Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Edwardian Abroad: Diptyque

Liberty print

Liberty print

This is a perfume house that has been active since the  60’s, and as with anything that survives such a decade, the memories may be  a bit blurred by time and opiates.  Diptyque was not created as a perfume house originally, rather the emphasis was on objects for the home (two of the founders worked for the  venerable London firm Liberty’s) but they added a fragrance in 1968, L’Eau based the site says on pomanders.

This serves to give you a taste of the aesthetic behind Diptyque.  It was to begin with visual, somewhat antiquarian, and the British taste for both dominates here, a world away from very French houses like Annick Goutal. In other word what we have is more Aubrey Beardsley than Boucher, and the gilding gives way to black and white drawings.

In fact, the ink print austerity of Diptyque has served to lend the business one of the strongest and most instantly recognizable presentations in perfumery.  In many ways their ersatz Edwardian graphic labels and bottles give them an edge over the ubiquitous rectangular minimalism of other firms whose packaging will probably become dated in a few years time.  Diptyque on the other hand always knew their own style and that individuality has served them well. Continue reading

Among the Roots

Siberians in the garden at Bowdoin

Siberians in the garden at Bowdoin

Suddenly it’s gotten hot in Connecticut.  This sounds like an oxymoron I know.  However it can get hot in New England and usually does when you really could do without the humidity and the soaring temperatures, as in for instance when you’ve just moved north and thought it would be cooler.

Every year when the Great Heat Wave happens I’ve turned to different remedies and oddly this year my invisible cold pack is full of  iris and patchouli. I’m not sure why I decided that iris was a good remedy for heat, unless the sight of a lone Japanese iris in bloom set me off the other day. Continue reading

Nearly Uncooked Perfume

Nearly There...

Nearly There…

On the other end of my move I seem to have gotten every bottle I wanted with me intact and unharmed! Yay! There was a single mistake.  Le Temps d’un Fête stayed too long on my dressing table and somehow got crammed into the pressure-cooker known as a trailer. This was most definitely My Bad as I had decided I needed to have the bottle out for whiffs to alleviate the terrors and interminable mess ups of moving, only to find that it had been packed while I made one last harried trip to the town dump.

The moral of this story is: when moving never turn your back on packers. I should know better anyhow, since the last move I made had me trudging about our then new home for a week in my bedroom slippers.   Same story as the perfume, turn your attention elsewhere for five minutes and everything has disappeared (including all your shoes) without so much as a hey presto! to warn you. I’d have preferred a rabbit out of hat myself because it’s very hard to explain to the inquisitive staff at Subway why you are wearing gold brocade mules to order a cheese sub with everything.

The best part of this move was definitely the refrigerator in the basement of the new house, now dedicated to perfume and white wine. If I hadn’t had that wonderful appliance in place, the perfume would have suffered far more temperature changes. As it is I can enjoy all of my collection except for Temps, and am on tenterhooks to see what has happened to that bottle*.

On the good side, things have been a little cool here in New England this week and so I am hopeful that the perfume remains un-simmered. Had I been moving to Texas or Florida Le Temps might have reached a rolling boil.

As for perfume, summer is different here in Connecticut than in humid Jersey. Even though we’re now into July, summer hasn’t unpacked all her props here and so I have been wearing a great deal of vanilla meaning in my case a lot of Vanille Tonka and some Balkis which seemed cheery and appropriate with all the raspberries mixed in with roses.

The garden here, though, is the true glory of this house. It’s big, a big lawn which meanders down to a small pond (really more of a large puddle than a pond) but popular with the local wildlife. We have a pair of resident herons who like to come and do a bit of frog hunting in the puddle, and quite a lot of other birds as well, including orioles. I had almost forgotten what orioles looked like and had definitely forgotten their panicked flying style, similar to a dog paddling child’s first attempts at swimming.

This is certainly the house for green perfumes and for floral ones after I finally located Le Temps d’un Fête it came in for much wear as did With Pleasure. I’ll bet it’s fine for warm scents full of vanilla in winter. All in all, I could have done worse. Have you ever had disasters after moves, and what were they?

* Nothing. Le Temps was perfectly unaffected, and as a matter of fact my Hub’s two jars of allegedly Italian sour dough starter (Mario and Luigi) survived five days in the trailer as well. Miracles will never cease.