Spring seemingly having been suspended they decided to arrange an early summer of their own.
No expense would be spared, no discretion exercised, no refinement or restraint respected.
This was to be no place for good taste.
The women of the Womens’ Institute determined that their arrangement would be the most dazzling display this dreary state had ever seen.
Flexing floricultural muscles and credit cards they assembled a mass of stems and blooms the like of which had never been known: tuberoses, roses, orchids and orange blossom; gardenia, carnation, jasmine and mimose.
They worked for four days solid fuelled by gin and plum juice, mandarin martinis, peach nectar and Nembutal.
Until the moment came, the day of the great unveiling…
When ‘it’ appeared from underneath its own tarpaulin, the people were amazed, they gawped and gasped and when the women of the Womens’ Institute asked ‘How do you like it?’ no one knew exactly what to say.
It was “very large” one whispered, another added “quite unique” a third piped up ‘well, it’s unforgettable’.
But The women of the Women’s Institute were enraptured of their creation, their breasts puffed up with pride for they loved their floral installation.
It mattered not one jot to them how much or by whom it was decried.
And there it stood it seemed for weeks on end, its presence showing no sign of abating, the elephant in every room, a petal strewn monument to summer and sophistication gone wanting.
When finally it departed, after much boo and hiss, well even the staunchest critics had to admit that really nothing was amiss.
It was, after all, when all was said and done, really just a ginormous bit of fun.
Amarige is an explosion in a flower shop.
It is an over the top floral cocktail in which the bartender perfumer has thrown everything in the shaker, whirled it around his head with gay abandon and has apparently no idea and less care as to what will come out later.
The result is as lethal as a Long Island Ice Tea, as silly and Sex on the Beach and as downright camp as a Pina Colada.
And yet, for all that, Amarige is an adorable floral avalanche of an aroma.
This is scent as sung by Dolly Parton “P.E.R.F.U.M.E.”.
Indeed Ms Parton is the perfect metaphor for this heaving bosom of a perfume.
Like her it is seemingly sewn together out of the off colour off cuts of a thousand other stars, but in reality it is a skilful, clever, utterly unforgettable confection that has and will stand the test of time.
And as for notes? It has more than Dolly’s 2,500 tune-strong song book.
Is there a big flower that isn’t bountifully represented here?
Yes, everyone will point to the tuberose, but on closer examination there is gardenia, mimosa, ylang ylang, orchid and rose just as a start.
Then like every cocktail there are the mixers.
Here juice is very much to the fore, with the plum of the opening pairing off with violet to produce an accord that almost reads as juniper. Peach and cassis are just behind delivering a distinct overflowing fruitiness that threatens to but cannot succeed in overthrowing the flowers from their throne.
Oh and then there is the silage, let’s just say the volume’s turned up loud on this one.
Of course, people hate Amarige, sometimes one feels one ought to hate Amarige, so intense is the loathing set aside for it.
It is the kind of scent that folks are asked not to wear at work for fear of offending colleagues.
I feel ‘folks’ should just realise it’s all a bit of self effacing fun.
The problem I can’t help feeling, the real reason why this fragrance gets such offensively bad reviews is that it’s simply not fashionable.
Once last time I’ll let the inimitable Ms Dolly Parton do the talking for the scent:
“I’m not trying to be fashionable. Never was!”
So, the big money question, can a man wear Amarige?
Probably. In the kind of bars where they play big-haired country music and knock back brightly coloured cocktails.
The Dandy would like to assure readers that he is aware that the splendid song “D.I.V.O.R.C.E.” was originally an hit single for the wonderful Ms Tammy Wynette; however, he feels that there are times when only Dolly will do.
With thanks to the Harper Valley PTA.
The Perfumed Dandy