“And so he would now study perfumes and the secrets of their manufacture, distilling heavily scented oils and burning odorous gums from the East. He saw that there was no mood of the mind that had not its counterpart in the sensuous life, and set himself to discover their true relations, wondering what there was in frankincense that made one mystical, and in ambergris that stirred one’s passions, and in violets that woke the memory of dead romances, and in musk that troubled the brain, and in champak that stained the imagination; and seeking often to elaborate a real psychology of perfumes, and to estimate the several influences of sweet-smelling roots and scented pollen-laden flowers, of aromatic balms and of dark and fragrant woods, of spikenard that sickens, of hovenia that makes men mad and of aloes that are said to be able to expel melancholy from the soul.”
4160 Tuesdays’ Paris 1948 is a perfume constructed with a couture sensibility. It develops on the skin seamlessly, its notes gently meandering together to project a soft-focus sophistication, cocooning around me with a veiled opacity that is at once aloof and incredibly alluring. It skims the body like an exquisitely tailored shift dress; its beauty lies not what is obviously apparent, but what is underneath.
In Autumn 1946 Charles “Lucky” Luciano in Naples, Italy due to an enforced deportation from the United States, received two passports with visas issue for Mexico, Cuba, and several other South American Nations. In October he set off for Caracas, Venezuela, Mexico City and finally Havana, where he was greeted by his friend Meyer Lansky upon arrival.
Luciano immediately set to work to organise a conference for the week of 22nd December that would bring together La Cosa Nostra, consisting of some of the most prominent mafia leaders in America from New York and New Jersey, Chicago, Buffal, New Orleans and Tampa, and the Jewish Syndicate. After purchasing a $150,000 interest in the Hotel Nacional, a casino and hotel owned by Lansky and his partner, Cuban President Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar, the Havana Conference was set.
I first became aware of Alphonsine Plessis, who later became Marie Duplessis, one of the most famous courtesans, or demi-mondaines, of 19th century Paris during the reign of Napoleon III (1852 – 1870) while reading Virginia Rounding’s fantastic Grandes Horizontales, which details the lives of four of the most celebrated courtesans of 19th century France. Through her relationship with Alexandre Dumas, fils, who was one of Marie’s amant de coeurs (a lover of the non-paying variety), Marie Duplessis became immortalized as Marguerite Gautier in Dumas’ La Dame aux Camélias and then later as Violetta Valéry in Giuseppe Verdi’sLa Traviata, which I decided to listen to for the very first time ever whilst writing this review, and it is absolute stunning.
I had received samples Jardins d’Ecrivains Gigi (also gorgeous) and La Dame aux Camélias from Bloom Perfumery in Spitalfields some time ago, and only just happened to have an “oh hello” moment with the La Dame aux Camélias sample a couple of days ago when I was tidying a drawer so I decided to have a moment with this beautiful fragrance and to explore La Dame aux Camélias.