Legend wants it that the goddess Flora created violets out of the body of a butterfly, but flowers have the power to lure humans in ways that insects can't fathom. Did you know that Tristan carved a message to Yseult on a branch covered in honeysuckle, the flower standing for devotion, thus signaling the infinity of their bond? Kama, the Indian goddess of love, strikes her victims with a jasmine-laced arrow. Greek and Latin god Eros/Cupid spilled a cup of red wine on the white rose, turning it from a symbol of purity to code for romance. Tuberose ignites innermost desires as its seductive, highly heady warmth garlands newlywed's beds in a promise of sensual profusion. And gardenia was introduced as the height of courtesy and elegance when Beau Brummel first put one as his boutonniere on the jacket lapel back in the 19th century. The custom of offering lily of the valley on May 1st dates even further back: it was Charles IX who first offered these tiny bell-shaped flowers to his mother, Catherine de Medicis, as a good luck charm.
|Renunculas & Apples by Jeffrey Smith|
This spring I brought out the following fragrances to mark the transition from the bonfires, the rich ambers and the patchoulis of wintertime to the hopeful freshness and floral garlands of springtime.
Patricia de Nicolai Le Temps d'une Fete
Barnyard narcissus frolics sweetly with hyacinth, daffodil and galbanum. Like a roll in the hay on a warm May day.
Editions des Parfums Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie
Oozing with animalic come-hither while at the same time retaining a fuzzy, soft caressing innocence. A masterpiece.
Maria Candida Gentile Hanbury
A staggering vista of a Mediterranean garden; sweetly citrusy on top, lushly floral and nectarous in the heart thanks to calycanthus and mimosa, wonderfully understated and elegant in its base.
Guerlain Aqua Alegoria Jasminora
A. Japanese garden, misty at the edge of dawn. A trellis of white blossoms, tiny in the emerging light.
Clean and fresh, without being soapy, screechy or loud; delicate, elegant, sadly discontinued.
Tauer Perfumes Zeta
Almost flavored by linden blossom, reminiscing me of edible linden or rose honey I used to buy when gallivanting on the slopes of Zakinthos island in the Ionian Sea, rather than merely the delightful blossoms on the tree.
A mirage of rose and violet that takes us into a Parisian springtime stroll under the Seine bridges.
Yves Rocher Pur Desir de Lilas
Yves Rocher captures the sweet pollen like facet of lilac in the heart, while retaining the bright aspects of a vivid floral on top.
Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss
Graceful, fresh and powdery with orris, jasmine and orange blossom, without pretence, classy....
a "nouveau chypre" that is proud of the moniker.
Chanel Les Exclusifs Bel Respiro
Brings on a pastoral theme to its stemmy, herbal aroma of galbanum with touches of spring florals. To don with a sundress and slingbacks.
What are YOU wearing this spring?