What Perfume Should I Wear to a Zelda Fitzgerald Art Exhibit?

Zelda Fitzgerald’s “Alice in Wonderland”

I will have the privilege of attending an exhibit of Zelda Fitzgerald’s paintings at the Johns Hopkins Evergreen Museum this weekend. I have always been puzzled by how unpopular Ms. Fitzgerald’s artwork is. Her mother famously burned most of her work because she found it hideous, and Dorothy Parker was said to have been unable to hang the two paintings she bought. I know nothing about art, but I love Zelda Fitzgerald’s paintings. I find them uncomfortable, but very beautiful.

I have read every word written by and about Zelda Fitzgerald, and I find that the more I read, the less I have to say. It seems pointless and disrespectful to blame her for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s demise, or to blame him for hers. Mental illness is brutal and exhausting for everyone involved. There is nothing more terrifying than having to fight off your own mind. To go to sleep every night not knowing whether you will wake up as yourself or as the hateful, vicious creature that hurts the people you love. Most of us would be crippled by such a painful, thankless struggle. Zelda Fitzgerald was not. She did her best to be a good wife and mother. She wrote a novel in six weeks while in a Baltimore psychiatric ward. And she spent years on the stunning paintings that I will be seeing this week. She was exceptionally brave.

I was thinking of wearing Guerlain Après L’Ondee or L’Heure Bleue to the exhibit. They both have a poignant quality to them, but more importantly, they were both released at the beginning of the 20th century. As the Fitzgeralds spent many years in Paris, Zelda would most likely have been familiar with these fragrances. I thought it would be a nice gesture. Do you have any suggestions for a perfume to wear to the exhibit, or for perfumes that go well with art in general?

11 thoughts on “What Perfume Should I Wear to a Zelda Fitzgerald Art Exhibit?

  1. I actually support L’Heure Bleue. It’s a poignant painfully beautiful fragrance. There’s a sadness about it but there’s a beauty about that sadness. I think it would be very befitting.

  2. Hey. Why did you remove the tom ford for men post seemingly at the exact instant which i commented on it?

    For your perfume, maybe something from the new line by Pierre Guillaume, Huitieme Art Parfums.

  3. I find a lot of Zelda’s art difficult to view because it strikes me as terribly sad. It’s possible/probable I am reading into it because, like you, I have read almost everything written by and about both Fitzgeralds. But still. What a wonderful opportunity to view her work. I’m looking forward to hearing about it.

    As far as perfume, I think L’Heure Bleue is a wonderful choice. And I already suggested 1740 (for me, a good scent for Zelda’s early years). My other idea would be to get really “modernist” and go with something like a Tauer, where the notes are layered and structured in a very self-conscious way.

    Whatever you wear, enjoy the exhibit — I know you will!

    1. Hi Natalie! I just got back from the exhibit a few minutes ago. It was a very small exhibit, and they didn’t really have any of my favorites. But I got really emotional seeing the paper dolls that Zelda made for Scottie. I ended up wearing Apres L’Ondee because I thought it would go well with the upcoming snow. What I didn’t anticipate was that I would have to walk 30 minutes home in the snow! I look and feel like a drowned rat.

  4. I was going to say Apres L’Ondee because I associate it with melancholy and last wore it in snow, funnily enough.

    Writing a novel in six weeks is impressive by any standards, never mind doing so in a psychiatric ward!.

    1. I really liked her novel, even the highly edited version in which it was released. She and her husband were both using the same shared experiences as material, and he didn’t want her to use them first, so he took out everything from her novel that he wanted to use before he would allow it to be published.

      1. But in his defense, he felt that since he was the “breadwinner” and had to pay for her (expensive) psychiatric treatment, he needed his novel to sell. (I have to stick up a little bit for my beloved Scott.)

        And I’m glad you enjoyed the exhibit, but sorry they didn’t have any of your faves. 😦

  5. Como dice Joaquedn Pineda podriamos praobr a Cordero . Estamos necesitados de un medio centro Respecto al pfablico, no le ecjo la culpa d todo. Ellos no tienen acceso a las imagenes y lo que hacen es fiarse de lo que les venden desde los medios: Capel y Navas son unos piscineros, Kanoute y L. Fabiano hacen muchas faltas…Los que generan esta violencia y sinrazf3n son los periodistas con sus mentirasUn Saludo

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