Spanish Moss for the Southern Belle
Spanish Moss is described by Hove Parfumeur as “Warm and exotic, mossy and green... a reformulation of an old favorite” – while it is warm, it is not what I would describe as green. It is sweet, powdery yet with an exotic twist as it includes some notes that are not commonly used in other rosy-powdery perfumes.
Floral, powdery, sweet and with an antique Victorian feel. If there is moss there, it is well concealed, amongst heaps of flowers, dusting powder and rouge on a cluttered vanity table of a Southern lady who protects her fair skin with endless layers of lace and mousseline. The intensity of flowers and powder is something I’ve smelled before in perfumes that came from the South*.
The opening is intensely floral, sweet and powdery. I can sense the presence of heliotrope right away, with its bittersweet, almondy-rich melancholy. Other notes that are apparent from the start are lilac, rose, osmanthus and orange blossom. These are all very intense, dense once applied – buy when they settle on the skin they become far more tolerable – yet nonetheless maintain the same character of uber-sweet-powdery Southern vanity.
Once the florals quiet down a tad, I find myself suddenly sipping icy-cold, sweet lemonade. Or perhaps it is a lemon popsicle… It instantly reminds me of Aunt Eller in Oaklahoma! film, though I don’t know why. I can’t even remember if there was any lemonade in that movie, but for some reason it makes sense. Even though it’s not even close to New Oreleans at all.
Hours later, I am still searching for that “Spanish Moss” to come out from its hiding, but I can’t say there is anything particularly mossy about this perfume. It is very old fashioned, like a more tropical interpretation of “Lipstick Rose” and also more complex, less simplistic than rosy perfumes of that genre. Besides the heliotrope base, I can smell some bitter myrrh, but that’s as close as I can get to revealing the moss…
Top notes: Lilac, Lemon
Heart notes: Rose, Orange Blossom, Osmnathus, Orris
Base notes: Heliotrope, Myrrh, Vanilla
*Such as from Lagniappe Oakes Perfumery – I’ve tried several of these but I have to admit none captured my heart; they were all from the “Heirloom Collection”).