Martenitsa for Beautiful Spring

It’s been years since anyone has given me a martenitsa, but when a Bulgarian neighbor handed me two tassels made out of red and white wool, I recognized what they were instantly. Martenitsa is an ancient Bulgarian tradition observed on the 1st of March as a way to welcome spring and good fortune. It is a kind of amulet that you wear on your clothes or tied to your wrist until you see a blossoming fruit tree or a stork for the first time in the spring. Then you tie it to a flowering tree, a custom I find charming.

You shouldn’t get a martenitsa for yourself–they’re meant to be given and received as gifts, with a wish of “Chestita Baba Marta!” (Happy Grandma Marta!) Baba Marta is a folk character with a mood as volatile as that of early spring, and the red and white colors are supposed to placate her. So here is my martenitsa to you. I wish you happiness, health and a beautiful spring.

I’m making March 1st, our wintery weather notwithstanding, with Balmain Vent Vert. It’s truly the essence of spring. What is your perfume today? 

Photography by Bois de Jasmin



  • Eva: A Bulgarian reader says “Chestita Baba Marta!” to you too 🙂 March 1, 2017 at 7:52am Reply

    • Victoria: Hope that all of our springs are beautiful and full of flowers. 🙂 March 1, 2017 at 10:01am Reply

  • Klaas: Hey Victoria, A happy spring to you, too!

    Amsterdam is under the spell of Baba Marta today…..lots of wind, slate colored clouds lined with silver, and the most vibrant sunny spels in between.

    I’m wearing A Scent of Heaven (By Kilian). Such a beautiful lavender! I can’t stop sniffing my wrist. My partner says I look like a glue addict (he’s not into perfume, obviously!) March 1, 2017 at 9:30am Reply

    • Victoria: She’s not in a good mood in Brussels either. The day started with sleet, then it started raining, and now it’s rain and wind together.

      Oh, Scent of Heaven is one of my favorites from Kilian. Whenever I wear it, I also keep sniffing my wrist obsessively. 🙂 March 1, 2017 at 10:03am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Amsterdam is beautiful at the moment, the sky looks silvery with dark and light grey clouds. I love stormy weather, and I wear Diorella today. One of my favourites in fresh weather.

        Happy Springtime, Victora, mister Glue Addict and all the people on BdJ! March 1, 2017 at 10:12am Reply

        • Klaas: Thanks Cornelia! March 2, 2017 at 6:30am Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you very much! You smell wonderful. Diorella is one of my favorite Diors, if not the favorite. Is your Diorella a recent formulation or older? March 3, 2017 at 2:09am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: My Diorella edt is from ± 2012. I have a sample of the vintage edt and I think the new one comes near.Do you wear the vintage? March 3, 2017 at 3:27am Reply

            • Victoria: I have a vintage one, but the one I wear the most is not that old, perhaps only 5-6 years old. March 3, 2017 at 4:10am Reply

  • rickyrebarco: This is such a lovely tradition! I learn so much from you about all sorts of wonderful customs around the world. In the US the big March celebration is St. Patrick’s Day since we have so many people of Irish descent in the US, including me and my family. Everyone wears green and celebrates spring. Unfortunately most of the celebration has devolved into people getting hopelessly drunk, but I just enjoy the green decorations and clothes myself and say ‘Erin go Bragh!” March 1, 2017 at 10:02am Reply

    • Victoria: I love all of these traditions that mark seasons, especially the old ones that date back to the antiquity. Even if storks are few and far between in Brussels, I’m going to make it a point to find a blossoming tree and tying my martenitsa on it. For now, I’m just wearing pinned with a brooch.

      St. Patrick’s Day is fun! March 1, 2017 at 10:19am Reply

  • Awfulknitter: Oh! I’d forgotten to put on perfume. Fortunately, there’s a tiny sample of Cacharel’s Loulou in my handbag here. Big fake tropical white flowers, here I come! March 1, 2017 at 10:14am Reply

    • Victoria: Yep, big fake tropical white flowers is just the right thing too. Loulou is another favorite. March 3, 2017 at 2:10am Reply

  • Karen 5.0: I echo rickyrebarco’s sentiments – a wonderful tradition!

    Here in Chicago, our weather has run the gamut – in the past week alone – from being sunny and in the 60s to windy and in the 20s. Last night, we had severe thunderstorms, even a tornado downstate. Today, it’s somewhat mild, rainy and in the 40s. Temperamental indeed!

