Too Tender To Touch / Meet me at #35

“You and I together now, forever after only, yes;

A staring smile, a frozen face, a photograph of lasting love

That never knew a nicer place than tucked inside my pillowcase

A little sign to guide the way;

We don’t need so very much”

Too Tender To Touch, Lene Lovich

chestergibsTLTembraceLast year Amsterdam based Italian perfumer Francesca Bianchi  introduced me to painter / body artist & perfume collector Sands Murray-Wassink. The three of us have met up on several occasions to talk about art and of course, perfume. So,  when earlier that year Francesca started working on a new perfume I was delighted she invited Sands and myself to sample the various versions of The Lover’s Tale before the final was even there. Not only because both Sands and I enjoy all things creative and  fragrant , but to be taken by the perfumer on her artistical and olfactive journey is both exciting and challenging!the perfume gang

Both Sands and I were given smelling strips with various versions of The Lover’s Tale to smell and evaluate. Sands says that perfume makes him ‘feel alive and centered and inspired like nothing else’. So this was a feast for us! We smelled different versions, from very smokey to super  beautiful jasmine ones. The three of us sat at the table in the perfumer’s home and exchanged thoughts and feelings about the different creations. Francesca: “I don’t let anyone smell my work in progress, but just people with whom I have similarities of taste and that are familiar with independent perfumery or have wide artistic, original views (so they don’t expect a clone of Chanel nr 5 or Hypnotic Poison). This being said, I take the feedback in consideration especially when other people detect facets, or characteristics, which I didn’t see myself in the first place. That is very interesting to me.”

chestergibsTLT 3 lovers
I loved one  version in particular ; Number 35. I found it to be very sexy, perhaps due the mix of floral smoke and the blast of cumin at the opening. Francesca let me have a sample of #35 which I took with me on a trip to Sitges, Catalunya in august last year. I was working on a series of  drawings for a perfume/drawing presentation . Wearing The Lover’s Tale and #35 a few days straight inspired me to make 3 drawings based on the journey that the protagonist in The Lover’s Tale must have made to become the present day lover . The concept title for my series was Meet me at number 35 : A perfume room in which you may find a shoulder to cry on, feathers that tickle your skin, a stranger’s kiss , flowers that embrace you, scented ropes , tears under a starry night. No logic and reason. A memory that you may want to never forget.


As Francesca describes The Lover’s Tale : ‘This is a story about a lover’s secret encounter. Rich in natural raw materials, jasmin and leather are the protagonists of this perfume. The opening evokes the sparkling mood of the very moment they meet; attraction and romance then trap the lovers, and a narcotic jasmin softened by a powdery rose, recreates this tension. Passion then takes over, with a sophisticated leather, developing on a chypré accord.’


The Lover’s Tale a review by Sands Murray Wassink

TLT is  like a magic carpet ride: Sweet and embracing, rich and lush. I can’t help thinking of gorgeous red roses when I smell it, even though it’s mainly a leather perfume. I don’t know maybe I associate velvety roses with leather for some reason. The castoreum and peach combine with mimosa for me. There is a lot going on. It’s very complex. All i can really say for sure now, is that it makes me feel comforted and wrapped up , in dark fur. I love the sweet combination of fruit and animalic floral sweetness with the bracing leather.
chestergibsTLT kiss

The Lover’s Tale a review by Chester Gibs

Perfume is emotion, and so is drawing. This is one of the reasons why I like to use fragrance as a portal into drawing as to capture and translate some of the aspects that touch me and inspire me. It’s difficult to write a review about a perfume such as Francesca Bianchi’s The Lover’s Tale when one has smelled it’s various versions throughout the process of its development. Each of these three drawings represent a room. Sensual and emotional encounters, in different moments in life. Francesca’s latest creation is a bit ‘dirty’ in the opening, after which it becomes a more creamy , smokey floral leather. Ultra seductive and classy at the same time. We have all been there at one point; In these rooms, blissfully scented with scenes of love, lust, fantasy and hope. Alone, with lovers or beautiful strangers – so that we can be the lovers we are today. That’s my journey – my own Lover’s Tale.


meet me at #35

Just before Christmas Fransecsa surprised me with a sweet surprise : A bottle of Meet me at #35! I’m wearing it as i write this and would like to thank Francesca and Sands for our inspiring afternoons together.

The Lover’s Tale and Bianchi’s other perfumes can be purchased by clicking here !

Check out Sands Murray Wassink’s art here0

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