“Here comes the rain again, falling on my head like a memory, falling on my head like a new emotion…”
It keeps falling and I long for sunshine, brighter skies, bare feet, and floral dresses. A rainy day in April, this song and the perfume I’m wearing, bringing memories that refuse to go away. It’s all because of The Lover’s Tale (released in 2018) by Francesca Bianchi.
I wrote about Francesca Bianchi when reviewing Under My Skin, here.
It took me months of living with this fragrance, quite a few sleepless nights and a whirlpool of emotions to put my thoughts in writing.
Because it’s personal and intimate. Again. It’s about things unspoken, soul-deep feelings that this perfume brought to the surface, and Francesca bottles nuances of emotions artistically expressing them in her creations.
These two are inseparable for me: Under My Skin is one side of the coin, The Lover’s Tale another. So intimate that I rarely wear them in public.
“This is a story about a lover’s secret encounter. Rich in natural raw materials, jasmin and leather are the protagonists of this perfume.
The opening evokes the sparkling mood of the very moment they meet; attraction and romance then trap the lovers, and a narcotic Jasmin softened by a powdery rose, recreates this tension. Passion then takes over, with a sophisticated leather, developing on a chypré accord.”
Well, this is not soft, powdery, the divine kiss of Angel’s Dust, it’s not your inner, soul-deep glow, I-feel-sexy-in-my-skin-and- I-love-you- unconditionally feeling as with Under My Skin – this is not just another romantic sweet-and-tender love song. Oh, no. It never is…
The Lover’s Tale is intense and fatal from the first moment of secret lovers meeting: eyes locked, lips parted, pupils dilated. Its heavy breath is filled with the animalic roar of raw leather with a prominent barnyard tone at the beginning. Burning desire…
That specific leathery tone is present all the way, stronger or weaker – and this perfume has an excellent staying power. It has been said that it carries similarities to Cuir–de–Russie but in my opinion -although Francesca (willingly or unwillingly) might have drawn some inspiration from it, this perfume is something completely different: raw leather meeting a floral chypre, dancing with it cheek to cheek… and that is tantalizing!
Even the feeling of smokey rubber somehow manages to float over that rough-leather structure as if you’re running your castoreum soaked fingers over it, tanning your own skin with it.
After initial fatal attraction drama, streaks of recognizable Bianchi handwriting emerge, powdery tones mixing with floral ones. There she goes again, playing with beloved iris, making it’s now harsher tones fluff around the edges of leather a bit, introducing the Jasmine-sensual, floral heart of the fragrance – because once you’ve willingly surrendered to it – there’s no need to play rough or dirty.
Now you can follow the leathery trail all the way to the base, wonderful “Bianchi” base, tender newborn-baby-skin smelling, soft as puffs of mimosa flowers settled in creamy erotic sandalwood cocoon, and yet there’s still leather surrounding it, just so that you don’t forget how it all started. You will never forget that “after we met” feeling.
Let me try to bring the atmosphere it portrays closer:
It feels like when overwhelming seduction pulls you in, breaks all your defenses: walls crumble, the world around you ceases to exist and you surrender, knowing it won’t last forever but you are willing to take that chance, feeling deep down inside that something like this happens once in a lifetime. Consequences? You can only hope you’ll find strength when they come, and come they will.
Because there are moments that change your life forever, sliding doors opening and closing, choices made that irrevocably change who you are and what you are, moving the axis of your existence from its foundations, leaving you breathless and speechless, trying to find balance and steady your feet and yet you feel like flying, you feel like you’ve never felt before. It was unforgettable and it was worth it.
Because: “…At that moment, everything I knew to be true about myself up until then was gone. I was acting like another woman, yet I was more myself than ever before.” – Bridges of Madison County
Because…it smells like his well-worn dark green-almost brown leather jacket and wild, forbidden love.
You can also find a short video of Francesca speaking about The Lover’s Tale on my IGTV channel, taken at Pitti Florence 2018.
Listed notes: Bergamot, Honey, Mimosa, Jasmin, Bulgarian Rose, Peach, Iris Butter, Heliotrope, Leather, Castoreum, Labdanum, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Oakmoss.
The Lover’s Tale is available at Francesca Bianchi Perfumes website or listed stockists – 30 ml extrait de parfum / 98 EUR which is, in my opinion, a very fair price for a superb perfume you get.
The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl, Francesca Bianchi official web site, Pixabay, and a YouTube-clip-photo of the film scene.
The sample was graciously provided by Francesca Bianchi at Pitti Florence in September 2018, opinions of my own: