Dreaming of Fragrance: Rose Rebelle SC-7545

[Note: This post resurrected from the WayBack Machine, here.  It’s a story based (as closely as I could manage) on a strange, fascinating dream that I had, about a fragrance that I’d never sniffed.  I was going to do a straight review of the fragrance after I actually smelled it, but never got around to doing one.  Sounds like a nice project for later this year.]

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dreaming of Fragrance: Rose Rebelle SC-7545

Blind buys?  Where’s the risk in THAT?  How about a blind review? 😉


“Hey Simon!  You’re off tables.”

“What the hell?  It’s lunchtime.”

“Forget it.   It’s some guy with new art.  The boss said you were supposed to handle it.”

“Crap.  One more chance to fuck up.”

“Don’t sweat it.  Everybody fucks up around here.”

“Yeah, but you guys don’t go back to the lockup if you do.”

“Chill.  I’d rather be dealing with this guy than that lady at 9.”

“So be it.  She’s all yours.”

“Simon – this is François.  François – Simon.”

“Pleased to meet you.”


“Man – you look exactly like a guy I used to write code with.  So if I call you Javier….”

“No problem.  I get that all the time.”

“So what’s the plan?”

“They just told me it should go up with the rest of the new stuff.  They said you’d know where it would look good.”

“Man.  There is no ‘rest of the new stuff’.  You must be the first.”

“Actually, it’s two pieces.  They’re supposed to be on opposite sides of wherever – facing each other.”

“Well, that makes it simple.  Or at least simpler.  Let’s have a look.”

“This side is called rose.  The other looks almost like it, but the color is cocoa.”

“Oh fuck.”

“You don’t like it?”

“Sorry.  No man – it’s great.  It’s just – I mean – oh crap.  What in the hell was the boss thinking?”

“He hasn’t seen it.  He just commissioned it.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No, man.  All he gave me was an old perfume bottle.  Nothing in it, either.  He said make a painting like I thought it would smell.”

“Yeah.  Well – in case he hasn’t noticed his own restaurant, this place is on one end of a goddamn mall.  It may be high-end, but half our biz is walk-ins.  As in families with kids.”

“It’s not like it’s porn.”

“Tell that to mom when kiddo asks why the French insect lady has a flower where daddy’s pee-pee is.”

“She’s not an insect.  It’s a statement about the origins of perfumery.  It’s a reference to India, actually.”

“Look, Javier – François – I love this sucker…”

“Thanks.  I…”

“It’s not the art.  It’s the boss.  He’s a religious guy.  He may be pretty worldly, but he’s also a bit unpredictable.  Sometimes he seems to assume everything is going to work out, but he’s not the guy who cleans up the complications.  And putting this up is gonna be complications – let me tell you.  We won’t get out of today without some table walking out in a bitchfest.”

“We could put it up here.  In the hallway.  That works.”

“Man – are you sure you’re an artist?”

“Last time I checked.”

“Sorry – just kidding.  I mean, you’re the first artist I’ve met who didn’t want his stuff in the main dining room.”

“Hey – I’m easy.  See?  This is actually pretty good.”

“No, man.  Next to the coat rack?  Forget it.  It’s just gonna get knocked down.  See?  Besides, it’s just wrong.  This is too damn good for a damn hallway.”

“So what about the dining room?”

“Glass on three sides.  We could do a corner, but they’re not gonna be level.”

“No corners.  They really need to face each other.”

“Gotcha.  Yeah – definitely.  But that’s even more of an issue.  It just magnifies the sex thing.”

“See?  The hallway just makes sense.”



“Is the boss in?  Somebody has to ask him if the hallway is good for the new art.  Tell him it’s the perfume bottle job.”

“You want me to talk to him?”

“You’re a pal if you do.  I’ll owe you.  Big time.”

“No problem.  Hang on.”

“You can’t talk to the boss?”

“Only the hosts are supposed to bother him during core hours.”


“So what’s the deal with this perfume bottle?”

“It’s from an arch dig.  Some garbage dump.  It’s kind of an enigma.”


“Yeah.  The perfume was totally gone.  All there was was a name.  Rose Rebelle.”

“Wild.  So how did you work with that?”

“It ‘s funny.  I actually had a dream about it.  So I just drew a picture of what I saw in the dream.”

“Neat.  It’s beautiful, actually.  The blossoms on her wrists and ankles are amazing.”

“Thanks.  I really liked this job.  So you’re into art?”

“I used to collect.  In fact, that’s what got me into trouble.”

“Hey.  Art is trouble.  One way or another.”

“Yeah.  I guess you’re right.  Maybe I’ll just look at it that way.”

“OK, dudes.  Boss-man says he forgot to tell you something.”

“You don’t say.  Thrill me.”

“The portal.  He forgot to tell you about the portal.”

“Portal?  Don’t tell me he bought a fucking portal.”

“He bought a fucking portal.”

“Oh, man – this job just gets worse all the time.”

“A portal?  Sweet!  He’s the only show in town with a portal.  I can’t believe my stuff is gonna show in a portal!”

“Yeah, well, it’s a pain in the ass for me.  I may need a clearance with my P.O.  Where does it go?”

“Some place in the desert.  It looks like an old house on the inside.  Pretty bitchin’.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it.  You and art-boy are supposed to go move it all around and make it look good.  His stuff is the star of the show.”

“Check it out!”

“So is this place gonna be a new dining room?”

“No way, man.  It’s a totally new gig.  You gotta be on the A-list here to even know about it.  This is just one end of the portal – very hush-hush.  That’s why you were out of the loop until opening.  You think the boss is gonna trust an ex-con with his new portal?  Get real.”

“Does it have a name?”

“The House of Blind Perfumes.  In English, that is.”

“Dig it!  I did the centerpiece and I didn’t even know it!”

“You’re pretty optimistic about this, François.  You ain’t even seen the place.”

“No man – I dreamt about it.  And I know just where to put the art, too.”

“That’s it?”

“Hey.  Blind perfume.  Blind art.  Blind house.  It’s not just a dream.  It’s a pattern.  Have some faith.  Like your boss.  It’ll all work out.”

“Pattern?  Shit.  You sound like a coder.  You sure your name isn’t Javier?”

“No.  You sure your name is Simon?”



That was pretty much what I dreamt last night.  So I woke up, and the first thing I did was blind-buy Rose Rebelle SC-7545 from the boys and girls at A Lab on Fire.  Available here, from colette.  Turns out that the outrageous shipping fee is almost exactly equal to the outrageous Euro-VAT that gets deducted for yankees.  And the very hip music playing when you get on colette’s site is suitable for writing blind reviews of fragrances you haven’t smelled.  Yet.

Hey.  Sometimes you just gotta have some faith that it’s all gonna work out.

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