Although the precipitous drop in temperature from Florida to Louisana felt quite shocking, even when cold the city of New Orleans is sultry.

We arrived last night, in the cool, pouring rain at our hotel in the heart of the French Quarter, and found ourselves then sitting in the bar at Galatoire’s, a 1905 bar and restaurant with an immediately appealing and elegant atmosphere and ordered some delectable creole food and drinks (oh my god the crab cakes!)

The drinks, though: I had the Galatoire Bourbon Speciality, the parents gin and tonics, but Duncan, the most beautifully scented cocktail I have ever smelled.

The Flower Child:  Absolut Pear Vodka, Pearl Cucumber Vodka, St. Germain, lemon, lime, and a big sprig of fresh, invigorating rosemary.

It smelled like a mountain stream. Something glacial, virginal, extraordinarily scented, the most perfectly scented soap or hair product I can imagine  (or better, a thick, bain moussant: a cold, flower-strewn gel to perfume your bath water and slide into a nacreous, aqueous netherworld of oblivion). The pear and the cucumber married with each other in unison, cancelling out any sharp or unusual edges; the rosemary was like the Grecian oar that let the essences of lime and lemon swim dreamily, and coolly, between them.



Filed under Flowers


  1. I can almost smell Duncan’s drink. I haven’t been to New Orleans in many years but remember thinking it was the most decadent city of all.

  2. Oh how I envy you. I misspent much of my youth there and would give a lot to be there right now.

    • I love the idea of ‘misspending’, but the atmosphere is certainly rich for it here. New Orleans is a lot more ‘authentic’ than I was imagining it would be. I want to go deeper but there isn’t much time..

  3. Sounds truly divine, I can almost taste and smell it. Your writing brings everything to life.

  4. Renee Stout

    I go to New Orleans all the time as it’s my favorite city in the US. Actually, it’s appeal is that it so unlike the rest of America and is it’s own little world. I’m looking forward to being back there in a couple of months. Stop in the Hové Perfumerie on Chartres Street in the French Quarter and Bourbon French Perfume on Royal Street.

  5. Katy McReynolds

    I had a lavender cocktail at the Richmond Museum of Fine Arts that made me realize that aromatics, used properly, can be pretty mind blowing. That being said, you are natively from the land of the Pimm’s Cup, an altogether remarkable drink!

  6. What happens when you drink perfume? I never tried, not even when a child. Now you, or should I say, Duncan, make me wonder …

    • I have only ‘drunk’ perfume when it was on my hands and somehow got transferred to my mouth… bitter. Having said that, ylang ylang in champagne is really delicious. Just one drop at the mouth of the bottle and you are drinking flowers…

  7. Just on The brink of 2015 I ‘ll be tearing after ylang ylang.

  8. Lilybelle

    There are so many great old bars in New Orleans, so many interesting places to explore. And even if you never get out of the French Quarter, you can’t help but have a good time, the people there are so friendly and welcoming. Enjoy! I wish like anything I could be there with you.

  9. Louise

    That’s magical xxx so evocative. I’m glad New Orleans is still “decadent” in spite of menacing Katrina ….that bitch

    • That must have been so terrible. I was trying to imagine it while I was there, but couldn’t, except for the water that kept rising up from under the pavement even though it hadn’t been raining.

      As for decadent….my goodness you could feel it. You really could.

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