“…on the Night’s Plutonian shore!’/ Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore.'” Edgar Allen Poe wrote those words in his famous poem, The Raven, which has now become the inspiration for a new fragrance from the French luxury cognac house, Frapin.
Frapin entered the perfume business only six years ago in 2008, but the brand has been making expensive cognac for centuries. In fact, as a Vanity Fair article explains, the family behind Frapin goes back almost 800 years and has a true passion for cognac, as well as an interest in tradition. Understandably, as a perfume house, their creations all involve cognac to some degree or another.
Nevermore, however, is their first fragrance to have a literary focus. The inspiration is two-fold. First, Poe’s poem, The Raven, where a man slowly descends into despair and madness, aided by a talking raven who squawks out “Nevermore” like a prophet of doom at the man’s every mention of a happy memory in the past. In my opinion, the second inspiration is far more significant and noticeable in terms of its concrete effects on the perfume, and it involves a mysterious visitor called The Poe Toaster who visited Poe’s grave to pay tribute with cognac and three roses every year on Poe’s birthday for more than seven decades. As the Frapin press release quoted by a number of sites explains:
In the works of Edgar Allan Poe, the poet reveals the misery that overcame him whenever he was confronted with loss. Each happy memory become so distant that he knew of only one term for this condition: “Nevermore” – never again.
For the first time in 1949 on January 19 – the poet’s birthday, a mysterious visitor began to leave three red roses and a bottle of cognac at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe. An enigmatic gesture and a myth-enshrouded story, a dark, baroque universe, purple roses and amber liquid…