    I’m wearing a tried and true fragrance today – J’Adore. But I am always interested in experimenting with new fragrances, asking for decants of various scents that strike my fancy. I like the idea of green and vetiver, so I will look for Balmain Vent Vert~ March 1, 2017 at 10:18am Reply

    • Victoria: Vent Vert is the most interesting green fragrance. Smells like springtime bottled, but the early spring when the grass and young buds are just starting to show, rather than the late, blooming-with-abandon spring. March 3, 2017 at 2:11am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Vent Vert was my very first French perfume. I heard that the current one is not worth sampling…what do you say? Do you wear the vintage? March 5, 2017 at 10:46am Reply

        • Victoria: Oh, even the modern one is wonderful. It’s different, but it’s still very good. I have versions of all formulations I’ve tracked, and while I enjoy the original one the most, it’s great in all forms. March 6, 2017 at 11:18am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Thank you! March 6, 2017 at 11:45am Reply

  • Annunziata: What a perfectly delightful tradition, and a nice way to bond with fruit trees (not sure about the stork). Where I live, we’re on a temperature rollercoaster that ranges from the 70s down to the teens, and I worry about the things that are starting to bloom. I realized I had the first stirrings of spring fever when I noticed snowdrops coming up among last fall’s rotting leaves, and I suddenly felt an urge to wear Chamade. And I really must try Vent Vert! Thank you for another lovely post, Victoria. March 1, 2017 at 10:28am Reply

    • Victoria: You leave the stork alone, of course. 🙂 In Ukraine people sometimes make nests for storks out of large wooden wheels, and it’s considered a lucky sign if a stork decided to use.

      Now you gave me a strong craving for Chamade. March 3, 2017 at 2:13am Reply

      • Annunziata: Admiring storks from afar would seem the better part of valor. 😉 I just looked up pictures of the nests — I would be thrilled to have such spectacular avians on my roof. March 3, 2017 at 11:06am Reply

        • Victoria: They’re such beautiful and regal birds. March 6, 2017 at 10:09am Reply

          • Bregje: My last name means stork-tree, so there should always be a bird nearby😀.
            But what a beautiful tradition.
            Not wearing any perfume today because i’m painting my walls so everything smells pretty chemical😉 March 10, 2017 at 6:10pm Reply

            • Victoria: Good luck with your project!

              What a cool last name. 🙂 March 11, 2017 at 3:34pm Reply

              • bregje: thank you! March 12, 2017 at 10:29pm Reply

  • Bina: In the UK we’re having a reasonably quiet day, no rain but it’s cold with grey skies. And I’m on a hangover from celebrating A month of Roses inspired by Lucas from Chemist in the bottle. So I am wearing Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin. March 1, 2017 at 10:44am Reply

    • Victoria: You smell very good, Bina! March 3, 2017 at 2:14am Reply

  • Ariadne: Humming The Waters of March and wearing Chanel 5 Eau Premiere. Only thing blooming in my New England yard is Witch Hazel in small raggedy yellow tufts. It is enough for me! March 1, 2017 at 10:49am Reply

    • Klaas: Witch Hazel is my dad’s favorite, because it’s the only thing that blooms on his birthday (Februari 2nd). Seeing it’s punky yellow blossom always perks me up! Happy spring from rainy Amsterdam! March 2, 2017 at 5:59am Reply

      • Ariadne: Thank you! Happy Spring to you! March 2, 2017 at 8:09am Reply

    • Victoria: I love this season in New England. And the beginning of fall, of course, with its golden hues. March 3, 2017 at 2:14am Reply

  • kat: No spring tradition for today here except of course Ash Wednesday. I’m wearing Bottega Veneta Eau Legere which finally arrived today (it was quite a quest to get my hands on a bottle). I fell in love with both the original and the flanker over winter thanks to some samples and couldn’t quite make up my mind – until my skin made the decision for me. Eau Legere has the most amazing staying power on me – very unusual and much appreciated. March 1, 2017 at 10:58am Reply

    • Victoria: Same on me. It lasts really well, and it smells gauzy but still substantive. March 3, 2017 at 2:15am Reply

  • looloolooweez: This is a lovely tradition. I wish we had something like it around here. As it is, though, I feel like we skipped winter entirely and have been in ‘spring’ since January, with temps in the 70’s and even 80’s, even after a little cool front hit yesterday. March 1, 2017 at 11:24am Reply

