Ferme tes Yeux means close your eyes.
"Close your eyes", Buffy* said to Angel the vampire, her lover, as she kissed him and stuck the sword in his gut, sending him to the hell dimension through the opened portal. Two years later she told him, "When you kiss me I want to die". But that was not her time. Yet.
I asked The Blond what he thinks about when he smells the opening notes of Ferme tes Yeux. His answer: "a wedding in hell". And he means it in the best possible way. It's funny, actually, since the one scent I remember from our wedding is the stargazer lilies in my bouquet. Their scent, blooming in the heat and humidity completely drowned the Panthere de Cartier I wore that night. The deathly part in Ferme tes Yeux is right there at the top, where the decay and animalic notes come jumping at you.
I was quite horrified the first time I smelled Ferme, three years ago in the dark and mysterious JAR alcove at Bergdorf Goodman. It's the last thing you'd expect to smell at this posh 5th Avenue location. The Undead, rot and carnal desires don't exactly belong among the Prada accessories and definitely not where JAR is hidden- right behind the Caron urns and Annick Goutal perfumes. But here I am, three years later, the proud owner of a bottle, one of my top ten scents of all times (for now) which I feel is so very personal to me (probably because only a dozen of people or so are insane enough to wear this thing in public).
So what's in there? The closest approximation to real civet money can buy, most likely, and Mr. Rosenthal, the perfume creator (Joel Arthur Rosenthal= JAR) didn't save it for the dry-down. It's as in your face as can be from the very begining. Then there are the flowers. Big, lush, just past their prime (it's a favorite JAR theme, also explored in the magnificent Jardenia). I swear I can smell the lilies from my wedding, some ultra-indolic jasmine and something creamy, but probably not tuberose or gardenia. Maybe ylang-ylang on all its aphrodisiac qualities.
Then there's something spicy- clove or carnation, making the perfume smell like the deranged evil twin of the sparkling Diamond Water. Think of Helena Bonham-Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange just out of Azkaban. What would she smell like? This, probably.
Things mellow down considerably in the dry-down. A berry-like musk takes over, very velvety. If CB Musk and Uncle Serge's Muscs Kublai Khan had fornicated and spawned, the result would have been the sweet base of Ferme tes Yeux.
For more information and reviews of JAR and his creations, please see my older posts:
1. In which my scent twin and I visit JAR at Bergdorf.
2. A review of Diamond Water. Bring your own tiara.
3. The n00b point of view- my first encounter with JAR perfumes.
*Vampire Slayer, not my fat white cat.
Photograph by Norman Parkinson, 1972.