David Bowie is described as “the best-smelling human I ever met”, by Arcade Fire musician Will Butler.
The Thin White Duke's fumes came up in Butler's conversation with BBC 6 Music's morning goddess Lauren Laverne last week while promoting his debut solo album Policy.
Never one to let an intriguing detail slip away, Laverne pounced, insisting firmly, “I am going to require some more adjectives. How would you describe the smell of David Bowie?”
You walk into a room, and you're like, “Something's different. I'm in a different dimension. It smells so good in here!” [And then you realize] “Oh, David Bowie's here.”
It smelled like if an ancient pine forest had a massive forest fire -- but like, a month ago. So you get the new growth of the grass and the moisture, but still there's an undercurrent of pain. But also of smoke, so kind of like marshmallows...? It's powerful.
So what was David Bowie wearing? To me, “smoky, month-old pine forest fire” says Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyante loud and clear. But that misses out on the grass, moisture...and marshmallows.
Let's put our noses together, people, and figure this out.
To get us started, let's flash back to Ziggy-era Bowie. In this 1973 Mick Rock photo, there's a tantalizing glimpse of a Dior bottle nestled next to the bananas on David's backstage dressing table.
Both Diorissimo and Miss Dior came in the black and white houndstooth splash bottle with its jaunty bow tie. I'm sure Ziggy Stardust would have made an appropriate conveyance system for either.
After Bowie's too-sad passing on 10 January 2016 (which has left me in a melancholic fog that I can't shake), here's an update on the man's perfume circa 2005, via musician Owen Pallett, who posted this on Facebook:
In 2005 he invited Arcade Fire to play some shows with him, and Bowie offered to take the band out for dinner. Most of the band had other plans (?), so it was literally me, Patrick, Win, Regine, Will and Jenny having dinner at a place on Avenue A with Bowie and his manager Coco.
Me and Patrick were sitting across from Bowie, and Bowie and I hit it off insanely and talked about Mishima...and This Heat and all sorts of stuff. Patrick hit it off with Bowie too, they talked mostly about fashion and furniture design.
We talked abut his smoking habit (he told me he'd quit a year before he had his heart attack). He was wearing Creed Silver Mountain Water cologne which is wonderful but too ostentatious for anyone but Bowie to ever get away with.
Owen goes on to say that “no words could really describe the man's complete generosity of spirit, intelligence and charisma.”
This new world without David Bowie in it feels a little less special.
Read Pallett's full post here.