Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Sounds and Fragrances Swirl Through the Evening Air

The prélude «Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir» by Claude Debussy (Préludes Book I, no.4) is the perfect musical piece to accompany my chosen scent for this weekend: Guerlain's classic L'Heure Bleue, itself inspired by the Impressionism movement and the beauty of the sky at the time that the French call entre chien et loup (between dog and wolf); a scent which conveys all the wistfulness of a gone pleasure and the anticipative mystery of the unknown ones to come.

The name of Debussy's prélude comes from a verse in Baudelaire, Harmonie du Soir:

"Voici venir le temps
ou vibrant sur sa tige
chaque fleur s'èvapore
ainsi qu un encenseoir
les sons et les parfums
tournent dal l'air du soir
valse melanconique
et langoureux vertige"

Krystian Zimmerman on the piano.
Enjoy and have a great weekend!


  1. Clothilde14:26

    I like how L'Heure Bleue can be associated with music, in a sense that it always makes me feel melancholic, but in a positive way. As far as I am concerned, I often apply a bit of L'Heure Bleue when I play the flute, especially some musics like Gabriel Fauré's Sicilienne; I think it gets along very well and always makes me in an enchanted mood.
    Thank you for this article, this is always so interesting to connect wonderful perfumes to wonderful music!

  2. Anonymous18:23

    Thank you for discussing the connection between great music and great perfume! The lushness, the depth, and the real enjoyment of melancholy I feel with L'Heure Bleue reminds me of my love for Der Rosenkavalier, the stunningly beautiful Strauss opera that premiered within months of L'Heure Bleue's debut. For me the symphonic richness of the perfume suits that opera so perfectly. I can easily imagine the Marschallin wearing this perfume and smiling through her nostalgia.

  3. This piece of music suggests 'white flowers' to me: I love it:

  4. annemariec00:16

    Beautiful music, many thanks. It suits the rain we are having at the moment. I was in L'Heure Bleue yesterday, but am wearing Tauer's Incense Rose today; much drier, but still complex and dense.

  5. Stephan15:49

    About every three months I'm putting on a copious amount of L'Heure Bleu. And yesterday, by coincidence was that day for me to remember that this perfume has survived for 100 years, is gracious, and fluid in its development like the piano pieces of Debussy. Thanks, dear E., for playing this Prélude for us.

  6. Anonymous16:54

    My favorite composer, my favorite perfume house, and one of my favorite fragrances from it -- all in one post. There really is something so sweetly melancholic about L'Heure Bleu.

    I've been wearing it, off and on, since my teen years thirty years ago. I've always loved those big, womanly, overtly sensual, grownup scents, and it interests me that I wore them at such a young age. Very, very few teenage girls today would be attracted to the old Guerlains, the old Chanels, or Caron. It's just the way it is now. When I was wearing the "big" scents, that's all there was and that's all anyone really wore. There are so many more options today in terms of note families, so the attention is drawn toward the popular, the well funded, the advertised, the sweet. It's a shame. It's wonderful to smell like a grownup rather than a piece of candy.


  7. Miss Heliotrope01:45

    Debussy is fab - his works are part of my chosen playlist for hospital visits & then for dancing around the house later: they cover both & are sensitive without playing outrageously on emotions.

    I wonder if the perfume would help with that, too...

  8. Ariane07:19

    This is perfect,this particular prelude is so perfumey and melancholic!Have not had the chance to smell the vintage L'heure Bleue,in the meantime I am loving Shem-el-Nessim which according to some has similar qualities?It certainly has the melancholic and nostalgic feel!Thank you for your inspiring and uplifting articles!


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