Lettre de Pushkar
by Sonia Constant
for Ella K Parfums
Our new discovery, our new enthusiasm, comes from very far away –and also very close to us. It is upon the advice of a dear friend, whilst meandering through the streets of Paris, that we fell upon a shop that lokked like a jewellery case, nested under the arcades of the Palais-Royal : Ella K Parfums.
You will probably have heard about it by now, since the talent of its creator, the undescribable Sonia Constant, cannot be left untold. A prodigy, putting all her soul into the creations she procures to our senses, veritable olfactive jewels that she exposes in cases proportionate to their purity.
Ella K travels. She doesn’t stay in Paris, sitting behind closed doors. She’s a free spirit, besotted with wisdom, the unknown, the subtle. She yearns to see and live what hides in between the lines of her many books. Ella K, it is the grace of Sonia meeting the unageing age of Ella. It is the reunion of two geniuses.
Through seven creations, each more astounding than the other, Ella K, akin to a freshly unearthed diamond, presents unto us the multitude of her facets. For there lies Ella K's secret - complex without complex, rich without sulking into indolence, up in the air without uprooting herself. She is the ultimate woman, for she is all : wild in the Altai, hallowed in Firenze, sorcerer in Epupa and a Queen in Pushkar. She dares our glance, deceives our senses, she is the elusive woman for she is infinite - infinitely free.
Ella Maillart flies through India and the Afghan ranges - Ella K embarks us with her, through her, through the talent, the nose, the olfactive pen of Sonia Constant. Because she travels and travelled and is yet to travel, her perfumes are imbued with a certain breath, a certain dynamic. Dynamic because they force us to retreat outside of our selves ; a breath because they're eminently spiritual, vertical, shining a light on the unknown counties of ours senses asleep.
Such is the grandness of Ella K. Her humility. Her gentleness. Her utmost strength. Each perfume takes us afar without leaving us - meeting the truth hidden in our hearts to transform it. We leave affirmed, atalled, assured. For Ella K is a mother before most.
Ella Maillart once said, after a life of travels : "I believe that where we're born is where we must fulfil our life, our destiny."
Ella M travels ; Ella K fulfils. Fulfils herself. Fulfils ourselves.
Ella K isn’t the experience of a life – it is the experience of two lives.
Two womens’ lives.
Three even, for we will tell you about another woman who lurks behind the powders of Pushkar...
Pushkar annouces herself. She unveils without modesty her crimson cast and her look of lipstick spread on a piece of silk. We can make her out : she is a rose, and as soon as we discover her, my fools for senses, she enchants us. Because we think we know everything there is to know about her, because we ninnishly believe we can take hold of her, when we dab her onto our wrists and say « I know your scent » ; then does she flee, ever changing shape and appearence, eluding our grasp.
Pushkar, legendary city of Brahma. A pearl immaculate washed up on the shores of a lake. Her ghats languish under a blazing sun, the desert and its stony grounds stir up gusts of dusty wind which traverse dazzling streets before vanishing into the midday silence. Phantom fragrances scuttle the air : it smells of stone and spices, heat and saris.
This could be Pushkar.
But not to us.
No, Pushkar doesn’t remind us of the lost city of a forsaken god. It doesn’t evoke us this paradise lost amidst the desert that guard myriads of blossoming pilgrims. Rather, it reminds us of a woman whom fills our dreams, the woman who enchanted and led astray so many ascets of days bygone. Pushkar becomes for us Armide, Calypso, Kamala…
One must have had read the prose poem of Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha, to fully grasp what we are about to say. The protagonist, after abandoning a life of privations and prayer, steps out of his luxurious jungle and comes accross a marvelous procession surronding a velvet palanquin. Of it comes out a hand, so thin ; then a woman, so fair ; then a perfume, so divine.
Lo ! Kamala, princess of Love.
We later come to discover her palace and its marble columns carven like lace, its arcades opened on a lawn as lush as can be, its climbing rosebushes bowing down under the weight of their many flowers. Nature is blissful, thriving under the charms of the Kings’ enchanteress.
Kamala, her cast of bronze and hair of jet,
Kamala, her voice sweeter than honey and her glance sharper than spear.
Lettre de Pushkar puts a face on this charismatic character. She reveals the profoundness of her suavity, the exuberance of her intimity and the cruel exigence of her Love.
The rose of Pushkar is a rose one would eat like a ripen fruit. It is sweet, juicy, sirupy – she leaves a trail on one’s lips. Supported by an ambery base and oud accents, she is the garden rose which perfume mingles with that of the jungle outside, come nightshade.
She is not green. She is solar.
Pushkar is a garland of gold and rubies made, a necklace going down the bosom of Kamala. Rose, amber and oud unveil the untouchable.
The slightest thing holds Siddhartha’s mouth from kissing the unspeakable.
A slight which sways to a spicy breath.
Saffron and cinnamon are kindling desire : one by its warmth, the other by its sharpness. They’re joined by one of the most beautiful nutmegs we’ve ever smelled. Complete, zesty, her bite going to and fro between the fire of the cinnamon and the coumarin of the saffron.
Pushkar is a rose we hadn’t yet smelled elsewhere than in the blind alleyways of the Dubai souq.
She is bloody, bloody enticing. She takes hold of your body, titillates your chakras one by one because she’s Indian after all, this rose, and knows all secrets of mind, body and soul.
She doesn’t turn sour or bitter, fruity nor acidulous, not so spicy, never so peppery –on our skin. She is almost heavy, hidden behind her organza saris. She reveals two eyes like burning embers, which shan’t leave anyone cold, and a sillage which will seduce even the most vertuous paladins.
For Lettre de Pushkar is not about the fiery passion of love, but about love in its utmost subtlety. It is the scent of an « after » - after love. Sonia Constant bottles the undying and blissful swaying that seizes the body and soul after love has been consummated, that little second that could last a year for there is time and space no more, for there only is the loved one. It is the scent of an orgasm, in its mystical sense ; the scent of the gift to one another ; of two unities meeting only to become one after all. Lettre de Pushkar, like the rest of Sonia Constant’s creations, isn’t about carnal matters. We care not for things that pass but for those that remain, that remain after. It is the scent of an encounter, of its climax. Love’s mistress shares her secret : she catches her preys by surrendering herself to them.
Lettre de Pushkar is the story of a love net thrown under the envious gaze of old Indian gods. The Sun burns, bodies move, the incense smokes in the attic, slides the marble and shines the gold.
In Pushkar, Kamala invites you,
To rest upon her heart.
To rest upon her breast.
Lettre de Pushkar - Ella K Parfums
Available at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, Liquides and Ella K Parfums in Paris, at Tsum in Moscow, at Bongénie in Switzerland. Also available in Italy, Germany, Romania, Austria.
For more info, visit their website : www.ellakparfums.com