A Guerlain Summer- Terracotta Le Parfum Guerlain

For summer I like to wear lush, white floriental scents, the ones that remind me of hot days spend somewhere on a fantasy beach I’ve never been to. For this feel, in past years I’ve been turning to Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia and Terracotta Voile d’Été, but there’s a new kid on the (sun-) block, Terracotta Le Parfum.

Imagine yourself surrounded by an azure sea, palm trees and exotic white flowers and the quiet lullaby of waves hitting the shore. In the shade, the scent of skin, warm and fragrant from sun, sun lotion, a light breeze carrying the scent of salty sea towards land, and sand, too hot to thread onto with bare feet.

The scent is of tiare flowers, jasmine and ylang-ylang intertwined, the bouquet is sensuous, sweet. The balmy coconut is flirty, with a bit of ‘come-hither’ even, a feeling supported by vanilla and musk embracing the composition warm like suntanned skin, with a touch of bronzer. I feel a slight saltiness to it all, like the salt left on the skin from bathing in the sea. And it all comes together to something smooth and elegant like flowery white garments and sunshades, as elegant as it is possible to be in the heat.

from lilylola.com

from lilylola.com

The overall feel of Terracotta le Parfum is much less dessert like, and beachier than the sunny Lys Soleia, and although Terracotta le Parfum could have held notes of tuberose, it’s much easier to wear than the lovely but perhaps more grown-up feisty Mahora. It does however have that quintessential Guerlain feeling; it’s an oriental for the summer.

Truthfully, as much as I love the fantasy, I think I’d prefer a Mediterranean beach holiday or even a gorgeous summers day on my own local beach, but that doesn’t change the fact that Terracotta Le Parfum conveys the quintessential holiday feeling. Something to wear all summer, or in the long winters when I long to dream myself away.


For more reviews of Terracotta le Parfum visit anotherperfumeblog, perfumeshrine,(with comparisons to Voile d’ete and Terracotta Sous le Vent), bestthingsinbeauty, colognoisseur, and possibly many many more.

Top picture is mine.

Pas de Deux- Ombre & Lumière Armani Privé Couture Collection

I happened to be in Paris when Armani Privé launched their first ever limited edition Les Éditions Couture perfume: La Femme Bleue. How I loved that one; iris, chocolate and smoky incense, it was just fabulous, and yet, with the price tag at 550€, out of reach. Those Éditions Couture still are, and when smelling this newest addition to the line Ombre & Lumière (Shadows & Light), how do you avoid comparing fragrance to price?

The blurb says; “It contrasts Iris Shadows, featuring warm ambery woods and powdery Iris, with lights of jasmine petals.”

iris ballerina 001

This much is true it’s all about iris and jasmine. I felt the opening very green, like both the green aspects of the jasmine and of the iris hit it off together. Apparently it is jasmine sambac, which I believe since the jasmine keeps reminding me of tea- perhaps a cooled green jasmine tea and it never turns indolic. The iris in Ombre & Lumièreinstantly made me think of Iris Pallida, I guess its dryness and sophistication over a carrot-note or powdery iris is why I think it has to be Iris Pallida. Ombre & Lumière is never sweet (at least it isn’t on the blotter or on my sweet notes eating skin) and never turn into a powder puff, it is very slightly leathery as it manages to stays cool and elegant.

The composition is simple, focussing really only on those two notes, making each of them shine in what seems like various grey-green nuances. I really hardly notice other notes at all, and yet I know they are there, because otherwise this little chiaroscuro trick would not be possible. It’s clear that perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin has put a lot of effort into the balancing act, which is like a ballerina in arabesque. And so really nothing else is necessary, no real pyramid or other notes fighting for attention, just iris and jasmine going back and forth in pas de deux to let the other one have a bit of the light, while one withdraws for a moment to the shadows. Ombre & LumièreHowever, Ombre & Lumièreis neither timid nor showy; it’s unspectacular in its aura, even if it has normal sillage. I would be tempted to say that it might not have heart (-notes) but it does have a pretty soul.

