You are going to the Opéra and are dressed in the most expensive of silks and furs. You are rather bored with your adoring companion and spend the drive looking with slight disdain from the window of the Rolls at the nocturnal Paris. Your nose buried in the collar of your mink coat, you find yourself delighting in tonight’s perfume. You wonder if you could possibly be smelling melons, their luscious scent bursting with sunshine. There is something sparkly in this fragrance, almost champagne-like. Combined with the fruits (you think there might also be peaches and plums), the fizzy note seems so wonderfully joyful, like a happy smile…no, more than that- like unrestrained laughter…it is almost out of place in your life, which lately seems plagued by ennui.
In the Opéra, your carelessly shrug off your furs into the arms of your escort. The show is dull and too long. The only exciting aspect of the evening seems to be your perfume. Every time you get little whiffs of it, your heart flutters a little. Never before did you find a scent to be not simply agreeable, but as meaningful and beautiful as a peace of art. Discretely smelling your wrist, you realize that the scent has changed, and although a little of the fruitiness you liked in the beginning still lingers, white flowers are now in full bloom, mostly jasmine, with perhaps some roses thrown in for good measure. They smell intoxicating, like a garden at night…pitch-dark night somewhere far, far away from here, somewhere exotic, where the life is full of danger and ardor…
During the intermission, you sip champagne, enjoying just a little bit the admiring stares of the men and the furtive jealous glances of their women. Your perfume smells warmer now; there is something underneath those heady white flowers that is downright dirty ..Something that smells like soil in the garden at night, the soil on which you’d lie in a passionate embrace with someone dark and gorgeous, someone who excites you, who makes your knees weak and your mouth dry…You smile at your lover thinking, what a shame it is that he can never be that somebody…You tell yourself that you must get out of the relationship that has become so tedious and stifling.
On the way home you decide that you will break up with your lover as soon as the car stops, before he suggest he sees you inside. Nose buried in a collar of your fur-coat, you marvel at what a total waste of a beautiful evening this outing has proved to be. Breathing in the warm, slightly spicy, strangely comforting notes of your perfume, you suddenly feel as if your heart might simply burst with hope and anticipation of a new beginning…Admiring the lights of Paris, you think of what a bizarrely absurd thing this life is…absurd and beautiful.
Diorama is available at Harrods and at Dior's Boutique Avenue Montaigne in Paris, tel. 00 33 1 40 73 57 95 .
The first image is from operagloves.com.