Daydream, Cabaret Nocturne


 Cabaret Nocturne's inspiration lays in a bar, once a brothel, in Lisbon, named Pensão Amor, "a vibrant venue where the young go to enjoy themselves. Drinks are poured, glances are exchanged. The ambiance and decadent decor whisper dark secrets of the ghosts that still live within these walls". (From V/isiteur`s website.) 

Pensao Amor, Lisbon. Picture borrowed from Pinterest.
Pensao Amor Lisbon. Picture borrowed from Pinterest.

  The place must have witnessed day and night debauchery that would raise an eyebrow (or various) from the traditional-mindset people, even nowadays. 

Cabaret Nocturne was love at first everything that grew in time and distance. I've smelt this special tuberose and retest it various times during 2018 and the idea of it stuck with me ever since and it became a reality recently, when by the generosity and kindness of Janne, i was able to relive its scent again and it's just as beautiful as i remember it. 

Personally, i feel Cabaret Nocturne as a day perfume that smells like night - indécence at its finest at the light of the day. (By the way, have i mentioned that its perfumer is no other than Cécile Zarokian?)

 Cinematically, i'm transported in the back of the theater while Allen's Midnight in Paris fills out the screen aiming to search for beauty in melancholy and to celebrate life by embracing the present. 

After a strange day, lost in a Paris at its most beautiful in the rain - in the middle of the night - Gil (Owen Wilson) looks directly into my eyes, penetrating the screen, and whispers as for himself: don't you feel lost in this dull world? My lips move, as puzzled as my mind by this unconventional dialog, culminating into a "most of the times" gently followed by a hand reach and a jump in, while i try to dismiss my daydreaming by questioning the reality of the moment. A 1920s car stops behind us and its passengers urge us to join them for a party, while i'm still struggling to adjust the amazement of the circumstances. 

Scene from Midnight in Paris, a Woodie Allen movie.

  A real 1920s party, for Jean Cocteau and his honorable guests, Cole Porter and his wife, Linda Lee Porter, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. It feels like a lost in translation kind of situation, as we spend the night moving from bars and cafés, fathom out the iceberg theory with no other than Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein, and dancing side by side with Josephine Baker. Our (imaginary) night becomes one of the most memorable until our roads separate at dawn... and i awake in my red velvet chair, at the theater, with a black screen before my eyes and a man tapping on my shoulder in a sign i must move on to real life. 

  My clothes are impregnated in cigarette smoke and a subtle smell of sweat dominated by a bubble-gummy tuberose with lactonic and lacquer hues that floats the air. An atmosphere i'll relieve in a loup to another (time) travel experience, this time into a future as real as one can get, to an April's day of 2018, in Milan, in the shadows of an obscure exhibition, where i've first smelled Pensão Amor, currently known as Cabaret Nocturne. 

 Today's Cabaret Nocturne still feels like a vivid 1920s motion picture translated into a modern landscape through the vision of a tuberose caressed by a drunken' breath with a bitter aftertaste.  

 Cabaret Nocturne is not a soliflore (don't ever judge such fragrances as simple because the majority are not), it's a juxtaposition of abstract elements that put together make sense and conjure up the past' debauchery as today's sophistication. The composition is semidiaphanous and blended in a way that doesn't allow anything to shine over, it gives the feeling of an unbridged scent that doesn't overact - everything is there, levitating like a cloud charged with opposite particles. Cabaret Nocturne's tuberose is creamy and metallic, its smoke is cigarette-ashy, its powdered back-of-the-neck sweat is salty as a love-made skin and the gin accord adds a subdued drunkenness to the overall combination. Nothing screams or misbehave, the fragrance is almost transparent in spite of its raw "dirtiness". Its apparent easiness is a veil for an odd sense of promiscuity - each element is ordered and connected to the others reversely - right from where posh ends and gothic begins, like fine threads of copper made lace.

Not all girls are made of sugar

And spice and all things nice.

These are girls made of dark lace

and witchcraft and a little bit of vice. " (Difficult Damsels by Nikita Gill.)

Wake up. 


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