Before the birds begin to sing...

before-the-birds-begin-to-sing1before-the-birds-begin-to-sing When: Friday, Feb. 27th, 2009.

What: Ivory dress by M by Madonna for H&M, vintage fur coat. Bra and panty set by Elle Macpherson. (I am in love with her website. The photographs with all the goosebumps and dimples and realness of yes, very trim women, but still more real women than we are used to seeing in ads, especially in lingerie ads, delights me.) Watch, Guess. Earrings from Juniper Tree. Rings, vintage and Laundry by Shelli Segal.

Scent: The very elegant Tubéreuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens, with notes of tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom, hyacinth, nutmeg, clove, styrax, musk and vanilla, from the exclusive range. Let me say this first: When M & I were married at San Francisco City Hall, it was in a cloud of giddy-yet-somber love reverberating through the rotunda and gently raining down tuberose, from my bouquet. I can't help but sink fondly into this fragrance, even it comes howling like the devil out of the decant. Within moments it stops shrieking like a newborn from the womb and just nestles in, and if angels existed the soft folding of their wings to kneel down and gaze into the eyes of some broken creature with love so abstractly vast it melted your brain to even contemplate it, well, the sound of them would smell like this.

People love or hate this. They are so put off by its vulgar beginnings that they abandon it, or some version of tuberose so watered down it scarcely resembles the real thing has blinded them to the beauty of Criminelle. Some people think it's mysterious, they marvel at its depth, its can't-put-my-finger-on-it-ness. Some think it packs sexual power.

I love Criminelle because it tells the truth. Perfect. In every way.

Confession: I promised assorted FFAF readers that I'd post a blog with this dress and the fur, albeit not necessarily together. With the recent days of still chilly air veiled with clear blue skies and the faint stirrings of Spring, I knew my days were numbered where the fur is concerned. (Not that we really ever have fur-worthy days out here, I know you East Coast kittens are rolling your eyes at me so hard they're loud as eight balls cracking against corner pockets.) So I paired the two, experimented with some trickery in Picasa and Voila!