In the May column of the Financial Times Magazine, I daydream about cherry blossoms. Titled Perfumes Whose Blossoms Beguile, the article is inspired by my grandmother’s garden in Ukraine. Spring is the most evanescent season; one moment the cherry blossoms are dazzlingly white and lush, and the next they’re wilting on the ground. As I read Gogol while sitting under the trees, brushing falling petals from the pages, and becoming intoxicated with the bittersweet aroma of cherry blossoms, I longed to capture this moment. How else but with perfume? This is how the article took shape.
“All perfumes called Cherry Blossom fall far short of reality. I say this with confidence as I lie on the grass in my grandmother’s cherry garden, gazing up at the blossom-covered branches. The flowers are so white and dense that if I squint, the trees seem to be draped in snow. A gust of wind shakes the petal confetti onto the pages of my book, and after a while I shut my worn volume of The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol and daydream in the pale sunshine. To read the rest, please click here.
Nikolai Gogol was born about 15 miles from our town, and his descriptions of Ukrainian landscapes poignantly remind me of the places I know so well.
What spring scents would you like to capture? Which perfumes have the most spring-like aura to you?
Photography by Bois de Jasmin: under the cherry trees