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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Van Cleef and Arpels Feerie

By Beth

I absolutely crave violet perfumes in the spring. Sweet and green, a good one can easily fill my little world with hope. I’ve been in love with them ever since I was a little girl and I used to sneak into my mothers velvet jewelry box to sniff the precious little bottle of Attar of Violet that was my grandmothers. I used to pick them out of my mothers garden and sprinkle them on salads or if we want to be a bit Shakespearean about it “Salats”!

To me there is nothing more delicious to eat and smell than a dew kissed violet and I used to try to make perfume out of them when I was very young by sneaking out to pick them when they were still wet with rain and crushing them all over my naked little body. I still can’t walk through the garden without eating them like the finest candy and as an herbalist I learned early on that there was value to this practice as the leaves are wealthy storehouses of vitamin a and c and quite good for creating firm , healthy and fibroid free breasts!

One of the finest treats that I know of are the delicious candied violets that my sister brings me from Fauchon when she’s in Paris. No more magical little sweetmeats exist than these….beautiful purple flowers dipped in egg white and crystalline sugar, they make me think of Titania, Queen of the fairies and I love to sprinkle a few of them onto the top of a silken crème brulee . Parfait d’ Amour is a French violet flavored liqueur that’s absolutely wonderful when you drizzle it over the same crème brulee or mix it into a gin fizz....sheer and sublime!

I still think that one of the best experiences that one can have in life is the joy stumbling across a patch of those bright purple and white blossoms when and where you least expect them, like I did last week when I was out on the trail with my horse Henry. There they were mixed in among the wild spring ramps (another seasonal delicacy!), fragrant and glimmering in the late afternoon sun. Here today, gone tomorrow, their season is short so if you blink you’ll miss them. Consequently I’ve always tried to plant some wherever I’ve called home so I can always have them in my life!
2011 has brought a very late spring to us here in the northeast ; it rained for almost all of April and May is occurring as no exception. As you can imagine one of the great joys in my life right now is the little garden that came with the house that we bought last year. Because we moved in during the month of June last year spring came and went and I never really got to see what was nestled under all of those weeds!

I’ve gone around for weeks now wondering when the blooms would arrive. Then suddenly last week I looked outside my kitchen window and gasped because overnight the back perennial bed had transformed itself into a blowsy vibrant and purple sea. I ran outside to take a look and sure enough the flower fairies had arrived and were dancing all around my yard having themselves a mighty fine time feasting upon purple and white violets, apple blossoms and sipping what I’m sure was a very fine nectar out of cups made of English Bluebells!

I practically lay face down on my stomach with my face buried in those sweet purple blossoms. If you’ve never done this before please try. The fragrance of a patch of sweet sunwarmed violets is absolutely and overwhelming luscious and is imbued with an energy that’s practically mystical. It’s a tough fragrance to capture in perfumery, that effervescent blend of flora and fauna that captures the emotions of a unicorn touched spring day. I’ve tried lots of them and sadly they are mostly found wanting. I was never sure what was missing until I met Feerie”, by Van Cleef and Arpels last month in Las Vegas.

Feerie is a sparkling tribute to a beautiful jewelry collection called MIdsummers Night Dream and it’s a truly beautiful fragrance dressed in one of the loveliest bottles that I’ve ever seen….cobalt blue with a silver stopper that is sculpted as a fairy who has alighted gracefully on a branch. Feerie smells like everything that I ever wanted in a violet perfume….There’s sugar drenched violet and lots of it, but there’s a twinkle of jasmine and a sprinkle of black currant and mandarin. Feerie begins like a dance along the stepping stones of a favorite childhood memory but quickly turns into a bedtime story as it settles down into its buttery base of Iris and vetiver.

Feerie is very very sexy…… trust me, you’ll never mistake her for a shrinking violet. She’s a magical and mysterious “take no prisoners “sort of violet , bewitching and intoxicating and utterly surprising.

You can meet this enchanting little fairy exclusively at Bergdorf’s and Neiman Marcus . Be careful though because she’ll steal your heart and bring you all kinds of exotic and wanton springtime fantasies. You know what they say about the Fairies and you’re about to meet the Queen! She’ll take anything and anyone that she wants so be sure to hold on tight.....Feerie is definitely worth the wild ride!

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Blogger lovethescents said...

I too love violet and was really surprised by your review. I haven't smelled Feerie yet, and actually snubbed it when I saw the tester in shop. I've turned into a weirdo because I had the nerve to bother spritzing Jennifer Aniston and Boyfriend (on blotters, mind you!). Anyway, your review sounds so promising, I won't snub again! Thank you!

6:54 AM EDT  
Anonymous Monica said...

Hi Beth, I love your images and certainly DID have the pleasure of laying face down in Bluebell Woods and Violet patches as a child in England. I am glad to hear of another herbalist/perfumista :) I am a big fan of violets for breast health and make a tincture with the violets I grow here on Martha's Vineyard :) You make Feerie sound enchanting- and I like the brand- I'm excited to try it!

11:27 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been very curious about this line, but I've never seen a single one for sale anywhere, either here in Florida, or in Europe. And they have at least a dozen perfumes. I like the bottle on this one, too!

11:44 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Parfait d’Amour also makes a lovely cocktail with prosecco. Just sayin'

12:13 PM EDT  
Anonymous Flora said...

Beth, this sounds SO wonderful, and of course it's exclusive to stores I don't have close to me!

Perhaps I should go console myself with some Parfait d'Amour.... :-)

4:16 PM EDT  
Blogger Tammy said...

The mandarin and berry notes overwhelm the violet to my nose, but it's a pretty little scent, and I love the bottle, which I got online, at a very good price.

5:16 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I'm so glad that I've made you guys want to give this a try! It's really lovely and I was very surprised, not my norm at all, but I went into Neimans and asked for a good violet and the lovely SA brought over a few, none of which caught my fancy. Then she said "Oh , I forgot Feerie" and grabbed the tester. I was smitten! Can't wait to here what all of you think when you try it!

8:51 PM EDT  
Blogger taffynfontana said...

That bottle is delicate and so very pretty. Must really give it a try.

9:05 PM EDT  
Blogger fey said...

Lovely review! I cannot wait to try this. Sounds just perfect. And the bottle is enchanting.
Thanks so much!

10:29 AM EDT  
Blogger ULTRAMONIKA said...

I smelled it in Sephora,here in Poland and it reminded me of Guerlain powders,meteorites smell.I`ve been looking for that Guerlain smell for years,do you know any, that are close? I wish I tested it on me..But anyways,I just bought tester of Feerie on polish site,it`s EDP and it`s 85% full,for about 45$,I hope I`ll like it on me ;-)Monika

9:29 AM EDT  

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