Jorge de Burgos Would Approve: Messe de Minuit by Etro
My inner Goth craves incense perfumes and I feel I owe it to her to try them, after all, I keep her suppressed and never let her out. Some of the reviews of Messe de Minuit described the scent as scary. That is something I simply cannot resist. The sample was acquired and I braced myself, fully prepared to be terrified by the images too horrible to mention coming out of the vial in a puff of pungent smoke…Perhaps teenage and not-so-teenage years spent reading horror books and watching horror movies raised my fear threshold, Messe de Minuit failed to scare me. Instead it made me sad.
According to Etro, Messe de Minuit has “a luminous quality that seems to sit comfortably with its darker undertones.” What on earth are they talking about? Nothing remotely luminous here, this is a very dark dense opaque woody incense. The image I get (and I am tragically unoriginal here) is that of a church, old, dusty, moldy church, with the incense smell forever being absorbed by the walls along with the prayers and tears of the people who come here…an unhappy place somehow, perhaps it is a desecrated church…or perhaps this is how the monastery from Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose would smell like, a stale sorrowful odor of a place where humorless monks live, obsessed with the fact that Jesus never laughed.
Messe de Minuit could never possibly be wearable for me, but I couldn’t praise it enough for the originality and the evocativeness. For me this is one of the “haute couture scents”, something to be admired and maybe even bought, but never really worn in real everyday life.