Under the Wisteria : The Art of Perfume

Provence is awash in wisteria. It cascades down every arbor and hugs every stone arch. Its racemes ranging in color from crushed Concord grapes to lavender ice cream tumble from the roofs and hang like Christmas ornaments from the cypress trees. Wisteria smells of orange blossoms, honey and tangerine peel. It leaves me intoxicated. Or perhaps, it’s simply Provence at springtime.

Wisteria and Provence by Anna Kozlova, a marvelous photographer who captured the experience of The Art of Perfume course. More stories and photos to come.

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43 Comments

  • Cornelia Blimber: Ah, Wisteria! I remember very well Freiburg im Breisgau, Wisteria everywhere, delightful! That picture brought it back to my Nose. Wonderful. April 12, 2017 at 8:10am Reply

    • Victoria: There are lots of it in Brussels too, but in Provence it’s a riot of wisteria. April 12, 2017 at 11:22am Reply

  • Austenfan: I’ll be in Provence in 4 days. Can’t wait. Such a wonderful season. April 12, 2017 at 9:10am Reply

    • Victoria: Lucky you! It’s my favorite time to visit. April 12, 2017 at 11:23am Reply

  • DelRae ROTH: Fabulous…. just love seeing these images and reminded of my trips there. thank you. April 12, 2017 at 10:06am Reply

  • Brooke: Does anyone have any wisteria perfume recommendations?? April 12, 2017 at 10:13am Reply

    • Phyllis Iervello: Comme des Garcons Stephen Jones
      Wisteria Hysteria…a very good wisteria fragrance and a cool bottle. April 12, 2017 at 11:22am Reply

      • Victoria: We were commenting at the same time! It’s good, isn’t it? April 12, 2017 at 11:26am Reply

        • Phyllis Iervello: Victoria, Yes it is good…great minds think alike (so they say)! April 12, 2017 at 11:41am Reply

          • Victoria: 🙂
            It’s also probably one of the truest wisteria accords. It’s hard to find a good rendition of this flower in perfume. April 12, 2017 at 1:39pm Reply

      • Brooke: Thank you! <3 April 13, 2017 at 2:22am Reply

    • Victoria: Diptyque Olene comes to mind. Crabtree & Evelyn used to have a wonderful wisteria scented soap. And then there is also my favorite candle, L’Artisan Sous la Glycine April 12, 2017 at 11:24am Reply

  • Ellen M.: I’d love to know any Wisteria scents as well as Brooke. April 12, 2017 at 11:15am Reply

    • Victoria: Another one I should mention is Comme des Garçons by Stephen Jones Wisteria Hysteria. It would be perfect for what I’m describing.
      Tom Ford Fleur de Chine has a lovely wisteria note, but it’s been discontinued. April 12, 2017 at 11:25am Reply

      • Brooke: Ah, that is one of the Tom Fords I have always wanted to try. I might try to hunt down a bottle. April 13, 2017 at 2:23am Reply

        • Victoria: It was one of their best. April 17, 2017 at 1:23pm Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: Victoria, that photo is absolutely gorgeous! April 12, 2017 at 11:23am Reply

    • Victoria: There will be plenty more photos and stories later. Anna is a marvelous photographer, and she did a great job capturing our experience. I was in a full teaching mode, so I hardly took any photos. April 12, 2017 at 11:27am Reply

      • Phyllis Iervello: Victoria, I love your stories and your photos and they go hand in hand with perfumes as there is usually a “story” behind most perfumes. April 12, 2017 at 11:42am Reply

  • AndreaR: It’s gray and rainy here in the Pacific Northwest so the colorful sights and scents of Provence are most welcome. April 12, 2017 at 1:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, soon it will be warm and beautiful. I love spring in your area. April 12, 2017 at 1:38pm Reply

  • Brenda: My days of travelling from Canada to Europe have ceased : but, while my husband was alive Provence was one of our “musts” along the way. Beautiful words, photos and memories … thank you for making my day 😊 April 12, 2017 at 1:55pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m glad I could bring back some happy memories for you. Thank you, Brenda. April 17, 2017 at 1:30pm Reply

  • Joy: Beautiful photos with stunning colors. Wisteria grows here in the Pacific Northwest, but not with the color combinations that are evidenced in your photos. Also since it is still cold here, the Wisteria likely will not be blooming until June.
    I love the blue/orange color juxtaposition.
    Thank you for the warmth and sunshine in your photos. April 12, 2017 at 4:07pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s one of my favorite color combinations. One of my wedding saris was saffron and turquoise. It fit well Carnal Flower, my wedding perfume. April 17, 2017 at 1:29pm Reply

  • KatieAnn: What a delightful place to be. And thank you for sharing these beautiful photos. This reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Enchanted April. One cold, rainy day two English women read the same small advertisement tucked away in the newspaper. It starts off by saying, “To those who appreciate wisteria and sunshine”. I know I don’t speak for myself when I say I certainly do! April 12, 2017 at 5:20pm Reply

    • Victoria: I do too! (I must see that movie.) April 17, 2017 at 1:28pm Reply

  • Claudia: I used to wear Chantecaille Wisteria. Loved it so much! April 12, 2017 at 8:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: I used to like it very much. April 17, 2017 at 1:27pm Reply

  • zephyr: I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t think I’ve ever smelled wisteria! Don’t see much of it here in Chicago. But the blossoms are gorgeous and so lush-looking. And my favorite color, lol. I’ll seek out a sample of Wisteria Hysteria – it sounds beautiful.

    Thank you for the photos, Victoria, and hope we get a full report on how your course went! April 13, 2017 at 1:39am Reply

    • Victoria: If you see a black locust tree in bloom, take a sniff and imagine a sweeter scent. That’s wisteria. April 17, 2017 at 1:27pm Reply

  • Richard Goller: Beautiful imagery and mood. And I learned a new word today. Racemes. Big thank you. R April 13, 2017 at 4:35am Reply

    • Victoria: A useful word to describe those beautiful bunches of flowers. 🙂 April 17, 2017 at 1:25pm Reply

  • Carla: Beautiful! Provence is a special place April 13, 2017 at 7:25am Reply

    • Victoria: It is! Nature, architecture, cuisine and very warm people. April 17, 2017 at 1:25pm Reply

  • Aurora: Such a treat, and your wonderful way of describing the scent and Anna’s photos. You know glycine is really loved by the French, and one of my aunts had one in her suburbian garden but I bet the scent radiates more in Provence. You inspire me to try and plant one in my brother’s garden in Provence. April 13, 2017 at 2:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: It grows profusely in Brussels, which was a surprising discovery. I associate with the south of France. April 17, 2017 at 1:24pm Reply

  • Ingeborg: I don’t know the real smell of wisteria, but really enjoyed a sample of Wisteria Hysteria. Love the sunny photos, we had snow in the air here in Oslo yesterday. Croci and scilla are the flowers now, and tulips only as cut flowers indoors so far. April 15, 2017 at 12:09pm Reply

    • Victoria: Sending you some Provencal sunshine! April 17, 2017 at 1:19pm Reply

  • SilverMoon: When I think of Wisteria, I think of spring in Tuscany. There the wisteria hangs down from walls and garden trellises, similar to those in the photos above. And walking past or sitting under them can make you get drunk on their perfume. One literally gets dizzy inhaling their scent. One of my favourite flowers, but have never smelt it in a perfume as such. So, I will try the suggestion above.

    By the way, the Italian soap brand Nesti Dante has a lovely wisteria smelling soap. April 23, 2017 at 1:59pm Reply

    • Victoria: They also package their soaps so well. April 26, 2017 at 1:01pm Reply

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