"Spring Is..." Fragrance Favorites and a Prize Draw
What is Spring to you? What symbolizes it, what embodies it, what is that one thing, one emotion, one sound, sight or smell that is Spring? And if you have one of those, which perfume translates it the best?...Our answers are below; share yours with us for a chance to receive a set of 10 spring-y samples, including some of our choices below.
Spring in Texas is all about knowing your days are numbered. The trees are lush and tender, the highways are filigreed in wildflowers, the air is crystalline. The tourists exclaim and check the local real estate listings, but the locals sigh--in a few short weeks the heat will set in and stay in for the next six months. I wear all my fragile, ephemeral perfumes, the things too pretty to stick around for long, and then I turn again to Les Nez's, The Unicorn Spell. It's snap-bean green and shadowy violets are a perfect match for the dappled light, but they stand up well enough against the heat to let me take a little of spring with me into summer.
Whenever I can, I spend a bunch of springtime in New York City . Something about watching the city come back to life and the abundant blossoming of Central Park just makes me feel just so incredibly sexy and feminine. I love to walk up and down 5th with a million Bergdorf’s shopping bags in tow and stop for a cocktail or two at the Plaza. As cliché as it sounds, it totally makes me feel (does a little twirl) “Pretty and Witty and Gay”! This year my springtime favorite is Bond No. 9’s Madison Square Park. I adore it’s totally hip grape hyacinth , rose and tulip accords that are completely trendy yet incomparably sophisticated in a very shocking pink way! Madison Square Park is definitely bouncy , light and absolutely screams sexy toenails, white capris and a shocking pink Ralph Lauren Polo. I’m busy looking for nail polish that’s the color of the bottle and a chanel bag that’s the color of the bright green flower that crowns the top. Yes, I know that sounds a bit shallow. But as I love to say, “I worked damn hard to be this shallow and I’m loving every minute of it!” Madison Square Park is captivating and I think you’ll just love it too!
Spring means for me mostly one thing – change. And like so many people I have a healthy respect for change. People are creatures of comfort, and everything threatening to overthrow what we are used to is at first viewed with at least skepticism, at worst, fear. Spring, with all its accompanying changes is no different. You have to change your wardrobe along with your attitude. The former is not so bad, the latter requires coming out of your comfy cave, ending hibernation, renewing yourself along with nature. Frightening, huh? There is one perfume that symbolizes change for me, because it changes a lot during its wear time, it progresses from one end of the spectrum to the other. It does so fearlessly and boldly, just what I need. Guerlain Cologne du 68 is fitting perfectly for spring, it is light and lovely, but still has a hidden depth and complexity rarely found in cologne-style fragrances. It’ll coax me out of my cave in no time, you’ll see!
Spring means green to me, in every shade from tender to deep, and the exhilarating touch of green perfumes heralds its arrival. Alas, so many of my favorite greens are discontinued or reformulated, but one of them is still to be found quite easily even though it too is no longer made: Yves St. Laurent "Y" is a sparkling green chypre, more lighthearted and playful than most of its kind, and perfect for either chilly or warm days when you need a perfume to match the rising energy of the season.
Spring (in Central Mexico) is: Jacaranda trees covered in purple flowers, giant coconut macaroons at the Tuesday Market, fireworks for Saint Joseph's birthday that last for about 24 hours (yuck!), calla lilies being sold for $3 a dozen (they smell like magnolia flowers when fully opened!), and quiet cobblestone streets because the tourists have all gone home due to rising temperatures. My fragrance choice for this time of year is L'Homme Sage by Divine, because it somehow fits with its saffron, incense, immortelle and smooth woody dry-down.
Spring is newness: young love and prom dresses, the fragile tiny birds and animals we are so often called to rescue in "baby season," the sweet limbs of babies who need nothing more than a onesie in this weather. The scent that expresses the newness of spring is Sonoma Scent Studio's Voile de Violette. It is a soft, tenderly spicy fragrance with hints of greenery and wood -- and reminds me of the many, many days I was late to my Drivers' Ed class because I was making out with my high school sweetheart in the bushes by the softball field during lunch break, reclining on a bed of wild violets. Now he's my husband of nearly 23 years, but springtime and violets will always recall the breathless romance of our first blush of new love.
Spring to me is uplifting. After a long, cold, dark winter, there is something absolutely exhilarating about shedding those heavy winter boots, coats, scarves and gloves. It's always easier to get out the door, slip on a pair of ballet flats and light jacket, and not have to worry about temperature drops and piles of snow and getting things done by five when the sun goes down. Springtime brings with it happier, lighter moods, and an overwhelming sense of hope and inspiration - leading up to summer (which is itself an entirely different animal). For me, the season hasn't changed until I can smell it - the freshly turned earth, the subtle greenness of sprouting flower buds, wet pavement from the inevitable rain. The first scents of spring feel like a breath of fresh air after a suffocating season of stagnancy. I look forward to spring when I exchange my dark clothing to airy cottons, sheer gauzy linens and delicate silks - perfume being no exception. Seeking freshness, lightness and transparency, my scent of spring this year is L'été en Douce by l'Artisan Parfumeur. Defiantly named for the sweetness of summer, in my opinion this is much more of a spring fragrance. Capturing perfectly the dewy wetness of a morning in May and the romantic, wind-whipped shapes of dresses hanging sweetly on a clothesline, L'été en Douce is the ultimate shed-your-baggage, pick-up-running barefoot fragrance. With notes of green hay, white musks, orange blossom water, linden, rose and mint, perfumer Olivia Giacobetti just may be competing with mother nature herself.
Spring is sweet innocence when newly awakened nature unfurls, unblemished and bursting with hopes and expectations. Oriscent's Borneo 3000 cavorts with buoyant liveliness- a cool, green breeze whistling in the blossoming sun.
Spring to me is a feeling of melancholy. The term is unattractively defined as "an abnormal state attributed to an excess of black bile and characterized by irascibility or depression." In my own classification however, melancholy is that "mi chien mi loup" state of the soul, which envelopes one in-between...in-between black and white zebra stripes of life, in-between any major stage ending and another beginning...and in between seasons. It is an anticipation of happiness when you are feeling sad and a tinge of sadness in any happiness ...in my romantic understading of melancholy, it is a sense of fragility of our life and the world, and there is no season as Fragile as spring, which balances in-between Summer and Winter, life and death...And the perfume that for me is an embodiment of that is Apres L'Ondee, which is, to quote an old review, is a "hesitant smile on a tear-stricken face. The fearful calm after the storm." I feel in Apres l'Ondee "the poignant fragility of violets and irises, of ethereal petals weighed down by rain drops... the softer than soft spiciness of anise and carnation, the spiciness that is like a pang in the heart... the gentle caress of vanilla... the tender warmth of the base notes that lingers on my skin for hours like a memory of happiness... the graceful gauzy-ness of the sillage (...) The hope against all odds that after the gentle rain falls, the ten thousand things will finally come together...
Spring, the dry season of the tropics,
heat and dust, smoke and sand,
waiting for the thunder and the rain,
Bel Respiro calms and cools me.
Spring for me is always a period of joy. After months of cold, drab weather (yes, even in Los Angeles, where it's raining as I type this) Spring will, well, spring. Lily of the Valley for me is the ultimate scent of spring. The one that I'm most reaching for is Comme des Garçons Series 1: Leaves, Lily. It's lovely straightforward lily that reminds me of Springs from my childhood years ago.
Please check out other spring favorites at: Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc, Now Smell This and Perfume Posse.
Image source, artfulaspreycartoons.co.uk
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