Monday 29 March 2010

CB I hate Perfume: Black March

If you don't already know about CB I hate perfume by Christopher Brosius then you really should; even if you aren't terribly interested in fragrance. I have admired Christopher's incredible nose and ability to create scents that truly smell of exactly what they purport to from a far for a long time; this man is an artist, he can recreate the smell of playdoh, dirt, snow- seemingly anything you could wish for. You can read all about his journey to becoming an independent perfumer here; I think it's a fascinating story.

Until now it has only been possible to buy CB I hate perfume on the internet and from the US but now I am delighted to say a selection are available from Liberty of London online and in their beautiful shop.

The scents Liberty are stocking are: At the beach 1966, Mr Hulot's Holiday Water, In the Library, Fire from Heaven and finally my favourite of these M (for metamorphosis series) #2Black March.

This scent was inspired by the following poem of the same name:

Black March, a poem by Stevie Smith, 1902-1971

I have a friend
At the end
Of the world.
His name is a breath

Of fresh air.
He is dressed in
Grey chiffon. At least
I think it is chiffon.
It has a
Peculiar look, like smoke.

It wraps him round
It blows out of place
It conceals him
I have not seen his face.

But I have seen his eyes, they are
As pretty and bright
As raindrops on black twigs
In March, and heard him say:

I am a breath
Of fresh air for you, a change
By and by.

Black March I call him
Because of his eyes
Being like March raindrops
On black twigs.

(Such a pretty time when the sky
Behind black twigs can be seen
Stretched out in one
Cambridge blue as cold as snow.)

But this friend
Whatever new names I give him
Is an old friend. He says:

Whatever names you give me
I am
A breath of fresh air,
A change for you.

Christopher Brosius calls this 'A fresh clean scent composed of Rain Drops, Leaf Buds, Wet Twigs, Tree Sap, Bark, Mossy Earth and the faintest hint of Spring' and of course it is all these things. To me it is mostly an extremely clear and quite uncanny smell of rain in early spring- where the trees and ground are woken by the water but there aren't yet many flowers to contribute to the scented song nature creates when it rains. It is quite beautiful and there is a strange mixture of melancholy and hope that perhaps you wouldn't smell if you hadn't read the poem- but knowing the inspiration for the perfume does add that certain poignance.

As with all the CB I hate perfume scents if you are looking for a conventional pretty and not terribly challenging smell this might not be for you. If you like something that is truly well crafted made by someone who seems to have a complete gift for what they do and that is constantly fascinating and challenges your perception of what we wear scent for then look for these. Just trying them will open your eyes as to what people can achieve with smell. I think Black March is beautiful and CB I hate perfume is remarkable.

'Black March' by Stevie Smith copied from here.


ScentScelf said...

I love Black March, though the dominant effect for me is damp soil.

I don't mind. In fact, I have developed a ritual around it. Just when winter has gotten to be its longest...when you have realized spring will come, but it's just a bit too early to hold your breath in waiting...but hints of the change in light begin...I bring out the Black March. It reminds me that I *will* have my hands in the soil again.

Which is my own breath of fresh air.

MrJeffery said...

I love the poem. Nice post!

Metropolitan Mum said...

For a second I thought you'd had a very bad day. "I hate perfume" really confused me.
Must go to Liberty and try them out. My Comme des Garcons Sherbet is almost empty and as I don't feel like so 'new mummy to new baby' anymore, I guess it's time to try something new.

MyPerfumeLife said...

I love Black March! But my absolute fave is Eternal Return. Christopher Brosius is incredible.

Patty said...

I've never really been a perfume person but this post really makes me want to check out this "Black March" business ;)

Unknown said...

i haven't heard of this before!
thank you so much for sharing its a great inspiring story and i love the design of the perfume!