Posts Tagged ‘seasonal fragrances’

Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, wonder where the birdies is?

They’re here.  Robins and cardinals and sparrows, oh my… the trees are full of them.  And our grass has greened up, and my daffodils and hyacinths are blooming.  So is our neighbor’s enormous forsythia bush.  My tulips are budding out, too.  It’s time.

I don’t know quite why it is, but in spring I seem to long for floral verisimilitude in my fragrances, in a way that might strike me as too straightforward during most of the rest of the year.  In September I might be thinking, “Okay, yeah, this smells like jasmine (or rose, or carnation, or whatever)… jasmine jasmine jasmine, big whoop, who cares, I need something more interesting to smell,” but in March and April, gimme them flowers straight off the stem!  There is often a wistfulness, a gentle simplicity or a nostalgic feel to many of my spring choices.  Basically, I just want to Smell Pretty.  I have a right to smell like flowers if I want to, and if you insist, we’ll take it outside and I’ll just get medieval on your hiney.

(Mind you, I don’t insist that everyone should smell like flowers.  I just take objection to those who sneer at me for wanting to do so.)

Ahem.  My Spring Picks list:

1) LilacsDSH Perfumes White Lilac (on the Essense Oils part of the website), or Soivohle Lilacs & HeliotropeFrederic Malle En Passant is lovely but very fleeting on me, and the stunning, tenderly green Jean Patou Vacances is nigh impossible to come by.  Check out this longer list of lilac fragrances.

2) Lilies of the Valley.  I love LotV, or muguet, in the spring, but well-made fragrances containing it are getting difficult to find, due to the restrictions on the allergenic aromamaterial hydroxycitronellal.  The classic to beat is Diorissimo… but I suggest not buying the version currently being sold; it’s thin and harsh.  (Elena at Perfume Shrine has an excellent post on dating Diorissimo packaging, in case you go looking for vintage, while keeping in mind that this fragrance does not seem to age well.)  Other excellent muguet scents:  the older, discontinued version of Kenzo Parfum d’Ete (still available on eBay, in the upright, frosted, veined leaf bottle), vintage Coty Muguet de Bois, Annick Goutal Le Muguet, Van Cleef & Arpels Muguet Blanc.  Or you can go for the complex and truly-wonderful Tauer Perfumes Carillon pour un Ange, with its earthy undertones.  Here’s a link to Victoria’s muguet list at Bois de Jasmin, too. 

3) Violets.  I seem always to want violets in spring and in fall.  A few favorites: the classic, slightly melancholy Guerlain Apres l’Ondee, the “old books”-violet-vanilla of Caron Aimez-Moi, and the simple, leaf-and-blossom Penhaligon’s Violetta.   I also enjoy Annick Goutal’s La Violette and Les Nez’ wonderfully-quirky, silvery-frosty-green The Unicorn Spell.  Also, Balmain Jolie Madame – but should it go here, or in the next category?

4) Greenies.  Never really “out of season” for me, but they come into their own in spring.  And I should clarify that for me, Greenies means Floral Green or Herbal Green fragrances, not Green Chypres like Bandit or Niki de Saint Phalle, which still intimidate the heck out of me.  My favorites include Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete, Guerlain Chamade (the current version is still lovely, and unlike many other classic Guerlains, all concentrations are wearable for me), Crown Perfumery Crown Bouquet, and Jacomo Silences.   The current version of Kenzo Parfum d’Ete, in the lay-down, smooth clear glass leaf bottle, is really nice too, very refreshing.  There’s also Chanel No. 19 (my very favorite version is vintage EdT, but I smelled the modern EdP recently, and liked its gentler, more rosy cast), and the Jolie Madame I mentioned above in the Violets category.

I notice that I tend to group my seasonal picks into categories, as I did just now, but I think the spring list is always longest.  This is perhaps my favorite time of year, and I love that there are so many things to wear that make me happy in this season.  In fact, I really enjoy the seasonal shifts of the area where I live, and I look forward to changing my roster of fragrances as each season rolls around.

Feel free to comment on what you like to wear in spring.  Or whether you rotate your fragrances according to the weather – I know, a lot of people live in places where that’s a silly idea – or even whether you tend to think of your perfumes in groups, as apparently I do.

Photos of flowers from Wikimedia Commons; photos of columbine leaves from Flowers.vg.  Top image is Spring Garden by Vera Kratochvil at Public Domain Pictures.

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