au·dac·i·ty \ȯ-ˈda-sə-tē\; n. (Middle English audacite, from Latin audac-, audax [alternately 'bold' and 'rash'])In Italian, the adjective audace means a number of things: fearless, risque, insouciant. The title of the 1960 comedy caper Audace Colpo Dei Soliti Ignoti translates literally as as The Usual Suspects' Bold Stroke, but the English approximation -- Fiasco in Milan -- hints that the colpo is really a cock-up turned miraculously around at the very last minute. Similarly, the French phrase un coup d'audace indicates a breathtaking venture requiring a certain arrogance to even consider, let alone pull off. When encountered as a notation on a musical score, audace indicates an assault on one's instrument, audience, and possibly even good taste. In short, very punk rock.
1. The quality of fearless confidence or daring.
2. Insolent disregard of limits or restraints, especially those imposed by conventional propriety; foolhardiness; temerity; effrontery.
3. A brash, intrepid, or heedless act or statement.
4. Cheek, chutzpah, nerve (slang)
During sleep, the human brain tends to ruminate over the last thing it encountered while still awake. Before drifting off last night, I flipped through a few pages of Barbara Herman's wonderful Scent & Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume. The final tidbit my eyes took in before they glazed over was the entry for Rochas Audace (1972), one of my all-time favorite evergreen chypres... and naturally, I woke up still thinking about it. No option remained but to go spelunking through all my perfume boxes until I found it-- an activity which exhausted fully fifteen minutes of my morning routine. But such a seemingly pointless pursuit often hides a kernel of significance, especially on a Monday morning.
What other day of the week calls for so much audace just to make it through?