A while back I wrote about an old friend, Neville Trickett, who I met in New York over ten years ago. What I didn't write about Neville, was something he gave me - a small, delicate hand-blown glass vessel with a glass stopper, etched with the words Saint Verde Holy Water, and filled with a scent that has haunted me for years. Neville describes his perfume as matte, soft, powdery, and dusty - he goes on to say....
"A while back I was developing a new fragrance and all the perfumers submissions were just to "common" I was looking for a cross between dusty old books, raw hardwood, old flowers and biblical frankincense, sort of like an old church. The perfumer said what I was looking for was "a dusty" composition which was very difficult to create. I never got what I thought was perfect so it never got further than a dream."
Luckily - he did produce a very limited amount of the scent ten years ago - which he gave to me in the small vessel, which sat gently in a lead base, which he had also made. This lovely gift was part of the old shop on Crosby Street for years - a strangely familiar scent that I was hesitant to use for fear I would run out of it. Then, one day the little vessel toppled out of it's lead base and broke - sending the precious oil splattering all over the old wood counter. I mourned the loss of the perfume - thinking I would never be able to own it again.
Today, I received a present from Neville. Not only did he send me a treasure box filled with samples from the old notion warehouse he has discovered in Johannesburg, but he included two (!) small vessels of St. Verde Holy Water, sealed with wax to protect the oil on the journey from South Africa to California. When I opened the box, Sofia said, "It smells just like an old church on Holy Thursday!" and my first thought was - exactly - that's what Neville was going for! My second thought was - a daughter with a nose - how French!
(Photos are from Neville's blog)