CHERRY BLOSSOM by FLORIS (20I3)

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Although I mentioned the other day, somewhat facetiously, that I was completely sick of the sight of cherry blossom, having had my fill of it during my parents’ visit (it was everywhere), I must still say that until this year, I had never quite fully appreciated the sheer fragile, overwhelming beauty of hanami: the joyful and animated cherry blossom viewing parties that millions of Japanese people take part in each spring during the two weeks or so when the trees are in full bloom and the air is filled with pink and the scent of sakura. Perhaps it is age: realising that our time on this earth is limited, or perhaps it was just the fact of not ever having been to Ueno Park before at this time, not on the very day that the buds opened in unison, when the sight of oceans of gently fluttering flowers literally made me choke up with emotion.

IMG_3209 Yesterday in Isetan, Shinjuku, by chance I came across Cherry Blossom by Floris, a limited edition in Japan that is only on sale while the flowers are out ( a nice idea, I thought) and I picked it up cynically, waiting for a sharp and chemical maelstrom to assail my nose that would never come close to capturing the delicate fragrance of thousands of flowering cherry trees. Instead, as I raised the bottle to my nose, I did actually have a flashback to all those people sat under the floral canopies drinking their sake and beer when we were there the previous week : messing around, sleeping, talking, laughing, and thought that Floris ( a perfume house I tend to like more than most people), had done a pretty good job of capturing a feeling that can’t really be captured. Much better than L’Occitane’s Fleurs de Cerisier, or Guerlain’s paltry Cherry Blossom and its multiple flankers anyway, as well as several other cherry/plum perfumes such as Creed’s Acqua Fiorentina that take similar ideas but always come out smelling too brash. This Cherry Blossom strikes me as being one of the best cherry/plum florals I have come across. The ‘fruity floral’ has obviously been done to death, but a good red fruit and flower scent can still be enjoyable if it is not too synthetic smelling or jarring, and marries all the notes persuasively. This variation on a familiar theme is a bright, nicely interwoven perfume incorporating a fairly convincing sakura central note with a basket of rose, osmanthus and peony, and sharp, bergamot and orange-laced cherries with an almost tuberose like facet that makes it very uplifting and romantic. I had flashes of Guerlain Champs Elysées for some reason (perhaps there is a similar internal structure, a fresh floral with gently sensuous undertones), and think I could actually wear this one myself, a fragrance that does a pretty good job of approximating the feeling present at a hanami party, when people forget the everyday for a moment, and concentrate on just being.

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In any case, writing this gives me a chance to put up some last pictures I have taken of the sakura before it disappears for another year. These pictures were taken last Friday, on a walk down from my house through the Hansobo temple and down to Kenchoji, where cherry trees complemented the zen austerity of that major temple quite beautifully, and where we spent quite a while just strolling, lazing; contemplating.

6 Comments

Filed under Flowers

6 responses to “CHERRY BLOSSOM by FLORIS (20I3)

  1. jennyredhen

    Gorgeous… stunning.. so lucky to be there and experience that. Some of the trees are very old arent they. I love the way there will be some incredibly ugly scene of wires and concrete and bang in the middle a row of Cherry Blossom trees flowering triumphantly..you see many sights like that from the suburban trains in Tokyo. they just put those Cherry Blossom trees everywhere and anywhere.

  2. Enjoy the cherry overload…it is a lot better than a lot of other types of overload.

  3. Absolutely gorgeous, gorgeous. These pictures take my breath away and your review did also.
    I would love to get my hands on a bottle of their Cherry Blossom, it sounds delightful. I always adored the scent of sakura, yet, as you said, not a single release has been able to capture that elusive scent. I also wonder how much different Japanese sakura smell as opposed the the ones in Washington DC, which I base my olfactory memory upon?
    Did you actually purchase the Floris scent? If so, was it outrageously priced?
    Ah, next year I would love to be present at your hanami party and drink in my fill of sakura.

    • Indeed, you must see it. But this was not meant to be a rave review of the Floris; probably if you smelled it you would think it a bit boring. Just compared to most contemporary fruity florals it is not sickening, but genuinely pleasant. I probably would wear it, actually, as I said, as it carried hints of the cherry blossom viewing parties somewhere in it and I thought that was quite clever.

      • I would still love to experience it. I am forever searching for something light and floral, that is also contemporary, which I would enjoy. Plus, sakura is so glorious, especially if they did it nicely.

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