Freesia: 8 posts

Haiku of the Day : Freesia Fever

I doze off
In the scent of freesias
High fever.

Je somnole encore
Dans l’arôme des freesias…
Forte fièvre.

This haiku written by Mariko Koga (b. 1924) is from an excellent collection of haiku written by women poets, Anthologie Du rouge aux lèvres. Translated by Dominique Chipot and Makoto Kemmoku (public library). The English translation is mine.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Byredo La Tulipe : Perfume Review

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Niche perfumery is a handy term to encompass brands with limited distribution, but when it comes to quality or originality, it means absolutely nothing. Twenty years ago niche houses comprised just a handful of visionaries who wanted to do perfumery according to their own ideas rather than conventional marketing, but today it’s hard to argue that niche means better.

byredo

What it does mean without fail is more expensive. Take Byredo La Tulipe for example. For $220, you get 100ml of perfume that smells disconcertingly like Febreeze. I’m not intending it as an off-the cuff remark. The original Febreeze scent is sophisticated floral with soft rose and lily of the valley notes. La Tulipe has more sparkle and layers, but at the heart of it is a simple fresh floral. It’s pretty enough, but I would rather enjoy something like this at Febreeze’s price (under $10).

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Ralph Lauren Lauren : Vintage Perfume Review

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Lauren was one of the greatest American perfumes that made a big splash in the 1980s, but where is it today? Ralph Lauren counters rarely feature the familiar red bottle shaped like an ink well. Moreover, like most classics, Lauren got so many face lifts that it’s barely recognizable. I’m still learning to like it in its pale green and soft version, but my memory of the juicy cantaloupe and jasmine folded around mossy cedarwood is still too poignant. My readers Michelle, MaryAnn and Renée felt the same way, and I’ve decided to review Lauren and turn to you for possible alternatives to this lovely fruity floral fragrance.

Now, ‘fruity floral’ and ‘lovely’ rarely appear in the same phrase on perfume blogs, mostly because the onslaught of identical and boring fruity florals has devalued this charming perfume family. Lauren is a great example of how appealing and delightful the marriage of flowers and fruit can be. Right from the moment you put it on your skin, it feels sparkling and refreshing, like a sip of iced cocktail. It’s green and tangy like Granny Smith apple skin, but also velvety like a ripe melon.  In today’s Lauren, the top notes are mostly green—a tangle of leaves and a squeeze of tart grape juice.

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Scented Garden : Freesia

Freesia cropped

by Elise Pearlstine

Fresh, light, and yet pervasive is the initial impression I got from a potted freesia (Freesia sp.). As I put my nose to the deep orange blooms and concentrate, I get more nuances. Floral? Yes, light and lovely. Green? Maybe a subtle green like violet leaves. Cool? Definitely, but with a touch of richness like a pure floral sorbet melting in a bowl with a touch of chilled caramel at the edges. Before I bought this plant I tested all of the potted freesias at the market for smell and chose the deep orange-red one for its strong, sweet scent. There were also pale lilac and white varieties; both with a light, sweet floral scent but it’s the orange-red one that I brought home. For days I smell the faint sweetness it gives to the air as it sits in my kitchen by the window.

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Bath Body Works Cherry Blossom : Fragrance Review

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Cherry blossom

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Whenever I encounter yet another luxury line that probably spent more on the plastic to wrap its box than the perfume inside the bottle, I think about Bath & Body Works and Demeter. For once, here are brands that do not pretend to be anything but accessible, affordable lines of fragrances and scented products. At under $15 for 2.5oz, Bath & Body Works fragrances are in fact quite competent and well-made. Moreover, given its large portfolio, from aldehydic florals (Moonlight Path) to woody orientals (Black Amethyst,) if one does not expect fragrance haute couture, it is possible to find something interesting. Cherry Blossom, one of Bath & Body Works best sellers, caught my attention for being a bubbly, girly fruity floral that can hold its own next to most prestige launches in this genre. Plus, I occasionally like to challenge myself with exploring scents outside of my comfort zone (niche, classics, vintages.)

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