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Hasu-no-Hana (Richard Melchio for Grossmith)

Article written and first published in CaFleureBon.

White 1- paper on snow on chalk. Photo editing, creative direction, and digital editing by a_nose_knows for Grossmith Hasu-no-Hana and the Fragrance Vault.


White is the loneliest color

That we’ll ever do

“Night” is as bad as white

It’s the loneliest color since the color white.


To live in idleness, immobile and grand; to start, to end, to mourn, to open; to never receive, lest it changes you--that, indeed, is the loneliness of white.




White 2- dana's white. Art, photo, creative direction, and digital editing by a_nose_knows for Grossmith Hasu-no-Hana and the Fragrance Vault


As a function of light, White is, indeed, a manifesto of our human need to end cacophony; for it is not only a recomposition of rainbows (as Isaac Newton discovered, through his crystal pyramids, in 1666), but also a result of addictive mixing: our sensory experience is the same whether all light, or only opposing colors, clash. We need white so much that we see it where it’s not, chromatically adapting our surroundings until clouds, light sand, raw silk, or the limestones of Dover look perfectly milky even in the most overcast days.

We crave and fabricate white; yet we are so particular about its nature that we immediately call it out when it’s anything other-than. Blue will never be “off-blue” to our mind’s eye; neither will fucsia, beige, Mikado, vermillion, or sarcoline. White, on the other hand, when it’s off-white, it becomes another color.




White 3- vintage white mink. Photo, creative direction, and digital editing by a_nose_knows for Grossmith Hasu-no-Hana and the Fragrance Vault.


To be white, a surface has to fully reflect and scatter all visible wavelengths of light—any exception, and white is no longer. So stark is this rule, in fact, and so universally accepted, that true White--and the neutrality it brings--has long been on lease with humankind, offering a coat of temporary safety to those who, alone, are in transit. White is there when we’re born, in every maternity or midwifery supply basket; it’s also there when we die, both in our shrouds and in many a mourning attire, from Scotland to Japan. White is what minks and foxes wear in winter, and what pilgrims wear, and volunteers; white cranes connect us to the departed; a white flag brings peace.




White 4- hand-spun raw silk. Photo, creative direction, and digital editing by a_nose_knows for Grossmith Hasu-no-Hana and the Fragrance Vault.



I would have never placed, on the vast field of artistic concepts, a power formula next to white. I’ve sometimes encountered Gershwinian monochrome ambers, or Anne Leibowitz B/W woody portraits, or even cinema noir balsamic landscapes; but white, in and through itself? Why, never.


Hasu-no-Hana, however, straddles the same fine balance one finds in an all-white architecture, haute-couture piece, or painting: it’s large enough to allow a birds-eye view and permit variety (resins are multiple, and so is the kind of sweet it endures), textured enough to permit shadowings depending on the light (floralcy is understated but complex, and at different levels of wetness), and intentional enough to display personality (spices are very present but with just enough aplomb, much like the tannins and greenery).


And, yes, to me, Hasu no Hana presents like an amber; in fact, it leaves me with the untouchable notion that it rejects all ambers by being all ambers at once. It doesn’t take acumen to recognize its acumen, neither does it command much knowledge to be recognizable and known; for it resplends in soleness, and—through it—endures.




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