Serge Lutens Une Voix Noire

Serge Lutens Une Voix Noire

Meet the new perfume Une Voix Noire from the exclusive collection by Serge Lutens. The fragrance is accompanied by the text below.

Billie wore a watch, but not because she was concerned about the time. Its circumference and weight were enough to indicate it was not made for the wrist wearing it. Real or fake gold—who cares?—it was a man’s watch. Basically, I assign the power of transfer and, eventually, perhaps, the power of metamorphosis to objects that are not on the person they should have been on originally. You’re possessed. A color, a gesture, a hairstyle indicate affiliation. I know that. You are worn by them, up above or on the ground. You no longer belong to yourself.

Billie’s father, Clarence, was 17 years old. He played the banjo. Her mother, Sadie, was a few years older. What she liked about men was marriage and security. Neither one acknowledged the other. Billie was left alone, entrusted to whoever could take her. Once, when he was between two tours, Clarence suddenly showed up to see her; he told her—despite the lace on her dress—that she should have been a boy. He called her “my lit’l Bill.” Her real name was Eleonora. Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother. All that you can learn from biographies. That’s not what I’m here for. Telling you about Billie is certainly a roundabout way of telling you about myself. The “I” part is difficult for me. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not with Billie, I’m in her.

When her voice would rise over some velvet drama, my heels would go up. The serge cloth of a straight skirt hobbled my walk. The same jacket made my shoulders look square. Without any Job paper and no more tobacco, I held my cigarette high. In the time it took to sing “My Man,” I would become Billie, or a chic customer passing through her song. As soon as the needle left the wax, my shoulder straps would collapse like champagne bubbles to the level of my shoulders. My feet were just themselves, flat, resting on the floor of men. The magic didn’t work anymore. The coach turned back into what it should never have stopped being: a pumpkin. But I had caught the bug. I followed my own path, and, so I would recognize myself in it better, I wrote it.

When she’d wake up and open the curtains, the day would be tinged with night. Billie stuck to her habits. Having long been her friends, they eventually became her enemies. Despite that, she depended on them, because she could not find anything to replace them with. First by one pill, then two, then…She would fall asleep in the certainty of forgetting. The ones she took to come out of it would wake up a sleepwalker at the height of panic. Coffee played the role of hyphen. As she drank in little sips, a reality so real it seemed like a dream would settle in around her. Slowly, the absorbent, downy material of wakefulness, like blotting paper, would come back up: the fall of a button hanging by a thread, the red of the flaking nail polish showing the white of her nails. In the end, a bunch of little nothings that would bring her around, without really bringing her to life.

A bath, a quick stop in front of the mirror—she barely took the time to comb her hair—enabled her to pull herself together. She put on any old thing, rushed downstairs, and, without being sure of what she was doing, found herself in the street. New York was stifling in summer. Above her, like a cocktail, the glass of the skyscrapers would fill with light. The evening would move forward faster than she would. It was that time at dusk, when everyone is confused. Her path would take her to Covan’s, the club where she sang. Is it possible that, through indifference, the neighborhood crisscrossed so many times got angry and, to make that known, led Billie into the darkness? The tall street lamps carried along shadows and, at wide intervals, would abandon them in the darkness. Billie imagined that she was approached by one of them. She started walking faster. Certainty overtook her: she was being followed. Arising in the gut, deep in the bowels, the fear went first to her legs and then branched out to her whole body. Now it was so close behind her that Billie heard the clack of her heels echoing in the soles that were following her. Silence had steel-tipped shoes. Ready to take off, her foot was clad in speed. She sensed the spring of the trigger tense up on the start. Then she froze. The street was naked. The noise awaited an order from the silence before taking back its rights.

Billie came to. In order for that to happen, she took a compact out of her purse, opened it and, as natural as could be, with the puff, powdered her nose. A woman in love made herself beautiful. Only counterfeiters recognize what is real. When the falsity of her appearance had reached its peak, pretending to judge the effect, she would hold the case away from her and, from right to left and in every direction, pivoted the mirror. Bringing the rear-view mirror closer to her face, she saw nothing in it other than the late Billie. With a whirl of her ball gown as she did an about-face, she faced the danger that didn’t exist. She assigned the cadence of her thoughts to the pace of her walk. With half her voice she would ask herself questions, and with the other half she would reply. It wasn’t possible, she wasn’t dreaming! All of a sudden, she admitted the inadmissible. “I’m afraid of my shadow.”

Childhood is never far off. Billie brought herself back. A ghost is white, but a slave’s ghost is black, isn’t it? All of a sudden she would remember things she had never forgotten. The eye was the eye of her grandmother, Rebecca, the one whose gravestone she still carried on her back. Billie then was just a child, and her grandmother was 96 years old. She lived and slept in a chrome chair, not leaving it for any price, except that of her life, and yet… On that day she begged the kid to help her fulfill her vow: to rest stretched out on a bed. As soon as she had fulfilled her wish, Billie joined her, and in the warmth of her kind act, snuggled up against her. So relaxed, they both fell asleep, appeased. When Billie woke up, she was the only one who did. Rebecca’s affectionate arms had wrapped themselves around her neck. A prisoner of this bony chain, Billie desperately tried to make the present go back to the past. She begged the corpse. It stayed cold. The skeleton retains the memory of its last desire. She swore at the remains: “Let me go, get away, you disgust me.”

Nothing worked. The dead woman did not release her grip. Billie screamed. They came to free her. They beat her. She thought she deserved it.

Letting the remembrance become lost in her memory, Billie stuck a cigarette between her lips, lit it, inhaled long and deep, and in a language that only smoke knows, let go of Rebecca. Mechanically, she hailed a cab and, like a fox’s fur into its den, disappeared into it.

Source: fragrantica