I am afraid of death. Tremendously, panic-attack-inducingly afraid. I believe that when we die, the screen goes blank. Game over. We never see, hear, or experience another thing again. I have prayed and begged for the comfort of religion. But as hard as I have tried, I cannot make myself believe in a God or an afterlife. Many members of my family, and of millions of other families, were murdered in the Holocaust. I have seen the blue marks left in the gas chambers by Zyklon B. I have seen the ovens. The idea that there could be a God who allowed their deaths to happen is far less acceptable to me than the idea that there is no God at all.
There are a few things that are able to temporarily ease my profound fear of death. I remember the gasping relief that I felt the first time that I read Walt Whitman’s triumphant declaration: “And to die is different from what anyone supposed, and luckier.” His words gave me hope that death might somehow be a little different from the horrible nothingness that I had imagined. Serge Lutens De Profundis provides that same hope and comfort.
In last year’s Midnight in Paris, Gertrude Stein explains that “the artist’s job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence”. With De Profundis, Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake have fulfilled their artistic obligations to us. Those who do not care for the traditional Lutens style should know that De Profundis is a total departure. There is no stewed fruit or spices. De Profundis is a cold chrysanthemum scent. It soothes and quiets my fears like a cool hand on a fevered forehead. Its green notes produce a gauzy effect, as if its wearer is already on the other side of the veil that separates the living and the departed. De Profundis is mournful, but it is also terribly beautiful. When I dabbed it on, I felt a little less afraid.
I do not think that I will ever wear this perfume again, so I would like to give my sample to one of you readers. To enter, just leave a comment letting me know that you’re interested. Anyone is eligible to enter, regardless of location.