silence and dust, memories and melancholia
Serge Luten’s L’Orpheline is one of those fragrances that it took a really long time to interpret and appreciate. At first sniff, for the longest time, all I really smelled was a ghostly, soapy mist of fleeting, fading florals. I thought this was meant to be frankincense, so confused and underwhelmed, I always sort of checked out and never really paid any further attention to how it unfolded on the several occasions I tried to revisit it. Today, I think I am starting to understand. It is oddly incensey, in a way; if there were an incense of musty, dried bouquets, spectral resins from unearthly realms, and milky, artificial woods, freeze-dried, crumbled and lit over a cold blue phantom flame. This is a fragrance faintly ominous and disquieting, of silence, and dust, and memories, and melancholia. The scent of a locked room that hasn’t been opened in over a century and witness to secrets best left well alone.