Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
In one of his most famous poems, Alexandr Sergeevich Pushkin, a revered Russian poet, remarks upon the nostalgic autumnal beauty. The beauty that is poignant because of its evanescence. The serene silence pervading the atmosphere forebodes fragile frosts turning into the dense snows of winter. The vibrancy of the gold over crimson foliage hints at the decay about to envelop it. The scents of chrysanthemums and late roses intoxicate as the flowers rush to bloom before the chill.
Chris Sheldrake and Serge Lutens’s Bois et Fruits (1992) captures a moment of autumn before one becomes aware of its farewell connotations. Warm cedarwood is folded over lusciously ripe fall fruits—figs, peaches, and plums, which speak more of a voluptuous aspect of autumn than of its nostalgic side. This fragrance is one of few instances when fruit is not rendered as treacly and artificial. Instead, sweet resinous cedar married to fruit results in a very elegant scent with the brightness of sweet-sour plum courting the soft powderiness of fig.
Painting (click to enlarge): Caravaggio, Still Life with a Basket of Fruit. 1601. Oil on canvas. Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan, Italy. abcgallery.com.