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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A Bright Garden in Winter: Jane Cate’s Lark and Laughter & a prize draw

By Marla

Jane Cate of California is truly the Flower Queen; her natural perfume line, A Wing and a Prayer Perfumes, features radiant floral compositions. Her rose soliflores are becoming sought after by American perfumistas, and Tallulah B2, a rosy ode to musk, was one of the stars of the Mystery of Musk project last year. When Jane told me she had finished work on two new perfumes, Lark and Laughter, and they were ready to debut in the heart of this miserable winter, I had to try them. OK, after spending an hour in 6am darkness shoveling fresh slush out of our driveway, I begged her….(Does that last sentence meet legal disclosure requirements?)

Notes for Lark: Mimosa, boronia, neroli, violet leaf, iris, and sandalwood.

Notes for Laughter: Tuberose, boronia, orange blossom, frangipani, and mandarin.

Lark is honey-sweet and brilliant with golden mimosa, while Laughter melds tuberose, frangipani and orange blossom for a fragrance of surprising intensity and depth. I am not a big mimosa fan, in fact, the only two I’ve worn are Cinema and Kenzo Summer. Both weld mimosa to almond and musk. I like that combo. But Lark is straight-up-bright- yellow mimosa, and you know what? I love it! It’s so sunny, it made me giggle. Laughter, on the other hand, did not, because I was too busy sniffing my arm after I applied it. Tuberose was the big note in 2010, but only one, Vamp a’ NY, really struck a chord with me. Laughter is another all-natural that brings out the best of tuberose. It’s more subtle than Vamp, with an almost chypre’-like drydown that lasts for several hours. The burnt-spice notes of Vamp are absent, replaced by sweet citrus and boronia. Lovely stuff.

Lark and Laughter will soon be available from Jane’s etsy site.

Though neither Lark nor Laughter have knocked Tallulah B2 off her throne, she now has company on either side.

Jane will be offering half-ounce bottles of Lark and Laughter to lucky commenters. Please leave a comment about your favorite flower, and specify which perfume you’d like to try. Winners will be chosen randomly by my olfactorily sophisticated house rabbits.

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Anonymous ElizabethN said...

I have been impressed with Jane's perfumes - her Tallulah B2 is just gorgeous! I would love to try either of these, but if pressed to choose, I'd say Laughter (tuberose!). Thanks to Jane for offering these.

12:12 AM EST  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

These sound simply lovely!!

I am not a huge fan of mimosa in perfume either (atleast the few that I am aware have mimosa in the notes) but I am curious about this one.

My favorite flower ever is tuberose. So between the two, I'd probably choose Laughter..

I need to try some of her perfumes- they seem very reasonably prized for naturals- new lemmings!!

12:24 AM EST  
Anonymous Claudia0219 said...

These do sound those sweet mimosa flowers. Lark and Laughter, love the names. Thank you for offering such wonderful prizes.

12:27 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, Claudia, Lavanya, you're all in. And yes, in this era of ridiculously overpriced "luxuries", it's nice to find a real ones at a good price!

12:44 AM EST  
Blogger Tasha said...

my favorite flower must be tulip, but it hardly has any smell.. out of those that do smell, my favorite must be lilac.

i'm captivated by the sdescription of Laughter! would love to try it.

(...Mimosa now, that it's march, sounds delicious as well)

1:17 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohh, since tubereuse is my favorite top note of all, I would definitely prefer Laughter! Thanks for entering me - Alica -

1:20 AM EST  
Blogger Amy K said...

I'm a fan of honeysuckle and rose, but it's so tough to find either one that smells like the real thing in perfume form. I would love to try Lark.

1:40 AM EST  
Anonymous Lilybug said...

My favourite flower? That's hard, because I love so many. Jonquils, maybe? For smell at least. Blossoms, especially cherry, for their grand displays and hints of Spring. Spring is my favourite time of year.

I'd love to try Lark.

1:44 AM EST  
Blogger sara said...

I would really like to try laughter. I love tuberouse!

1:45 AM EST  
Blogger samberg said...

So close to spring, all these flowers sound like they come straight from the Garden of Eden.

This gardener's favorite flowers migrate with the seasons, so yesterday's mass planting of violets makes the perky little lovelies win the day - Lark for me, please.

2:21 AM EST  
Anonymous ElizabethC said...

I love orange blossom. Smells of summer and warmth. Would enjoy seeing how that smells in Laughter!

