26 febbraio 2011

Dior La Collection Couturier Parfumeur: Granville
The sly wind from the north

"So through good times and bad, famine and feast, the villagers held fast to their traditions. Until, one winter day, a sly wind blew in from the North" J. Harris - Chocolat

The cold wind from the Channel blows swelling the waves and banging on the stones worn away by the tide. We're in Normandy through the moorland along the coast but it isn't the Granville seen through the nostalgic eyes of Christian Dior as a child, with the afternoon light warming up lilies of the valley in the garden of the pink fatherly house. We are rather in a morning with a dense air filling the nostrils with its pungent humidity. The sea, norman people know it well, it's something from which to shelter. It's there but it's behind us, beyond the grey sands of the beach and the shore covered in sea beans where fade off the icy billows as the tide gets high, beyond the heavy town walls, stepping over the yards with their humours. Finally here you can breathe Granville, along the lanes with medieval buildings, through the livid stone walls and the changeable sky of a spring morning.

This is the parfum paysage that François Demachy paints with this cologne as cold as the Channel sea, pungent and green like the rough reef of Jersey Island that can be glimpled at the horizon. In fact he himself explains this way the inspiration for this concoction: "I wanted to create a fragrance that was not only aromatic, since the property is overflowing with pine trees, but also very sharp and extremely fresh, to evoke the wind gusts and the waves that perpetually strike the rocks. In Granville, nature is all but calm. This fragrance is the scent of the wind that blows there".
As refined and brilliant as shy and superstitious, Monsieur Dior was very linked to his birthplace and to his childhood memories. Just because of this he always wanted in his collections a coat called "Granville" and his boutiques should always be decorated in white and a particular shade of gray, his favourite colours. These two fetish-elements are well represented ideally in this corroborating cologne, sharp and elegant like a structured silhouette in grey shetland wool that completes "La Collection Couturier Parfumeur" like probably Dior himself would have wanted it to be.

Lovers of aromatic and resinous tones will wear it all year round, but I'm sure Granville shows its best in the summer heat giving pleasant shivers of freshness on the men's skin and also on dinamic and naturally elegant women.

The opening is characterized by the greeness of galbanum coupled with lavender and bitter spikes given by rosemary. Just a hint of citrus as a dull sun appears for a while, but it's an green lemon that hasn't yet had heat enough to get sun-soaked. Sweet winter basil joins then, maybe a tribute to Eau Sauvage substained bu a black pepper accord with a slightly rosy facet.
The fragrance then gets gentler with orange blossom permeating the dry structure and turning the composition to be less severe, more relaxed and diffusive. Here there's a mix of melancholic light-heartedness reminiscent of vacations of girls in marriageable age and of high society gentlemen's scented mouchoirs in the "Monaco du nord" debut du siècle.

After this high life flash, like a cold wind gust the scent turns back to the dry almost pungent greeness of thyme and then melts with the mentholated and slightly fruity notes of wintergreen and fir balsam enhancing a camphoraceous freshness rather than a resinous density. Stillness reigns in the drydown, sillage tones down a bit without fading out yet giving for some hours the illusion of a walk through the coniferous woods with mossy rocks and paths scattered with pine needles and dried pine-seeds. In the end vetiver and a touch of soft musk, to my nose also helped by a whiff of olibanum (pinene), paint here and there bark pieces and moist roots mixed with the black soil that muffles the steps letting just the brave nature striked by the wind from the north to be heard.

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