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.


Jayne said...

I haven’t seen the film yet, so am only going from your words and a few scattered reviews, but it does sound like the character holds on to his British sensibilities, so perhaps he would go for a traditional Brit scent. Although this does seem to jar with him embracing modernity… what masculine scent would have been cutting edge but definitely British in the early sixties? I’d think he’d go for that… although I adore your description of Blenheim bouquet.

Can someone out there please commission Rose to write a perfume review book? I'd buy it!

Lewis William said...

Cannot wait to see this, thank you! Also rather keen to find my own Blenheim bouquet...

vicki archer said...

I thought Colin Firth's performance was outstanding and I am sure his character would have smelt delicious most of the time. I think a French fragrance ...xv

+Q Perfume Blog said...

How refreshing to find an English perspective for fragrances!!!
I am loving your blog!!!

Loved and linked :-)

Metropolitan Mum said...

I really want to see that film! And nope, you are not shallow at all. I was thinking about how lucky we were that smell could not yet be transported into our living rooms through TV. I was watching an episode of CSI - imagine your lounge filled up with the smell of a 20 days old dead body, eeewww...
A little bit of Tom Ford though... mhmmmm!

lady jane grey said...

An exceptional film with an exceptional Colin Firth ! I could imagine Penhaligon's "Opus 1870" - except is not old enough... Penhaligon's "Anthology" would fit perfectly - both, scent- & age-wise!

Unknown said...

Fabulous post! I am looking forward to seeing this movie! Have a sweet day!

Rose said...

Hi Jayne- honestly I'm not sure what was cutting edge then- I don't know if Dunhill did fragrances then actually, something from them might suit him.

And yes people please listen to Jayne who is too kind!

Hi LW- go, go, it should be on at even more places now that Colin Firth has very rightly won a Bafta. Re finding your own Blenheim- I love the chase for a good scent, obviously. Though I love it when I notice someone young wearing a scent like that and it's really not old fashioned at all.

Hi Vicki, he's wonderful isn't he- and yes I'm coming round to the French idea, or perhaps something like Acqua Di Parma or Santa Maria Novella- he might have picked them up touring in Italy.

Hi +Q- thank you so much and I shall pop over and say hello at yours too.

Hi MM- hmm CSI in smellivison would NOT be good- Tom Ford's men's scents are really good- I've not found a women's one I adore yet- though I quite like many of them. Especially keen on the extreme men and grey vetiver for men.

Hi Lady Jane- yes Opus would work but is too new- agree about the Anthology scents, though I'm not sure when they were phased out before being phased in.

Hello Torie- thank you, I think anyone who has ever felt a bit out of their depth emotionally would gain something from the film.

Keith C said...

Hi Rose, his fragrance is shown in this scene Can anyone recognize it?