Oscar Wilde: Romanticism of the Inevitable
Heritage comes with the beauty of longevity and passion. It’s very rare to be able to step back in time without having the passing of eras decay and tarnish modern reinventions. Keeping integrity and compassion is an elegant dance between the then and now.
Wilde was a creative revolutionary of individuality, freedom and self. Forward thinking with ideals of the future that others had yet thought about or embraced. His notions of love were expressed through his writing, most passionately, between himself and Sir Alfred Douglas, Star-Crossed lovers, forbidden to love. Desire yearns through corresponding letter and unveiling poetry colliding together with hope of a loving and freer life.
The Story of Forbidden Love
Lord Alfred Douglas, also known as "Bosie," was a poet and the younger lover of the iconic Irish writer Oscar Wilde during the late 19th century, renowned for his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, the play The Importance of Being Earnest and his disarmingly accurate ‘bon mots’ a running commentary on everyday life.
He was a tonic during a repressed and slightly demure Victorian era, where modesty was valued above all else. Oscar Wilde was a force of nature and wit personified – larger than life, he towered at over 6 feet, donning a top hat and cape, wearing the finest clothes from British department stores, including Harrods, Liberty and English tailors on Saville Row, he would cut a dashing figure in English high society. A green carnation placed delicately in his lapel was the final flourish of his look, a discreet symbol of his sexual orientation.
Introduced by a mutual friend to aristocratic Lord Alfred Douglas in 1891, whilst an undergraduate at Oxford University. Oscar Wilde became infatuated with Lord Alfred Douglas. The pair quickly became inseparable and developed an intimate friendship – and would be defined by their burning passion for one another.
‘Wilde’ was created in homage to this endless passionate love story – that would burn infinitely through history.
Capturing sparkling bergamot and gentle citrus blossom, layered with the spicy combination of white jasmine, ginger and green carnation, an affirmation to Wilde’s love and affection to Lorde Alfred Douglas. The warming base of pure sandalwood oil, olibanum and benzoin add a rich sophistication and depth. Understated but with an unmistakable presence.
As illustrated in the letters below, despite all odds, their love endured and even after their respective deaths. It has been canonized as contemporary love story. Their relationship remains a notable part of LGBTQ+ history and literature, reflecting the struggles faced by individuals in same-sex relationships during this less tolerant era.
My Own Boy,
Your sonnet is quite lovely, and it is a marvel that those rose-red lips of yours should have been made no less for the music of song than for the madness of kisses. Your slim gilt soul walks between passion and poetry. I know Hyacinthus, whom Apollo loved so madly, was you in Greek days.
Why are you alone in London, and when do you go to Salisbury? Do go there to cool your hands in the grey twilight of Gothic things, and come here whenever you like. It is a lovely place – it only lacks you; but go to Salisbury first.
Always, with undying love,
Savoy Hotel, London
Dearest of all Boys,
Your letter was delightful, red and yellow wine to me; but I am sad and out of sorts. Bosie, you must not make scenes with me. They kill me, they wreck the loveliness of life. I cannot see you, so Greek and gracious, distorted with passion. I cannot listen to your curved lips saying hideous things to me. I would sooner be blackmailed by every renter in London than have you bitter, unjust, hating. I must see you soon. You are the divine thing I want, the thing of grace and beauty; but I don't know how to do it. Shall I come to Salisbury? My bill here is £49 for a week. I have also got a new sitting-room over the Thames. Why are you not here, my dear, my wonderful boy? I fear I must leave, no money, no credit, and a heart of lead.
H.M. Prison, Reading
You came to me to learn the Pleasure of Life and the Pleasure of Art. Perhaps I am chosen to teach you something much more wonderful, the meaning of Sorrow, and its beauty.
– Oscar Wilde, De Profundis