Now that I have completed the series of scents referenced in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, I thought it would be fun to track down perfumes that best match the references. It’s quite a list, and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Let’s take a look at what I need to hunt for…
Chapter one: The scene is set with the scent of rich roses and Lord Henry’s chain-smoking. Lilac, honey-sweet laburnum and pink-flowering thorn are also mentioned. After a bit of research, I believe that pink-flowering thorn is pink quince, which is said to have a fruity smell.
Chapter two: a cool, calming lilac
Chapter five: a timid orris root fragrance
Chapter seven: a heady lily (lys) scent
Chapter ten: brain troubling incense
Chapter eleven references quite a few. Ideally it would be one perfume that has all of the below, but I doubt it exists:
- A mystical frankincense
- Passion stirring ambergris
- Violets of long dead romances
- A brain troubling musk
- An imagination stirring champak or magnolia
- Sweet smelling roots
- Pollen-laden flowers
- Aromatic balms
- Dark and fragrant woods
- Sickening spikenard (spikenard is said to have a warm, herbaceous scent)
- Maddening hovenia (hovenia is a plant native to Japan that is reported to be a great hangover cure – always good to know)
- Melancholy-expelling aloe
Chapter eighteen: revitalizing pine
Chapter nineteen: an avant garde white lilac perfume
It seems that I have a lot of samples to hunt down, but I love my little smell related projects. I’ll post updates as I make my selections. Stay tuned!
Illustrations throughout by Alastair (Baron Hans-Henning von Voigt), my favorite Decadent period illustrator, found on Soup.io.