Before Sunrise – last night, ages ago.

The hours just before dawn are full of magic. The Sun wavers below the horizon, its initial hints of light coloring the world around us in subtle shades of blue and grey — l’heure bleu as the French call it. In 1955, Frank Sinatra recorded his studio album In the Wee Small Hours to celebrate this flair of delicious sensibility and flickering ambiguity.

During the blue hour, it’s easy to vacillate between the happy and sad from one moment to the next, warm memories of a long-gone love drifting into a poignant loneliness. For our latest SCENTURY series, we asked Milan photographer Massimo Bianchi — celebrated for his stunning fashion still lifes — to visually translate the notes and words of Sinatra’s enduring masterpiece. Bianchi teamed up with the talented stylists from Stilemastudio to bring us the evocative result: delicate threads of color woven into an olfactive fabric of blue and grey. Enjoy!

PHOTOGRAPHY: Massimo Bianchi
STYLING: Stilemastudio


Before sunrise.

Smells so Sinatra to me!


01. Acqua di Parma: Colonia Leather

colonial leather by acqua di parma

Last Night When We Were Young

Last night when we were young
Love was a star, a song unsung
Life was so new, so real, so bright
Ages ago, last night.

—Songwriters: E. Y. Harburg / Harold Arlen


YEAR: 2012
PERFUMER: François Demachy



02. Bottega Veneta: Parco Palladiano X Olivo

Bottega Veneta Olivio X

When Your Lover Has Gone

What lonely hours, the evening shadows bring
What lonely hours, with memories lingering
Like faded flowers, life can’t mean anything
When your lover has gone.

—Songwriter: Einer Aaron Swan


YEAR: 2018
PERFUMER: Amandine Clerc-Marie



03. Farmacia SS. Annunziata: Hyle // 04. Ghost Nose: Etherno // 05. Parco 1923: Parco 1923

ghost nose, parco 1923, farmacia ss annunziata

Dancing on the Ceiling

At night I creep in bed
And never sleep in bed
But look above in the air
And to my greatest joy, my love is there.

—Songwriter: Lorenz Hart


Farmacia SS Annunziata: Hyle
YEAR: unknown
PERUMER: unknown
Ghost Nose: Etherno
YEAR: 2017
PERUMER: unknown
Parco 1923: Parco 1923
YEAR: 2016
PERUMER: Luca Maffei



04. Laboratorio Olfattivo: MyLO

Mylo by laboratory olfattivo

Deep in a Dream

I dim all the lights and I sink in my chair
The smoke from my cigarette climbs through the air
The walls of my room fade away in the blue
And I’m deep in a dream of you.

—Songwriter: Jimmy Van Heusen


YEAR: 2016
PERFUMER: Luca Maffei



05. Versace: Eros

Eros by Versace

I See Your Face Before Me

I see your face before me
Crowding my every dream
There is your face before me
You are my only theme.

—Songwriter: Howard Dietz


YEAR: 2012
PERFUMER: Aurelien Guichard



06. The Merchant of Venice: Noble Potion

perfume still life featuring Noble Potion by The Merchant of Venice

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning

When your lonely heart has learned its lesson
You’d be hers if only she would call
In the wee small hours of the morning
That’s the time you miss her most of all.

—Songwriters: David Mann & Bob Hilliard


YEAR: 2013
PERFUMER: unknown



07. Nasomatto: Baraonda

before sunrise: perfume editorial with baraonda by nasomatto

In I Get Along Without You Very Well

I get along without you very well
Of course I do
Except when soft rains fall
And drip from leaves, then I recall
The thrill of being sheltered in your arms.

—Songwriter: Hoagy Carmichael


YEAR: 2016
PERFUMER: Alessandro Gualtieri


If you enjoyed our olfactive Bauhaus tribute you might also like this art-inspired still life series.

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