Morning dew, davana, fern flower, bonfire smoke, birch leaves, warm summer air
Kupala was inspired by the Slavic pagan celebration of summer solstice, Ivana Kupala, and the dichotomy of elemental rituals involving water and fire on that day. Taking place on the eve of the shortest night of the year and at the height of summer, Kupala was a celebration of nature, of fertility and love, and the mysteries of nature. The fragrance of Kupala emulates the full day of festivities, with notes of cool and wet juxtaposed against smoky and warm, and a shared heart of rich floral notes.
How Kupala wears on the skin is meant to mimic the rituals and festivities performed during the midsummer's eve itself. It opens with dewy greenery, echoing how the young people would spend the morning collecting dew in which to bathe, celebrating the warm summer day and preparing for the evening's activities.
The watery qualities fade just as the birch leaf note appears, for the crown of birch leaves and flowers the young women would wear. Sometimes, these birch crowns would be set along a river alight with candles with the aim to scry a future love in the water and flame's reflection. Or these same birch crowns were worn by women when venturing into the forest at night ahead of the young men, lighting their way with candles. Together, the unmarried would wander in the forest to look for the mysterious fern flower from folklore, believed to impart magic, beauty, and a happy life to anyone fortunate enough to find one. Although the couples were guaranteed to return empty handed from their impossible quest, their engagement would be known if the young man emerged from the forest wearing the same birch crown.
Kupala night concludes with the pair jumping above a roaring bonfire holding hands. If the jump is successful then they are fated to find future happiness together, but if they are burned, then it is an ill-omen for what is to come. The smoke note that had been lingering in the background comes to the front, with a warm glow of flames to replace the cool greenery.
This fragrance greatly morphs with wear, taking you from morning dew, then birch leaf crowns in the forest, then finally to the smoke of a nighttime bonfire. However, the golden fern flower note remains a constant. Davana of the artemisia family was chosen as the heart of the fern flower accord on two accounts. First, Devana (same pronunciation but different spelling) is the wild Slavic goddess of forests, hunting, and headstrong young women. Beautiful, unpredictable, and as formidable as nature itself, she is the spring and summer nature deity that brings life in all its wildness to the forests. Secondly, the scent of Davana itself is intoxicating and ethereal, and conjures ever-shifting notes of tea, rich florals, and ripe fruit. In it's indiscernible complexity, it reveals a hint of the unknowable beauty of the fabled fern flower.
Extrait de parfum. Ingredients: denatured alcohol, fragrance.
1 oz glass bottle with fine mist spray pump and gold or black cap.