Black and white scenery.
The curtains in the hotel room are drawn. Sunshine falls into the room as a white-looking cone of light, enveloping the curved sofa covered with dark velvet and the figure on it in a warm, almost soft shimmer. Finely scented wooden furniture with carvings and inlays stand carefully arranged and offer an artistic backdrop for a variety of objects. A high floor vase with a thick lead glass base and a wonderful sling star cut stands to her right, bulging with a multitude of meter-high roses, which exude a deep, beguiling scent. Attached to it is a small satin bow, the knot of which has been untied. The card she was holding just a short time ago lies on the sofa together with the envelope. Next to it, crystal carafes and a filled champagne glass sparkle on a small round table, and from the farther away Poudreuse, perfume bottles and various jars glisten in the light The figure looks longingly towards the window, while her fingers stroke the card tenderly, as if she were touching the skin of her beloved in her thoughts. The person who is thousands of kilometres away in another country and cannot be with her. The pain in her heart almost shatters her. But the roses and the loving words on the card give her hope, hope for a reunion. Until then she will long for him. Every minute becomes an hour, the nights sleeplessly become days and with them the time of waiting becomes unbearable.
The elegant lady is draped in white, the shiny silk of her long, luxurious morning coat plays around her contours in detail and finally lies down on the luxuriant oriental carpet in shimmering wave-like folds. The collar and the wide sleeve cuffs are edged with thick, white feather fluff, which, with the slightest hint of air and movement, immediately starts to swing restlessly. Under the cloak hem, the tips of fine, white, pearled slippers with small, narrow heels sparkle out. The scene seems like a painting. Even the lady is as beautiful as if she had been painted. Finely drawn eyebrow arches draw the conclusion to large, seemingly dark eyes. Inked eyelashes cover the edges and lend the already intense gaze a deep melancholy, an aloofness and emptiness, paired with a contrasting attraction and unspoken, captivating seduction. The delicate face with the pale skin is surrounded by medium-light, slightly wavy hair in the side parting half-length and slightly unrestrained.
One can only feel the lady's inner conflict by simply looking at the scenery. Her desperation. Her pain. Then she breaks the silence of the picture by piercing a peeled lychee on the decorated tray on the glass salon table with a silver skewer and leading it to her mouth. With her eyes closed, she lets the fruit melt in her mouth. A sip from the champagne glass immediately follows the pointed sweetness. Then she slowly gets up and walks to the poudreuse, the toilet table with the glittering bottles and jars, constantly surrounded by the breath of the lychee she has eaten and the seductive rose scent of the huge bouquet of flowers. With her delicate hands she gently reaches for one of the shimmering flacons and activates the pump sprayer.
With the spray ejected, an incredible change takes place.
Every drop that now falls on the lady covers what she touches in colour! First her hair, her face, finally her whole stature and last but not least everything around her. All of a sudden, almost tangible life moves through the room, the black and white tones inhale and exhale colours. One colour after the other pours into the next one in the room until finally everything has its proper shade and makes the moment blossom.
Then the phone rings.
The lady hastily puts the bottle back with the others and rushes to the salon table on which it stands. Apparently she had placed it there on purpose before and was waiting for this moment. She takes the white-painted receiver from the fork and breathes with a deep, smoky voice a "Hello Darling...I've missed you so much...!" into the shell.
The man on the other end of the line can only be heard softly, but seems to whisper into her ear just what she needs at that moment.
Beauty is full of longing.
"You'll come back to me, aren't you...?" she breathes into the listener pleading and pining at the same time Then she listens to the answer at the other end of the line and adds: "Promise me..."
"There was something in Garbo's eyes you couldn't see unless you shot them in close-up. You could see the thoughts. If she was supposed to look at one person jealously and fall in love with another, she didn't have to change her expression. You could see it in her eyes as she looked from one to the other. For me Garbo starts where all others end."
(quote Clarence Brown, director)
I don't want to claim that a Greta Garbo would have known a fragrance like "Mauboussin Promise Me Intense", let alone smelled like it, had it existed there. A fragrance that opens cheerfully and sparkling with a playful lychee, only to be "sparkled" by the rose immediately afterwards. The noble wooden note, which is added later, contributes something unsteady for me. An unsuccessful search for a single final note, which fortunately is missing. It would rob the fragrance of its secret. It's perfect as it is, especially with that indecision. What the fragrance and Garbo have in common for me is the joint hot/cold radiance, a sensual attraction and a push away again, an inhalation and exhalation. The fragrance has many facets and this with a minimal number of scents, as well as Garbo's face alone could express and evoke the most different emotions.
The fragrance is mature and elegant, classy and chic but also playful, with an almost innocent yet demanding sexiness. And Greta embodied this, too.
The "fragrance act" of "Mauboussin Promise Me Intense" consequently makes him my own little diva for me.
One that tore me back and forth between light-heartedness and profundity, love and demarcation, but in any case always leaves me with deep admiration.