To very much paraphrase the famous saying of Albert Camus, in the midst of summer, I suddenly felt a chill of inevitable winter...and longed for comfort. Or more specifically, for a comfort scent. Not a fluffy one to temporarily cuddle the stressed mind, because temporary measures just would not do...not a serene one, to soothingly whisper that everything passes, because I don't believe in that...not a gloomy one that would agree with me that life is absurd and not worth the effort...I need an I Can Get Through It comfort scent, an empowering comfort scent, an olfactory companion which would assure me that nothing is impossible and that I can do it all.
Enter Habanita. She with the voice made husky by smoking all that tobacco, with a white flower defiantly and alluringly stuck in her pitch-dark hair and a warm, generous, sweet heart. To get through to the true essence of Habanita, her layers must be peeled of, one by one. First the tobacco leaves, with their sweet and smoky, enthralling fragrance. Then the white petals of ylang-ylang and orange blossom, a charming touch of femininity in a composition that otherwise might have been seen as totally masculine. Then the delectable, creamy blend of vanilla, heliotrope and orris, which is like a layer of dark-golden nougat ...You get through the defensive nonchalance of smokiness and the seductive floral femininity, you are made to believe that the gourmand softness of vanilla will be the end. You think you understand Habanita: underneath her sultry interior she is vulnerable, almost child-like. You bite into the golden nougat, and there, hidden in the sweet fluffiness, lies the core of leather. And it is that dark, tough, unbreakable, unyielding core that makes Habanita such a perfect companion for when the going gets tough.
"I am a Daruma doll, a legless toy endlessly poked and pushed, but finally regaining it balance, assured by an inner balancing pin (but what is my balancing pin? The force of Love?). This is what we are told by a folk poem wihch accompanies these Japanese dolls:
Such is life,
Falling over seven times,
And getting up eight."
(Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse)
Habanita can be found in a variety of sizes and concentrations, from $24.99 for EDT at Scentiments to $295 for Perfume at Aedes.
The image is by Jacques Olivar.