CaFleureBon. It appeared tonight, and includes a long description of how this collaborative project with Michelyn Camen developed from the brilliant idea she had of making a fragrance to celebrate one of the most famous love poems by Pablo Neruda, one of the greatest Latin American poets. The post also documents my approach to the actual making of the fragrance, our back-and-forth discussions as the concept and the fragrance developed, the notes, the final packaging, and a drawing for the first full bottle produced.
I feel like it's been an all-out sprint to the finish line, but with the feeling of exhaustion comes the exhilaration of knowing that I've had the opportunity to participate in a truly unique experience in the art of perfume. I have a special fondness for Latin American writers and the magical realism genre, so the whole project resonated with me to the extent that I mentally obsessed about it so much that I went through periods of not being able to accomplish anything in the lab and had to work in intensive spurts. Now that it's done (at least this stage of it) I feel like I'm too tired to think straight and I need to collapse and go to bed so that I can get up and travel to LA tomorrow for the Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon, where Sonnet XVII will make its debut. As I said in the other post, I only hope that the fragrance does justice to the poem:
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries
in itself the light of hidden flowers;
Thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride,
so I love you because I know no other way than this
where I do not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
And in Spanish:
No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego.
Te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.
Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.
Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,
sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.