June is the greenest month. It rains all the time, the whispering mountain undergrowth, tangled and heaving: steamy with life and tingling death. Raindrops lodged in a spider’s web, collected; slowly descending along the veins of the leaves of new hydrangea like glass tears. Stems, blades of grass seething with chlorophyll : the slow camera of photosynthesis. If there are bitter greens: benevolent greens, Tindrer, by Baruti, is definitely the former, a piercing loam violet shrouded in morning mists that is chilling as a gothic fairytale. Disconcerting (it makes me shiver), it is as if this perfume exists on two simultaneous temporal planes; one deep below, where the twisting violets grow over the roots of an old oak tree, and above – an ozonic hiss of cold, silent death.
A friend of mine has often stated that if he were to choose his own exit, absinthe would be his chosen conduit. Dying in the gutter, but staring at the stars. Thick with green, poisonous anis, this liqueur – this perfume – laced with wormwood, fennel, poured viscously over sugar cubes to sweeten the venom (‘patchouli and woods attempt to induce the wearer into a comforting, disinhibitive state, while sobering oakmoss and amber ease you back into the material world ), it is a decadent’s headache in a bottle. Wear it, drink it: : intoxicated to the point of annihilatory bliss, he blurredly makes his way out, staggering into the moonlit Japanese garden to find a place among the gnarled roots, the damp moss, lie, and make his hallucinatory passage. Still conscious, he feels his way half blind towards a shaded space beneath a boxwood, writhed with ivy and potent green notes of every shade; breathes in the air; supine; a toxically fresh herbarium of witchery in dark, coniferous chrysanthemum and aglaia bush of black copal and fir trees gradually closing in; mysterious, daunting like the stunted, clipped and menacing topiaries of vengeful Bonsai.
Hermia : the flash of the new mock orange in summer hidden in greenery as he discovers himself awakening to a new clarity. Daylight. Bird song. Subtle unobtrusion ; the rarity of morning : orange blossom, vetiver, cassis and basil are fresh, simple, there is an ease. Mesmerizing though the darkness of the forests and the secrets of the woodland inevitably are, I prefer this green, freshing uplift to the doleful siege of the dark pine forest. Yes, the final denouement of Almah Perfumes’ Green Crowne, as cheering a scent as I have discovered in recent times, might ‘merely’ be a clean, shampoo-sheened modern skin musk, but I personally prefer such gentle, mood boosting presence to the ominous, malevolent descent into coniferous murk and blackened woods that are my bane; the vivacity of those green, Calyx-like scents with their eye-brightening openings that freshen the senses into sunlight : basil, bergamot, cardamom, marjoram, citruses, a verdant perfect equilibrium of loveliness. Though the pall of this sombre season with its deep verdurous gloom is always numbingly hypnotic – (the woods are lovely, dark and deep…………….but I have miles to go before I sleep……………), I ultimately need more scintillant uplift – the promise of growth – life; citrus, flowers, meadows – and sun rays – to resist its raindrenched, Orphic pull.