Imagine you are a young man, just passed twenty. You are in Paris, at Pigalle, and have been invited to Moulin Rouge to see a show. Who invited you? You’re not sure, you got a card in the mail, and the instructions said to show it to the man in red uniform at the door.
You go there, with plenty of time before the show starts. When you show the card you got to the doorman, he ushers you to the left, through a hidden door in the velvet wall, into the corridors of the Moulin Rouge wardrobes.
A elderly woman follows you through the hallway which surrounds the scene. It’s full of equipment, gaffers running back and forth, all with a designated mission. You pass the wardrobe of the chorus, all the girls who are in the lineup for the show which is taking place in less than half an hour. They are putting on makeup, getting their hairpieces together and putting on their stockings and shoes.
It’s an electricity in the air, the tension which keeps everyone at a high pace, checking their lists and putting things where they are supposed to be.
The last door in the corridor has a star on it. It is being opened for you without a sound, and you go in. The room is quite dark, except for the lightbulbs around the makeup mirror straight ahead of you. The walls are covered with costumes, and everything sparkles and beams at you.
At the table on the right, there are several crystal vases with huge bouquets of flowers. It’s easy to see that one is from Tuesday, the roses have hung their heads down. The other one is from Wednesday, that’s the narcissuses. They are bursting yellow, firm and fragrant, with a sharp green scent. The one from yesterday is a oppulent bouquet of jasmin, white and innocent, completely contrary to the mood in the room, and still perfect.
A woman is sitting on the chair in front of the mirror. She turns her body halfway towards you, and smiles at you. She has put on her costume and makeup, and although it looks as she is ready for you, you know that everything is done for the audience in the theatre. Her hand is being lifted, and you grasp it and kiss it lightly.
She smells of powder, of having made love to somebody not long before you arrived, and there is a hint of sweat too. All these aromas mix with the flowers, and makes the air thick, repulsive and tempting.
If you go up close and sniff her it is almost too much, too intense. But from an inch away it smells like heaven of a man’s world. Sweet, naughty, sexy and frightening. You can smell that she is quite a few years older than you, and that entices you and scares you all at once. You are on the verge of running out the door, but at the same time there is nowhere else you would rather be than here in her Boudoir.
This is written in English for my scented friends abroad. 😉