That plumage as it splays: its impressive size and patterned feathers fan out for display purposes, not an act of vanity, but part of a courtship ritual. But as a bird it has more than just visual qualities; it is a mythical and symbolic bird for many traditions. It is seen as visionary, regal and spiritual, and with this brings awakening, guidance, protection and watchfulness. In the Jewish tradition of kabbalah, there is even a peacock angel:
The Peacock Angel is among the great guardians of the wrathful palace, holding specific knowledge and power of the palace of judgment, and the name of the angel is communicated to initiates during one of the ceremonies of empowerment for the various practices.
A most beautiful and very enchanting archangel, a wise sage of heaven.
The feather with its ‘eyes’ was seen in Greco-Roman mythology as the eyes of the stars, whilst for those of the Hinduism tradition it is associated with Lakshmi, who represents patience, kindness and luck. For the Persians: a guardian to royalty; in Christianity: an all-seeing eye of the church.
Maybe the sweetness of the story is tied to Kuan Yin, the Buddhist deity. As her story goes, she created the beautiful colours of the Peacock’s tail feathers. Kuan Yin could have been immortal but chose to stay on earth to aid humanity in its spiritual evolution, teaching compassion to humans as well as how to live together as friends. When she was ready to return to the heavens she appointed a guardian to carry on her work towards peacefulness. The bird she chose had dull brown feather but once she rubbed her face and hands down the length of its feathers; it magically bought a kaleidoscope of colours to the bird as well as that beautiful ‘eye’ on the end of each long feather.
What does the glass symbolise? People seeing transparent glass in a dream means that they do not hide their emotions and feelings about each other.
Why all this talk of history and symbols? Italian perfumery Merchant of Venice has launched the delicious new fragrance ‘Imperial Emerald’ as part of its Murano Exclusive Collection – all based around the majestic peacock enclosed in its famous Marano-style glass bottle, covered completely in the emerald-green and blue patterns of the feathers.
This is the seventh scent to be added to this collection. Interestingly, from the middle ages onwards, Venice became an important part of the trade routes to and from Europe to the Middle and the Far East. This was when perfume first took a foothold in the area. At the same time, the blowing of glass was also imported from the Middle East, and so the crafts grew alongside one another. The company has taken all this mythology and heritage and created an EDP in celebration described as:
A timeless fragrance befitting royalty that is reminiscent of the scent of an Italian stately garden, when the sun is setting and the hedgerows fragrance the alleyways.
Starting as they always do with the city of their name, this as a celebration of the meeting point of trades routes that crossed through the city. Starting with a sparkling opening top of fizzy, alive, warming Pink Pepper, the powdery seduction of Iris melds perfectly with bright Bergamot and Mandarin. This opening draws you right into the centre of the fragrance: a celebration of florals, for sure. Also find Ylang Ylang, Rose Absolute, Absolute Lily, Lily of the Valley, Tuberose, Orange Flowers, giving layers of fresh sweetness all the way towards a heady floral bouquet which collectively capture the sense of flowers travelling across oceans to Venice. And the base? It’s creamy and warm, made up of Amber, Vanilla, Benzoin, White Musk and Patchouli, which seats the fragrance and gives a long-lasting ‘hum’ of perfume to the skin throughout the day.
This mystical bottle is complete with an ornamental peacock feather tassel; the box, meanwhile, is characterised by an elegant peacock with its fanned tail plumage on full display.
The brand are interestingly linked to The Vidal Family, who have been involved in the arts of perfumery for more than a century (with the brand Mavive). But it was the son Marco Vidal who started the Merchant of Venice line, who is the CEO of the brand as well as curator of the Perfume Department of the Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo… on top of this, he is also the International Sales Director of Mavive and oversees the strategy of sales and marketing of the company that operates in 92 markets worldwide.
The brand has its roots in community and has conceptual origins in the ancient Art of Perfumery, which originated in Venice from its centuries-old trade with the Orient. Ultimately, this is about bringing together the art of perfumery and the inspiration of the ancient art of Venetian glass, because a stunning scent deserves a stunning container.
Find out more about this niche and luxury perfume brand .themerchantofvenice.com/uk/
Available in the UK from Harrods from September,