Saturday, December 11, 2010

Au Fil de la Soie

For my Birthday I got treated with something as spectacular as the Hermes silk scarves: a cologne named "Poivre Samarcande", part of the Hermessence collection.  So I'd like to seize this opportunity not only to express my excitement, but also to reflect on the distances that merchants continue to cover in their relentless drive to bring customers the best the world has to offer.

The story of the "Poivre Samarcande" ("Samarcand Pepper") is equally fascinating and stirring.  Samarkand is a city in Uzbekistan that provided the spice traders with a place to rest before continuing their long journeys to seek and acquire spices - hence, the city's location along the spice road made it well known.  The peppery scent captured in the fragrance is thus both a reference and a tribute to the place that became so critical in the history of humanity.

While the scarf is also a tribute to the silk road, "Au fil de la soie" ("on the silk thread") reminded me of the journeys undertaken by so many merchants, traders and curious alike, who - unbeknownst to them - were such an integral part of the world's - and humankind's - history.  The scarf depicts several scenes associated with the silk trade - of harvesting the silk, of transporting it, of processing it, and finally of turning it into spectacular elements of clothing, so delicate, so luxurious and so refined.

A great design, launched in 1995, by one of the most admired and prolific designers - Annie Faivre.  Just as the fragrance name carries my mind and my imagination to the spice trade and long road the spices travel to us, so is this scarf makes me reflect on the long journey of the silk, meant to be admired, enjoyed and treasured by a privileged few.

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