There must be some kind of a grand plan to have me familiarize with the city of Brussels through briefest of stints, using – quite exclusively – my olfactory senses. It’s like one of those memory games where a card flashes a part of a photo and with every card you have to do your best to figure out the larger picture – in my case, the Brussels I know consists of: the pungent aroma of a sack of cocoa beans (with a chocolate factory attached to the end of it), the whiff of cinnamon sugar on my very genuine Belgian waffles*, and a fruity, sweet note of Elixir – the new Flower by Kenzo perfume – a note that graduates into a scent bathed in rose, and ends with a tinge of bourbon vanilla.
A couple of us girls arrived via Eurostar on a snug Autumn morning, and weaved our way through the city towards the launch of the fragrance at MAD (Mode and Design) Brussels, curated by artist Jean-François d’Or. The exhibition is a play on words and a performance of scent. A little trivia would reveal, that ‘Coquelicot’, or French for the word poppy, was oft written coquelicoq – where Coq means rooster. As a tribute, the most notable installation – “Le chant du coquelicot” (the song of the poppy) – fanned golden leaves into the air, every time the sun rose in the world. The campaign is a nod to the power of flower and celebration of peace and justice. By the dawn in Panama City, we shuffled out to catch the train home, pockets full of silk poppies doused in Elixir, leaving golden leaves dancing in our wake.
In collaboration with Kenzo
*contrary to doughy wannabe’s on Oxford Street (aka Does sir know the Heimlich Maneuver), the original proves to be quite fluffy in texture, and therefore makes sense to inhale with a layer of melted chocolate, and ask for seconds at the next block.