2:21 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tasha, some tulips have a light smell, which has been described to me by a perfumer friend as "spermy"! But there are several "tulip accords" I've tried, more imagined tulips than real, that are quite nice. Il Tuo Tulipano and Traversee du Bosphore come to mind.

2:26 AM EST  
Blogger Kay Tyler said...

Hi, as an absolute obsessor regarding natural and botanical perfumes, I would be thrilled to win a creation from a perfumer I've read so much about. I hate to have to choose, but Laughter it is!

2:28 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amy K, my search for realistic florals (most of the synthetics give me headaches) is what led me to the indies and natural perfumers. You can seek out some of Jane's California rose soliflores- they're on her etsy site. She really knows her way around a rose! I also like many of the perfumes from the French line, Parfums de Rosine; they use synthetic musks and so on, but the roses are gorgeous and true.

2:29 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elizabeth C,
The orange blossom is subtle, but present. It really comes across as a component of a lovely bouquet.

2:30 AM EST  
Anonymous Ariane said...

Laughter sounds wonderful,I also love vamp a n.y.,wore it all the time in the summer,but it didn't work for me in the winter.Thanks for the offer!

3:00 AM EST  
Blogger Tama said...

I'd love to try Lark - not very experienced with mimosa! They both sound lovely.

3:02 AM EST  
Blogger Balutakat said...

For me, the smell of beach rosa rugosas is home. I'm intrigued that Jane Cate is known for her rose offerings, I hope to check them out. Please enter me in the draw - Katherine B.

3:05 AM EST  
Blogger Stacy said...

I'm really drawn to the iris. It has a rich sensual tone that is also mysterious. I have never tried it with mimosa but I'm sure it is a wonderful combination. Of course I also like tuberose with it's romantic floral scent. Both of these perfumes sound wonderful and I would love to sample either one.

3:11 AM EST  
Blogger Ines said...

So far, I haven't tried a mimosa scent I liked so I'd prefer Lark in this case (as I love the smell of real mimosas - god, I am so ready for spring).
The only Wing and Prayer perfume I tried so far was Notoriety and I loved it so I'm very optimistic about loving these as well. :)

3:52 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notoriety was good, wasn't it? She also has a couple others that just came out, one is a vanilla-violet called Muse, I'm really wearing it a lot. I am not a mimosa fan, either, so I was surprised by how much I liked Lark.

4:46 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Katherine, you might want to try Jane's Serendipity, a new rose soliflore that my husband strongly prefers on me! It is like standing in the middle of a rose garden.

4:47 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never tried any of Jane's perfumes yet. I amvery curious about Lark, since finding a true to life mimosa scent is not an easy task.

5:17 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it is not easy! I've worked with the absolute, which is a semi-crystalline solid. It's tricky to work with physically, and artistically.

5:30 AM EST  
Blogger arlene20 said...

Tuberose and frangipani? -- Be still my heart! Would love to try Laughter.

6:00 AM EST  
Anonymous sybil said...

I'd try either one in a hot minute, with a slight preference for Lark. Winter has gone on way to long this year. And I'm looking forward to the smell of spring violets this year, that and stock. My favorite flower is subject to change, though, depending on which one I'm sniffing. and I cracked up about your rabbits!

6:37 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are a lovely pair, my rabbits, and actually, they love Jane's perfumes and nuzzle me when I wear them. They love the naturals. The only perfumes with synthetics they like are Chergui and Angel. Took me a while to figure out the reason. Coumarin, and hay absolute! They love their hay....

6:52 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never tried anything from this range but would love to. Lark is particularly intriguing as I've been drawn to mimosa lately. Thank you for offering this draw!


7:08 AM EST  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

My mimosa trellis was so gorgeous last spring, I would love to find a perfume that could match it's beauty. So I would love to try Lark. Thank you!

7:16 AM EST  
Blogger Karin said...

Thanks for the introduction to this company, Marla! Would love to try either of these. Let's see...if I have to choose how about Laughter?

My favorite flowers - TULIPS! :-)

7:18 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tulips are by far my favorite flower to paint, I do a series in watercolour or acrylic every spring.

7:54 AM EST  
Blogger Olivia said...

Oooh thank you for the info about Jane's perfumes! I'll have to check them out :-)

So let's see... I think my favorite flower, at least right now, would be star magnolias!