    • Victoria: I wish I could mail everyone these pretty tassels, so that we can all start a new (for us) tradition. 🙂 March 3, 2017 at 2:16am Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: I actually have four scents on my wrists and arms 😁 – as I wanted to test four different iris perfumes today: 1. Miller, Terre d’iris; 2. Silver Iris by Atelier Cologne; 3. Iris Nazarena by Aedes de Venustas; and 4. Atelier des Ors, Iris fauve (all tested at the friendly perfumery Kroonen & Brown in Brussels).
    Well, I am completely underwhelmed. Except for Silver Iris (but it’s too sweet!), none of the others actually do smell of iris …? Especially the Miller Harris perfume is a strident citrus and not a very nice one at that.
    Never mind: back to my 28 La Pausa which is divine. March 1, 2017 at 11:29am Reply

    • Notturno7: I love that! Four scents 😍
      I did a similar thing last weekend, when I couldn’t decide what to wear and kept sniffling my wrists happily. It felt like a feast for my brain. I felt transported somewhere as if traveling. March 1, 2017 at 3:51pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s quite an iris fest!
      Yes, I still love 28 La Pausa. March 3, 2017 at 2:24am Reply

  • AndreaR: Folk customs are so intriguing. I can picture red tasseled trees trees in Bulgaria. Lovely! Crocuses are popping up in Portland. The skies are still heavy and grey with bits of blue peeping through.
    I always scan the perfume bottles at our local Goodwill. Last week there was a fluted brown bottle without a cap and about three quarters full. It turned out to be Jolie Madame EDT spray mist. It may not invoke spring, but i’m in love. March 1, 2017 at 11:50am Reply

    • Joy: Goodwill! I never thought of that. March 1, 2017 at 5:52pm Reply

      • AndreaR: Worth a try. Ours is on my walking route, so it’s easy to stop by. Jolie Madame and Caron’s Parfum Sacre have been my two big finds. March 2, 2017 at 10:43am Reply

        • Notturno7: Lucky you, Andrea! Amazing finds. I never got a chance to smell these two 😍
          Thanks for sharing. I’ll start checking that store every week, now!! 😉 March 8, 2017 at 2:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: Jolie Madame is also so perfect. Violets and soft leather. March 3, 2017 at 2:24am Reply

  • Renee: Here,in Romania,we have the very same tradition,Martisor.All the girls and the ladies receive these little charms,tied with red and white threads.We wear them on the wrist or pinned on the lapel,close to the heart and they are a symbol of the coming spring.At the end of March,the Martisor is tied to a fruit tree twig and all your wishes will come true.

    For this Martisor Day,I am wearing a Francis Kurkdjian perfume made for the Trianon Palace hotel,in Versailles.It is a floral and sunny,very lighthearted perfume. March 1, 2017 at 12:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: So in Romania it’s just women who wear these charms? Thank you for sharing; I love discovering these kind of traditions in different places. March 3, 2017 at 2:25am Reply

      • Renee: I know that in a province of Romania,Moldova, the boys also are wearing Martisor.But,there,in Moldova,there was,I don’t know if there still is,a very nice tradition.The girls should wear around the neck ,tied with the red and white thread,a silver coin.In the old times,this silver coin was used,after 12 days of wearing it,to buy a nice piece of cheese,white and sweet.The girl who wore that silver coin as her Martisor,was going to be sweet and beautiful all year round.Her skin will remain luminous and nice for a long time. March 3, 2017 at 3:04am Reply

        • Victoria: That’s fascinating. Adornment, food, and skincare in one neat custom! 🙂 March 3, 2017 at 4:09am Reply

  • Amalia: OH!!! We have this also in Greece, we call it March. According to popular tradition, the March protect children from the first sun of spring, and protects from sunburn. It is made on the last day of February and worn on the first day of March, before leaving the house. All kindergartens made them today! March 1, 2017 at 12:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: How sweet! They’re also white and red? March 3, 2017 at 2:26am Reply

      • Amalia: Yes! March 3, 2017 at 6:59am Reply

  • Tiamaria: What a lovely tradition. The day started out well here in Ireland, the morning was mild and sunny but it changed after lunch. The temperature dropped, the sky turned grey and the rain is persistent. There are lots of sign of spring though. My daffodils are out though they took a severe beating last week from storm Doris so they looking a bit bedraggled. The tulips have appeared out of the ground and flower buds have appeared on the pear trees. I was awoken at about 6 this morning by birdsong, the first time they’ve woken me this year. Much better than the screech of an alarm. Today I’m wearing Le Parfum De Therese. March 1, 2017 at 1:20pm Reply

