Not the cute pairings of masculines with feminines worn by couples. What I mean by perfume couples, are scents in your wardrobe which you know will form a stable partnership with at least one other perfume you own. Maybe that might strike some people as odd, but I have done this for years.
Bear with me. Fond as I am of the fragrance wardrobe concept, I tend to change it seasonally or even monthly, and usually in this way, morning or daytime scent with evening or afternoon one. If you use two perfumes from the same house it’s often easier to pull off since they frequently share a base. Right now I’ve done this with Le Temps d’un Fete and Vanille Tonka from de Nicolai. They play off one another extremely well and can be worn for a month or so at a time. You feel like you have choice but also harmony and some familiarity. Try this with any maker, from DS and Durga to Estee Lauder, the only common point being a house signature.Since the idea is not layering per se here(although you can try that) but to wear both in the same day with one perfume giving out as the other takes over and the overlap smelling wonderful. Continue reading →
If you’ve been to an Ivy League college or live near one, you’ll know what I mean. Walls covered with ivy, ivy growing all over library walls and down dean’s offices. Ivy really can be ubiquitous.
The kind that climbs and creeps and is all through one of my front garden beds is Hedera helix aka English Ivy. That stuff eels in everywhere, currently it has one pieris and two rhododendrons by the throat and is threatening to throttle both of them. I had to take the loppers to it, and then there was a fearsome battle with the ivy that had crept underneath the siding of the house and along the main electrical connection as well. That involved careful use of the secateurs and a good deal of undignified tugging during which yours truly landed unceremoniously on her backside in the undergrowth not a few times. When Ivy sets out to claim territory it does so for keeps. Continue reading →
Tulips are impossible to resist. Certainly it was beyond me when I found a large escaped clump of bright scarlet tulips blooming in an out of the way corner of the lot, obviously former garden bed detainees who had decided on a prison break. Out came the secateurs, and now I have a bouquet sitting on my breakfast table, drooping ever so slightly – well, okay, quite a bit – as tulips do after a first day in water.
The revelation is their smell. They are large late tulips, which we used to call May tulips, with a correspondingly big scent: their smell is initially green with the freshness of ozone in it, then floral, a daffodil like scent with something powdery about it, presumably the pollen on those black pistils, and the base is honey, very warm and very golden, with a very faint component of dirty musk drowned in its sticky depths. It is a perfume complete in itself, and most unfortunately, I cannot think of any fragrance on the market that really tries to replicate it. Continue reading →
This is my way of expressing a piece of advice I came across in an old perfume book. The Book of Perfume (Barille and Laroze, 1995) suggests ways in which to keep some aesthetic order in your perfume collection.
The one that intrigued me was to find trios of perfumes and colognes that worked together in a pleasing way, complimenting one another, not hissing and dissing each other the way the various casts of housewives do on reality TV shows. A little harmony, the authors seemed to feel, would go a long way to improving life in the perfume cabinet.
Alrighty, I was up for an experiment and what exactly did they suggest? Continue reading →