my scent-twin, I planned to introduce her to my latest loves, so we moved on to Penhaligon’s, where she decided that perhaps she’d ask for Amaranthine for her birthday the following week. Then to Iunx, where the shop manager claimed our floral print dresses clashed: he had to walk out to the sidewalk to rest his eyes. She loved Eau de Sento.
Then on to Le Printemps’ Scent Room. Vamp à NY was a great success: maybe she’d ask for that too as a gift. But it was Nuit de Tubéreuse she sprayed on her chest, as she shut her eyes and shuddered slightly.
That night, she dreamt of a wedding on the beach.

When she went to join the young man in Bordeaux, she took the bottle of Nuit de Tubéreuse her friend J., a fellow perfume lover had given her for her birthday.
When she left Bordeaux, the young man went to the L’Artisan Parfumeur shop, just downstairs from his apartment, and sprayed himself with the scent to remember her.

In August, she told me they were getting married. Both I and S. were invited to the wedding: it was, after all, thanks to us that they’d met. 

In October, we joined a small group of friends and family on the dunes of Cap Ferret, on the bay of Arcachon near Bordeaux. It was raining lightly. We stayed in the car for a while, then opened our umbrellas and walked along the path between the tall Atlantic pine trees and strawberry trees hung with fluorescent orange-red fruit, picking them as we trudged barefoot in the sand, clutching our party shoes.
We climbed to the top of the dune and stood gaping at the ten-foot waves crashing under a slate-grey sky. She came, her head wrapped in a white mantilla, long and slender as an arum, between her two brothers. He joined her, arm in arm with his mother, to be blessed by the pastor. Her sister read a poem by Paul Eluard called “Je t’aime”, and her voice broke halfway through. Her friend, the one who’d given her that bottle of Nuit de Tubéreuse, sang the Beatles’ “I will”, and her voice broke too.
Then we ran down the dune to the ocean, hoisted up our skirts and rolled our trousers to dip our toes into the Atlantic: a huge wave crashed on the beach and soaked us to the waist, so we laughed and let the wind dry us, and ate more fruit from the strawberry tree as we made our way back to the cars, and kicked pine cones.

It was through perfume they met, and because of me, and because of S., their fragrant fairy godmothers. The rest is all them.

The night before the wedding, the manager of the L’Artisan Parfumeur boutique in Bordeaux, upon learning the story through one of the guests, cycled across town to reopen the show and give another bottle of Nuit de Tubéreuse to the bride.

The groom wore Fantastic Man.
The bride, of course, wore Nuit de Tubéreuse.

44 commentaires:

  1. What an enchanting story. Thanks so much for sharing it, Denyse. May your friends enjoy years and years of beautifully perfumed togetherness.

    I reckon we should all do a 'significant scent' post on our blogs.

    And as for the waves at Cap Ferret... ooh, I remember them well from the summer of 2009. I haven't got a single surfer dude bone in my body, but when I saw those juggernauts crashing onto the shore, I began to see why someone might feel the urge to try to conquer them.

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  2. Persolaise, isn't it lovely though? In many ways, the fact that the sky was angry and the waves were roaring added more to the beauty of the moment than blue skies... The Atlantic is so imposing in that weather. The whole small party just gasped when we discovered the vista.

    And, yes, that type of post should occur more often!

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  3. I'm such a romantic soul, and this was such a beautiful story. Happy blessings on the couple. Thanks for sharing. ~Donna

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  4. Rappleyea, I'm sure they'll be very touched to see that strangers -- and fellow perfume lovers -- share in their happiness...

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  5. Mazel tov, to the couple and blessings to all involved! Can totally imagine the scent of NdT by the beach, too...

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  6. Alyssa, as you can imagine, there was a lot of scented competition: S. in L'Heure Bleue, C. in Velvet Gardenia, myself in Bosphore (I thought the rose Turkish delight note would go with my pink dress), and one of the guest had a preview bottle of Dior's new Mitzah, a powerful amber that managed to knock every other waft out of the beach.
    But what smelled the most were the ocean and pine trees -- Filles en Aiguille was the winner, in a way!

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  7. So, so romantic. Thanks for this.

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  8. March, we need that kind of story every once in a while, don't we?

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  9. Just lovely! Wishing them ages and ages of health and happiness!

    xoA

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  10. Denyse - what a beautiful post and auspicious beginning for your fragrant friends - I'm so happy for them! Many thanks to you and them for sharing this. ~nozknoz

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  11. Oh, Denyse, how lovely! I dare anyone to read this and not smile! Sounds like one of the best-smelling occasions ever, too. Thank you for writing about it!

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  12. I totally agree, Denyse. There's something very symbolic and primal about getting married in a place where nature makes its power felt in a dramatic manner.

    When two people surrender themselves to the greatest force on earth against the backdrop of the might of the elements, one can't help but get swept away by the sheer beauty of the moment.

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  13. eleven european mystics20 octobre 2010 09:16

    what a beautiful story. i try to imagine it translated to the language of opera...a tune comes in, then another, then the wedding itself, with all those fragrances in chorus

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  14. Wonderful! :)
    And all the best to the married couple!

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  15. Thank you all for your wishes and blessings, and thank you again dear fairy godmother.
    With love,
    She & him <3

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  16. Keep the good wishes coming! No need to answer each comment individually this time... The story speaks for itself.