These perfumes sound simply wonderful. I'd love to try Laughter if I can (please enter me?). Thank you for hosting the draw, and thanks to Jane for sharing! :-)

8:11 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lark is beckoning, I love thosee notes! My favorite flower is gardenia, the ones I can successfully grow. Once they're blooming, the scent is incredible.

9:06 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gardenia and magnolia are two of my favorites as well. In perfumery, they are "imagined" as accords, they can't be captured from the actual flowers. Interesting, isn't it?

9:19 AM EST  
Blogger ~elise said...

Tuberose is so interesting so Laughter for me too...fav. flower scent is jasmine or violets...

9:34 AM EST  
Blogger Isa said...

My favorite flower is almond blossom. It can be white or pink, and it lasts only some days. The trees bloom for two weeks in January or February and then they lose the flowers. It happens so far... The smell of the almond blossom is honeyed, sweet, nothing to do with bitter almonds or heliotrope.

I would love to try Lark.

9:39 AM EST  
Anonymous kathleen said...

I have been loving, all things mimosa, lately. I would love to try Lark.

9:54 AM EST  
Blogger cbstarker said...

My garden at home is full of irises, gardenias and roses and we have a massive magnolia tree, which is my favorite. Growing up in the South, Magnolias were the floral epitome of summer. My mother would cut fresh flowers from the tree and set them in a bowl of water, filling the entire house with that sweet, buttery goodness. However, in perfumery, I lean heavily on Neroli and Orange Blossom. Since both Lark and Laughter have orange blossom, I won't be choosy, but given the addition of iris, violets and sandalwood, my preference is for Lark. Thanks for the opportunity.

10:03 AM EST  
Blogger Janet said...

What wonderful names! I love tuberose and would like to try Laughter.

Thanks for the draw.

10:08 AM EST  
Blogger fey said...

Sounds like two lovely perfumes. Simply can't wait to try.
Thank you for letting us know of these.

10:22 AM EST  
Anonymous Heather M B said...

My favorite flower is gardenia. Thats a hard choice because jasmine and honeysuckle are high up there too.
Laughter sounds lovely and I'd love to try it. I love her San Francisco, Lavender and Roses, and Talluluah b w/ jasmine and look forward to trying these even if I don't win.

10:32 AM EST  
Anonymous hotlanta linda said...

A single fave flower?? can`t do it.Just pass a bouquet my way! :-) Lilac, honeysuckle, & Jonquil are hard to find in current scents, so I will split hairs and try Lark!! Thank you for the drawing!!

10:41 AM EST  
Anonymous Ozzie said...

For fragrance, my favorite flower is orange blossom; I would love to try Laughter. :)

11:22 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, almond blossoms are GORGEOUS! Love their look and smell.

11:32 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CBStarker, that garden of yours sounds like something else!

11:34 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heather, I still remember in kindergarten how we'd all go out the back of the school at recess to gather honeysuckle blossoms, pull out the center, and drink the nectar, yum!

11:35 AM EST  
Anonymous Bellatrix said...

Violets! :)
But weird as it is - I don't like them in perfumes :)

11:44 AM EST  
Blogger a.k.a. Warum said...

Oh my! A bright sunny yellow mimosa from Wing and Prayer?..

Me, me, me, me!
Lark, Lark, Lark, Lark!!

I loved the Lemon Ice and yes, Tallulah B2. And these were the only two I tried, so 100% like so far :)

11:51 AM EST  
Blogger a.k.a. Warum said...

And usually my favorite flowers are rose and lilac, but in these early days of Spring -- mimosa.

11:53 AM EST  
Anonymous dleep said...

I have never tried any of these. Since iris is my favorite flower with violets running a close second, I would love to try Lark. Thank you.

11:57 AM EST  
Anonymous rosiegreen62 said...

My favorite flower is the lovely "Mr Lincoln" a dark red, very fragrant rose. Of the two perfumes described, I would love to try Lark, the perfect antidote to the long gray winter.

12:06 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Honestly, both scents sound lovely. I'd be happy to win either of them. My favorite flower, and I love to garden, has to be the rose. Not the tea rose, but lovely David Austin roses. I love that I can check them every day and watch them progress from bud to bloom to hips. Most flowers don't "move" like the rose. I also have a lot of jasmine covering a fence and when I see them budding, the anticipation builds, waiting for a warm day to hit the opening flowers and release their heady scent.

12:29 PM EST  
Blogger Fernando said...

Definitely Lark is the one that sounds right for my wife.

