Filed under Bluebell, Flowers, Perfume Reviews

24 responses to “MEET ME IN THE WOODS………GOTHIC BLUEBELL by UNION (2012)

  1. ninakane1

    Beautiful. Out on a mayday walk the other morning and there were bluebells everywhere. So evocative of childhood, the bluebell woods are at once reassuringly benign, but shadowy, luring and enigmatic also. Your writing conjures this for me (love the mushroomy undertones). Must try this scent. Love the photos btw. x

  2. tonkabeany

    utterly intriguing, I must remember to seek it out. is to be released in the UK in the summer? I think of bluebells as something so translucent and fragile as a scent, the thought of such a robust composition is very interesting.

  3. ginzaintherain

    I find bluebells just ridiculously romantic. My absolute dream of England, which becomes even stronger when you aren’t there. The photos were all from my piano teacher’s garden: her mother planted some long ago, and I gasped the other day when I spied them on the way out. We are trying to take all the pictures ourselves so far so as to avoid all the copyright crap.

    The perfume is just like a bluebell, but as I say, it does go quite musky, and that note lasts for about 10 hours. The Penhaligons bluebell is good initially; fresher, just like the flowers, but then becomes almost unpleasant. This one is, as I said, more of a fully fledged perfume. And yes, I was really lucky, because the lovely Bethan of Facebook has been sending me new samples, and these haven’t even come out yet. July, I think. Thankyou for reading it (the only two people in the universe!)

  4. tonkabeany

    Inspired by your wonderful review, I went to the woods (more of a copse) behind our house and picked copius bunches of bluebells and a few scented narcissi from the park. I now have to revise my view of the scent of bluebells, my memory is based on a sniff or two of individual little blooms/bells. When you’ve got a big a bunch its a very different affair, really quite pungent, almost obscuring the romantically delicacy, especially as they fade.

    • ginzaintherain

      Exactly. Almost repulsive. And that was what I liked about this scent as it captures all of that. It would take a brave soul to douse herself, and especially himself, in Gothic Bluebell.

  5. Pingback: Bluebells and Buttercups. « Mike10613's Blog

  6. Beautiful! I came to your blog via

    Interesting about the scent of bluebells, reminds me of how lilies are lovely and then quite sickening! Reminds me also of these words from Shakespeare:

    For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
    Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.

    Kind regards from Cornwall 🙂

    • ginzaintherain

      How lovely. Thanks for writing. In terms of lilies and bluebells, for me lilies are sublime initially then foul; but bluebells have that rot right in the centre from the beginning, and this perfume captures that very adroitly.

  7. ginzaintherain

    Reblogged this on The Black Narcissus.

  8. ginzaintherain

    ps. my heartfelt apology for the horrifying apostrophe mistake: ‘director’s’. for some reason the computer won’t let me change it, and thus i will hang my head for the rest of the day in shame.

  9. brie

    Goodness I loved your description of the English countryside…it is exactly as I imagined. My evening ritual of late is to watch one episode of “Midsomer Murders” with hubby. He insists that the breathtaking views portrayed in this fictitious town no longer exist, as “there cannot be any land left in England”-Please tell me that I am right and he is wrong!

    As to bluebells, they are so delicate and beautiful and with this cold snap we are having in the Northeast (-1 F the other morning) the pictures from this post just warm my heart and makes me long for spring (my plum trees in bloom, the lilac bush emitting its fragrance, the birds chirping at 5 am)! However, I have never actually tried a “bluebell” scent but the usage of naturals sourced locally in Gothic Bluebell sounds right up my alley.

    Actually there is a “bluebell” dish soap that I purchase on a regular basis from Meyers. It is made with numerous essential oils and it makes my entire kitchen smell divine (and cleaning dishes more of a pleasure than a chore!).

    great post and like the tie in to Grimm!

    • ginzaintherain

      First thing: I love you.

      Second thing: despite the horrors of modern British civilization, all of that exists, and plentifully. You just head to the divine countryside. Oxfordshire is stunning, as is almost anywhere else. I can assure you that if you were to book a trip to England and went to the right places, you would absolutely not be disappointed.

