Jean Desprez’s Sheherazade (1983)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

My barber for the past 10 years had never complimented my perfume. I wore a different one each time I visited the salon, and she never said a word about it. It was not particularly important to me, but I complimented her perfume most of the time (her favourite was probably Kenzo Flower), and her standard answer was, “Oh you can still smell it? I have had a long day.”

My barber is a Polish woman in her late fifties, and I can tell she wants a retirement, right now. She occasionally tells me her stories related to her family, which are mostly tragic. Like her grandmother was given an option between saving her dying son (but living the rest of his life in intense agony and discomfort and embarrassment) and letting him die naturally. She chose the former and only a year later she found out that he killed himself in a bathtub with a shotgun, next to it a letter blaming her for not letting him die.

Although I see my barber once a month, over the years, we have become “friends”. Friends that know a good part of each other’s life, but strangely the caring never goes beyond the salon. One time I wore Jean Desprez’s Sheheraze (1983) and she said, “Oh my god, what are you wearing? It smells amazing.” I told her the name and she said, “Sir Harrison?” My Chinese tongue had a difficult time untying itself but eventually I said it right. She contemplated for a minute and said, “it reminds me of some good old days.”

I think from now on I will wear it every time I visit the salon.

Sheheraze is a beautiful oriental floral, a little bit like Clinique’s Aromatic Elixir, but less herbal. It smells warm and creamy, probably because of benzoin and sweet myrrh. It has an addictive quality to it, and the goodness stays even the deep orange perfume has evaporated away from your skin.

Author: Victor Wong

A perfume lover - niche, designer, modern, vintage, I love them all. I am also the owner of Zoologist Perfumes, a small Canadian perfume house. Please visit or for more info!

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