I went to a funeral on Friday. Of course it was very sad but it was also strangely beautiful as well. It marked the end of a remarkable, rich, long life and was, as the man himself might have written, "quite suitable and satisfactory."
The actual internment took place in a quite lovely cemetery on Long Island. It was green and parklike - beautifully landscaped with huge trees, flowering shrubs and certain bits of sculpture in the style of the early 60's. I thought all this perfectly appropriate to the man destined to spend eternity in this quiet lovely place.
The weather that day was beautiful as well. It was one of those clear balmy days that often happen in March and to which those of us who live in highly seasonal climates so look forward to every year. It was the kind of day that finally marks the end of winter and promises the beginning of spring.
As we paid our last respects, I stood meditating on the sky, the landscape and the air full of the scents of fresh earth, tended grass and new buds and i couldn't help but think of Stevie Smith's marvelous poem, Black March. It seemed the perfect day for it.
Many people have asked me what inspired me to design my perfume, Black March, and I've always referred them to the poem without saying more. I'm not sure how many people have then actually looked it up and read it nor am I sure how many understand it. But Black March is now and always has been one of my very favorite poems and I understand its secret well. From our side, death often appears so terribly tragic but I think it is important to remember that from another point of view, it is ultimately very kind indeed...
"I am a breath of fresh air. A change for you..."
And that's the secret of this perfume.