What with all the grays and the sheath dresses and the "cozy knits", demure is very in this season. And so I feel that more attention should be paid to one of my favorite fragrance "categories", Ladylike Perfumes. If the Queen drops by for a cup of tea, what scent would you wear with you gray sheath and your pearls and your gloves? I would probably reach for the appropriately English Florissa.
Introduced by Floris in 1978 and described by the creators as "a fragrance for the English Rose, a celebration of femininity, innocence and charm", the is a simple and refined composition, in which lily of the valley and rose seem to me to be the most dominant notes. The beginning is slightly citrusy, fresh and green, evocative of a stroll through an English park on a chilly spring morning. The theme of the pleasantly sharp coolness is continued in the heart by the silvery muguet, with rose adding subtle sweetness and a splash of color to the understated greens and shimmery whites of the blend...That rose is like the pink flush on pale cheeks of a young lady (natch), after her brisk walk in a park (see above). The base has an unexpectedly dry, mossy undertone, which simultaneously contributes to the elegantly "rustic" atmosphere of the fragrance and adds to the scent a feel of very urban sophistication. In other words, like a true lady, the versatile and always appropriate Florissa would feel equally at home in the country and in the city...and, unlike yours truly, would not be flustered by the (in my case, very improbable) idea of making small talk with the Queen.
Florissa is available at florislondon.com, $55.00-$85.00.
Image source, Hulton Archive via operagloves.com.