Wednesday, 17 February 2010
What fragrance do they wear: George Falconer
I liked A Single Man very much and I don’t agree with some of the views I have read and heard saying that aspects of the production design and cinematography distract from the storyline- they don’t distract from say Dr Zhivago, Goodnight and Good luck or Mad Men. I think it’s a film you need to see more than once to truly understand your reaction too though because there is a lot to take in visually that isn’t always to do with the narrative- but I enjoy that.
What I am certain about is how very much I loved Colin Firth’s performance as George Falconer and how much I admire both Firth and Tom Ford for having the nerve to put such an unshowy and real performance on the screen. I genuinely hope Colin Firth gets everything he deserves for this performance which perhaps surprised some, though not I imagine anyone who has followed his career away from the Darcy parts. I suspect he would meet awards victory and defeat both the same, with charm and humility.
It might seem shallow to think about what fragrance the character of George Falconer would wear when the film deals with some heavy topics but for me choice of scent offers a window into people- into how they want to be perceived certainly, or just what they enjoy, even into their subconscious perhaps. I haven’t read the book, though I think now I will, but I understand the story and character are somewhat different from the film. The film is set in 1962 so I think we ought really to confine George to scents from then- otherwise I think one of Tom Ford’s own fragrances would likely be very appropriate.
I heard Ford on Radio 4 (of course, my daily travelling friend) saying that he had decided Falconer, being an Englishman who probably had a family allowance, would wear Saville Row tailored suits, even though he lived in America. I wonder on that basis if perhaps he wouldn’t also wear a very typically English scent? Certainly something like Blenheim bouquet would work, it’s a great mixture of freshness with a more sultry masculine undertone and is the scent equivalent of a well cut suit; or something from Floris would remind him of home, perhaps Ian Flemings own choice of Number 89? Or maybe for suits he goes to London but for scent he goes to Paris and wears a divine Guerlain- maybe Mouchoir de Monsieur? His house is very modern and he obviously loves his life in America so perhaps he isn’t that traditional after all and perhaps he wears anAmerican fragrance- but I can’t think of any made pre 1962- which is probably my ignorance!
What do you think?
A Single Man poster image from Everyman cinemas.