Lux Brumalis

Lux Brumalis Decorative Image

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

– Robert Frost

It seems that roughly half of a trip exploring the outdoors in wintertime is reserved for fantasizing about being back inside. The risks that come along with the season’s ice and darkness tend to keep us moving along, no matter how spectacular the view.

This is what makes a winter scene so striking: it captures the forbidding sense of isolation, the mysterious conundrum of survival in a frozen world, but in a way that lets the viewer sit and be haunted by these feelings at leisure, from a place of relative safety and comfort. Did the artist suffer, sketching or underpainting while huddled in heavy clothes, channeling the stillness and silence into their strokes? Or was it a view from the other side of a window, sparking cozy feelings comparable to the ones we get from looking at a painting in a book on our lap? Or a scene adapted freely from the imagination?

Many of the artworks we’ve chosen for this series predate color photography, eliminating the possibility of working from a reference image the way an artist might today. Each presents a eerily familiar vision of this gloomy season: a frozen world of reflective surfaces awash in surprising hues, their vibrancy complemented by the dormant and dead bits of everything that has surrendered to the elements.

These are feelings and questions that aren’t stirred up by paintings depicting any other time of year. The following perfumes, like the paintings that have inspired them, are offered in hopes of making sure these sense memories remain accessible to you throughout the rest of the seasons.

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