Bella Crawford (Gina Torres) is a very elegant woman, so no wonder she wears an “exquisite” and exclusive perfume. Dr. Lecter’s description is a clear reference to its name: it’s “similar to the aroma on the air just after lightning strikes,” an elaborate nod to JAR Bolt of Lightning.
Created by Joel Arthur Rosenthal and launched in 2001, it features tuberose and green notes. JAR perfumes are famous for not containing “the typical top, middle, and base notes,” as explained on the WGSN Insider blog. “Rather, they blend together for an unpredictable release. The Bolt of Lightning fragrance takes 10 minutes to develop on the skin.”
Will Graham’s (induced) hallucinations and seizures are caused by encephalitis: this results from a brain scan he’s undergoing, but Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) already knows it. He explains Dr. Sutcliffe (John Benjamin Hickey) he “could smell it”.
Dr. Sutcliffe is a former colleague of Hannibal’s and remembers he was able to call out a nurse’s perfume, but he couldn’t imagine now he can diagnose an autoimmune disease by the smell only.
He’s curious and asks Hannibal what the “specific scent” of encephalitis is like. Hannibal’s description is terrifying, yet intriguing: this disease “has heat” and a “fevered sweetness”. I personally connect such a description with fruity fragrances, especially those with peach as a dominant note. What perfumes do you think could match this description?
Dr. Hannibal Lecter has a talent for identifying what perfumes people wear. The jailed version of the character in Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs detects Evyan White Shoulders body lotion and Nina Ricci L’air du temps on Clarice Starling, while his bon vivant version (Mads Mikkelsen) in the tv show by Bryan Fuller smells “something with a ship on the bottle” on Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). Smelling someone and commenting on his/her perfume is a very intimate action; when it comes from a jailed serial killer or from your psychiatrist, it becomes an intrusion into your privacy.
The after-shave Will wears is obviously the classic Old Spice, which Hannibal loathes (this opinion is reinforced in an episode from the second season). Hannibal says he should introduce Will to a “finer after-shave”, which makes me wonder what after-shave he wears and what he would suggest Will to wear. Any thoughts?