Scheherezade´s Tale of the Thousand and one Nights Remember Coco Chanel
In September 1994, Chanel’s Public Relations department created Aromatic Tales by Chanel, a publication that takes us on a journey through the world of flowers and natural essences
The encounter of these flowers that form essences is the material from which the fairy tales of this publication are made.
Now in August is the 137th anniversary of the birth of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel French designer and founder of Chanel S.A ..
We tell here the story of Coco, a perfume brand launched in 1984, in honor of the stylist.
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The land of the Thousand and One Nights lies far to the East, beyond the bustling cities and vast deserts of the Orient.
It was once ruled by Prince Shahriyar. In the passages of the royal palace, behind the intricately shuttered windows or beneth the tents bordering on the sands, people still murmur his story as it come down through the ages.
It is said that the prince, who had been betrayed by his wife, had decided to avenge the betrayed by taking a different woman every night, and putting her to death the next morning. Every maiden in the realm, from princess to slave-girl, trembled at the thought that one Day her turn would come.
One evening, a Young woman named Scheherezade presented herself at the palace Gates. Although she was no more beautiful than the others, she possessed a remarkable talent: she could weave a tale with words. That very night, after the Prince and she were satiated with the delights of Love, she began to tell him a long, long story. At dawn, the Prince, Who was captivated by her tale and his own desire to know how it would end, spared her from the executioner´s sword and ordered her to return to his chambers the following night.
Scherheherzade spun her tale for one thousand and one nights. On the morning of the thousand-and-first, the Prince, enchanted by her gift, consented to pardon her.
However, according to certain palace eunuchs who were well in the know, the story did not end there. In truth, by mid-afternoon on that same day, the Prince had fallen into another of his gloomy moods. His leniency suddenly seemed stupid to him, and He ordered his guards to bring Scheherezade back to the palace that very night. Learning of his decision, the Young woman realized that she would meet na early doom IF she lacked the wits to distract the Prince from his dastardly intentions. She resolved to inspire him with a Love so intense that He would be blind to the charms of any other woman, forever after. His thirst for vengeance would disappear and He would abandon his cruel and murderous habits.
Scheherzade thus returnes to the palace for a thousand-and-second night. She seated herself on a cushion near the Prince and with her vibrant voice, began to tell him the tale of Coco.
– Tonight, my prince, I shall tell you of a woman Who could not be confined by boundaries. Her name shines in the memories of the Orient and Occident like a comet freely roaming the heavens.
She was free and independent, bestowing the gift of her beauty as her own fancy desired. She could be found only in the least common and most unexpected places, and her gaze communicated na intensity, a spark of passion sometimes veiled with nostalgia, which fascinated those on whom it turned.- But Who was Coco. Rumours whispered that she was the daughter of a Russian Prince and a Venetian countess, but no one was really certain. Na intriguing air of mistery surrounded her. Wherever she traveled, from the eastern to the western horizon, her elegant silhouette aroused wonderment and curiosity in all who believed it. What was she seeking? Where would she alight? Where would her endless journey finally lead her?
From then on, her admirers vied for the honer of having been the last to have seen her. She was said to be tarrying in Turkey, in the valley of roses near Isparta. It pleased her to Wonder the Banks of Lake Burdur in the early morning, breathing in the magic of Islam. Flowers decked the fields as farás the eye could see. She gathered huge bouquets of them, greedy for their golden hearts and sugary petals, whose essence suggested a world of sensual enchantments.
Later, she sojourned in the remote isles of the Indian Ocean, Just after vanilla harvest, when the pods drying lazily in the Sun imprint the warm air with the promise of delight. Then she´d been glimpsed in India. It was there that for the first time, the true object of her quest was finally partly divulged.
Scheherezade paused to gauge the effect of her words on the Prince.
– More! Tell me more! Implored the prince, subjugated by his curiosity.
So the young woman resumed her telling, with growing confidence. Her plan to make the Prince fall in Love with Coco was succeeding.
– One man claims to have understood the purpose of Coco´s Wanderings. Although He is a sage Who hás renounced wordly vanities to devote himself to his gods, his understanding of the human heart is no less acute. This is what He revealed:
– I met Coco when she visited here, in southern India.
I saw her amid the jasmine blossoms, as the sun was rising, graciously receiving armfuls of flowers from children with faces as fresh as the White flowers themselves. In the gardens at Yedathore, I discovered her absorbed in a deep reverie, seated directly on the ground. Once again I saw her listening attentively to a sitar recital in a music room, her glaze distant, transported by the misture of the melody and the fragrance of sandalwood. Finally, she approached me at the temple, dressed like na Indian woman ia a beautiful saffron-yellow sári. She was on her way to climb the hill at Chamundi, accompanied by a man with eyes the color of topaz, to lay na offering of flowers on the altar of the mother-goddess. It was then she spoke to me.
Her voice trembles with emotion:
– Wise man, please help me suspend the flight of time and capture the ephemeral faces and situations which emerge and disappear as I live my life. I travel for these encounters and their wealth is the only value I hold true. The awe inspired by discovery and the dizziness of sharing for a fleeting instant a city, a dazzle of colour, a history… I must leave this land and return to Europe, my country of bbirth. But I yearn to bring away the essence of a country so vast that even the Sky seems bigger here: the ardent fragrance of its spices, the perfumes of Mysore drowsing in the shadow of the maharajahs,
I read Coco´s sorrow and confusion in her glaze. So with a bit of red ash, I Drew the Mark of Shiva on her forehead. Then I filler, had had a revelation. She left. And that is all I know of her.
Scheherezade said no more.
– But whatever became of her? Inquired the Prince impatiantly.
– No one ever saw her again, but this is what the legend says. When coco wrapped her face in flowers, she realized that perfume is the eternal vector of memory. If she could only bind together in a single fragrance all the smells associated with her past encounters, it would embody the ineffable. She retraced the trail of her emotions, gathering the jasmine of India, the sandalwood, the Turkish rose, the vanilla, and the fragrance of flowers. She then blenden them into a whole and breathed in her new creation with her eyes closed. They say that at that moment, her spirit took flight and she resumed her travels as IF in a dream.
Scheherezade hushed her voice. The Prince was no longer listening. He was sleeping peacefully while his soul ventured alog the path of dreams that would lead him to Coco.
The storyteller carefully rose and re-adjusted the veils about her person. Behind the damask draperies, day was breaking over the city. Very slowly, she approached the sleeping Prince and placed a flask of amber-colored liquido n the pillow near his face. It was Coco´s perfume. She silently crossed the thick carpet to GO out the door. Bidding a mental farewell to the now peaceful Prince, she took one final look at him. From wherever He was journeying, the Prince was smiling.