This weekend, which is Memorial Day weekend not coincidentally, all the peonies are out in our neighborhood. They are absolutely wonderful with their outrageous flowers as flamboyant as a Can-Can dancer’s petticoats in mid-kick. I used to grow quite a number of them when I lived in Vermont. They were incredibly tough. You could, contrary to popular wisdom, dig up clumps that were decades old and move them without ceremony and the next June there they were in flower again. We had nothing very fancy there to be sure, only a selection of pale pink doubles of the sort that can be seen next to old farmhouses all across the rural Northeast. Continue reading
The career of Pierre Bourdon ended just a couple of years ago. It is a shame in a way, because he was the greatest advocate for the use of synthetics in perfumery ever to charm millions of noses out of their prejudices. I’ll write about his work elsewhere and will not be going over the subject in detail here, but it does seem to me that some of his later perfumes are being forgotten by the public and that’s really too bad.
Two, just two, of his that I really think we should revisit, are Courtesan and Romea d’Ameor’s Mistresses of Louis XIV.
There are comparatively few. The lilac note (which is an accord anyway, made from ylang-ylang, neroli, jasmine and vanilla) is a sort of smell judgment call, a little too much jasmine and everyone says, how sweet, it’s another lily of the valley. Too much vanilla and they say, oh it’s another orchid scent.