Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fantasy Perfume Line: Twin Peaks Perfumery

Smells those trees, smell those Douglas Firs.
~ Special Agent Dale Cooper

So since this came up recently an awesome Twitter exchange with Meredith and Victoria, I thought I’d post about it. For a couple of months, I’ve been thinking about how if I were a perfumer, all my scents would revolve around some weird pop culture reference because that’s how my mind works. I don’t have any plans to become a perfumer, but I like to think about what I’d make and what it would smell like. I even considered buying accords and trying to mix my own, knowing that I’ll never quite get to the high end chemistry part of perfumery.

To that end, I bring you Diana’s fantasy perfume line. The first installment would be inspired by David Lynch’s cult classic television show, Twin Peaks. If you knew me in real life, you would know I am obsessed with Twin Peaks. I have been since it aired when I was twelve. I watched the original series, bought Laura’s diary (totally inappropriate for the average twelve year old, btw), and still own Agent Cooper’s cassette tapes to Diane, though I have nothing to play them on anymore. My twenty-seventh birthday was a Twin Peaks-themed Party, and I dressed as dead Laura Palmer, complete with stiff plastic wrapped like a tall collar. I am so familiar with Angelo Badalamenti’s work that when I heard Neko Case’s “Look for Me (I’ll Be Around)” I thought, “That reminds me of Badalamenti’s work with Julee Cruise.” Then I discovered that was her inspiration. Only a “meh” fan of the Dresden Dolls, I completely fell in love with Amanda Palmer when she made Who Killed Amanda Palmer? because the album can be dark and mysterious like my beloved TP.

You get the idea. There are fan and there are fanatics. I’m the latter.

Part of why I love Twin Peaks is because the show embodies the five senses like so little else does. There is ongoing dialogue and mysterious clues that revolve around things you can only smell or hear or feel, which is super cool considering the media involved in the actual storytelling is visual only. From the way the presence of evil smells like burnt engine oil to the opening few scenes that describe phone static by way of saying “it has that open air sound, y'know? Where, it sounds like wind blowing, like wind blowing through trees…” to the universal obsession with a damn, fine cup of coffee, the show begs you to see, smell, hear, and even feel your way through the series.

So, in the vein of all things Peaks-related, here are my fantasy perfumes, and what I imagine they smell like:

The Double R Diner - “This must be where pies go when they die.” Notes: cherry pie and strong black coffee, a coffee “black as midnight on a moonless night.”

The Packard Sawmill - “Insurance investigator should read ‘arson’ block letters, about six feet high.” Notes: saw dust, scotch pine, burnt wood.

The Great Northern - “In a large building with many rooms alike. But occupied by different souls night after
night.” Plus, someone is trapped there. (Notes are vaguely spoilery.) Notes: Douglas fir, wet stone, cherry blossom, green tea.

Donna Hayward - Twin Peaks true good girl, voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in her Senior Class. Even when she tries to be bad, she's still so very good.  “When did you start smoking? “I smoke every once in a while; it helps relieve tension.” “When did you get so tense?” “When I started smoking.” Notes: Ginger ale and a butter cookie, but with a faint hint of cigarette smoke.

My Name is Audrey Horne and I Get What I Want - And what Audrey wants is her own perfume. Notes: Lipstick wax; the leather of brand new saddle shoes; ice cream cone (“Cup or cone?” “Cone. I like to lick.”); grapefruit (“As long as those grapefruits are...freshly squeezed."), and maybe a hint of cherry stem.

As Agent Cooper sexily notes, “Audrey, that perfume is intoxicating."

Fire, Walk With Me - All things Bob, and probably too terrifying to wear. Notes: grinding train rail, the coopery smell of blood, bonfire, burnt rubber, engine oil.

Special Agent Dale Cooper - “Dear Diane…” The ultimate intuitive detective, who dreams of mysterious secrets, shoots like a pro, and only drinks black coffee and Black Yukon Sucker Punches. And who makes a tucked in plaid shirt sexy in a way no one else can. Notes: gun smoke, shiny badge metal, crisp clean sheets, coffee, and whiskey.

And finally…

She’s Filled with Secrets - A tribute to the one and only Laura Palmer. Notes: Ink, diary pages (“We found her diary.” “No, there’s a second one.”), forest floor (“a necklace buried in the woods”), river water, and a hint of plastic (“She’s dead. Wrapped in plastic!”).

As for living Laura, she would probably smell like a big and sexy expensive department store scent from working at the perfume counter at Horne’s Department Store. (“He named it after himself.”)

Remember, “it’s the sweetest smelling job she’s ever had.”

Are you a TP fan?  If so, let's hear your ideas of some "little man from another place" (that's LMFAP to you fans out there) perfume ideas! Or ideas about Lil, my brother's sister's gal!  Or Harold, the iris growing recluse!

"The stars still shine bright.
The mountains still right.

Yet something is different are we falling in love?
Falling, falling...
Are we falling in love?"
~ "Falling," Julee Cruise


Anonymous said...

I have to say that I was a Twin Peaks 'fanatic' at the ripe old age of 8 even though my understanding of the show would have been minimal. Something about it's inherent creepiness was so intriguing to me that even though I loved it, it gave me nightmares for years! It really does have a surreal, nightmarish quality about it and I probably shouldn't have been viewing it at such a young age but, hey, it's a great show and I thought I was very cool being allowed to watch it!
Love your Twin Peaks themed fragrances BTW, I actually think it's a great concept that might actually work. Start your own line I say!

kastehelmi said...

Wow, I've had the exact same idea though I never thought it through like you! I thought Etat Libre d'Orange, or CB I Hate Perfume could be good houses to get behind the creation of some Twin Peaks perfufumes, but you should go for it! I am a huge fan since my mom rented the episodes when I was too young to watch them--11 or 12-- and I joined her anyway ;) How about a perfume dedicated to the Book House Boys? A bad-ass Fougere with a single malt scotch, heavy dusty books, and testosterone?

Or The Red Room? With a strong animalic base, formica accord, white roses, labdanum and benzoin (for a smouldering effect), a very cold iris note and salt.....

Diana said...

Anonymous --

Given more money space and time, I might be all over it. Until that day, I dream of smelling like a girl wearing a blue rose who walks in place and wears tailored dresses.

Diana said...

kastehelmi --

We are so on the same wave length. I even looked at all the CB accords, thinking if I made a pilgrimage to NYC I could buy a bunch and try mixing from there for my own personal wear and amusement. I would go through my day and all day think "Today, I smell like Audrey Horne."

I loved BOTH your sugggestions, and I think the Bookhouse Boys scent is dead on, particularly given Sherriff Truman's whiskey-fed, grief filled dreams.

Thanks for the comments -- you're terrific!

SugarBuzz said...

Diana, we have so much in common :-) Feel free to email me so I can tell you more about that :-) Only I'm not sure that you can see my email?

Anyway, I think your perfume ideas are awesome! Get your own line I say.

You know, I have created a petition that is about Twin Peaks and another passion of mine, creative architecture.

I hope that you will help get this thing going. Even if the project is not in your end of the world ;-)

Not long ago I came across It is a place with wonderful creative and sustainable architecture and beautiful nature.

Then It occurred to me how well Twin Peaks themed rooms would fit into this environment and to the concept of “rooms in the trees”.

So a petition was created to convince that they need to make one or more of the ideas a reality.

It can be seen on the main page on and also on

Your help would be greatly appreciated.