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Vanille de Tahiti (Perris Monte Carlo)

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

Article written for, and first published in CaFleureBon.


"When you wish to see whether your whole [work] accords with what you have portrayed from nature, take a mirror. Compare what is reflected [...] and carefully consider whether both likenesses of the subject correspond, particularly in regard to the mirror."

------------------------------------Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, XXIX


Mirror 1. Photo, creative direction, and digital editing by a_nose_knows for Perris Monte Carlo Vanille de Tahiti


The looking glass notion has been around since humans had nothing by ponds to ponder into. It has since increased its realm beyond personal grooming, and overlapped magnificent scope with decoration, architecture, entertainment, medicine, safety, and space. From disco balls to dental tools, from Jonty Hurwitz’ anamorphic sculptures to rear-view mirrors, and from Archimedes’ military applications to telescopes and video projectors, mirrors are used everywhere. We need mirrors. But who in the scores of Venetian ateliers, hands deep in molten glass and mercury amalgams, ever imagined the future ubiquity of their work?



Mirror 2. Photo, creative direction, and digital editing by a_nose_knows for Perris Monte Carlo Vanille de Tahiti


We gaze upon our reflection up to 70 times a day, enamored with our image and comfortable in basking in ourselves. We make faces, we pose, we yearn. We mimic, we act, we self-check (women), we self-admire (men). We all, above all, choose to trust it, despite accepting that our reflection is not really us; that it’s something curated; that it’s unnatural. From Narcissus to bonobos, one look and we’re forever in search of the perfect selfie, no matter how unsustainable, hyperrealistic, or inverse-self it presents.

But how does it work? We know we need mirrors, but why do we need mirrors?



Mirror 3. Photo, creative direction, and digital editing by a_nose_knows for Perris Monte Carlo Vanille de Tahiti


In 1876, Gustav Fechner started researching the mere exposure effect: the more we see someone, the more likeable we find them. It’s what E.B. Titchner later described as the “glow of warmth” we feel in the presence of something familiar; the fuzzy comfort of recognition; the easiness of not having to employ further thought.

We are almost grateful to see ourselves in a reflection- for it, although inverted, is the oldest representation of not the self we truly are, but the one we are trying to be. And the more we see it, the better we know it; the better we know it, the more we crave it; the more we crave it, the more we seek it, absolutely dependent on it and adamantly rejecting any other attempt at similar capturings. (The mere exposure effect is also why we’ll always love our mirror image more than what we see on a camera, despite the evidence of inverse relatability.)

The me in the mirror is discreetly off, but oddly better.



Mirror 4. Photo, creative direction, and digital editing by a_nose_knows for Perris Monte Carlo Vanille de Tahiti


Vanille de Tahiti is, too, discreetly off, veering away from the beaten paths of gourmand and avantgarde and carving a space yet to be explored: the ripe, rubensian, real-time vanilla.

As it goes, Vanille de Tahiti is also oddly better than any other vanille solinotes I’ve tried; somewhat more realistic but amped with calculated 3D symmetries, this new comrade has been keeping me loyal (and very intimate) company lately, like a mirror image you cannot peel away from, nor do you want to.

Pulpy breathiness, powdery textures, verdant sweetness and concentrated ripeness--this is, to my nose, vanilla-but-better, natural but impossible in nature, familiar but intimidating.

Much like one own’s face, multiplied between our perception of self and others’ view of us. I’d almost venture as far as saying there’s even a Venus Effect—but that, my dears, is a story for another time.


Perris Monte Carlo Vanille de Tahiti. Photo, creative direction, and digital editing by a_nose_knows


Official notes: vanilla, ylang, champaca, amber, musk, sandalwood

Other perceived notes: coconut, clove, tea, rosehip (or wild/faint rose), coriander, wax, chocolate, tonka

********


This review started 4 other times. The first concept had written itself already, pictures and all: Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw, the (meta) myth of falling in love with the nature of the man-made, black and white photos modelling my collection of period hats. I tell you, it was to be grand. And then I looked in the mirror.



Here there. Photo, creative direction, and digital editing by a_nose_knows for Perris Monte Carlo Vanille de Tahiti

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