Mrs Cade would probably have laughed if she had been given the title Lady. She would probably have burst out laughing if she had been associated with a perfume. And yet this woman was so extraordinary and her dream she realized so incredible that it is a pleasure for me to call her in one breath "Portrait of a Lady".
Rowena Cade bought the Minack promontory for GBP 100 in the 20s and built a house for her mother and herself. In 1929 "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was performed in the open air for which she designed the costumes. The performance was successful, ran for a long time and so they looked for a suitable place for further plays, whereupon Rowena Cade suggested the cliffs below her garden. (Who knows the local conditions, knows that this was an unimaginable, daring suggestion.) Rowena Cade and her gardener Billy Rawling began working alone on the rocks in the winter of 1931/1932. Granite and earth had to be removed to create the stage and grandstands of the Minack Theatre. The first piece that was performed was "The Storm" by Shakespeare - and it was so successful that it was even mentioned in the Times. For the lighting of the piece, car headlights were used and the tickets were sold at a wallpaper table.
Over the years the Minack has been steadily built and Rowena's plans have not yet been fully implemented. She herself cast the pillars and seats out of concrete, sand and granite and scratched the names of the listed pieces into the terraces with her own hands. Plants were planted in the rock crossings and so the Minack still represents a symbiosis of theatre and rock garden. After the Second World War the theatre was reopened and since then has existed with great success as a lay stage for actors and musicians.
This truly great woman - who resembled more the forest spirit of Puck than what we imagine of a lady - has realized her vision, her life's dream, to create a truly unique and beautiful amphitheatre in her own physically hard work, without much outside help, also financially. I had never seen theatrical passion of this magnitude before and it was a celebration for me.
I'm sure Mrs Cade would have liked "Portrait of a Lady." This is not a tricky lady fragrance, not so full of elegance that you have to spread your little finger when lifting the bottle. This is a solid, hands-on perfume that reflects the scents of nature. "Portrait of a Lady" is not a fragrance for sensitive people who only want to smell like a hint of anything. It demands and it exists. The lady can give clear instructions, gets to the point and even more to the point. It cannot be delegated or exploited, it has its own head.
You only smell incense? How boring! With the prelude I connect the smell of pine needles, not with sacral incense. And the jaw as a singular is wrong. Pine, here you go. A whole wood of it and some patchouli. Balsamic, heavy, dark and nevertheless with fog and morning light. Just a little melancholic, just a little earthy. I wish I had the scent of a coniferous forest. In my opinion, only the roses would have managed without the strengthening raspberry aroma. More rose, less raspberry, a dream hard to fulfill. But I find the clove in between very clever. This gives the rose/raspberry hybrid another special twist. And lo and behold, the incense no longer smells like KieferN, but rather hits the smell of cypresses more cautiously. From the Sillage the lady is pregnant and the durability covers times a whole day. I don't see the perfume as a purely feminine fragrance.
"Although "Epic Woman" by Amouage takes a similar path to this perfume, I don't want to call it a twin fragrance. I find "Epic" more herbaceous and with a more beautiful base, with which the perfume creates its wonderful finish. In my opinion, "Portrait of a Lady" lacks the crowning finale. The portrait is very similar to "Jour de Rose" by Massimiliano Torti after the pine grove