Perfumery has long had a (sometimes prurient) fascination with flagellation. Fragrances with names like Coup de Fouet (Caron), Cravache (Robert Piguet), and Riding Crop (Demeter) all suggest the menacing danger and pain of the lash. There are no less than three called whip—Whip (Black Phoenix Alchemy), Whips and Roses (Kerosene) and Whip (Le Galion).
The act of whipping evokes images of cruelty: slavery, abuse and sadism. From Jesus Christ to Kunta Kinte the whip has inflicted punishment. Pleasure, too, is associated with its sting, as illustrated by the character of Séverine in Luis Buñuel’s 1967 film Belle de Jour. The riding crop—a whip in miniature—has been wielded by villains and equestrians in equal measure and in fact is used in advertisements for Guerlain’s Habit Rouge.