      Third thing: It is possible that I sometimes get carried away with my language, but my perceptions truly are EXACTLY as I write. This is a weird, musky blue bell, but it smells just like the flowers, as they are on the point of rotting. If the bottle weren’t so hideous, I would recommend it wholeheartedly!

      So glad to find a fellow bluebell lover!


      • brie

        luv ya right back! and thank you for confirming that the outskirts of England (I have only been to London 2X) are as bucolic as I imagine!
        And your “getting carried away” with language is EXACTLY why you are such a thrill to read!

  10. What a lovely post. I’m sorry that I’ve never had a chance to smell bluebells. Maybe I can find a way to get hold of some Gothic Bluebell here in the US. I’m fascinated by the darker undertones of sweet scents. I grew up in southern Louisiana, and every year in February I start to remember the succession of glorious scents, starting with osmanthus and concluding with magnolias, all with the undertone of damp fetid earth. Wonderful! Would love to explore the dark underside of the fairytale bluebell. Sounds like they aren’t just hats for pixies!

    • ginzaintherain

      Exactly! And I know exactly what you mean about the damp fetid earth underneath (and I have a huge osmanthus tree right outside my house and the beautiful apricot perfume almost becomes a stench eventually – have you smelled osmanthus absolute? It is sheer pigsty!)

      This is definitely a bluebell worth trying; really quite good. The only thing is that the bottle is a huge let down – in the shape of a union jack!

      • A Union Jack? Are you kidding me? I usually say that I will buy any juice I like regardless of the bottle, unless the bottle is wearing clothes ( I saw a picture of a bottle dressed in a little tutu) but I think that this bottle would exceed my endurance.

      • ginzaintherain

        It exceeded mine. I really wanted their green fruity Holy Thistle, which would have been perfect as a work perfume, but couldn’t bring myself to buy that jingoistic nightmarish flacon. Sorry to disappoint you!

        (Still, worth having as a sample if you can get one. I don’t know if this is full-bottle worthy anyway, more something you might feel like wearing once in a while when that Cocteau Twins lost in the woods feeling comes on)

  11. Katherine

    I think this and the muguet is what I feel like wearing at the moment. It was such a delight to realise that some vintage perfume can be bought at a fraction of the price of new bottles, but then I see this and have tried it and realise it’s unlikely to be worth me buying (especially with that bottle!) even though I do really like it.. Something seductively dreamy and satisfyingly tinted/twisted sweet. Like with a lot of perfumes I suppose, it might make me feel sick after a while. Another lovely read, perfect escapism. Plus I am all too happy to seize the feeling of Cocteau Twins lost in the woods so reminiscent of youthful exuberance for me and perfect for a certain type of spring feeling?!

    • Seriously I am with you about the bottle. Jingoistic tack horror – not for me. But all Union’s perfumes are great. Duncan tackled Quince Moss Mint tonight, which I had somehow sidelined, and it smelled absolutely amazing. I adored HolyThistle on myself. But I don’t think I could pay to pay for, and own, that union jack bottle. And I agree that this bluebell could get seriously sickening after a while. And yet sometimes it could be perfect.

  12. Katherine

    Yes somehow the packaging can make the price ok, maybe it’s fetishistic, but you can get a feeling about the whole purchase, or it can enhance the ideas surrounding it (much like reading about a perfume in some ways). I suppose it is traditionally a huge part of perfume selling, and why on earth not, a celebration of something beautiful, enhancing poetry. It’s crazy this Union bottle design, what a wasted opportunity!

  13. Romana

    …then there is the Wild Bluebell by Jo Malone. Possibly my all time favorite. Been wearing it daily for a couple of years and don’t think I will get tired of it anytime soon. The Penhaligons Bluebell on the other hand I cannot stand at all, it is too pigsty, and not much else to it. I would love to try some more bluebell perfumes, unfortunately I couldn’t find the Jacinthe Des Bois anywhere anymore. It sounded intriguing.

    • I reckon if you like the Jo Malone and not the Penhaligons, then this one would also be quite problematic and pigsty for you.

      The Jacinthe des bois is nice, but not absolutely essential I would say.

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