Category Archives: Flowers

on O S M A N T H U S

it’s two weeks early :

(and have you ever thought of making an osmanthus jelly?)

 

 

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Source: on O S M A N T H U S

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hot spring dreamer

 

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MORPHINE IN THE MOUNTAINS……..MUST DE CARTIER PARFUM (I98I) + OLIVE FLOWERS by MADINI (2OI0) + INIEZIONE DI MORFINA by PECCATO ORIGINALE (20I3)

Off on the train up here again. Perhaps the hot springs in the mountains and the art will soothe body and spirit.

The Black Narcissus

insidetheart

fluffyclouds

morphine in the mountains

I sometimes try to bypass, in vain, the cliché of perfumes being seasonal. I am still using small amounts of my favoured Summer by Kenzo on my white workshirts, in the desperate and futile attempt to prolong August and July (even Japanese late September could pass for the hottest English summer day),  with its lovely, gentle, almond-milk mimosa powdery seaspray smell that does kind of work, kind of, when the sun is out and the soft, sandalwood emanations come out of me clean and homely – but it smells preposterous in the rain, and there has been a lot of that; the lack of genuine, pure and searing heat, such as we get here in August, and which I adore – makes the top notes seem most synthetic, like bleach. Already all my jasmines, ylang ylangs and white flowers seem inexorably wrong – I can’t even touch them, let alone…

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GABRIELLE by CHANEL (2017)

 

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While North Korea detonates underground hydrogen bombs in preparation for possible attacks on Japan and South Korea, I have my own important test to conduct today : the launch of Gabrielle Chanel, finally available to experience at Yokohama’s flagship Takashimaya.

 

I like all the alleged materials: tuberose, jasmine, ylang ylang, orange blossom, even if, like you, I have already read that it just smells, in the end, like the dreaded Coco Mademoiselle (in my view one of the most noxious fragrances ever to be created in the history of modern perfumery).

 

 

And it does.

 

 

It couldn’t POSSIBLY smell more boring, less inspired. Insipid. Flavourless.  It smells of nothing. It smells horrible. I prefer Coco Mademoiselle ( at least she is being herself); not this phony, ‘white flower’ cover up that just smells like the toilets by Duty Free.

 

 

 

The smell of disenchantment.

 

 

 

 

I leave the crowded department store.

 

 

I have more important things to worry about.

 

 

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ANTILOPE by WEIL (1946)

 

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The perennially elegant, if no longer fashionable, classical aldehydic floral chypres are all crafted along quite similar lines: citrus and/or green notes suffused with the sculptural abstraction of aldehydes; a multitude of flowers with a heart of rose and jasmine; optional strokes and touches of herbs, fruit or spice; oak moss; and a warmer, more sensual finish of sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli; resins, balsams, musks, and other delicately handled animalics.

 

The symphonic complexity of these perfumes, the inherent contradiction between a closed-off, impenetrable chic (the primness of green floral accords and citrics doused in crystallic aldehydes) and the simultaneously, subliminally acknowledged animality of the warmer skin tones, is what makes this genre of perfume so deeply appealing to me, a genius of suggestion.

 

Yet while superficially similar and ‘perfumey’, registering to the person experiencing the fragrance as grown up, Parisian, refined, untouchable; the proportions of the ingredients used by the perfumer; the accent on particular, unexpected essences and on peculiar tensions deliberately fashioned within the scent make the most successful and enduring examples of this fragrance family also shine through with their own poise and individuality.

 

Thus, we have Calèche (cypress; lemon: arch, unrivalled) contrasting with Arpège (mellower, deeper, mossier, more motherly); Ma Griffe (leaf fresh, young Edenic gardenia overdose) quite different from Guerlain’s life-loving Chant D’Arômes and its spiced orchard notes of pear and plum, or else the tighter, patchouli -deepened honeysuckle that is Yves Saint Laurent’s first perfume, Y; the jasmine hysteria of Van Cleef & Arpel’s First, or the uncompromisingly soft green rose of Paco Rabanne’s exquisite Calandre.

 

Antilope, a similarly themed antique perfume by fourrier Weil, is also its very own, inimitable creature. Placed somewhere in the pantheon between Calèche and Ma Griffe, I find Antilope to be a perfectly named creation that, while certainly animalic enough to stress the rapidly beating heart of a graceful gazelle roaming single mindedly across the savannah, is also dry and grassy enough to evoke that very terrain. A sweet, bright, sun-dried hay-like facet formed of neroli and bergamot, clary sage and galbanum is made more nuzzling and textured with a persistent note of a coumarinic tonka bean and oak moss: gentle, affectionate.

 

 

Unlike other more garmented and city-fed floral aldehyde chypres – the crisp, green no nonsense bite of the original, tweed-suited Miss Dior; the silkily aldehydic flower sheen of Tamango by Leonard, Antilope, as its name might suggest, does indeed feel slightly less hidebound, more open. On this cooler, more thoughtful September day, I find it quite beautiful.

 

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the end of summer

 

 

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Only in Japan (probably)

 

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Vintage Bal A Versailles parfum for only two hundred yen (one pound sixty pence).

 

Makes the thought of the soon to come Autumn and Winter just that slightly more bearable.

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