spring flowers: 3 posts

The Perfect Scent of Spring and Cherry Blossoms

Be wary of perfumes called Cherry Blossom. They promise a whirlwind of pink petals and poetry, but they’ll deliver a wan fruity-floral scent that doesn’t come close to the real thing.  What do they smell like, these flowers, that despite falling off almost as soon as they open, have captured the imagination of poets and philosophers? To contemplate a cherry blossom is to reflect on beauty and mortality, the passing of time and the power of subtle things.

The scent of cherry flower is indeed subtle, but it’s not bland. Neither is it sweet or fruity of the commercial fragrance type. The scent is bitter and green. If you bury your face in the petals and let the yellow pollen settle on your cheeks, you notice hints of Amaretto, honey and green sap. It’s surprisingly assertive, with enough character to stand out next to the pungent aroma of blooming pears and the sugary sweetness of apple flowers. Every spring, I wish I could distill it all into a fragrance, and every spring I give up on this idea. As Japanese poets have rightly noted, the beauty of cherry blossom is in its evanescence.

Continue reading →

Spring Fragrances with Green and Floral Notes

I’m in the mood for spring, although the weather doesn’t yet cooperate. No matter, the beauty of perfume is that it can transport us out of our routine and into the place of our daydreams and fantasies. Mine today is to take a picnic basket into a blooming cherry garden and to drink tea while watching the pink petals swirl around me. So, the topic of my new video is fragrances that evoke spring for me.

The selection I made doesn’t simply include perfumes that I enjoy all year around, but also fragrances that fit the spring mood during the season. Of course, everyone has their own idea of what spring smells like, but having grown up in a temperate climate where the difference among seasons was pronounced, I associate spring with exhilaration, verdancy and soft floral hues.

Continue reading →

Hyacinth Perfumes That Spell Spring

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 sometimes be overwhelming, but the contrast is the reason why the fragrance appeals to me – and to other perfumers. Its complexity is an endless source of inspiration. In my latest FT column, Seven perfumes that tap the headiness of the hyacinth, I talk about this note and how it can be used in fragrances.

The green accent of hyacinth is often used in both masculine and feminine fragrances, even if the hyacinth itself plays a secondary role. Its verdant, crisp note brightens up the unripe mango in Hermès Un Jardin sur le Nil, adds depth to the fig accord in Marc Jacobs for Men and softens the sharpness of leather and galbanum in Chanel No 19. In each case, hyacinth blends smoothly into the composition, buttressing the elements with an aroma that recalls crushed fresh leaves. To continue reading about my other hyacinth gold standards, please click here.

What are your favorite fragrances with hyacinth or other spring flower notes?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Frances in How to Find the Right Perfume and Seduce Yourself: I wrote quickly and at the beginning of my answer, I forgot to write this, just after the first sentence: “After all, seducing ourselves is the key to seducing others”.… November 30, 2021 at 7:32pm

  • Frances in How to Find the Right Perfume and Seduce Yourself: I like this whole idea of choosing the right perfume to seduce ourselves. Also, on a more pragmatic note, I guess it is a delusion to focus on finding an… November 30, 2021 at 7:24pm

  • Aurora in Recommend Me a Perfume : November 2021: Hello Ellen, yes I agree Edwardian Bouquet is foremost a floral, Floris is known for its florals. Guerlain has the most famous chypre Mitsouko and there is the green chypre… November 30, 2021 at 11:18am

  • Aurora in Recommend Me a Perfume : November 2021: Hello Valentina: Your tastes are diverse. Maybe an amber would suit you? it’s a popular choice for winter. Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan is a sort of benchmark, or the lesser… November 30, 2021 at 10:57am

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2021 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy