Frapin Nevermore eau de parfum is an unforgettable rose scent. Haunting, elusive, and evocative; it is a scent for all eternity. Last September, I was fortunate enough to meet David Frossard, the Creative Director of Frapin, at Bloom Perfumery, where he was introducing Nevermore, the newest scent in the Frapin line. I was given a bottle of Nevermore to take away, and so I’ve now worn this fragrance through crisp, dry autumn days, and in bitingly cold winter winds. I’m looking forward to wearing it during a (hopefully) halcyon spring and blazing summer. Nevermore truly is a scent that can be worn in all seasons, but one particular day of the year inspired its creation – and that day is tomorrow.
For tomorrow – January 19th – is the birthday of the American poet and gothic story-teller Edgar Allan Poe. The original works make glorious reading, and his influence is still seen in modern popular culture. For many a Hammer House of Horror film and virtuoso performance by Vincent Price we have Edgar Allan Poe to thank! Americans are rightly proud of this literary genius and Lisa Simpson is a big fan. But even her devotion pales when considered against the tribute paid by ‘The Toaster’.
For about seventy-five years, on every January 19th without fail, this elusive figure would make a stealthy visit to the Baltimore Cemetery’s memorial to Edgar Allan Poe, and leave on Poe’s grave three red roses and a flask of Cognac. Attempts were made to catch the Toaster in the act and so discover his (or her) identity, but none succeeded. The act of tribute remained fittingly, a mystery, and one that we can allow ourselves to assume ended with the Toaster’s death.
This tribute to Edgar Allan Poe inspired David Frossard to commission perfumier Anne-Sophie Behaghel to create Nevermore ‘to retell the mystery … to harness the strength of a tyrannical rose that disconcerts and ultimately bewitches’. Nevermore certainly disconcerts: this is no easy, yielding rose; no bursting, take-me-now floral. Instead, Nevermore is cold, contained, darkly insidious – and completely irresistible.
My friends are used to me chopping and changing my fragrances and I often get comments on what I’m wearing – however, nothing I’ve ever worn has worked on their imaginations in quite the way that Nevermore does. It’s very satisfying when your scent not only has an impact, but a slightly sinister one too. One said she was haunted by it, and struggled to place the nostalgia it made her feel. Another was quite hypnotised by it, declaring that she wanted to follow me around, and I loved this reaction – it made me feel a little bit Svengali, a tiny bit Carmilla … such is the power of an excellent perfume.
But enough of others, how does it make me feel? Morbid in the very best way! I find myself muttering “The grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace” and then adding smugly, ‘but I bet they’d find a way to if the graves were doused in Nevermore‘. It makes me think of cold, black, fertile, earth; hawthorn branches; roses, and clear, endless skies. Frapin have successfully reclaimed the Gothic from the grasp of puppy-fat, purple lipstick and too much badly applied eyeliner and stripped it back to its transgressive, disturbing, root.
Like the other scents in the line, Nevermore has been designed as a unisex scent, and would, I am sure, have an equally mesmerising effect on masculine skin. The packaging is beautiful: the engraved glass bottle is solid and weighty, with a wooden cap, referencing the heritage of the house, for Frapin, are not primarily makers of perfume. They are the family that produce the highly respected Frapin Cognac, and fine wines under the Gosset label. Gosset I have experienced, and written about on this blog as an Object of Beauty. The Cognac I have yet to try, but am resolved to do so this year. If the Cognac is as delicious as the wines and perfumes it will be an unforgettable experience.
Frapin Nevermore eau de parfum (RRP £98.00 for 100ml) is timeless, haunting and simply beautiful. Buy a bottle today from Bloom Perfumery and celebrate the birthday of Great Capricorn Edgar Allan Poe in the most elegant way imaginable!
Click here to explore Parfums Frapin at Bloom Perfumery
Click here to enjoy Vincent Price reading ‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allan Poe