    • Victoria: I just had to get a bunch of tulips. Does anyone else notice how nice they smell? March 3, 2017 at 2:27am Reply

      • Karen A: Yes, aren’t they wonderful! Daffodils, too – a few will scent a room. I have yet to smell the snowdrops, as you mention below, but will try today (brushing off a few actual snow flakes – we’ve gone from almost 80 to snow in two days). March 3, 2017 at 6:39am Reply

        • Victoria: I need to get a pot of forced bulbs, I think. March 6, 2017 at 10:08am Reply

          • Karen A: Bulbs are so wonderful, aren’t they! Whenever I am clever enough to remember to plant some in pots in the fall, I feel quite impressed with myself. Otherwise, I just give in and buy some – they are so beautiful! March 6, 2017 at 11:42am Reply

  • Toni: It was so interesting to read about this ritual. What a lovely tradition. Your fine photography adds to the article.
    Since it has been raining every day for almost a week here is southern California, it is wonderful to have a nice sunny day on March 1st. I decided Jolie Madame would be appropriate for today! March 1, 2017 at 1:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Toni!

      Andrea (commenting above) also selected Jolie Madame, which is a perfect springtime perfume to me. March 3, 2017 at 2:28am Reply

  • Mary: We’ve had a beautiful sunny day and 20ºC here in Andalucia. I’m wearing Séville à l’Aube, which, with it’s orange blossom and beeswax, I love for spring. The martenitsa is a lovely idea – I can’t think of anything similar here. March 1, 2017 at 1:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, that’s beautiful! March 3, 2017 at 2:29am Reply

  • maggiecat: It’s a bit chilly here in Dallas, but the sun is out. I chose PG L’Ombre Fauve to keep me warm and happy, but I’m eyeing spring scents for the rest of the week. March 1, 2017 at 1:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: What are your springtime choices? March 3, 2017 at 2:29am Reply

  • Karen A: Wonderful tradition! Thank you for sharing the information. Our weather has been truly crazy. Up near 80, then cold. Big storm just rolled in. But, many of my daffodils and crocus are up, earlier I moved some that are like miniature daffodils to put along a walkway and they are blooming (was hesitant to move bulbs just coming up, but they are just fine).

    Ordered some colognes after the post on citrus in winter, trying Eau du Sud today. But will probably put on my tried and true Chamade later. March 1, 2017 at 2:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: We have no crocuses yet, but some plum trees are already blooming. And snowdrops! I wish there was a perfume that smelled of snowdrops. March 3, 2017 at 2:30am Reply

  • Figuier: That’s a beautiful tradition – especially nice that it’s something you have to give or receive, I love customs involving reciprocity 🙂

    Weather here today is typically early Spring – cold, damp, blustery – but the light and the cloudscapes have been fabulous, and the earliest trees – some hardy fruit trees – are beginning to blossom. I wore Hermes Narcisse Bleue, which was a perfect match the cold green feel of the weather. March 1, 2017 at 2:27pm Reply

    • Victoria: Me too. Those are the best customs. 🙂

      I was thinking of wearing Narcisse Bleue today after work. March 3, 2017 at 2:30am Reply

  • claire: We have few traditions like that here in the U.S., but I have always loved May Day. As a child I made bouquets from wildflowers in the woods with my neighbor, who taught me to identify all of them, then we made baskets and hung them on our neighbors doors. The tassels remind me of a book I read as a child. Even then I found the traditions (and clothing) of other cultures fascinating. The book I read celebrated Name Day, with candle adorned crowns and many layers of petticoats.
    This past week we have been on the cusp of Winter and Spring, with fat buds visible everywhere, early crocus and winter cyclamen, and the breath of Spring is in the air yet it is very cold and rainy with the possibility of snow. March 1, 2017 at 2:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: I sometimes search for old postcards from France or Germany celebrating these spring holidays, because they’re so charming and full of touching little details like the ones you describe. March 3, 2017 at 2:32am Reply

  • claire: I’m wearing vintage Dioressence from a decant and I think I rather like it! March 1, 2017 at 2:36pm Reply

  • Kelly: What a lovely tradition! It is warm and stormy here in the southeastern US. I am in Baruti NoOud, which smelled rather like wood shavings and turpentine to me at first, but I’m quite enjoying it now. March 1, 2017 at 3:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Haven’t tried that one yet, but your comment made me curious. March 3, 2017 at 2:32am Reply

