Luca Guadagnino's most recent film, "Call Me By Your Name," paints a picture that practically throbs with all of the angst and emotional intensity of first love. Complicated by the fact that the romance is between two young men in Italy during the early 1980s, the central conflict is an often unwilling attraction compounded by societal strictures that question the morality of queer love. As these two young men overcome their fears and anxieties in a rush of emotion, first love is explored.
Elio and Oliver may be in love, but the very nature of their relationship is almost doomed from the start. Elio is a young 17-year-old, while Oliver is a 24-year-old professional, working for Elio's father. The setting could not have been worse for a lasting romance, but that doesn't minimize the fervor of what the characters feel. When the inevitable end occurs, Elio confronts the pain that comes with the end of a relationship and the relief of living life without lying about his desires. Oliver bows down to the societal mores of his American family and leaves his lover behind to go home to his female fiancee. While doomed before it began, this love story showcases a story that many can empathize with, regardless of sexual orientation.
The incredible beauty of the setting shows a lush blend of plant life, smoky fireplaces, and rich food and alcohol scents. But, sitting in a theater doesn't bring those scents to life. Dive deeper into the story by engaging on multiple levels. A woody cologne that has some clean pine notes can make the outdoor scenes more evocative. As Elio grows and matures throughout the film, I like to find a scent the incorporates a more musky smell to bring life to the romance and leave the lighter scents of childhood behind. At the end, incorporate a smoky scent that references the warmth of a fire in winter and fighting off the cold of a love story that ended.
When finished with the story, I find a reminder that it was a single chapter in a young man's life helpful. Moving back to fresh and growing scents can help brighten my mood and prepare me for the next step: finding a new love. Hopefully, lessons learned and ready to find a lasting love, the next chapter will detail a lifelong commitment.