And now to the issue of cost; at such a price tag I must admit it’s a challenge for me to see the beauty beyond the price, an obstacle to smell the fragrance without preconceptions, to not constantly compare it to what you would have to pay for it- should there not be warning signs at the end of every description? In the end I tried to be fair to the fragrance, and write as I would with any other leaving it to those who read to decide, because in the end price is a highly individual thing and what it comes down to is; are you willing to pay that amount for perfume or not? Personally, I wouldn’t pay that amount of money for a fragrance no matter what it was, and Ombre & Lumière, although very pretty and skilled, will not be the perfume to make me change that. How about you, have you or would you pay that amount if it was something you really wanted?


Pics are mine.

I couldn’t find on-line reviews for Armani Privé Ombre & Lumière, I will update if I find some.

Sport or No Sport- Cologne du Maghreb Tauer perfumes and No Sport by Parfumerie Moderne

It’s Wimbledon time! So what better subjects for today than Tauer’s Cologne and an essentially English ‘No Sport’ fragrance.

The fresh lawns, the yellow tennis balls, the athletes and the spectators, and of course; tradition. In opera, like in sports, you tend to get quite close with other people. I mean that literally; you’re sweating, you have coffee breath (at the least) and you’re wearing perfume. I have on occasion worn powerhouse perfumes, when I thought it appropriate for the role (or just appropriate for me, which perhaps was not really very nice), but a good cologne does comes in very handy.

When Ronaldo is not to be seen, is he in the photo? And how does it smell down there?

When Ronaldo is not to be seen, is he in the photo? And how does it smell down there?

5 opera singers on a PK22 chair

5 opera singers on a PK22 chair










Andy Tauer’s all natural Cologne du Maghreb is quite a perfect little cologne for this purpose. Tried and tested in action, it has kept me in a pleasant hesperidic aura for the whole duration of a performance, and the woody-labdanum base well beyond. Initially the cologne has a raspy edge, I’m thinking it’s the sage, but it only lasts a short while before it blends into the citric notes. A triumvirate of lemon, bergamot and neroli, is superbly blended into one silky bergarolimon with the bit of ‘green stem and petal’ that was casually left on the fruits. Then I get more herbs, but again beautifully intertwined, the lavender toned down, so it doesn’t cast purple shadows on this lawn green coloured fragrance. A flower or two hiding in the heart hold everything together and lead nicely into the base. The base on my skin is really quite woody, and perhaps the cedar, which takes on a slightly pencil shavings character, is the only thing that ‘betrays’ the fragrance as being a 100% natural one.

Where Maghreb comes in, in this Cologne I don’t know as it wears beautifully in the Scandinavian Midsummer nights. Sport or no sport, it’s really very suitable whatever you should choose.

Notes; lemon, bergamot, clary sage, rosemary, orange blossom, lavender, neroli, rose, atlas cedar, labdanum, vetiver and amber.

You don’t care for World Cups or Wimbledon, perhaps you should try the new release by Parfumerie Moderne called ‘No Sport’- I LOVE that name, it has humor and says exactly what it is. It’s an easily wearable fragrance, perhaps more masculine but at least unisex or ‘boyfriendy’.

the tennis party Mary Hayllar

the tennis party Mary Hayllar

It does feel like the wearer does not intend to do sport any time soon, it smells like the equivalent of a man smoking a pipe in an armchair in a ‘Gentlemen’s Club’- somewhere in Old England, perhaps after having watched a game of a very gentlemanly outdoorsy sport. It’s about slightly dusty greens; galbanum, hay and vetiver, almost more about green tweed than open air-green, it’s about old-fashioned comfy-cosy perhaps talking about taking a stroll in the park, rather than actually engaging in it.

It’s a very pleasant fragrance – with a tongue-in-cheek stiff upper lip, and it wears lighter than the notes might suggest. I don’t know that I’d give it a lot of wear, but it would smell very snug on a man.

