The Year Round Floral

The decision of whether or not to change a perfume seasonally is probably not a problem for many individuals.  In fact, it’s almost certainly not a problem, since most people wouldn’t think twice about this, but I being the Anglo/Scottish hybrid that I am, and a perfume lover, also love a seasonal perfume.  We have such emphatic seasons here you see, and it is fun to pair the perfume with the weather.  That isn’t the case in many other parts of the world where the temperatures are relatively stable, and it’s the humidity levels that fluctuate, but in North America  we don’t always appreciate this reality unless we live in Savannah. If you do live in such a place, should you adopt a season-less signature scent? Should you in fact, find the year round floral?

To my mind the year round floral is the floral dominated perfume that doesn’t shut down operations when she meets meteorological adversity.  The operative word here is adversity.  You need a floral that has more than one string to her bow.  The most popular of these season-less florals has been the aldehydic floral, you know, No. 5.  But I will not mention No. 5 because I think there are other ones now.

In this connection I will mention Puredistance Antonia which I became acquainted with post Christmas.  It is most unfortunately an expensive option.  It’s too bad that this perfume should cost 198.00 $US for 17.5 mls.,  but there it is, and there’s not much getting around the price.  However, unlike a number of other alternatives available today, the Puredistance comes in extract, and that means that it is rounded and full in all its tonalities and lasts, and lasts.  Having put Antonia on only to discover the perfume still hovering on my wrist twelve hours , one shower, and a bath later, you’ll agree that this one does not desert you mid morning.  And then there’s the matter of the smell.

Antonia is called a green floral, but this is only partly true.  The top of the fragrance is green but of a very softly engineered sort.  It reminds me of the smell of tulips and the pollen that you always smell in them. The bee-pleasing smell of pollen-y tulips then, is the prologue of Antonia and it persists for hours.  It is also slightly reminiscent of Chamade, come to think of it, but this scent is much more blended than Chamade and all its notes are sublimated to the whole.  If you want a reference, the style is Chanelic and not Guerlainesque.  There are no baroque curlicues to this perfume.

Its second stage achieved as I’ve said, hours after the first, is heralded by a mandarin note and then becomes slightly vanillic and wooded and has a touch of ivy in it.  Once again the effect is very rounded, no note protrudes to poke you in the nose.  The whole is so integrated and so smooth that it rolls around on your skin for hours and hours and is always interesting while doing so.  If I have a complaint, and it’s very small, I’d point out that it is built on a high end synthetic that I have smelled a number of times before and never found particularly compelling, but by the time you reach this farthest of dry downs, the perfume is very faint and the note is by no means unpleasant.  I just wish they’d gone with a natural instead, sandalwood say.

This is an unusual kind of perfume for a modern house to release because it is a personal scent.  The whole orchestration of Antonia is so complete, and so careful, that you become aware some time into it, that you are really meant to wear this one, as a year round, habitual, signature scent.  This is swimming upstream from the current advice to build a scent wardrobe.   I like the idea myself very much, and you could start here, but unless money is no object, I don’t recommend it. Antonia is too expensive for everyday use for most of us. Explore a few other possibilities. An alternative, is to try  old formula Madame Rochas, which faintly resembles Antonia, though it is not green. Indeed any of the aldehydic florals of years past might do.  Even paying vintage prices, I suspect you’d spend less money, and you might find a similar suitability to all occasions with those – or you could choose a wardrobe of aldehydic florals.  There’s nothing wrong with a wardrobe of similar scents, some people own thirty seven pairs of jeans, and it does have the advantage of stylistic cohesion together with a muted sort of variety. And isn’t it a woman’s prerogative to change her perfume as often as she changes her mind, even if the weather is monotonous?

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11 Responses to The Year Round Floral

  1. Mals86 says:

    Antonia should have been exactly my sort of thing, and wasn’t. There was a metallic, synthetic edge to the entire experience that set my teeth on edge and my nerves jangling – and I can’t identify what it is. I wore it three times and kept finding myself with a tension headache, so I passed on my lovely large sample, to someone who adores it. Ah well.

    • Blacknall Allen says:

      Yup. The whole perfume was very well done, but the third or fourth time I wore it I had to scrub it off. Most peculiar. Could it have been that synthetic base?

  2. Cymbaline says:

    I had the same experience – something “metallic” that irritated me. Fortunately, Puredistance 1 is absolutely divine!

    • Blacknall Allen says:

      Someone had to say it, didn’t they? Well, now I shall have to try Puredistance I, my hands are tied. .

  3. Undina says:

    I’m this someone to whom Mals passed her sample and I love Antonia.

    Chanel No 19 parfum is my year round floral but it’s not cheaper than Antonia (if to calculate per ml).

    • Blacknall Allen says:

      No, the Chanel’s are never cheap, no matter how you figure it, and you are lucky to have that No 19 in parfum. Is the extract only vintage now? I’m glad someone loves Antonia because it is really well done, I just couldn’t handle that dry down myself

      • Undina says:

        It’s available at Chanel website: No 19 Parfum.

        • Blacknall Allen says:

          Yay! Thank goodness for that.

        • Tatiana says:

          So you have the recent formulation of the extrait and it’s good? No horror stories of it being ruined?

          • Blacknall Allen says:

            As of the end of 2011, when I bought my sample from Luckyscent, it was fine. And they sent me a carded sample, so it’s unlikely that there’s a problem with Antonia being re-formulated yet. Hope that helps you.

            (Unless you were asking Undina about No 19 and your question wound up here by accident. Check out her website because I don’t have No19 in parfum and can’t be sure to answer you correctly.)

  4. Pingback: Laughs, Lemmings, Loves – Episode 12 « Undina's Looking Glass

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