Tag Archives: hyacinths

Fields of Fragrance The Perfumed Dandy’s Outside Spring Scents Part I

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Dear Friends

As some of you may have seen, The Dandy had a dashed lovely day out in the Park yesterday, well The Gardens to be precise and Kensington Gardens at that.

Thank you all to those of you who suggested some scents that might go with my humble snaps.

Perhaps the wisest proposal was that such sublime scenes of nature required no man made smell to assist them. Too true.

However, The Dandy was ever one to throw caution to the wind and so this week he presents some 25 scents to go with those same scenes…

1. Daffodils

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Certain folks may be beginning to believe that one has an unhealthy obsession with Yardley, the English purveyors of faux soliflores such as the nearly disappeared Narcissus.

So be it, but when a rich, earthy, vibrant and very realistic scent such as this is available at such a good price I will continue to crow about it with glee.

To be true, this is a humble daffodil and no neo-classical narcissus: a bright bold, orange-hearted and handsome thing.

But my way of thinking this fragrance is made all the better for that!

2. Fountains

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Water perfumes are so often so desperately dull, speaking nothing of the sensational fun of the stuff itself.

One only has to ponder those endless lines of blue aquatics (especially those targeted at the gents) to become overcome with a sense of ennui.

And yet, when The Dandy, thinks of water and fountains in particular three things take his fancy: the Louis and their Versailles, the far from boring Borgias and their Villa d’Este and the British and their Gin and its Tonic.

So there’s my excuse for setting out a case for this decadent spritz of misspent summer afternoons in spray form.

Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling is a quinine soaked cocktail of a scent that is guaranteed to intoxicate with its irrepressibly mischievious insousiance.

3. Statue

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Perhaps a little the worse for wear on account of that Sling, The Dandy can’t help but imagine that this young thing is trying to catch a few rays to eradicate that “pale and interesting look” she’s sporting.

“Heresy!” I hear you cry to describe a sculpture such… well here’s another: not a serious scent at all but a “beauty product”.

Whilst obviously not a patch on its magnificent namesake, Guerlain’s Terracotta Sous le Vent is about as fabulously fragrant as a moisturising mist might ever hope to be.

The weather may not yet be warm enough to prends un bain de soleil, but if you feel like a glow all year round you could do worse than this perfumed water variously described as having a note of tiare flower, orange blossom and jasmine.

Light, airy and aerating this is an energising floral fillip for anyone struggling to shift change of season sluggishness and swing into Spring.

4. Tulips and Hyacinths

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A tough assignment this, for as many of you have pointed out a true hyacinth aroma is hard to find.

Tougher still is the tulip, though one of The Dandy‘s very most favoured flowers on account of its shapely appearance, it has a scent that is evasive to the point of non existent, though a few perfumers have attempted to capture the concept at least.

So what to do by way of solution? Why a bouquet of course!!

Whilst Floris Edwardian Bouquet may lead with jasmine, hyacinth is high in the mix and there’s even a little oakmoss to add a brisk and breezy edge.

All in all this wonderfully composed water is an elegantly restrained exercise in self-effacing English luxury, and a worthy addition to any Spring wardrobe.

5. Green Leaves

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“Why!?!” I hear you exclaim, “Norell by Norell could quite easily have been your hyacinth dear Dandy“.

And so it could… but for all its top note florals, almost no scent is as gregariously green as the original Norell.

To The Dandy, it is a sparking emerald among the jewels of perfumery.

However, I will not wax too lyrical at this time about the virtues of this galbanum-laden gem, for there is more to come very soon on this same scent…

So a first five fragrances to follow on from those photographs.

Twenty more to come ‘twixt now and Friday!!

If you’d like to take a peek, why not spend a moment perusing the complete album of The Perfumed Dandy’s Sunday In The Park.

Any additional suggestions would be gratefully received.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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The Quiet Scientist… Silences by Jacomo The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter 

She made for quite a sight hurtling down the hillside on her sledge long after the snows had gone.