Notes; galbanum, patchouli, vetiver, rose, geranium, hay, almond and tobacco


*The Cologne du Maghreb sample was given to me by Andy Tauer, and No Sport by a friendly Perfumista. Thank you both.

* For reviews of Tauer’s Cologne du Maghreb see Bonkers,The Non Blonde, CaFleureBon, Chemist in the bottleKafkaesque



Night in the Spanish Garden-ias – Nuit Andalouse Parfums MDCI

Parfums MDCI has long been a favourite house of mine. There’s attention to detail, and their perfumes turn fragrant notes into harmonies, melodies into symphonies.

I think that Claude Marchal, the brand owner, might harbour a great love of white florals, at least I can count a lot of fragrances from that genre in his out-put. If you’re looking for the best peachy tuberose; Péché Cardinale is the one – for tuberose lovers as well as tube-neuroses. Or the stunning  Enlèvement au Sérail, which has now been discontinued. Promesse de l’Aube is another refined jasmine, ylang-ylang fragrance, a personal favourite, for its perfect elegance and vibrancy. In the newest release we go from Promesse’s dawn to the Spanish night with Nuit Andalouse.

gardenia pic mine

Nuit Andalouse has a tiny dose of green and violet, and a fruity note on top of what from the very start can be perceived as a white floral bouquet. The opening notes give the fragrance a subtle development as the juiciness takes it from top notes into the heart. It slowly amps up on the white floral part- is it tuberose? Jasmine? Ylang-ylang? Tiara? It could be, until an incredibly subtle mushroomy note tells you with certainty that it is gardenia. It is so smooth and vivid and only just enough dirrty to make you take notice. The balanced sweetness from the orange flower, I believe, makes for the white flower masquerade. The almost desert-like taste of the dry down, stays on the very grow-up, albeit highly addictive, side. The gardenia in Nuit Andalouse is a night flower. It unfolds as dusk arrives, it lures you in with its scent like a siren-song, and the colour of its petals will glow phosphorescent in the dark.

Perfumer Cecile Zarokian’s working name for this fragrance was simply ‘Gardenia’, but I can see why it should be called after a southern Spanish night. One can hear the cicada singing, feel the dry air in a warm summer darkness that surrounds the wearer. And yet, in the middle of this Spanish midsummer night’s dream, Nuit Andalouse bears an unmistakably French signature as an elegant white floral perfume.


Tamara Rojo Thomas Whitehead Royal Ballet Carmen

*I could probably bore you a long while about French artists and composers being drawn to all things Spanish, (Bizet’s Carmen anyone?) and what happens when the two meet, but I’ll just ad this little bit of fun; Massenet’s ‘Air de Ballet’- originally taken from his own first opera ‘Don César de Bazan’- a Spanish story- then used in his Suite no 4, and then, it was a hit after all, as a song called Nuit d’Espagne. In this short video from the ballet ‘Manon’ we’re back to French territory (with an English choreographer), but the fabulous dancer is the Spanish Tamara Rojo. Enjoy.

**I wish for a FB of Nuit Andalouse to spray with abandon and transport me to the Andalusian night, instead of my meagre and soon to be empty sample vial (purchased by me). But such quality comes at a price 215€ for 75ml. Although a reminder of the fantastic sample programme, if you are not already acquainted with the MDCI line.

***More reviews of Parfums MDCI Nuit Andalouse Olfactoria, Another Perfume Blog, Ca fleure Bon, the Non Blonde

Wings of the Night- Vol de Nuit Guerlain

Who doesn’t enjoy a nice calming yet scrumptious perfume to wear to sleep; a fragrant lullaby which will make your dreams sweet and your sleep restoring?

I know that it might be more obvious to think of French impressionists composers like Fauré, Debussy or Chausson with regards to the classic Guerlains, but for me quite a few vintage Guerlains I associate with the music of Richard Strauss. Composed around the same time as some of the most famous fragrances produced from this house, his music is lush and has a certain ‘die Welt von Gestern’ sigh to it. The poems he chose would often depict nature antropomorphed, and proving himself no stranger nor indifferent to the power of fragrance, in one of his most famous opera ‘Der Rosenkavalier’, at the presentation of the rose, a silver rose filled with drops of Persian rose oil we are told, smells like from the heavens, like nothing on earth, almost unbearable with beauty. As is the music at this exact point.