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  17. Stories like this make you believe in dreams.

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  18. It's a beautiful sunny day in Montreal... I'm drinking Kamairicha tea and wearing Le 3e Homme by Caron and I just read your beautiful post with images that sent my head spinning.

    Life doesn't get any better than this.

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  19. What an absolutely charming and romantic tale! I can picture it all, and what a beautiful scenario is conjured up by your writing.

    Thank you so much for sharing the story, Denyse.

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  20. Ah D, I have chills and a couple of little tears welling up, have you made anyone cry reading Grain de Musc before??? XXX

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  21. Wendy, i might have made a couple of perfumers cry... Or people who couldn't afford the things I was writing about? But this way, definitely not. It's once in a lifetime!

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  22. A beautiful contemporary love story "with perfume". Wasn't it only yesterday when men and women met in "real life" first? Now with the interwebs... we have more choices, more dangers - and can find our mate in unkonwn places.
    I was very touched.
    I found my husband in the interweb, now 3 years ago.

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  23. What a beautiful story!
    The marketer in me can't help thinking this will drive up comments on you site!

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  24. Martina, in this case the lovers did meet in real life. I was the one who first encountered the bride through the blog. But the online perfume community definitely played a role in the story!

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  25. Mila, I often get lots of comments, but certainly this story is different from my usual post and could draw in other types of readers, or comments from people who don't usually speak up... Which I think is the case. And I know all the wedding guests got the link!

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  26. Best wishes for the happy couple. Thank you Denyse for sharing their love story it almost sounds like a movie, so very romantic. It just proves the power of scent is unifying.

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  27. Lovely, Denyse. Thanks for sharing this. Félicitations to the newlyweds.

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  28. The bride looks very beautiful in her elegant gown and that heartstoppingly lovely mantilla. As beautiful as the love story that brought her to a rainswept beach where she married her fantastic man.

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  29. in the enchantment I forgot the two real people, to whom I wish many long years of love and beauty, and thank you Denyse, for being fairy and teller at once.

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  30. Again, to all of you: thank you on the behalf of the young couple, who have been reading your comments.
    And Carter, yes, that mantilla was an inspired idea! The bride designed the dress herself, it's very graceful, as she is.

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  31. Oh my,Denyse,what a beautiful story,beatiful pictures and poetic way of describing it.I got chills all over myself!! I was in Cap Ferret,Arcachon,etc, last summer and I can really imagine that perfecf wedding.
    So...Nothing more to add:all the best to the couple and..thanks for sharing this!!
    So...if I'm Habanita,where's my Habanito?!? ;)
    greetings from Spain,
    Silvia

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  32. Silvia, just be warned: I was Habanita before getting married, and had to give it up (long story). Which explains, probably, why I didn't stay married forever... But that's another story.

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  33. Dear Denyse, you told this story so beautifully. Thank you for sharing it.
    Ariane

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  34. GalileosDaughter22 octobre 2010 15:12

    Thank you for such a lovely story. I never understood why people cry at weddings, but as I get older, I'm beginning to understand.

    EEM expressed it beautifully as you are both "fairy and teller." I think that bringing together two people in love just has to be a good deed of the highest order, and hope that you be repaid with much happiness and good karma.

    Wishing that dear young couple much love and happiness.

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  35. This is a moving story and the way you describe it appears to me like a movie, very special and specially the perfume who played such a great importance in this love story.

    I love it. Thanks for sharing it. You make it as a perfume bottle in my own hands. much love to them, happiness always.

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  36. Ariane, it just had to be shared.

    Galileosdaughter, karma isn't why I did it since I didn't know I was doing it, but I certainly hope I've accrued some good one.

    Vintage Lady, there are always stories, movies as it were, in lives: you've just got to pick the scenes and their logic, even though it is purely poetic.
    But then again, in a movie this wouldn't wash: too many coincidences!

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  37. Thank you for this lovely story. Much happiness to the couple!

    I think I have to put on some NdT now.


    By the way, I wrote a blogpost about this story and your very nice blog. It is in norwegian, so you are probably not able to understand it, but I thought you'd want to know anyways. :)

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  38. Jorid, Google translate is pretty handy in those cases!

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  39. thank you, denyse, for sharing this lovely, inspiring story! it really moved me! and congratulations and everlasting happiness to the lovers bonded by perfume :) (the irony in my case is that my signifcant other couldn't care less about fragrances...oh, well! he's perfect in almost every other regard :))
    XO!

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  40. How lovely, it does my heart good to have my faith in humanity restored once in a while.

    I can understand why the lovely bride fell for Nuit de Tubereuse; I can't wait to smell fantastic Man!

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  41. this is literally one of the most fabulous perfume stories I have heard- I have a little tear in my eyes and my cold British is heart is full to bursting- how EXCITING and wonderful

    Thanks so much for sharing and huge congratulations to the couple

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  42. You are quite right; the crashing sea is a fine backdrop to an important beautiful transitory transformational event.

    The story is beautiful, as I am sure are the players--beautiful in the ways years of surf only uncover, rather than erode.

    Best wishes to all.

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  43. Thank you all, on behalf of the happy couple, for those kind comments... Scentscelf, that's very beautifully put!

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