Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spring Scents - Part Deux

Tulips in Coal Harbour by Ayala Moriel
Tulips in Coal Harbour, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.

Spring is beautifully shaping into a promise of summer. The temperatures are slowly approaching room-level in the outdoors (a rare event in these parts), and everybody seems excited about that.

Here are a few more flowers and perfumes that seem to wink to me, competing on skin-space and nosy attention since my return to Vancouver:

Lilacs are early this year, and I'm taking full advantage of the fact, sniffing nosefuls whenever I can and scheming how to coax a few clusters of lilacs under the influence of alcohol to make a tincture or infusion. With muted notes of lilac, cucumber and wheat and sweet En Passant brings to mind a lilac hesitant to open its buds fully but hides beneath it a little jasmine and heliotropin surprise.

Balsam poplars are in bloom, permeating the air with their sweet, coumarin cotton-candy aroma, and causing me a sneezing fit whenever I happily walk by them. The sadly discontinued ambery fougere Sève Exquise (Victoire Gobin-Daude) captures so well the spirit of the spring on a sunny, yet windy and rather cool spring day walking under those trees and catching the little water taxi to Granville Island. Balsamic and warm like baked cotton wool.

Lilies of the Valley are as rare as true love. For the two weeks when the buds and white bells are around, I'm anticipating the blossoms and keep running to my bottle of Diorissimo, which I make a point of wearing every year around this time, even though it seems to call for a most regal occasion I can only imagine partaking in.

Linden Trees are not in bloom quite yet, but I love Persephenie's Linden Blossom Dry Oil Spray. It has a citrusy, coconutty and fun attitude, and is especially great when traveling because it's only 50mls and will fit in your carry on; plus it can be used both to moisturize the skin and style the hair. So pretty.

Secret Garden - on rainy spring days, this perfume brings comfort and mystery to an otherwise grey and dull day. It gives off the sense of silk brocade and teak wood furniture saturated with an old perfume.

Mitsouko - what a darling perfume. When I stocked up on 5 bottles of it (different concentrations, mind you) I haven't had quite enough insight on how sad I'd be getting very near the end of my 1st flacon. Even when I think I'm not in the mood for it - there was not a single time I wear Mitsouko and regret it later. It brings comfort and a pensive, contemplative perspective to life and I love it for it.

Elderflowers - my new discovery this spring - they are the "mimosas of the forest" to me, and I'm on a roll with these (in case you haven't noticed!) and tonight, I've steeped some of them in a rhubarb and black currant compote. I'm so smitter with everything that comes out with elderflowers scent. It's so refreshing to find a local, wild flower with such a prominent scent that I'm almost wondering if it's too good to be true that it's so yielding to my effort to extract the scent - in both aqueous and alcoholic infusions.

Rhododendrons - The yellow ones are already in bloom in our garden, and even though it's not their peak quite yet, the courtyard is filled with their nearly cloying, lily-meets-carnation perfume. Upon opening the gate, one will wonder what wafts around, and the flowers are not the first thing that would be anyone's guess. The scent is spicy, intoxicating, with hints of rose and peony spiciness.

Sweet Violets are peaking their heads among the greenery, and I'm reminded of some favourite violet scents: Verte Violette with its crisp, almost milky crushed leaf appeal; Voile de Violette with it's velvety softness; and Après l'Ondée, with its melancholy spring shower whisp of anise.

And until summer truly arrives, and there are real freesias in bloom, I'll enjoy me some Ofresia by Dyptique - crushed greens so delicate with a touch of jasmine and peppery, crisp freesia.

What flowers are in bloom in your part of the world? And which perfumes are you enjoying the most these days?

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At May 11, 2012 7:37 AM, Blogger Dionne said...

No flowers yet where I live, but that's part and parcel of living on the west side of the Canadian Rockies - our spring is very short, but glorious. A couple more weeks and things will be blooming.

I've been working my way through the heliotrope and mimosa notes, and have just fallen hard for L'Artisan's Mimosa pour Moi and ordered a decant.

At May 11, 2012 11:15 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Mimosa pour Moi is beautiful! And has a bit of sweetness which might be just what you need on the still-slightly-bitter-cold days of the Rockies' spring ;-)

At May 12, 2012 2:54 PM, Blogger vida.violeta said...

There are lots of flowers that have started to bloom here in Northern California. The lilacs, the teacup and heirloom roses, the narcissus, syringa, the apple blossoms and fresia. Wild flowers too--lupins, violets, and trillium. Two yellow fresia blossoms popped up to my surprise. It has been years since I have taken part in their spicy floweriness and it is surprising, deep, and complex. A masculine delicateness. It is the apple-blossom scent that truley captures my heart of spring. I wish I could find a perfume that could capture that fragile divinity...

At May 13, 2012 8:34 PM, Blogger nekosan said...

Right now, it's roses in our backyard. We have a bunch of jasmine that's getting ready to bloom, but hasn't yet. And, sadly, there are lots of trees and grasses blooming, which don't smell like much but which are horrible for my allergies.

At May 13, 2012 8:52 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Vida Violeta -
Spring in Northern California sounds beautiful!
Are these purple wild violets, or other colour? Here I think they are actually yellow.
Nothing beats lilacs and roses for that wonderful romantic spring feeling... I'm surprised there is no perfume yet that highlights both, actually. I've had apple blossom essence at some point; sadly, as nice as it were, it was not at all like the original.

At May 13, 2012 8:54 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

nekosan -
Roses are still a long way before blooming in Vancouver. Definitely a summer flower here... And don't even get me started on allergies: those alders and poplars smell great, but make me weep...


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