1899 Hemingway, the Lost Generation sadness.

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

My adolescence books talked much about the Lost Generation with Remarque, Hemingway, a young person’s tragedy, falling bodies and naked deaths. Subtle and reserved characters, bitter and sometimes sarcastic attitude used to reveal the sadness and disappointment so clearly. They talked about stolen childhood, months on the war front during which one gets old before he falls in love, smokes or shaves his beard for the first time.


The newest creation 1899 by Histoires de Parfums was presented at Pitti Fragranze 2013 two weeks ago. Dedicated to Ernest Hemingway, the perfume is filled with wind and travel: just as the writer himself, who had passed from soldier to adventurer and journalist; just as his trips to America, Spain, Italy, Paris and Cuba; just as his novels layering fantasy and reality but which are always so true and transparent, concealing something yet never lying.

1899 is an upside-down scent: it doesn’t thrill you with thick smoke and whiskey, even if we would prefer to see Hemingway in the middle of a cloud of smoke with messy hair, scattering papers all over the room and with a thick glass in his hand. Even if it’s a really attracting image, this time Gérald Ghislain, the nose of the perfume, had decided to stay away from such clichés. Tobacco, alcohol and vetiver? So banal.

1899 opens with Italian bergamot, juniper and black pepper note – and reminds me of something. Perhaps it’s my farther shaving his beard, perhaps it’s winter, perhaps some strange lightness. Then immediately cinnamon comes out, blended with a warm powdery iris and soaring orange blossom; the scent is so remarkably masculine and thoughtful. It’s also so integral and solid, yet restless: as if there was one tickling irritating note which is distrustful and keeps asking. As if it would and wouldn’t exist, as if it would get onto a ship and leave in a minute.


Base notes reveal the darker side of the perfume with the classic vetiver from the last century and warm slightly sweet amber. When the top layers of the scent pyramid fade away with their somewhat sparkling tones, they open a gloomy shadow. Like the serious face of the writer, his silhouette leaning against a typewriter, depressed like half a bottle of whiskey, but not the whiskey itself. Just like eyes which have seen a lot and have travelled a lot, like a tanned and wrinkled face, openness and a tired searching of yourself knowing you were already lost years ago.

A wonderful fragrance for men or for who is not an island.


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