  • Notturno7: What a great post! Thank you, Victoria.
    Cestita Baba Martha and Happy Spring to all the readers.
    I really enjoy seeing the comments from so many countries.
    Today and yesterday in San Francisco Bay Area, it’s finally sunny after rain, rain, rain, rain and guess what? More rain!
    So, yes!! It’s a glorious day. 😊

    Different small potted plants are blooming on our terrace, including bushes of orchids, which I love.
    I don’t know what I’ll wear today. It’s always a last minute decision. Maybe Lutens Une Voix Noire, as in last few days. I love it. Such a pretty color in the bell jar, this deep brown red. It looked totally different in the sample I had, more brown.
    Or Après l’Ondée….mmmm. Or Misia. March 1, 2017 at 3:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: Hard to decide! I’d go for Après l’Ondée, but I’m predictable like that. 🙂 March 3, 2017 at 2:33am Reply

      • Notturno7: Yes Victoria,
        I actually did pick Al’O and kept spraying it on during the day as my EdT feels very light, almost like a cologne.
        It felt different adding more sprays throughout the day, so much richer! And different layers kept appearing.
        The perfume version must have been amazing! I’m so sorry they don’t make it anymore.
        Your beautiful reviews, plus your Love Story to this perfume, including Luca Turin and Tanya’s book, inspired me to buy a bottle of EDT about a year ago, but I didn’t wear it, it always felt too light comparing to ‘head strong’, ‘warm blooded’, big personality perfumes that I always pick, until couple of days ago when it just hit me how incredibly gorgeous that perfume is. 💗Even in my EDT version that’s a recent release.
        I had to keep reapplying because I wanted more of it.
        Gorgeous, reserved and romantic at the same time. Noble and sincere.
        My, oh my, it’s love at the second sight! March 3, 2017 at 4:33am Reply

        • Anne: I know what you mean about Apres l’Ondee, Notturno! The first time I sniffed Apres l’Ondee, I was very much underwhelmed, and a spray on my person didn’t help matters any. I sprayed and sniffed and sprayed and sniffed a couple more times to be sure, but I still couldn’t get what all the fuss was about.

          Then on the ride home, I felt a sensation of cool mountain mist lifting, and I could swear I heard a serene flute melody playing somewhere. It was hot and muggy on the subway that evening, and the weather outside humid and sweltering, as it frequently gets in late May where I live, so I wasn’t actually feeling an air-conditioned breeze. It was only then that I realized I was getting that feeling from the smell of Apres l’Ondee. It’s the oddest feeling, one that I’ve never been able to get from any other fragrance!

          AlO is one of those perfumes that rewards you for patience, I find, and you really have to spend some time living with it before it reveals its beauty. March 5, 2017 at 3:30am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Après L’Ondée seems to be weak, you sniff your wrists and don’t find it. And then, when you don’t think of it..there it is! Nose has found it. That’s my experience with the edt. March 5, 2017 at 10:53am Reply

          • Notturno7: What a beautiful description 💕
            Thank you!
            I totally agree. You are rewarded later for your patience as all these layers appear and the dry down is gorgeous❤️
            It’s sunny but cold today.
            I might just have to pick that perfume for today, thanks to your depiction! March 8, 2017 at 2:45pm Reply

        • Victoria: You’ve described it so beautifully I want to run and put it on right away. 🙂 March 6, 2017 at 10:07am Reply

          • Notturno7: Me too!! I love this blog ❤️😘 March 8, 2017 at 2:46pm Reply

  • Kathy: March is coming in like a lion here in Iowa,plus it is Ash Wednesday-so Kenzo Amour! March 1, 2017 at 3:59pm Reply

  • Maria: Happy spring to you Victoria!!!

    What a lovely tradition! In Montreal Baba Marta is in a rainy mood. I know that sounds kind of sad, but it is better than the usual polar temperatures at this time of the year.

