Sweeter than roses, or cool evening breeze*
On a warm flowery shore, was the dear kiss,
First trembling made me freeze,
Then shot like fire all o’er.
What magic has victorious love!
For all I touch or see since that dear kiss,
I hourly prove, all is love to me.
So what is sweeter than roses, sweeter than the evening breeze on a warm flowery shore? Apart from love’s first kiss, I’d say it’s Tempted Muse. But, but, I am moving ahead of myself and need to start at the beginning.
About a year ago Tanja Bochnig of April Aromatics was working on mods of two different fragrances**that she was interested in hearing my opinion on. Amongst the several samples she send, she for some reason included one that had nothing to do with anything else simply named XX#1.
I LOVED what I smelled. Warm, sunny, embracing, golden, nectar of the Gods, a tempted muse in a grove steals a kiss from Apollon’s lips.
So I wrote back along the lines of; I like version blah and version blah for this and that reason BUT WHAT IS XX#1 – WHEN WILL YOU RELEASE IT? Tanja likes to hear people’s opinions, but as far as I’m aware, in the end she always sticks to her own (as so she should). But I was not going to give up. Basically every single correspondence we’ve had over the last year has more or less included a hint or a plea to consider releasing it into her collection.
And finally the Goddess heard me, and the fragrance ended up as Tempted Muse. Although in this case I was not the muse even if I’m sure I was somewhat more than a tempter.
If you take a good sniff right upon the very first spray, you smell the unmistakable spark of a pink grapefruit, a sprightly not tart smell, and it melds with a feeling of a basket full of fresh, ripe fruits. There is no particular fruit note sticking out, but the colour that I perceive is the warm yellow/orange of ripe peaches and apricots.
White flowers of frangipani, jasmine, ylang-ylang and tuberose enter light-footed as a dance of the muses, each of them bringing a special gift to the fragrance. You would think it could be truly narcotic, but it isn’t, as in a circular dance you simply can’t tell where one starts and another one begins, always intertwined. I smell waxiness from the petals, evoking bees and honey, and the whole composition makes me think of nectar, like dew drops in the early morning. In the dry down, there’s vanilla and tonka bean and sandalwood, but again they are not individualists, but united; there to add to that golden colour spectrum of the overall feel.
Although the perfume is sweet, it’s not sugary; but juicy and nectarish. And every note is tied to another in an intricate pattern, to give off a unique luxuriant simplicity.
A fruity floriental, or perhaps a flirt with twisting and stretching the genres. To me it doesn’t matter; Tempted Muse is sensual yet innocent like the muses of Rafaello’s Parnassus; soft and graceful, the skin of peaches and smiles of angels, and yet, daring enough to be tempted into to stealing that first ambrosial kiss.
* Can you imagine having written something as beautiful, and then be anonymous? Fortunately Purcell has set it to music that it might not be lost but love to all. Here it is in a stunning version sung by Kathleen Battle live from 1990. (Just think! If that was Samsara, it would be called vintage :-/)
**A citrus and a spring fragrance if I remember correctly. One became Ray of Light
Tempted Muse can be bought from April Aromatics, and will also be released soon as part of the PLP-project with three differentfragrances 7.5 ml each.
For another review of Tempted Muse by April Aromatics; cafleurebon
Main and bottle picture by me. Rafaello Sanzio will need no further introduction.