Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ferme tes Yeux- JAR

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.

It's magnificent.

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.


  1. I love the fact you have Buffy and HP associations. :)
    You've made me wonder now - how would Helena BC smell straight out of Azkaban...?

  2. Your description of JAR's dark alcove in BG made me think of the first (and only) time I saw it, during Sniffapalooza. I thought to myself, "I am NOT going in there!". Probably a good thing I stay away, I don't need to start smelling things I can't afford.

  3. Oh dear God. You have inspired in me the most incredible desire to own this! This sounds like EXACTLY what I've been looking for in all my love of animalic glory! And I'm a HUGE Buffy fan, too! I know it's probably insanely expensive, but I must own this...I have a feeling it would be the crown jewel in my collection....

  4. Ines, I think I remember something about the dementors smelling really foul (need to reread the books before the next movie comes out). I don't recall any other scent reference, so now I'm curious.

    And what would Buffy wear?

  5. Patty, I don't blame you. That dark alcove holds several dangerous temptations. And they tend to haunt you once you've smelled them.

  6. Jared, Ferme tes Yeux can easily become one's Holy Grail and the crown jewel of a collection. It's among a handful of perfumes that make me wonder why I bother wearing anything else. It goes straight to my head and soul. But I would never ever recommend you buy it unsniffed. It's too expensive and too contoversial to do so.

  7. Gaia, now you had me thinking. My guess is Buffy would smell very young and girly in the beginning (fruity-fresh-sweet perhaps). Then I don't know until the par she dies and comes back - I'd say strange, dark and forbidding and in the end dangerous, cool and sexy.
    Regarding dementors, I got stuck with their freezing soul-sucking characteristics so I didn't remember much about how they smell - but I'll look for it when I read the books again. :)
    I don't remember if I read what you thought about the HP 6 movie?

  8. Do you know offhand where I can smell it? I notice the Perfumed Court doesn't have it, and I am dying to smell this....

  9. Jared, I looked around and it seems no one carries FtY samples, so it's either a trip to Bergdorf or Paris. But drop me an email and I'd be happy to send you a few drops.

  10. You know, I'm still debating getting some of this?

  11. I read online that this is no longer being made. So sad!

    Tom, your scent twin


I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

Related Posts Widget