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Le Mat – I’m a fool for it…. - November 9, 2015



Le Mat - Tarot de Marseilles

I have a friend who is a psychic. She has the gift of finding information hidden in the universe that other people just can’t access. Crystal balls, palms, tea leaves, personal objects are her tools of the trade, but her true talent lies in cartomancy.  I’ve spent many an evening with Joan reading my Tarot cards, over a glass or two of wine, in the spirit of fun and entertainment.

I must be one her most vexing subjects because I am a sceptic. I don’t challenge her interpretations and I have a lot of respect for her gift, but I just don’t get Tarot cards.

According to Joan, all the symbols on all the cards have a meaning that can be interpreted depending on where and how they fall in a reading. Take the he King of Swords card for example. This card has always been a bone of contention between us. When it comes up, Joan might say “There is a man around you with great authority and power….” And depending on just how many glasses of wine I’ve had, I might say something like “Dude, he’s got a sword, he’s a murderer!” Or the Death card. Joan says it signifies a new beginning. I say somebody’s gonna die, especially if the card is close to the dude with the sword. It makes perfect sense to me.

Like a good friend, Joan is patient with my foolishness and we always end up sharing a few laughs. That all changed the day I smelled Le Mat by Italian niche line Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima (translation: scents of the soul).

Le Mat is the Fool card in the Tarot de Marseilles, which Joan favours, and is one of 78 cards in the deck and a one of the 22 cards that make up the Major Arcana. The Major Arcana embody the path to spiritual self-awareness and their imagery holds life lessons passed down through the centuries. They are numbered 1 to 21 with one unnumbered card: Le Mat.

Wikipedia says that The Tarot of Marseilles depicts Le Mat as “a bearded person wearing what may be a jester's hat; he always carries a bundle of his belongings on a stick slung over his back. He appears to be getting chased away by an animal, either a dog or a cat. The animal has torn his pants.” As an unnumbered card, Le Mat symbolizes the everyman - a soul on a journey, free from possessions, prejudice and fear, full of awe, wonder and anticipation. A symbol of the opportunities that lay ahead if we leave everything behind and blindly go forward into the future.

Leaps of faith into the future aren’t my thing (yes, I know, I don’t really have a choice…), but after trying Le Mat, I realised this was a safe bet.

It opens warm and spicy backed by a thick, rich boozy accord that comes from helichrysum snaking up from the base to mingle with top notes of nutmeg, black pepper and cloves. This sets the tone for the development of the whole fragrance as notes circulate in and around each other so that at times I get whiffs of medicinal, floral or woody notes. And when you catch a whiff of something, it’s always a wonderful surprise and never a jarring disappointment. As the opening wanes, the distinctive clear, sweet smell of rose de mai opens up lush and opulent on my skin, it stays that way until a lemony, green note from geranium sidles up to the rose and gently balances it. Then the base notes that have been lurking throughout the fragrance, come alive – earthy, woody patchouli, ambery, woody Cashmere wood and the spicy/fruity/hay-like aspects of deep, complex helichrysum.

An Extrait de Parfum, Le Mat is a potent potion with a rich, warm elegant drydown. There is very, very little sweetness to it, allowing it to be worn by both men and women.

The last time I saw Joan, I brought my bottle of Le Mat along with me to show her. I told her about the inspiration for the perfume – the Fool card and the soul’s journey. When I finished, she just looked at me and said, “I knew you'd get the meaning of the Tarot one day.”

“Well, you are a psychic.” I said.

She gave me a withering stare and said, “Pass me the bottle.”

So I passed her the bottle of Le Mat.

“The wine bottle” she said, “There are 21 cards left in the Major Arcana for you to learn about….”

Le Mat is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.