There are two kinds of people: those who look down into the dirt, and those who look up into the skies. (There is no value judgement after this sentence, nor is it my intention to hold the two buckets as firm; but every so often, when we succumb to our own thoughts or a very, very good conversation, isn’t it intriguing to say: “there are two kinds of people:…”?).
As I was saying, dear reader, there are two kinds of people: the ones looking into the detail of the material, and the ones dreaming the details of the abstract. We often switch sides, and often the line moves–but there are always, always (some) sides to it.
These days, forced to be terrestre, I’ve been looking up.
TOP: the sense of seasons, and a season for senses
In Siberia, cranes bear the sun and symbolize the fertile seasons; they carry hope and cyclicity, rebirth and new beginnings. Folktales throughout Russia but also the places where the migrating Siberian Crane stops for rest (Sicily, Iran) speak of it as a usher for the uninitiated, the otherworldly helper and mentor guiding terrestrials through miraculous adventures. Fragrance du Bois Oud Jaune Intense opens with an unbearable feeling of life bursting at seams. All stages of life are present in one breath, apparent and blatant like a tropical tree laden with all stages of fruiting: impossibly verdant fat leaves, plush flowers ready for pollination, half-sunned tart fruit, overripe drupes and pepos.
The fertility, here, is unapologetic.
MIDDLE: the luck, the labor, and the labor-made luck
With cranes comes toil, and surreal efforts to simply exist as glorious as nature meant it; it’s not easy to be magical. It’s also not not easy, as cranes are so pure in concept, that nobody ever personified them in fables of old. Cranes have always been cranes and could never be anything else–so instead of trying to give them human features, many cultures adopted their features as way of improving our own existence, and calchiated the notion of a splendid bird with the symbol of what it takes to mimic it: repetition; absurdity; calm. In Korea, the auspicious crane dance has been performed in the Tongdosa Temple since the Silla Dynasty in the 600s; in Japan, good luck can be achieved by folding 1000 paper cranes.
Fragrance du Bois Oud Jaune Intense, too, feels fortuitous–the loving comes easily, entrancing like the promise of a wish fulfilled: irresistible but kind, it’s at once familiar, and embarrassingly pure. Hard to put in words the essence of an intrinsically generous smell, and very tempting to assign its warm heart to sheer luck–however, patient labour is clear in the minute attention to detail.
To me, it’s the fine balance between the fleshy, ripe white flowers and a creamy tone that rings clean- anything less would be 999 cranes, and anything more would be 1001.
BASE: the value of virtue
There’s something noble about the crane. It might be its self-assurance; its unhindered dedication to its young; its beauty; its freedom. It might be that it uninterruptedly flocked and danced and mated and circled the world, liberally exchanging mortality down below for months spent on the wing, indifferent to—and untouchable by— history. As a result, cranes are present in every aspect of human symbolism: heraldry (as per a legend spurred by Pliny the Elder); ceremonial decorations (as for Xhosa, in South Africa); dance and elevated fighting styles (as in Chinese kung fu, where the crane brings fluidity, nobility, and immortality).
Fragrance Du Bois Oud Jaune Intense sits on a base of exceptional mechanics where everything is outstretched and permanent in its glory, yet nothing stands out above the total—not the oud, not the vanilla, not the musk.
Just like there are no poems about the straight arrow of a crane’s neck, nor about the flock. Only the crane itself, and alone in all its splendor.
Official notes: top- monoi, ylang, watery fruit; middle: jasmine, orange# blossom, white flowers; base-oud, vanilla, musk, lactone
Other perceived notes: clover & hay, coconut, melons, agave, slight salt, rambutan.
Gratitude to Fragrance Du Bois as well, who most generously gifted me this wish list item. It is now one of my mates for life.