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Friday, June 11, 2010

Byredo La Tulipe

By Marina

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, First in Fragrance and Barneys.

Image source, Corbis.

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Blogger Flora said...

I have been very curious about this one, because I love the scent of tulips. I also like freesia more than most people I guess, and when i see that a fragrance has freesia in it,I just want to try it even more. Your description is very enticing. (I am also especially fond of Bellona tulips!)

12:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Tama said...

I like this fragrance a lot and am considering a purchase. For me the expressive physicality description doesn't connote vivid color, but rather the way tulips move around so much in their vase - it is hard to pair them up with other flowers because the arrangement changes as their life cycle evolves. I do see this scent as more pastel, but distinctive and evolving.

3:12 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

If you like freesia, then most definitely try this!

6:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

What a very interesting pov! Movement rather than color. That makes so much sense as well!

6:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Tammy said...

I am lemming this one something fierce, but am concerned about the musky rose. I just don't care for musk at all, and my skin amps it.

Tulips are my favorite flower, though, so this may be a purchase made for a less than practical reason! I think I just want a tulip perfume.

Your reviews are always so charming, Marina!

12:34 PM EDT  
Anonymous lilacskin said...

im always intrigued by a dewy, somewhat 'messy' floral especially at this time of year. furthermore, i've been intending to sample byredo's frags for quite awhile now- this may be the push i need. thanks for the poetic (as always) review. i must add that, for me, tulips are one of the few flowers i adore from their very tightly budded youth all the way through their faded, petal dropping death. delicious!

2:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Esri Rose said...

You know, this baffles me. I've smelled tulips a bunch, and they have about as much scent as lettuce. What is this tulip smell people talk about?

9:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Tammy said...

Esri Rose, in my experience, the ornage ones, and occasionally a yellow one (Bellona being a great example), are the only ones that have a fragrance of their own, which is to my mose sweet/spicy.

I also feel that you are more likely to notice fragrance in tulips that you've grown in the garden, as oppposed to those you purchase as cut flowers.

10:42 PM EDT  
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5:14 AM EDT  
Anonymous Marian said...

Could this be the first Byredo scent I enjoy? I always feel a little sad when tulips start to droop their heads. I hope the fragrance has a more cheerful disposition.

7:56 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this cheerful, crisp fragrance. On me it is green, not too sweet and not a shred of musk. Thank goodness, because I amp up musk and in the summer, that's not a good thing. I fell in love and purchased that whole expensive bottle and have not regretted it one instant. It also goes well with the Green body lotion.

2:24 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Physicality to me would be about shape, not color. But I wouldn't put too much weight in what a creator says about his or her own work: many visual artists spout nonsense that could mean just about anything.

This is a beautiful fragrance!
Laura M

12:29 PM EDT  
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