Spring: 96 posts

My favorite springtime scents

Spring 2024 Perfume Launches : Lilac, Vetiver, Moss and Seaweed

As I was updating my ISIPCA course and preparing my new spring seminars, I tried a selection of new launches, some of which seemed interesting enough to share with you in a separate article. While new launches are almost always skewed towards Christmas sales, I like the spring offer because it tends to show a greater variety of compositions. There will still be a wave of summer flankers and sports colognes, but for now, we have many radiant florals, soft chypres and salty vetivers.

Dries Van Noten Mystic Moss (perfumer Nicolas Bonneville)

An elegant composition centered on vetiver, with a strong salty, seaweed facet. Imagine driftwood on the beach. An effervescent combination of cardamom and mandarin lends it brightness that lasts even when the darker woods take over.

Guerlan Rose Amira (perfumer Delphine Jelk)

A Persian-style rose perfume where roses are liberally layered with incense and dark woods. If you like your roses smoky and mysterious, this is the right fragrance for you. It features a natural rose note, which is splendidly warm and honeyed. While Rose Amira is currently a duty-free exclusive, it will be distributed more widely later this spring.

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Hyacinth Perfumes and Spring Flower Notes

Spring is not spring for me unless it has hyacinths. I buy the forced bulbs and leave them around the apartment to wait for the moment when the flowers open up and fill the air with their perfume. The scent of hyacinth is not as delicate as that of many other spring blossoms; it’s rather heady and sweet, with an earthy note. It can be overwhelming, but the contrast is the reason why the fragrance of hyacinths appeals to me—and to other perfumers. Its complexity is an endless source of inspiration.

Hyacinth, like lily of the valley, lilac and gardenia, can’t be processed for essence, so perfumers have to create their own interpretation. Some emphasize the green, succulent facets of hyacinth, like Jean-Paul Guerlain in the legendary Chamade. Guerlain’s hyacinths are framed by the freshness of coriander and violet and the plushness of patchouli. The delicate sweetness of vanilla, an important note in all classics by the house, offsets the earthy darkness of hyacinth without obscuring it completely.  The effect of Chamade is airy, vibrant, and yet enveloping and warm.

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How To Preserve Sakura Blossoms and Leaves : The Scent of Almonds

It’s almost the sakura season here in Brussels. While sakura blossoms don’t have much fragrance, their petals and leaves contain coumarin, which smells wonderfully of toasted almonds. When the leaves or petals are lightly crushed, you can smell this delicate scent, but it becomes much more pronounced once the flowers and leaves are salted. Drying concentrates the coumarin content and makes its aroma more prominent.

In Japan, salted sakura blossoms are used for various desserts, but I especially like them in tea. The leaves can be used when steaming or roasting fish to lend it an almond scent and I also use them in marinated cucumber salads. You can find great ideas on using salted sakura via Just One Cookbook, a great source for Japanese recipes.

Most Japanese stores, in brick and mortar and online, carry salted sakura flowers and leaves all year round, but if you have a sakura or a sour cherry tree, you can make them yourself. In Japan, Oshimazakura is preferred for its leaves, while Yaezakura for flowers, which are full and have many petals. However, you can experiment with any cherry variety you have in your garden.

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Light as a Soufflé : Delicate Floral Scents

I was recently having dinner with a friend at Le Soufflé, a restaurant in Paris specializing in the iconic French dish comprising little more than eggs and air, when she asked me if there were any fragrances that suggested the same lightness and sensuality as a well-made soufflé. The question took me by surprise, but I liked the idea of a floral that felt weightless without being fleeting.

My quest wasn’t simple, because the floral family in perfumery is vast, ranging from fresh blends based on orange blossom and lily of the valley to smoldering potions of tuberose and jasmine. Since it’s one of the most popular choices for women the world over, perfumers constantly develop this family, adding new accords that suggest novel types of florals as well evoke different effects.

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Scent Diary : Lavender and Muguet

Happy May Day! I’m writing with a bouquet of lily of the valley on my desk, and although today is rainy and overcast, the delicate sweet scent of these white blossoms suggests spring and sunshine.

In other news, I wanted to let you know that Silvia and I are still accepting the early bird reservations for the Lavender Retreat in Bulgaria (June 26-30, 2023.) With the code BOISDEJASMIN you receive 15% off the retreat price and this code will be valid until May 31st. You can find more information via Silvia’s website. Of course, if you have any questions, I’m more than happy to answer them.

Scent Diary is a place to write your observations about the scents around you. Whether you write down 1 recollection or 10 matters less than simply reminding yourself to smell. You can add as many comments as you wish. You can comment today or over the course of the week; this thread will always be open. Of course, do share what perfume you’re wearing or what particularly good scented products you’ve discovered.

While looking through my articles, I found this article that I wrote a few years ago but that still remains popular and often-read: A to Z Tips for Enjoyable, Affordable and Rewarding Perfume Hobby. If you have any tips to add, I’d love to hear them.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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