We asked Toronto-based photographer Joseph Saraceno to channel the sultry vibes of a steamy summer night into a series of perfume still lifes. The results simply bowled us over. These inventive, enigmatic images will transport you southward with their seducing scents and colors. Enjoy!
It’s late at night. The heat is on. You’re lying in bed, but sleep won’t come. Your eyelids are closed yet the neon lights spell h-o-t-e-l over and over to a haunting rhythm of red and pink. It’s impossible to tell if the nagging scent wafting through the bamboo-patterned curtains is gardenia and tuberose or the mangrove swamps breathing in and out.
You’re trapped in a Tennessee Williams play with no closing scene, though the audience left the theater a long time ago. Liz Taylor’s shadow is lurking behind a shutter, but upon second look it’s just a shriveled palm leaf against the treacherous moonlight — creatures of the night. Pray for the morning to end these rampant dreams, or instead take to the streets and make them come true.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Joseph Saraceno
STYLING: Wilson Wong
Creatures of the night.
5 essential perfumes for a hot summer night.
01. Armani Privé: Bleu Lazuli
Like this and many others in the trees
Blow in the night in the southern skies
—Southern Nights by Allen Toussaint
PERFUMER: Pascal Gaurin
02. Andrea Maack: Coven
At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
And a freight train running through the middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire
Oh oh oh, I’m on fire.
—I’m on fire by Bruce Springsteen
03. Frama; St. Pauls // 04. D.S. & Durga: Mississippi Medicine
I was caught in the crossfire of a silent scream
Where one man’s nightmare is another man’s dream
Pull the shades down low you’ll know when the time is right
When you’re lyin’ alone in the heat of the night
—Heat of the Night by Bryan Adams
Frama: St. Pauls
PERUMER: Frama Studio Copenhagen
D.S. & Durga: Mississippi Medicine
PERUMER: David Seth Moltz
05. Yves Saint Laurent: Black Opium
In the shadow of night
I see the full moon rise
Telling me what’s in store
My heart starts aching
My body start a shaking
And I can’t take no more, no, no
—Still of the Night by Whitesnake, Songwriters: David Coverdale John Sykes
PERFUMERS: Nathalie Lorson, Marie Salamange. Olivier Cresp, Honorine Blanc
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