THE BOULEVARDIER: Can you smell that?

Every week, our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs, considers matters related to men’s style. This week: Bleu de Chanel, the new men’s fragrance from the design house (and the commercial, shot by Martin Scorsese) inspire a reverie of love, menace and missed chances.

The white light has a blue cast, the highway is shiny from the thunderstorm. You see the headlights grow in the distance—white streaks illuminating the wet steel of the rails, with flashes of lightning in the distance. The curve of the track, the screech of metal, wheels grinding along. Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” plays in the distance, the sound rolling forward, louder and louder, jets of vapour bursting upwards from the unseen manhole covers. Somewhere down the line, the brakeman has flipped a switch. The great metal snake shudders.
The light bends and twists like a diamond on her finger. Look through it and you see the door of the first car. Streaky water across the window, and you see yourself behind the glass. A hungry look in your eye, your Rolleiflex cradled in your arm.
Stepping up to the podium, you’re blinded by the dozens of flashes, paparazzi flinging orders at you: “Gimme one more, over here, hold that, here, HERE!” The Wagner is so loud in the press room. Flashes and yelling: “How does it feel?What’s next?” The bank of microphones, jutting out at you, whispering: “You don’t deserve this—you’re a fake, a poser.”
Then you remember her. In a café, reading, in a world of her own. Bathed in that blue light. If only you had sat with her, asked her name. You saw yourself chasing her down the street to the subway entrance, touching her shoulder. She turns and kisses you. But you didn’t. So she didn’t. She has haunted you ever since. It was fear that held you back. Fear only you could know—the fear a blank canvas causes.
His voice pushes itself into your head. What is he saying? “ Can you smell that?” “ The freshness, citrus and pink pepper. The energy, grapefruit and dry cedar. The senses, ginger and frankincense.” Can you smell that?
“That’s the scent of creative freedom.”
Read more from Marq here, and follow him on Twitter: @aboulevardier

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