by, 2nd September 2012 at 04:35 AM (2751 Views)
I mentioned before my desire for a "fall urban pastoral," something cool, smoky, citified, and fundamentally unsweet. This quest has led me over the last few weeks to various odd beasts and not-so-near-misses, but has also generated a number of thoughtful proposals. One of the most promising of these came in the form of Nostalgia by Santa Maria Novella, whose enthusiasts claimed for it a power to transport the wearer to Le Mans in the summer of 1972.
Le Mans, the movie starring Steve McQueen, has long been one of my favorites, its aesthetic not out of line with that of my dream smell, I so wasted no time in getting a sample of this wonderstuff. But behold: I am zoomed not to Le Mans in '72, but to Vermont in 1977, where at age 13 I am being jolted around in the claustrophobic shelflike rear seat of my uncle's Porsche 911, ready to puke. Leather, rubber, gasoline in three-dimensional realism.
Of course, leather, rubber, and gasoline are completely legitimate interpretations of a 1970's sports car and of a certain part of its milieu, but I realized with Nostalgia that they're not really what I wanted: What I was looking for was what I felt--at 13 perhaps--watching Le Mans the movie on an old TV, with Michel Legrand's slippery chromatic soundtrack animating sweep-shots of cool green leaves, my father burning charcoal outside the window, Louise Edlind in her Team Gulf windbreaker peering anxiously from the pits.
A lovely accident occurred later, though: while wearing Nostalgia I realized that my young son had earlier placed a test strip of Eau D'Issey PH in my shirt pocket--suddenly, the effect was cosmic. I don't usually like the idea of "layering" (as I likewise detest the notion of "mashups"), but this experiment might need to be repeated. If I could actually afford to buy Nostalgia in any quantity, that is.
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