Welcome to our first edition of
Conceived as a tribute to the importance of both art and fragrance in our lives, Indigo Perfumery is beginning a monthly series that pairs a painting with a scent. Indigo is aware of the subjectivity of the appreciation of perfumes and paintings and would be most interested in your observations and suggestions for pairing the painting of the month with a different scent.
Our team would love to hear from you.
We begin on this last day of 2013, a cold, snowy day for much of the country. The Red Kerchief was selected because it is a favorite of Ann Onusko, Indigo’s founder. The painting resides in the Cleveland Museum of Art as an unusual example of the works of Claude Monet. Painted sometime between 1868-1873, it actually began as a much different scene with two figures sitting inside on either side of the window. It was later painted over with a woman walking by, quickly glancing inside and meeting the eyes of the viewer. What makes it so unusual for Monet is his radical new way of rapidly scanning the subject, rather than the long view of a traditionally composed painting. The strokes of the woman’s face are only suggested with swift brushstrokes and little shading.
It turns out that the woman with the red kerchief was Monet’s wife, Camille, who died in 1879. Monet kept this painting with him in the Giverny studio for his entire life.
Like This by État Libre d’Orange is the perfume that we are pairing with The Red Kerchief. Created specially for actress Tilda Swinton, it is a comforting, cozy scent that immediately transports one to the heart of the home, the kitchen. When asked about its creation, Swinton said “My favourite smells are the smells of home… Scent means place to me : place and state of mind – even state of grace. The warm ginger of new baking on a wood table…”
Like This opens with a healthy spice dose, softened by a tangerine note. You’d swear there was a pumpkin baking in the oven. It’s a delicious gourmand that continues to remain luscious and cozy throughout. Various accents, including immortelle and heliotrope, make an appearance, eventually mellowing into spicy woods but its edible quality remains. The sillage of Like This is moderate, its longevity is good.
Like This says comfort and home, just as the glance into the window by Mrs. Monet caused Mr. Monet’s heart to flutter… and to keep his painting of Camille with him for the rest of his life.