    I’m wearing Chanel 19 Poudré as a perfect cashmere. When I bought it, I thought it would be a perfect autumn scent, but I discovered it is even better now, when days are still cold, but the sun stays longer. March 1, 2017 at 4:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve been enjoying Chanel 19 Poudré very much after I stopped comparing it to the original. It’s so comforting somehow. March 3, 2017 at 2:34am Reply

  • Joy: Such a pretty tradition. Thank you for sharing that, Victoria. Here in Tucson shrubs are beginning to flower, so fragrance is in the air. When I return to Oregon, my Daphne Odora will be blooming, hopefully the slugs will not have eaten my muguet de bois; my fragrant lilac will be budded out. I always love the blooming of spring. I have been sampling the various rose scents that you mentioned in your recent article. March 1, 2017 at 6:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: Your garden sounds so lovely. March 3, 2017 at 2:35am Reply

  • Surbhi: It was warm, cloudy and grey weather here. I put on music ravageur and one spray and I realized this needs to wait till fall now. So wrong perfume choice today. March 1, 2017 at 10:44pm Reply

    • Surbhi: And I start feeling like spring after end of daylight saving time change but cute way to celebrate spring March 1, 2017 at 10:45pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh well, that’s nothing that some soap and makeup remover can’t fix. March 3, 2017 at 2:35am Reply

  • Alexandra Fraser: Delightful tradition. So pretty. Here in Aotearoa no lovely tradition – it is theoretically the start of autumn but it is a sunny 26’C evening and my masses of orange crucifix orchids are glowing against the blue sky. Wearing Estée Lauder’s Pleasures as I see my grandson today and it’s his favourite March 2, 2017 at 12:25am Reply

    • Maria: Alexandra, That’s the cutest reason I’ve ever heard to wear a parfum. Have a nice autumn day with your grandson! March 2, 2017 at 2:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: I agree, a perfect reason to pick a perfume. Enjoy your time with your grandson. March 3, 2017 at 2:36am Reply

  • Lillibet: Autumn here in Australia and we’re getting a very warm start to it so I’ve put on Eau de Gaga for the office. Very pleased with my choice actually. It has turned out to be a lovely office scent that lasts well and is enjoyable to wear. March 2, 2017 at 12:56am Reply

    • Michaela: I’m happy I’m not alone 🙂 I rely on Eau de Gaga at the office, especially on hot days. March 2, 2017 at 7:02am Reply

    • Victoria: I like this perfume very much. A good, refreshing green tea cologne. March 3, 2017 at 2:37am Reply

  • Nora Szekely: Hi Victoria and perfume lovers,

    What a lovely tradition!
    Thank you Victoria for the lovely gift.
    Spring is here but quite cold in Hungary, so I wore Cuir de Lancome. It worked better for me than in the coldest weather when I preferred Cuir de Russie. March 2, 2017 at 6:23am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s warmer to me, while Cuir de Russie has the chilly edge of iris. Also beautiful, but in a different register. March 3, 2017 at 2:37am Reply

  • Michaela: I like this post very much, and all the comments, too. I’m happy I was grown in this beautiful tradition. It makes the first day of spring a truly happy one.
    Happy spring to everybody!

    I’m enjoying Azzedine Alaia today. This rainy cold day doesn’t matter. March 2, 2017 at 7:13am Reply

    • Victoria: Happy spring to you too, Michaela! March 3, 2017 at 2:38am Reply

  • Anne: A blossoming fruit tree or a stork? Sound very fitting for a springtime ritual… these are ancient symbols of fertility in that part of the world, yes? Sounds like this a very, very old ceremony… especially since I hear about tying red thread to a tree in connection with fertility rituals as far north as Finland and Estonia.

    Anyway, commenting to say that there is nothing about this ritual that I do not love! I like the posts about cultural traditions almost as much as I like your detailed and knowledgeable insights about perfumery, so please keep them coming! March 2, 2017 at 7:14am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Anne!
      Yes, red is a symbol of happiness and fertility too, and the whole thing is about ensuring a healthy, bountiful, happy year. March 3, 2017 at 2:39am Reply

  • Anne: By chance, I am also wearing Vent Vert! The version by Germaine Cellier, in parfum form, no less! How decadent!

    I splurged on a mini for my birthday, because your review made it sound so beautiful and just like something I would like. And I have to say, it exceeded even the wildest of my wildest hopes and expectations! March 2, 2017 at 7:25am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh wow! It can’t get better than this. Enjoy this gem. March 3, 2017 at 2:39am Reply

  • Danaki: Chestita Baba Marta to you all!!

    not bad weather for the UK today. yesterday was St David’s Day (patron staint of Wales) so my partner (who is called David) and I celebrated with good wheat beer.

    I’m also readying myself for the nawrouz and will be planting lentils for Sabzeh. I grew up with this tradition in my family and I’m now reviving it.

