Saturday, May 26, 2007

Balmy Days and Sundays

The first thing that crossed my mind this morning as I thought of Balmy Days and Sundays was a walk in an herb garden in an early summer morning, picking spearmint leaves, all the while getting my barefeet all wet on the freshly-cut green grass. Only moments later, the kettle is whistling. As the first sun rays hit the concrete floor of my balcony, my feet start drying and warming up a bit, and so do my hands holding a cup of fresh spearmint tisane sweetened with honey.

It’s my day off, and once the grass dries a bit, I will lay on my back on the grass and let my closing eyes gaze at the warm of the sun. The grass is humming with secret activity: little ants carrying their loot to the nest, bees above hoarding the honeysuckle nectar, and an exhibitionist butterfly poses right in front of me showing off its graceful white wings.

Balmy Days and Sundays is a particularly charming green fragrance, as it combines the the effervescent sparkle of greens alongside a calm warmth. The minty notes offer this contrast on their own, but also the choice of sweet florals paired with grass (rather than the traditional and often cool and sharp jasmine and rose paired with galbanum and orris that are usually found in green compositions), adds to the experience of a summer garden: refreshingly luscious and sun-warmed, a sensual delight to both eyes, skin and nose...
Balmy Days and Sundays starts with a "B" and is the second installation in Ineke’s ABC’s (or a chapter in her olfactory book, if you will).
This is purely a scent for those who love gardening and everything about it, and having met Ineke in person, and learned that she does indeed love gardening, the first two perfumes in her collection make even more sense than ever: the lady likes everything fresh and

Balmy Days and Sundays opens with the sweet greenery of fresh-cut grass and sweet warmth of mint, moves to a heart that is a heady floral (I smell mostly freesia and lily of the valley, but the perfumer also lists honeysuckle, rose and mimosa). The base is somewhat powdery with musk and moss, and like After My Own Heart (and the rest of Ineke’s line), is subtle and clean, yet in a non-sterile manner (think the musk of Lovely). The top notes and the heart notes definitely steal the show here.

The fragrance notes, according to the perfumer’s website, include:

Top notes: Freesia, Leafy Greens, Grass
Heart notes: Honeysuckle, Rose, Mimosa

Base notes: Chypre Accent, Musk

I am not usually in the habit of using the “marketed” images of fragrances (which are too often imposed and pretentious) but in this particular case I think the images so accurately portray the scent, and are so non-pretentious, that I feel it is necessary to use them to give an accurate picture of the perfumer’s intentions, and the same goes for her own words to describe the scent – the little poems or stories that accompany the packaging – from the outer box (and website) to the actual bottles, which is printed with lovely delicate details, words and symbols. When the perfumer-creator is the one responsible for every stage of the process, you get results that are not only stunningly beautiful, but also genuine. And that makes all the difference to me, not to mention that in this case the perfumer is a perfectionist who has an utter sense of visual and conceptual aesthetics besides her olfactory sensibilities.

I may not see the same garden in my mind as Ineke's, but the olfactory impressions and visual and tactile connotations are crystal clear. The mood of a sunny garden is created here, and you just need to step into your own favourite when you smell it. I am very curious to read the next chapters in Ineke's book...

P.s. if you liked Herba Fresca, you are most like to enjoy this one. But also, if you liked some things about Herba Fresca, but found the grass notes there too harsh and the base too chemical, you might find that Balmy Days and Sundays is a more mellow impression of a summer garden (minus the intense citrus notes of Herba Fresca though).

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At May 26, 2007 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The description of this scent reminds me of early morning in the summer. Ibet it's heavenly just after a long soak in a tub.


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