tiare: 3 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

Sunshine Dreams : Tropical Flowers

Every now and then I have a longing for a picture perfect holiday, the kind advertised at tourist agencies with the ubiquitous image of blue waves, white sandy beaches, and a bronzed goddess in a bikini. Deep down I know that I’ll get tired of this kind of vacation after two days–and a beach bunny I’m not at all, but on an overcast, cold day, the allure of warm sand and sunshine is hard to deny. These kinds of blues–and that’s exactly what my longing indicates–have little to do with the weather and lots with stress and fatigue, and I’ve come to recognize them quickly before they take complete hold of me.

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The easiest way to recreate the ambiance of a vacation is to find things that feel uplifting. I bring home bouquets of flowers to add a splash of color to my surroundings, float rose petals in my evening bath, and burn sweet Japanese incense in the bedroom. Then I temporarily set aside my beloved cool irises and woods for the most exuberant perfumes of all in my collection–the tropical florals.

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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.

loulou

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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