Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles, 2009

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Perfumer Christopher Sheldrake

I’m from a small town in Connecticut. Not, Suburban-New-York-Connecticut. New-England-Connecticut. In my 1960s-1970s, the New England countryside was a place of wonder and democracy. The woods were a frame of mind as much as they were a location.

Though I never thought of anything local as particularly exotic, pine was the scent of local magic. Pine was the scent of outdoors and the change of seasons. It was omnipresent and always welcome.

Fille en Aiguille’s pine is bittersweet for me. It is 30% sense memory and 70% longing.

I now live in Southern California in a climate that I struggle with every day for nine months out of the year. Its climate is almost universally loved, but is unbearable to me and anathema to my pale Celtic body and spirit, a reality that is inexplicable to those around me. Fille doesn’t offer me a solution to my dilemma. It doesn’t give me relief from the heat or an alternative to the deathly brightness. It triggers memory, remembrance, beauty from an an arcadian past. It reminds me of the magic. And if there’s magic, there’s hope.

But mostly there’s just longing.

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