I like all flowers, and wish there were a way to convince florists that I want flowers WITH smell!

12:35 PM EST  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Oh, YUM. You make these sound irresistable, Marla. I see another sample order in my near future. So great to know about another good indie perfumer!

I have too many favorite flowers to pick just one, and as a fellow PST'er you shouldn't enter me in the draw anyway, but thanks for the post!

12:37 PM EST  
Anonymous BARBARA O said...

Put me in the drawing. My favorite sent is roses.

12:59 PM EST  
Blogger ccdouglass said...

My favorite flower is the Forget-Me-Not, just because it's so freaking cute! I would love to try Lark. Thanks so much for the draw!

1:08 PM EST  
Anonymous GalileosDaughter said...

My favorite flower to look at is the humble pansy, but my favorite to smell is orange blossom, which makes Laughter my choice to try.

1:36 PM EST  
Anonymous sharyl said...

I am new in just this past year to perfume obsessing and have just begun figuring out my loves and dislikes thanks to wonderful perfume blogs and such places as TPC. I have discovered a wild love for white flowers with my top picks being tuberose and gardenia and my treasured perfumes so far being L'Artisan Nuit de Tubereuse and Estee Lauder's Tuberose Gardenia. I have not tried any of Jane's perfumes so far and would love the opportunity to try Laughter. Thank you so much for this lovely opportunity.

2:07 PM EST  
Blogger sean's jo said...

They sound lovely and so do the names! I would love to give them a try especially as I have never sniffed one of Jane's perfumes. Thanks for the chance.

2:27 PM EST  
Blogger Ms. Wood said...

My favorite flower is tulip- too bad there isn't much of a scent to match its elegant appearance. I'm curious about mimosa for summer, so I'd love to try the Lark.

2:43 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funnily enough given my obsession with rose perfumes, my favourite flowers are scented narcissi. It's their time of year as well - happy days are here again!

Ahem. Both of Jane Cate's perfumes sound delightful, but Laughter is edging it for me today.

Please enter me in the draw, and thank you for offering it.

cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

4:16 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite flower is orchid since I love the way they look, but I have no idea how they really smell. Either of these new fragrances would be a delight to try. Thanks so much for the offer.


5:38 PM EST  
Blogger jensun said...

Freesia smell like Fruit Loops to me. :) I also love lilacs.

7:24 PM EST  
Blogger oaklandranch said...

I'm going to reveal that I have a terrible time with choices... My favorite flower??? How could I pick one? Flowers in general are a joyous celebration!

I'm not going to do any better with choosing between Laughter and Lark. They both sound wonderful, and I would be more than delighted with either.

8:12 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My house bunnies would like roses as a treat and when my beloved 10 year old Srella passed away she was buried beside the rose bush and some strawberry plants. She always looked to cute with berry juice on her nose. Sigh...So I have a soft spot for damask rose and lilacs as they remind me of her and spring. Because I cannot wear synthetics ( no lilacs) my favorite floral to wear is a pink lotus, honey and jasmine perfume. I would love to be entered as I haven't been exposed to many other natural perfumists compositions. It would be exciting as well to smell another frangipani scent as I am making an exotic, fresh tropical that has frangipani, tuberose, orange blossom, other florals, vanilla bourbon, base notes recalling coconut, and other goodies.
Her perfumes sound heavenly! I hope she sells sample sizes at a reasonable price!

8:25 PM EST  
Blogger Dixie said...

Thank you for the review! I want to try both, especially Lark! I adore iris!

10:06 PM EST  
Blogger taffynfontana said...

I have yet to sample Jane's creations they both sound delicate and well balanced. The notes in Lark sound to be very uplifting. Thanks for your generosity.

10:12 PM EST  
Anonymous Monica said...

I could not possibly choose between mimosa and frangipani! XOXO will simply have to try both! Thank you for the review <3

11:32 PM EST  
Blogger Alice said...

I love violets and gardenias. I'd love to try either of these, but maybe Laughter is calling to me... :)

11:33 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous who has house bunnies:
Please leave your name or pen name so I can put you in the drawing! I'm sorry for your loss of Stella, she sounds so sweet! Bunnies really do seem to love Jane's perfumes. And everyone else, you're in the drawing!

1:36 AM EST  
Blogger Undina said...

I love mimosa (real plant more than a perfume note) so I'd love to try Lark.