A good night-perfume makes me sleep like an angel. However, not the wings of angels but the wings of airplanes inspired the Guerlain classic Vol de Nuit.

One of Strauss’ most beautiful songs is ‘Beim Schlafengehen’ ( poem by Hermann Hesse) from his ‘4 last songs’ , it’s climax is the soul rising, anticipated by a violin solo, then for real by the melisms of the voice on the three words ‘free’, ‘wings’ and ‘waft/ soar’. To me, the soundtrack of Vol de Nuit is this song.vol de nuit2

My favourite night flight is ‘Vol de Nuit’. I embark some time before getting ready to sleep, this way I can enjoy the jasmine and daffodil indoles, which smell soft like dew drops, resting on a soft bed of moss and they can slowly descend into a the heart and base, like the mind that equally slowly turns away from the world.

Vol de Nuit’s night chilliness is oddly warm and embracing, like the cool side of a pillow, it calms the soul with orris and spices. You sense the sweetness from vanilla and the restoring powers of the lucid green galbanum to shine through the darkness, which lingers on your skin, but wants to rise, ready to take off from it and rise with the woody notes and the whole distant symphony that makes this fragrance, at the same time as the body finds sleep, as your mind descends to quiet, your Vol de Nuit ascends on “wings into nights magic circle to live a thousandfold”

Sweet dreams


Nun der Tag mich müd gemacht

Soll mein sehnliches Verlangen,

Freundlich die gestirnte Nacht

Wie ein Müdes Kind empfangen.

Hände lass von allem Tun

Stirn vergiss du alles Denken,

Alle meine Sinne nun

Wollen sich in Schlummer senken.

Und die Seele unbewacht

Will in freien Flügeln schweben

Um im Zauberkreis der Nacht

Tief und Tausendfach zu leben

(Herman Hesse)


Now that day has wearied me,

May my ardent desire,

Friendly embrace the starlit night,

Like a tired child.

Hands, refrain from all work

Brow, forget all thinking

All of my senses now

Long to sink into slumber.

And the soul, ungarded,

Will soar on open wings,

To live, profoundly and thousandfold

In the magic circle of night.

Tickly Circles in Allegro – Isotta – Cerchi nell’Acqua

Writing about Iris Gris, has had me wear a lot of peach and/ or iris fragrances of late. I even wore ‘Isotta’ three days in a row, which made me want to give it a proper post.

Despite me having just admitted at Olfactoria’s Travels in her ‘People in Perfumeland’ series, that I do prefer classic fragrance pyramids over linear, star-shaped, circular or other non-pyramid compositions, this is of course a truth with modifications. There are several exceptions, Isotta being one of them.

The perfumer is Enrico Buccella and Isotta is a release under his brand Cerchi nell’acqua. S. Buccello is also the founder of Sigilli and Les Voiles Dépliées and is the nose behind Olfattivo Laboratorio’s Alambar. Cerchi nell’Acqua means circles in the water and the name stands for the fragrance composition for this particular line, described as “a fragrant energy that is gently dispersed in the regular circular manner of circles in water” isotta pic is mine

The opening is citrus dancing like sunbeams on the sea. After that, it’s true; Isotta spreads out her layers in circular movements. Imagine layers of notes violets, peach both green and ripe ones, sandalwood, warm woody iris and discreet musky vanilla and through these layers, the olfactory equivalent of (candy) pop-rocks explosions, send out through the circles, and forming into separate bubbles.tegning isotta It makes the perfume tickle your nose throughout the wearing time. Despite its decidedly modern feel, the thing that kept coming back to me while writing this was Vivaldi’s concerto for flautino in C RV 443. It’s build around a main theme, which returns (ritornello) played by the orchestra and soloist, intercepted by different solo variations for the recorder. Listen: the dry woodiness, sprightly and virtuoso flute notes and the balancing work of the string orchestra led by the crisp cembalo and the mellow lute. The way this allegro movement is lively and bouncing, yet somehow still sober, to my senses matches what Isotta is. And tickle, snap, pop all the way through…

Notes: hesperidic notes, violet, peach, iris, sandalwood, musk, vanilla, amber.

