The Forsyte Saga is the sequence of novels, which chronicles the lives of three generations of a large, upper-middle-class family at the turn of the century. The Forsytes are tenaciously clannish and anxious to increase their wealth. At the core of the story is the relationship between Soames Forsyte and his wife Irene. Soames is madly in love with Irene and, true Forsyte that he is, sees her as a form of property. Irene does not love Soames and is deeply unhappy; she falls in love with a young architect, Soames’s prosecution of the said architect leads to the latter’s death in a traffic accident in London. The other novels of the saga trace the subsequent divorce of Soames and Irene, the second marriages they make, and the eventual romantic entanglements of their children. If all this sounds like a soap-opera to you, it really isn't, this is a thoughtful, often humorous book that used to be filed under the "social realism" category during my Soviet childhood.
L’Heure Bleue. “The gods had given Irene dark brown eyes and golden hair, that strange combination, provocative of men's glances, which is said to be the mark of a weak character. And the full, soft pallor of her neck and shoulders, above a gold-coloured frock, gave to her personality an alluring strangeness. … She was ever silent, passive, gracefully averse.” What perfume can be more fitting for a woman like that (and consequently for the book that is centered around that woman) than an infinitely soft and feminine L’Heure Bleue. Rhetoric question, really.
L'Heure Bleue is a “very Guerlain” fragrance, with that dark, whispery, powdery undertone, and reminds me both of Mitsouko and Shalimar, especially of Mitsouko, with which it shares the same oleaginous, balsamic quality, however L’Heure Bleue is a much gentler scent. It has the sotto voce quality that I adore in perfumes, it is distinct yet soft. The notes of rose, iris, jasmine, vanilla and musk come together to form this intimate, refined and sensual perfume.
“Soames went to the drawing-room presently, and peered at her through the window. Out in the shadow of the Japanese sunshade she was sitting very still, the lace on her white shoulders stirring with the soft rise and fall of her bosom. But about this silent creature sitting there so motionless, in the dark, there seemed a warmth, a hidden fervour of feeling, as if the whole of her being had been stirred, and some change were taking place in its very depths.
He stole back to the dining-room unnoticed.”