Madam X

Alkemia Perfumes
(General Catalog)
Status: Available

An homage to unsettling, eccentric, irresistible beauty — bergamot, mandarin, dark violet, Italian iris, black orchid, Japanese incense, orris root, sueded musk, white sandalwood, Tahitian vanilla, and pale patchouli.

"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in its proportion." — Francis Bacon

Madame X was John Singer Sargent's most infamous painting. When it debuted at the Paris Salon of 1884, the public was horrified and called it a scandalously immoral image. The model was Virginie Gautreau, a New Orleans ex-pat who was notorious throughout Paris for her elegant demeanor and unusual looks which she accentuated by dusting her skin with a special pale purple powder. Her nose too long by accepted standards and her forehead considered too high, yet the total effect of her eccentric beauty was irresistibly seductive. Gentlemen were captivated. Society mavens sneered. Artists begged to be allowed to paint her portrait or sculpt her in marble. An American art student named Edward Simmons wrote of being "thrilled by every movement of her body."