The Femme Fatale Toolkit - My Experience with Black Orchid
I live in a country where the national flower is an orchid. But I’ve never actually seen a black orchid and only recently realized it was an actual breed of flower (and not just a cool name). And they actually look frikkin’ cool in a slightly scary way.
I recently invested in my first bottle of Tom Ford fragrance (Black Orchid of course) and I have to say it’s an odd scent.
For something that contains dark chocolate, vanilla and benzoin, it’s not sweet at all to me. In fact it’s VERY very dry, and very earthy. It smells like freshly-turned soil and dark 100% cocoa powder (go dip your nose in a tin of baking cocoa; it’s musty, bitter and a little bit powdery) more than candy. I can’t quite make up my mind about whether I dare to actually wear it out because this thing is STRONG and lasts for hours and hours, but some things sit right between beautiful and scary, and that’s the thing about Black Orchid that fascinates me. I imagine thus is what a vampire would smell like. Earth, blood and cocoa.
Whether you like Black Orchid or not, I was inspired to find a few easier-to-love (and more economical) beauty companions that share that same aesthetic, for the femme fatales among you.
Too Faced Poison Orchid - the name says it all. This black/purple duochrome is dramatic and gorgeous. If you have never swatched it, you HAVE to.
Givenchy Gloss Interdit 15 Velvet Purple - now a dark black purple lipstick is sorta cliché. Soften it up with some shine and translucence and you have a sexy winner!
Shu Uemura Calligraph:ink Liquid Eye Liner - this new baby is launching only in Feb 2014, and it’s a GLORIOUS brush-tip pen, shaped like Asian calligraphy brushes. (Think of a brush shaped like a felt tip.) You get the intensity of a brush liner, and the ease and precision of a felt tip.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Black - this super versatile black cream is a dual-function cream shadow and liner. It’s just black, black, black, and you can smudge it out, or wear it dense. Super versatile, AND long wearing like all the other Aqua products once it sets.
Chanel Le Vernis 583 Taboo - a galaxy in a bottle; you get streaks of red, purple, indigo… you name it.
This beautiful gown has an especially fun history. It was first made for the fifth doctor serial of Doctor Who entitled Black Orchid during the show’s nineteenth season. The episode aired in 1982 and the costume was seen on Barbara Murray as Lady Cranleigh.
Ten years later the gown was used for Annie Lennox music video Walking on Broken Glass.
It made another appearance in the new series of Doctor Who, in the second season episode entitled The Girl in the Fireplace. It aired in 2006 and the costume was seen on Sophia Myles as Madame du Pompadour. Despite it’s age, it appeared to still be in excellent condition. The same dress used in the same show - more than twenty years later!
The dress recently went up for auction at Bonhams, which confirms it was created for Doctor Who, and describes the dress as: "An eighteenth century styled full length dress of peach coloured teffeta, heavily embroidered on front with floral motif, having lace collar and cuffs, with corset on top, labelled inside with measurement details."