Dreaming of Spring...
As soon as this strange weather that we have been having has gotten colder, Ina of Aromascope and I fell pray to the winter blues. At this point we don’t dare dream of summer, but we are timidly nostalgic of spring. And so, however untimely it might seem, we decided to compile lists of scents that speak to us of spring. Now, with a couple of exceptions, I wear the scents I wear all year round, so the fragrances on the Spring List are in rotation in other seasons too. It is simply that they happen to have what I think of as spring quality.
Spring to me is a melancholic time, not quite rid of the gloomy cold of winter, only hesitantly hopeful of summer. I perceive this in-between season to be as transformative, fragile and gritty as, dare I say it, childbirth. One holds one’s breath. Can a miracle of the annual re-birth of nature really happen? It feels astonishing that it does happen…year after year, after year…The scents I consider to be spring-like have a certain ethereal, transparent quality (fragile) and a substantial earthy base (gritty). They must have coldness and greenness about them. Lily of the valley scents are spring-like, and so are violets (the greener the better) and irises. Vetiver is to me the essence of the poignant smell of spring soil as is patchouli (not always, but often, when it is rendered “dry” rather than “warm”, and is paired with vetiver). Cool, green chypres are very spring-like as well. Lilac scents are undoubtedly evocative of spring, but since I am not fond of this note, there will not be lilac-centered scents on my list.
So here is the list:
Christian Dior Diorissimo. Spring, bottled. This is lily of the valley flowers pulled out of the earth with their roots intact, with the earth still clinging to them.
Guerlain Muguet (any year) is the very soul of lily of the valley; the truer rendition I have not encountered. Unlike Diorissimo with its trademark, slightly dirty Dior base that makes me think of earth, Guerlain’s version focuses on flowers and flowers alone.
L’Artisan Verte Violette. Young violets shyly peeking out of the green grass, on a rainy spring day. A cool, fresh scent that I shouldn’t love but do, madly.
Caron Violette Precieuse. The dark roots of violets and grass. Black spring soil that just shook off the burden of snow. (I am talking of the old version here, although I think that the new Violette Precieuse can also be considered spring-like, in the same fresh, green way as Verte Violette)
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Iris Bleu Gris. To me, this scent is closely related to Violette Precieuse. The flowers are as dry and dark, the base even earthier. This is the smell of April, the cruelest month.
Chanel 19. Deep-green, succulent iris. Spring in an elegant city, urbanity, and dreams of the open air and the country-side.
Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist and Hermes Hiris – silvery, shimmery, magical spring, somewhere in the Rivendell.
Guerlain Vetiver and Miller Harris Vetiver Bourbon are the examples of vetiver scents that represent to me the “gritty” part of spring that I was talking about. They smell of wet, cold soil and the grass pushing out of it.
Jo Malone Fleurs de la Foret, Yves Saint Laurent Y, Jacomo Silences are some of the floral chypres whose coldness and greenness seems to me to be very spring-like.
Please share, which scents speak of spring to you, and don’t forget to visit Aromascope to read Ina’s Spring List.