Tropical Flowers: 4 posts

4 Flamboyant White Florals Against Winter Blues

With the holidays behind us and still too many winter days ahead, it’s important to find ways to add a splash of color to cold, grey mornings. I reach for my brightest dresses and scarves and add swirls of saffron and paprika to my food, evoking sunshine and warmth. Or I rely on white floral perfumes to create a vivid ambiance. White flowers may call to mind bridal veils, but there is nothing prim and pastel about the scent of tropical blossoms like tiaré, frangipani, ylang-ylang, tuberose or jasmine. They have a voluptuous aroma reminiscent of warm skin, coconut milk and petals sticky with nectar. The synesthetes among perfumers swear that white flowers smell purple and pink, rich and saturated, and it’s true that wearing a white floral perfume makes me feel as if the day is brighter.

These opulent, flamboyant scents are the topic of my FT column, Four white floral scents to brighten grey days. You will find the full article here.

How do you cure yourself of winter blues? What flowers among the white floral family are your favorites?

Image via FT

Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum : Fragrance Review

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Although I indulge in plenty of fantasies of spending summer by the sea, preferably a tiny fishing village where I would have nothing to do but read books and gaze onto the blue waves, every August I find myself in the city. With everyone rushing to the coast in search of their own summer fantasies and with airfares skyrocketing, I just create my own city vacation. I take long walks, experiment with my photography and just enjoy the strange calm of a European city during the summer break.

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I turn to perfume to make my city summers feel more tropical. In principle, cologne is the most refreshing choice on a hot day, but I hardly ever reach for citrus in the summer–gloomy winter mornings are another story. Instead, my perfume wardrobe blooms with white flowers–Marc Jacobs for Her, Annick Goutal Un Matin d’Orage, Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower, Chanel Beige, and now, Terracotta Le Parfum.

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Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum : Perfume Review

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Whenever I see a product described as a cult favorite, I’m instantly skeptical. The pink and green Maybelline mascara is the worst thing I’ve put on my lashes. Rosebud salve in its pretty retro tin dries out my lips. Nars Orgasm blush is just OK. The exception for me is Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil from French skincare & cosmetics firm Nuxe, and it fully lives up to its “cult favorite” label. It’s a seaside vacation in a bottle. The oil leaves skin soft and shimmering, not at all greasy, and applying the golden liquid feels like a luxury spa treatment.

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Besides the nourishing and moisturizing benefits, fans of Nuxe oil adore its frangipani and coconut perfume. It’s sophisticated and rich, a tangle of white petals and coconut flakes. I’ve always thought that it’s good enough to be in a perfume bottle, and a couple of years ago Nuxe decided to do just that. The company turned to the same perfumer who created the beloved Nuxe oil scent, Serge Majoullier, and asked him to blend Prodigieux, Le Parfum*.

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Cacharel Loulou : Perfume Review (Now and Then)

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As a kid I used to love puzzles and I spent many evening looking for the right jigsaw piece to complete the picture. Occasionally I feel that with perfumes I’m still playing a jigsaw puzzle game as the same fragrance reveals something new whenever I smell it again. This was the case with Cacharel Loulou. When I first smelled it as an 11 year old on my mother, I remember thinking, “the cherry compote.” It was the only part of Loulou I could recognize, because at that point I hadn’t smelled any gardenias or ylang ylang or incense. They didn’t figure in my Eastern European childhood.

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Revisiting Loulou some years later after I had already worn gardenias tucked in my hair as someone tried to kiss my neck and having smelled pungent Indian incense, other pieces of the puzzle fell in place. I discovered with surprise and pleasure that it was not a juicy cherry, but a candied white blossom dipped in vanilla liqueur. I loved it just the same, except that it no longer seemed innocent to me. Loulou was quite a vixen, and though I wasn’t one at all, I liked to dab the parfum on my neck and play the part.

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