Byredo La Tulipe
According to Byredo, "La Tulipe is built around the idea of the tulip". That is something to keep in mind when smelling the perfume. If I did not know what it was called, I wouldn't have guessed it was inspired by this particular flower. The beginning is lilacs, the rest - freesia and a sort of a dewy, pastel, musky rose. Because I know the name and the story, my impressionable mind does in fact conjure up an image of a tulip out of this fresh-sweet floralcy. If I did not know...I probably would have just imagined a spring garden in bloom, non-specific to any one flower.
I like the fragrance a lot, because I like that it takes me to this wind-swept, not too tidy morning garden drenched in dew. I certainly would have liked it even more if it was less heavy on freesia. In fact, were it not for that creamy, sweet accord, the scent would have been reminiscent of tulip bellona. It might be my subjective perception, but tulips seem to be both olfactively and "visually" fresher and greener. They are among the first to push their way back to life from the great beyond of winter, and the great cold beyond is still perceptible in their frailty, their slight earthiness...
It is interesting that both Hilde Soliani's Il Tuo Tulipano and La Tulipe are sweet fragrances, Soliani's being the sweeter of the two. Perhaps, the explanation is given by Byredo's Ben Gorham who talks about "the expressive physicality it [a tulip] bears". I assume that by "expressive physicality" Gorham means vibrant colors. In that respect, Soliani's concept is more successful. Her intense fragrance conjures up a bright red tulip, and the exuberant vivacity of the composition justifies the sweetness. La Tulipe, on the other hand, is more "pastel" "in feel", and thus, to me, it would have been more fitting for it to be less sweet, more airy and green. But that's just knit-picking. The fragrance is pretty, no other description would suit it better. Pretty, feminine, joyful, with a spring in its step.
La Tulipe is available at Byredo.com, First in Fragrance and Barneys.
Image source, Corbis.