March 12, 2005

"It’s feminine, the smell of death."

Perfumers at work (via A&L Daily):
The group walked around Aswan. The markets were full of spices, and Ellena smelled lotus roots; when macerated in water, the root produces a smell halfway between peony and hyacinth. He also found some jasmin sambac, which is full of indoles, molecules that smell overwhelmingly animalic. Feces are rich with indoles, he explained to Gautier and Dubrule, and so are decomposing bodies. It’s feminine, the smell of death. Calvin Klein’s Eternity is a heavily indolic perfume—the name must have been ironic, he joked.

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