Were it a time
It Was A Time That Was A Time
by Nicolas Bonneville
Our Review shall linger on one of our last acquisitions which is not a new release : I should like to introduce It Was A Time That Was A Time, a perfume born of an audacious collaboration between Olivia Bransbourg –whose Interview is still available here- Shezad Dawood and Nicolas Bonneville for the brand Attache-Moi.
Audacious because it was first meant to be an olfactory translation of a movie, so as to complete the senses of sight and hearing by conjuring the subtlest of all : the smell. Now, we have never seen the movie but our experience is as peculiar as the perfume itself.
A blue perfume. A blue in which one’s lost, a blue of Baikalean winters ; the turquoise blue of Marmara, of infinite skies and horizons lost ; the blue of Afghani women and their Aryan eyes ; the peaceful blue of scapulars, the icy blue of seas, polar ; the blue of linen and crocus fields and the blue of poppyseeds ; a Klein blue, an unspeakable blue ; the purple blue of Aegean summers ; the golden blue of lapis-lazuli ; a cobalt blue ; the stained blue of church windows ; the blue of Chartres and Giotto ; of Siena, of china ; the blue of southern jacks ; a blue of emerald ; a cristalline, cerulean blue.
Yes, It Was A Time oddly reminds one of a time aforetime. Speaking the unspeakable, it rises up memories which had been buried or ones of times yet to be lived. Undescribable, clear yet abyssal ; marine and heavy like the sap coming out of balsam trees, It Was A Time is a fairy tale embottled or rather the legends of Armida and Ulysses ; of such heroes tossed about by life and winds, powering through their tempests and washing up far from all – from life, far from the world, and time.
It Was A Time is a sphere of golden ambergris. It shines, it illuminates, it burns the retinas like a sunrise seen from o’er the Earth. Amidst the cristalline darkness of the interstellar silence, amidst such icy void lurking in all the nooks of our souls, this perfume arises and reaches through all – it is a burning star, terrifying, warming everything around with its fiery waves.
Sticking to one’s stick, it also sticks to one’s memories. It comes back to haunt you and shall remind you of someone, of somewhere, for this perfumes lives and breathes. One can hear its heart beating against one’s neck ; feel it breathing over one’s wrists.
As soon as we smelt it, years ago, we instantly were taken aback. More than a time, It Was A Time is a vast array of people, the blurry vision of so many faces starting to fade as our memory processes them out, until they’ve become one. Shapeless, this perfume is fleeting like the many people it reminds to our being.
Heady and enticing, boasting a breathtaking sillage, It Was A Time also calls back one’s tears. Who is he, he who wore that perfume ? What was his name, the curve of his nose and the sound of his voice ? Why is his face dispersing in the fog of our memory ? Who is that friend, whom we recognise no more ? Who is that person so dear to us yet drawn so far from us, sucked up in the abyss ?
It Was A Time doesn’t bear the iody signature of the sea, it rather bears its melancholy. An aesthetic of shipwreck and loss as it all wanes ere our open eyes. Its power isn’t that of the stream taking away our loved ones from us but rather that of the burning fire seizing our hearts as they are taken away. It is the scent of the paroxysmal tension of being in heart and body and mind as we’re trying to hold the relics of a love doomed to oblivion.
It is a hand reaching over the cliff, the tearing of our soul, the last spasm of the heart.
The scent of a fight but also of a dance. A flight of mineral ambers and its innate warmth are exhilarating. As it gives a scent to melancholy, it also drowns you in euphoria – that of the first hours of love.
Assuredly, It Was A Time shall remind you of someone else’s smell, of a someone you had deeply known and who is now gone. The scent of intimacy, of sharing and secrecy, of laughing under the sheets, of running in the now, of singing under the rain ; the sweet folly of naive friendship as they birth, of childish passions unaware of the world around – the scent of a time, of the good times.
Of a lover’s break.
It Was A Time at last grabs the smell of quietude as it invades the soul after the storms. One is purified of all passions and past. Memories are erased. ‘Tis the perfume of a life, with its burdens lifted and wounds healed. ‘Tis the perfume of a long run and its bittersweet ending ; of Frodo as he’ll cross the sea ; of a general over the silent battlefield ; of a monk as he sees an answer to his pleas.
It the perfume of our silent fights, of the tears we shed in secret, of their bitterness once the ordeal’s passed. The perfume of the questions we ask the moon at night and the answers life has mustered. The scent of our tensions and the scent of a peaceful sleep after them. The scent of that tiny second when we feel like drowning in a pool, when we finally let go of worldy affairs and let our spirit ease.
It Was A Time is the scent of a well-being known only in our mothers’ wombs. Of silence and light and muted sounds as we swim underwater, of the sheer freedom as we’re swayed by the hot and cold streams.
The perfume of a time,
The perfume of time,
Before all time.
It Was A Time That Was A Time - Attache-Moi
EDP 50ml / $145.00
Find it in NYC, the Netherlands, in France or visit their website : www.parfumsattachemoi.com