Isotta was one of my purchases while in Rome with Suzanne, Mark and Ines last summer. I like to buy fragrances while away as a memory, so in this instance it was important to me that it was an Italian brand. Isotta with its iris/ peach combo had instant appeal, but many other from this line were very interesting too. Italian in style, yet very refined and thoroughly modern.

At the end of the rainbow- Iris Gris vintage perfume

Everyone a bit interested in the world of fragrance, and having followed a couple of blogs or forums regularly, or read a perfume book will have heard of the elusive Iris Gris. Say these magic words and they will send sheer icicles of shiver down every parfumista’s spine. In the world of fragrance lost, Iris Gris is Queen, and she rules supreme from her Ivory Tower without the intention of handing over her reign any time imaginable to mere mortals. Part of the story of this pivotal status is of course in unattainability, in the irretrievability of the (magic ) potion as well as in its ingredients, of a different age and quality.

To obtain the Unicorn’s tear, one can go hunting and with the help of goblins and talking bears find the elusive elixir at the end of the rainbow, or one can be more the lucky duck who stumbles upon it where people apparently forgot to look that particular day.

DSC01395Guess what? That would be me. I haven’t got a permanent search for IG on prominent auction sites, because I was certain if it came up I’d never be able to afford bidding. I have not been hunting high and low or selling off kidneys. Unspectacular, I browsed, found and won, cheap. Oh and BTW the auction also included a vintage bottle of Fath de Fath.

Iris Gris in pristine condition, what does she smell like? Incredible is the answer; at the same time otherworldly and intimately present. I imagine the skin of a peach just picked from the tree, one side still warm from the sun, and condensed with milky-sweet ripeness, the other cool from the shade of the tree, and you hold that cool side up to your cheek, feeling its smooth velvet skin. And then there’s that divine buttery nectarous orris root that compliments the peach. The excellence of this perfume is how warm lushness balances with an earthy cold feel, which seeps up through the fragrance, in the shape of the more rooty aspects of the iris and a beautifully crisp vetiver. Iris Gris owns a husky beauty and just enough melancholy to make her intelligent rather than mere foxy. Her name might be grey but she, like her golden juice, is the colour of late afternoon sun rays in high summer.



What a terrible shame this can’t be reproduced. Iris Gris is a perfume that doesn’t belong in Ivory Towers or faraway never-never lands, it wouldn’t suit snow white or mermaids, I completely agree with other bloggers, it wouldn’t be out of place as a modern niche launch, and it would suit us- you and me.


*I wrote this post, or most of it, quite a while back, but reading the news that Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is creating and going to release her version of IG, called Scent of Hope, made me finish this one. It is of course excellent news and I can’t wait to smell (and compare) it. Also, I found it quite funny that Dawn in her description used the Ivory Tower too, to explain what IG is NOT.

**Even if nothing at the moment comes close to experiencing Iris Gris, when I want my modern peach-iris cravings satisfied, I wear the magnificent Ouris from SoOud, or even the very Italian Isotta from Cerchi Nell’Aqua, which, apart from the iris/peach combo, feels like the fragrant equivalent of pop rocks.

For more on vintage Iris Gris read the Non Blonde, Perfume shrine, Yesterdays perfume.

All pics are mine.

Thoughts about Niche, the New Black and the Big Bad Wolf

May 23 (Reuters) – “The $31 billion-a-year perfume industry is bracing itself for tighter EU regulations to be adopted by the end of the year that will include ingredient bans and labelling requirements aimed at protecting consumers from allergies.”

Yes, nothing new under the sun there. But contrary to what you might think now, this post is actually not going to be about how the Big Bad IFRA Wolf will huff and puff until the last fragrance pyramid falls. These are a few simple observations that I have tried to put into words.