She didn’t care.

Her sleigh, as she had taken to calling it, was the fastest way from home to forest whether it was the ice of winter or the wet grass of spring under her.

Its hand polished soft wood frame, lustrous with the cool green lemon resin that she lavished upon it, cut a seamstresses swathe through the fields. She took the shortest route in the least time so as to waste none of the fabric of the day.

April showers and unseasonal warmth had brought forth a scattering of lily of the valley: with an outstretched arm she snaffled a few and tossed them into her basket without stopping or even deviating from the line of descent.

Arriving at the woodland’s edge she dismounted, wiped the cold compressed grass from her trusty steed’s blades, inhaled its bitter and brand new odour then wrapped the handful of green into tissue paper before placing it beside the muguet.

Once beneath the canopy, in dappled light and shade, her search began in earnest.

It was time for the first bluebells of the year, and she had determined to find them.

Hyacinthoides non-sctipta (how she preferred the old name of Endymion), always smell best when caught early, as though the first flush having pushed themselves so forcefully to the front are breathless and exhale their scent with a more serious ardour than later blooms.

She chanced upon them almost immediately, their hue picked out in bright watery sunlight, glowing in an otherwise out of focus glade.

She held them to her nose and was not disappointed, an innocent and uncloying sweetness, that charmed instantly. Carefully she consigned them to her carry all and prepared to climb home with her precious haul.

Then something tugged at her sense: a shaper darker smell, of trees and roots, growth and decay.

Extracting the scalpel from her lab coat pocket, she scraped a little moss from the base of a great oak, careful not to take too much, careful not to disturb the fragile colony too much lest she destroy it.

No need this time take the crop close to her face, its pungent scent reached her from the basket where it now sat.

There was another aroma too, besides the unseasonal tea rose and the wild yellow iris, but it was not until the rain came, brisk and businesslike, that it revealed itself. As she trampled a path through the undergrowth, she flattened, with the purpose of disarming them, a small cluster of nettles.

They responded not with a stinging rash, but an early smell of the next season. The scent was savoury, sodden yet sun bleached, swarthy and still clean: it was the presentiment of an English summer.

She longed to take armfuls back, but contented herself with a gloved handful or two.

And so she began her return: clambering through the already tall meadows, deep in thought as wild grasses brushed against her.

All the time considering how to turn these things collected from nature into chemicals and then how to compose them into black bottled magic.

Silences by Jacomo is a perfume that particularly deserves to be talked about, a hush that demands to be broken.

It is a glorious green, replete with floral abundance, a masterful but restrained use of moss and an uncontained herbaceous feature that is more centrepiece than border.

It is an exercise in apparently effortless formality and clear-sightedly brilliant composition.

The opening itself is quite special, a surprising cool breeze of aldehydic muguet, shot through with sharp lemon. Be alert though, for in this changeable spring day of a scent it is gone tantalisingly too soon.

Before any hint of disappointment can possibly set in at the loss of this commencement a tiered heart begins to emerge.

First the green chalk sour of galbanum arrives, only to be splendidly offset by the slight sweetness of hyacinths and more distantly rose and little iris.

Shortly after a late developing but rather beautiful and restrained oakmoss makes its entrance, providing a benign bitterness that allows the other notes to float more freely above.

Then, a product perhaps of this combination, or of the appearance of vetiver, cedar and ambrette in the base, a wonderfully natural accord of summer undergrowth, of stinging nettles in particular, comes to the fore.

This is a truly evocative aroma that carries with it the alternate heat and downpours, pleasures and pains of a temperamental temperate summer.

Silences, then, is a scent that contains two seasons, in one day and a single flacon.

And there we have a statement that should give you an impression of the tremendous scale of this achievement.

Sledges, forests, amateur botany and professional chemistry are pass times as fit for boys as girls.

With special thanks to the dear correspondent who provided The Dandy with a sample of this perfume in the vintage formulation.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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