    Beautiful lush and colourful blessing to you all. March 2, 2017 at 9:46am Reply

    • Anne: I just looked up what Sabzeh and Nowruz are, and that looks like a wonderful way to usher in spring, to have green sprouts in your house!

      Although, I can’t help but think as I look at the sprouts… I hope you don’t have any cats in the house that will find the Sabzeh irresistible to chew on. Heheh. March 2, 2017 at 10:10am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m also sprouting lentils for haftseen. Last year I sprouted wheat, but I’m trying something different this time. I think lentils make for prettier sprouts. I’d love to see a photo of your haftseen once you’ve put it together. March 3, 2017 at 2:41am Reply

  • Sarah: After a hot and humid February we are starting March out with cool temperatures!
    The tassel tradition is wonderful, Victoria!! As yesterday was Ash Wednesday I set out our forced cherry blossom branches hung with decorated eggs and bunnies we brought back with us after living in the Netherlands.
    I am wearing Chanel Beige today to celebrate the cooler weather, at least for the next few days!
    Love your writing, Victoria! I so enjoy the comments from people all over the world.
    OXOX March 2, 2017 at 10:55am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Sarah! It’s so fun to learn about different ways people mark the year around world. We have quite an international community here. 🙂 March 3, 2017 at 2:42am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, and you smell wonderful. March 3, 2017 at 2:43am Reply

  • Therése: What a lovely tradition!

    It’s grey and rainy here in Sweden this week so I went all in with Oriza L. Legrand’s Muguet. March 3, 2017 at 2:17am Reply

    • Victoria: Perfect! One can’t go wrong with a lily of the valley perfume. March 3, 2017 at 4:11am Reply

      • Therése: I’m trying my best to conjure up some spring here 🙂 March 3, 2017 at 4:31am Reply

  • AndreaR: I smelled Daphne Odora for the first time yesterday here in Portland. Divine! I wonder if it’s ever used in fragrance. March 3, 2017 at 8:06pm Reply

    • Victoria: Hmm, I don’t think, but I will check. March 6, 2017 at 11:15am Reply

    • Clair: Parfums Delrae Wit!

      Daphne (along with some other notes), but it isn’t the same as smelling Daphne Odora here in Portland. I was excited to try it but it didn’t draw me in. I grow several varieties but there is nothing quite so intoxicating as Daphne odors. As with orange or lemon blossoms, it seems elusive to being captured in a perfume. May 17, 2017 at 7:03pm Reply

  • Lydia: What a lovely tradition! I enjoy your posts about cultural traditions so much. We’ve lost too much of that beauty in the modern world.

    We’ve been having crazy-making weather in NYC – one day in the low 30s, a few days later in the high 60s. Cherry trees are beginning to bloom in the parks, but I’m afraid that all early blooms will be blighted by the cold.

    My perfume reaction to this has been all over the place. One day I am craving lush summer roses, the next day I want warm autumn spice for hibernation.

    Today I’m enjoying Noir Patchouli from Histoires de Parfums. At first it wasn’t complex enough for me, but now it’s developed a leathery spiciness that almost gives it the depth of vintage fragrance. It’s the first of the recent fragrance samples I’ve tried that actually made me consider getting a bottle. March 4, 2017 at 11:59am Reply

    • Victoria: I like Noir Patchouli very much, dark, smoky, earthy. I completely agree with you, it makes me think of a vintage perfume! March 6, 2017 at 11:17am Reply

  • SilverMoon: What a charming custom! I always enjoy reading these culture and tradition related posts, Victoria. Thank you for the martenitsa and also thanks to the others sharing their stories.

    On 1 March, i wore Givenchy Interdit. And various florals during the rest of the week (Sampaquita, Fiori di Capri, White Gardenia Petals). Today i am wearing Ideo’s Weekend a Fontainebleu. It is one of the rare occasions when I bought a bottle on the day I first tested it. Yet, I can’t really say what exactly i loved about it. March 5, 2017 at 1:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: You had quite a bouquet last week, then, with all those beautiful blossoms. March 6, 2017 at 11:18am Reply

      • SilverMoon: Yes, indeed, I am ready for spring. This morning it was Ostara. Here in the North of England it is still quite cold, but some sunny days too. I have seen snowdrops, crocus and stems of daffodils. No flowering fruit trees to tie my virtual martenitsa around. 😊 March 6, 2017 at 1:18pm Reply

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