Terror & Magnificence
Revenants Vol III – Terror & Magnificence by Beaufort is inspired by the works of architect Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736), whose premonitory structures pierce the London landscape. Hawksmoor, known as “the devil’s architect”, continues to arouse the interest of its distinctive churches, which introduced the elements of Egyptology to traditional ecclesiastical settings. These curious architectural details, and his recent reputation as a Mason, have led to speculation that occult symbolism influenced his methods, and impregnated his designs with an inherent “terror and magnificence”.
Contrasting darkness with invigorating complexity, perfumer Pia Long tried to combine her fragrant impressions of the architect, his works and his myth. Two parts are remarkable in her. One of them is clear, daylight and church-like; they are the incense, myrrh and benzoin of the church’s incense, a dry wood of benches and decoration, and a chord created separately from wet and moss stones. This part is as reverent and humble as that of a believer.
The other part is Egyptian darkness, expressed by the kyphi chord (the oldest perfume recipe known to man) and a sharp, woody, earthy note of papyrus (nagarmotha). The traditional black smoke of Beaufort in this perfume is rather soft and even sweet, the birch tar is softened by the laudanum and especially the benzoin already mentioned, so that creates an exotic impression of an amber chord with the aroma of dark and sweet smoke.
As perfumer Pia Long comments, “the fragrance we create feels as if it has always existed, as if we had created a myth from the ether”. The product packaging bears a representation of Hawksmoor’s famous work, Christ Church Spitalfields, in East London.