When I first started to truly appreciate fragrance, visiting perfumeries often, and then started having several perfumes rather than one signature, it was in the nineties, and even if niche existed, it hadn’t reached me yet, but also, it wasn’t really all that important yet, because the mainstream houses produced exciting stuff, and there were forerunners. I’m thinking of Yohji Homme, Le Feu d’Issey, Angel, Féminité du Bois, etc. Féminité du Bois changed what a fragrance marketed at women can be, and Angel arguably created a whole new perfume-genre.

Things changed, I don’t know why, but perhaps perfumes were such an easy win for many companies, mainstream became mainstream, formulas were repeated ad nauseam after the devise ‘if it ain’t broke- don’t fix it’- a fertile ground for niche to develop and take hold. And so it did. Many fantastic new houses and brands created great stuff and explored new ways.

Now within niche so many new brands and launches take place, that creating truly new, exciting and well-crafted stuff is tough. Being first with something completely new, might mean that you won’t survive as a new brand, as might using too many precious materials prove too expensive or simply too risky, as the first casualties have already happened within niche brands I thought well established.

Thinking of the trend of minimalist fragrances, I thought how niche almost seems to have mainstreamified; a lot of similar things are coming out- minimalist seem to still be en vogue, but…

In the middle of the huffing and puffing and the extinction of old formulas, that are only possible to experience as either museums piece,s like at Maison Guerlain, or if you’re willing to pay big sums as the prices of famous vintage bottles on auction sites are soaring, retro perfumery is trending. If you can’t invent new, invent old. Everywhere I look, the most exciting new release is actually an old one, lots of old companies are being revived (Volnay, Oriza L. LeGrand, Jovoy), and/or reissuing (Houbigant, Lubin, Rochas, Jean Patou), or recreating in retro spirit or in a story (Roja Dove perfumes, Andy Tauer’s Tableaus, Envoyage’s Zelda, DSH Pandora a.o, or Penhaligon’s Tralala aldehydes). And I am quite sure I’m forgetting half.

But isn’t it funny, that in the middle of the extinction of whole genres of perfume, and the ghostly shadow of reformulation, or the ‘IFRA Brazilian wax job’ as Denyse termed it the other day, a definite change in the world of niche perfume is taking place with reviving perfumes long gone, and reformulating classic perfumes to higher standards and at a cost. Is the classic perfumery to become the new way of niche? Is it because of the IFRA threat, or is it something else? Or is it not an important trend, but just a branch on the niche-tree?

What do you think?


Picture from Oriza L. LeGrand homepage

A Bite of the Pineapple… 1804 Histoires de Parfums

There’s something gloriously silly about pineapples. They make you think of fun, of sunshine, cocktails on the beach, they seem a fantasy-picture of the easy life. And without actually loving heavy use of fruity notes in perfume, there are a few pineapple perfumes that I really enjoy.

With Histoires de Parfums’ 1804, perfumer M. Ghislaine writes that he aimed at a perfume which reflected the generosity and sensuality of George Sands. I don’t think many would have thought of linking pineapple and George Sands, but as an inspiration- why not?

The author, born 1804, who wrote under the pen-name George Sand, is perhaps then as today equally famous for her writing as for sporting male clothes and having numerous famous lovers; amongst them Musset who called her “The most womanly woman” and Chopin- the latter recorded in her book ‘a winter in Mallorca’.

1804 George Sand is almost as solifrutti as they get. It seems like everything else in there is only there to support the sense of a tropical pineapple on the height of its dripping ripeness. To begin with it’s taken with a pinch of a beautiful peach. Then a soft downy heart of white flowers, which seem to turn tropical, probably because of the delicate spices added, and then a musky warm-skin-toned dry down. And over all this there’s always the juicy pineapple. Light-hearted, loveable and golden is what comes to mind describing it. I very much enjoy the sensual adultness of this perfume, at no point am I confusing this with any product aimed at teenagers. In best HdP fashion this is such a well composed, and with all its exoticness still an ultimately French perfume, I very much envisage a leisurely summers day sipping a Flirtini* in the south of France. On me the perfume wears quite light, perfect for summer.