2:24 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Marla, for the wonderful and very complimentary review of my newest perfumes, Lark & Laughter.
These lovely fragrances are part of our Spring Collection which includes Serendipity & MUSE.
Thanks again. I love that the bunnies are your judges, since our Shi tzu, Mackenzie, is my biggest critic!

2:56 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Undina, Lark is very true to the flower, I think you'd like it.

3:19 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jane, it's true, our pets are often our most useful critics! Mackenzie sounds like an olfactorily sophisticated sweetie!

3:20 AM EST  
Anonymous Lara said...

My favourite flower is from this tree that blooms by the apartment of my childhood memories back in Taiwan. I have no idea what it's called but all I know is it always blooms at night, or at least releases its fragrances at that time. There's always something about the hot, stuffy summers and that rich, heady scent drifting through at night while I swat away at the mosquitoes...

I'd love to try both perfumes, though I suppose if I had to choose, I'd pick Laughter (really need a dose of happiness, what with the never-ending winter and all...)

9:14 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh~I hope I'm not to late for this chance. I smelled the latest AG Mimosa and was surprised because I had(ve) no idea what mimosa is supposed to smell like. Flowers I crave are osmanthus, gardenia, and rose. Instead of being a white flower person, I think I'm a dark flower person generally (making exceptions of course). The names of these remind me of two minature horses that live nearby...Joy and Music.

10:04 AM EST  
Anonymous Deborah Weber said...

Oooh it's too hard to pick just one favorite flower, but if you force me, I'll choose roses. But I have a crush on mimosa too, so I'd love a chance to try Lark. Sounds heavenly!

10:05 AM EST  
Blogger Vireo Perfumes said...

My name is Kait. I had the bunny Stella.
Sorry, about not leaving a name.
Thank you!
It's seems impossible to pick a favorite flower. There are ones that strike us olfactory, visually or may hold special place in line due to memories. There are so many flowers/ blossoms I have never smelled or seen up close. The closest to real orange blossom I have been near is the absolute and orange blossom water absolute. They are heavenly. ( Though if you get a bad batch or it goes south..Peeeeeuuuuuwww)
I also love the jasmine and honeysuckle growing in my garden. My fiancé who grew up in Georgia, showed me last year when the honeysuckle bloomed how he'd drink the nectar from the flower as he did as a kid. So I smiled when you brought that up. All these posts just reminded me of other flowers beloved as well. It has caused full on spring fever now. I wait like watching a kettle to boil for lilacs and the daphne to bloom. The season has started early here, so soon our town's famous Portland rose garden should be something else.
Ok, I will stop blabbering on.
Take care, K

12:30 PM EST  
Blogger KathyT said...

My favorite flowers are sweet peas and honeysuckle - they smell like summer to me.

I'd love to be included in the drawing for Lark.


2:54 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the name Lark for a perfume...AnnieA

4:18 PM EST  
Anonymous maggiecat said...

Here bunny...nice bunny... I love flowers in general, roses, jasmine, and freesia in particular, and would love to try Lark, if only to remind myself that Spring Will Come. Eventually.

5:15 PM EST  
Blogger Liz said...

Daffodils are my all time favorite... one day when I'm out if this one bedroom apartment I'm going to have waves upon waves of them!

I'd love to be entered to win Lark... thanks a bunch!

6:54 PM EST  
Blogger Lisa Abdul-Quddus said...

I have to agree that Tallulah B2 was a star. I'd love to try Lark.

My favorite flower (at the moment) has to be tuberose. I smelled tuberose for the first time two years ago and have let it go yet.

8:47 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

My fav is honeysuckle, it reminds me of summers playing in my grandma's backyard! I'd love to try Laughter. Plz enter me in the draw.

12:14 AM EST  
Blogger womo531 said...

My favorite scented flower has got to the osmanthus... nothing in the market quite compares to the tiny natural blossoms~

3:52 AM EST  
Blogger Olive and Oud said...

Marina, you have house rabbits? Me, too.

I haven't tried any of Jane's perfumes yet, and all my perfume friends are telling I have to.

My favorite flower of the moment is orange blossom for it's happy, sun-drenched, tenacious scent. So--tough choice--I'd opt for Laughter.

Thank you, Marina and Jane, for the draw.

9:50 AM EST  
Anonymous zeram1 said...

My favorite flower is rose, for it can come in various forms, from the "green" just about the bloom to fully blossomed in all its glory. I'd love to be in the draw for Lark. Thank you Jane for allowing us to experience your creation(s).

11:37 PM EST  

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