The Gem Emerald… Norell by Norell The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter 

She had turned him down the first three times he’d asked for her hand in marriage.

Indeed she often wondered why she changed her mind the fourth time he popped the question.


Perhaps it was the bright sunshine that day, the sharp smell of freshly turned soil or the sparkling scent and sight of the hyacinths newly released from their nursery beds into the park proper.

Whatever it was that made her make it, it was a decision she refused to regret.

She’d known the proposal was coming around again: he’d asked before the previous Summer, then again at harvest festival and most recently on New Year’s Day.

There’d been a surprise when St Valentine’s had been and gone without any mention of them marrying and then she realised that he restricted himself to one request per season.

So, when he arrived that morning for a walk across to Kensington Gardens to ‘make the most of the first proper day of Spring’, she knew.

He was dressed even more smartly than was normal for him. He had a bright red carnation in his buttonhole, his skin shone from polishing and he smelt splendidly of his best lavender and mandarin cologne.

He was from glossy well combed hair to shining shoes every bit the contemporary approximation of the 1920s gentleman that he secretly wanted to be.

The Park felt much bigger that day than it had been all winter.

In the newly revived light of late April it seemed to be twice the size it was in February when they had scuttled to the Serpentine to watch the foolhardy folks skating as they sat huddled in the comfort of the tea pavilion.

The horizon now was further away and the manicured ‘wild meadows’ stretched out like a lifetime in front of them.


They paused beneath a great conifer that had deceived as deciduous tree from a distance. The striking almost acid aroma of the needles pricked at their noses and he looked a little puzzled, as if the chalky green smell of the sap had unsettled him.

Then she knew that was the moment.

“Would you…”

Before he could complete the question she heard herself responding

Yes… but I won’t be giving up work. It is 1968, even though your family may carry on as though it’s still before the war. The Summer of love has been and gone and besides I am not a school teacher as they all think I am, though there would be nothing wrong with that, I am a professional sports coach and one day women’s tennis will be quite as important and lucrative as men’s.”

“You accept?”


He kissed her still uncertain as to whether he might have been more careful what he’d wished for.

In the embrace she located a spicier undertone, there was coriander and cardamom in his saliva and his nervous sweat was salty with something of the sea and at the same time anointing oil about it.

She disentangled herself and held him at arms length, examining his face intently.

“You do know what you letting yourself in for, don’t you?”

He burst out laughing, then she did the same, then suddenly stopped.

“And I want an emerald engagement ring, I don’t care that everyone else has diamonds. Mine must be brightest green.”


Having taken the precaution of not buying a ring for this very eventuality he was able to laugh with a genuine nonchalance.

They walked back to town in silence save for when he stole a bunch of daffodils from the banks of them which lined way and presented them to her with a flourish.

She called him a thief, and knew he had in fact stolen at least a part of her heart.

She had his completely.

Vintage Norell by Norell Corporation is a brilliant bright green emerald of a scent standing proud from the shoddy crystals, cut price cut glass and paste of so much of modern perfumery.

Like a true precious stone its sparkle deceives with apparent simplicity only to be revealed as a complex construction of a genuine master, or indeed mistress’s, art.

Its myriad facets all gleam with a lustre born of careful consideration, expert blending and pitch perfect polish.

From the moment of its entry with an unmatched high accord of citrus, lavender and galbanum as clear as a soprano’s top ‘c’, one is left in no doubt that this will be an unforgettable performance.

What follows is an immense floral choral heart, led by a blue hyacinth that is joined in time in a duet by a wonderfully green carnation.

A clutch of South Asian spice: cardamom, coriander and cinnamon add texture while vetiver, oakmoss and narcissus give the whole piece and earthy and robust structure.

This is no blow away scent, feeling never less than sturdy in all its built to last elegant magnificence.

Standing like a Crystal Palace worthy of Oz, this is a vast and awesomely beautiful fragrance that can and should be appreciated for miles around.

Norell is a heart stopper.

As soon as a certain gentleman is able to acquire a sizeable quantity of this he is sure it will become something of a somedays signature.

Why all women don’t do the same is quite beyond him.

Please note dear friends that The Dandy tried Norell as manufactured by the Norell Corporation.

There have been several versions since, each less good and then more bad than the last.

Do take care when selecting jewels.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy


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20 responses to “The Gem Emerald… Norell by Norell The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter 

  1. I couldn’t agree more! About emeralds, about spring and about Norell! They just don’t make them like that any longer. Thank you, Dandy!

  2. brie

    beautiful and so romantic…stole this bottle from my mum many years ago…brings back great memories…thank you, Mr. Dandy!

  3. Lilybelle

    How lovely! And sweet! Our Dandy is a romantic soul. Emeralds are my favorite stones. I knew when you opened with emerald that it would be a goodie. 🙂 My mother wore Norell. It was indeed special. I will be sure to take care if I ever acquire any to get the original one.

    • Dearest Lily
      Indeed all dandies are romantic by nature, but I wonder whether the course of love will always run true for this pair?
      I am sure they will return another time and we will discover how everything turns out for them.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Lilybelle

        I was wondering the same thing. That feisty spirit will need a lot of free rein to roam, and whether she walks all over him will depend on how much she truly does love him. Omnia vincit amor. Only time will tell. 🙂

      • Dearest Lily
        Yes indeed, only time and future slithers of their lives will tell. I wonder which perfumes either or both our protagonists will return as.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  4. batkitty

    Very enjoyable review! It sounds like you have found true love with your Norell.

    • Dearest Batkitty
      Oh yes, I think we can safely say that The Dandy and this scent are engaged!
      But, how much my luck that it should be long turned into something horrible. Current editions are hateful so I will have to search the best I can online (not easy as nearly all the stock is in America).
      The course of true love never did run smooth.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  5. Oh I want to have it… and wear it with my huge (Faux) emerald Pope’s ring. (Yes I have one!) So do tell, where should I go to find a Norell such as the one you have. I MUST have this perfume. And the bottle looks like the most wonderful Deco delight.

    • Dearest Lanier
      Why am I unsurprised and yet impressed that you have a faux emerald ring inspired by The Holy Father!?!
      You are a deliciously diabolical man!!
      I fear that the only place to acquire Norell must be on line with all its attendance risks and pitfalls…
      Unless it is resurrected by some benificent perfume company any time soon.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  6. Ahh.. yes, Norell. I remember this from my youth. There’s nothing flimsy about it. It’s substantial and “sturdy” in the best way.

  7. Miss Misty

    If this isn’t an unconditional declaration of love than I don’t know what is.
    To me Norell is a Katharine Hepburn kind of a scent, it has her feisty character.

    I expect an invitation to this wedding ceremony Mr. Dandy 😉

    • Dearest Miss Misty
      But who couldn’t love Norell?
      Gosh, The Dandy expects everyone feels the same way about their betrothed!
      The envelope containing the embossed invitation will be on its way as soon as the date is set.
      After all you were the match maker!
      Thank you once again for the invitation.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  8. Norell was truly a heart stopper at my first encounter with her. I am since lucky enough to procure five quarter-ounce sealed bottles of the vintage parfum to ensure a lifelong relationship with her. As always, thank you Mr Perfumed Dandy for writing such beautiful story/review and I look forward to reading more in the near coming future.

    • Dearest Mr Chau
      I’m so pleased that you have a great supply stored away, for Norell is a perfume that I cannot see declining at all in beauty with time or age.
      Thank you as always for your kind words.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

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