Kitty pineapple

If you think I personally got my inspiration from the kitty photo, that I wanted to share for quite some time, well, you might not be completely wrong. The kitten belongs to my friend whom I happened to stay with (between flats) when this photo was taken. I think it just proves the point; everyone wants a bite of the pineapple.

Notes according to Histoires de Parfums’ page:

Top Note: Tahitian Gardenia, Corsica Peach, Hawaiian Pineapple
Heart Note: Clove, Nutmeg, Indian Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Rose of Morocco
Base Note: Sandalwood, Patchouli, Benzoin, Vanilla, White Musk

A few links to perfume reviews of Histoires de Parfums 1804: The Non Blonde, Katie Puckrik and  unseen censer

Top Note: Tahitian Gardenia, Corsica Peach, Hawaiian Pineapple
Heart Note: Clove, Nutmeg, Indian Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Rose of Morocco
Base Note: Sandalwood, Patchouli, Benzoin, Vanilla, White Musk
– See more at: http://www.histoiresdeparfums.com/intl/products/1804.php#sthash.f9Bkngbb.dpuf
Top Note: Tahitian Gardenia, Corsica Peach, Hawaiian Pineapple
Heart Note: Clove, Nutmeg, Indian Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Rose of Morocco
Base Note: Sandalwood, Patchouli, Benzoin, Vanilla, White Musk
– See more at: http://www.histoiresdeparfums.com/intl/products/1804.php#sthash.f9Bkngbb.dpuf

*And the recipe for those ‘official sex and the city’ Flirtinis are one part vodka to two parts pineapple juice and two parts Champagne.


The Greatest Perfumes Never Made -1 Blixen’s Ehrengard

Writing about perfumes makes you particularly aware of any perfume references outside the actual fragrance platforms. Some authors have a knack not just for the occasional scent inspired description, or reference to a certain perfume, but for actually creating things of fragrant beauty in their own right. A description which reads like notes to an elusive perfume you instantly get a craving to smell.

The great story-teller Tania (Karen) Blixen, of ‘Out of Africa’- fame, wrote ‘Ehrengard’ late in her life, and it was only published posthumous in 1963. It is a typical case of Blixen’s box stories (think Russian Dolls), and we are about half way through the story before the title heroine makes her entrée.

Diana-Leaving-her-Bath Francois Boucher

Opposite the unaffected and virtuous Ehrengard is the self-satisfied artist and connoisseur of all things romantic Johann Wolfgang von Cazotte as the leading man. Blixen’s balance act of ridicule and love for her male protagonist makes this one of the definitely lighter and funnier of her stories. A highlight is where the painter Cazotte discovers Ehrengard bathing, and is in a reverie about this most magnificent composition that he is going to paint; ‘Diana leaving her bath’. Without revealing too much I can say that Diana being the Roman Goddess of hunt as well as the virgin goddess of childbirth and women, it all ties in perfectly with the Blixenesqe universe. The plot is magnificent in all its twists and turns, and the final point is nothing short of triumphant.


A scent worthy of the Amazonian Ehrengard would be a great thing in its own right, but Blixen does one better; she offers it to us, a magic elixir that I for one would dearly like to smell.

“The evening air was getting cooler, she rode through many spheres of fragrance; clover, flowering lime trees and drying strawberry fields, through them all the ammoniac smell from the lathering horse was the strongest. She drew in her breath deeply, and hastened on, with raised head and distended nostrils, a young female centaur playing along the grass fields.”

Would the notes read something like this?

top; green notes, neroli, clover, cassis

heartnotes; lime/linden, strawberry, hay, grass, rose

base; ammoniac, musk, leather, oakmoss (oak groves were sacred to the Goddess Diana), resin and labdanum.

ehrengard copyright me


What do you think, if we go lightly on the ammoniac, would you like to smell Blixen’s elixir? What notes would you have added?