Thursday night, after an afternoon in Golden Gate park with Lisa's family (mostly at the famous Japanese Tea Gardens), I went to meet Ineke & Bill for dinner at Zazie's, where we indulged on grilled Mission figs. As we sat down, I could detect a heady floral note, that reminded me a bit of Ineke's Angel's Trumpet accord. Before short, and way before we could decide what to order, I found myself sniffing a world-premiere of not just one but two perfumes that Ineke will be launching this year. The first one is Hothouse Flower, a green and creamy gardenia which you may have heard of, and was available at the Salon. The second was still a secret, otherwise I would have began my praise before any delay. All I will say for now is that it's absolutely lovely!
It's always been my dream to visit Ineke's garden, which is a source of inspiration to all of her perfumes - and although it was dusk (hence the very poor quality of the photographs, my apologies!) it was very enjoyable and inspiring. The garden is so pretty and well designed (by Ineke) and tended by Bill (who's got the green thumbs). I also got to meet their two adorable dogs, who seem to enjoy the garden as well.
So imagine my delight when smelling the tobacco flower (Nicotiana fragrans - see image above), and discovering all the other lovely flowering plants they collect: Poet's Jasmine
Sweet William (a type of carnation, and the next installation in the Floral Curiosities for Anthropologie), Angel's Trumpet, Osmanthus and Midnight Candy (used in Evenings Edged in Gold), Tobacco Flower (used in Field Notes From Paris), Goldband Lily (Gilded Lily) Honeysuckle, Star Jasmine, Lilac and Heliotrope (appear in After My Own Heart), Magnolia - and, last but not least: inside of Ineke's studio, there was a whole Gardenia bush, which she brought in especially for designing her newest perfume: Hothouse Flower (review of this will follow shortly).
I also was privy to the very new purse-sized atomizers that will be launched by the holidays for "Floral Curiosities" line for Anthropologie. These are beautiful travel-sized interpretation of Ineke's signature bottle, and are encased in a book-shaped box: how very appropriate for Ineke's story-telling style.
Tagetes (Marigold) was strangely the plant that left the strongest impression on me. It was a full-grown bush, and very fragrant. Leaves and flower smelled alike: fruity, like fresh green apples, dabbed with citrus and almost chocolate-like undertones. Quite luscious, actually. It would make a very unusual theme for a perfume, for whomever dares to take it on.
Mock Orange Flower
Datura (Angel's Trumpet), whose accord Ineke replicated and used in her perfume Evenings Edged in Gold, and also the main theme of Angel's Trumpet in the Floral Curiosities collection.
The most precious moment though was smelling the osmanthus, although only very few flowers were in bloom at the time I visited. But it smelled exactly like the incense my friend Noriko brought me back from Japan, which she says is the most dead-on imitation of the real flowers. She was right.
Ineke & Bill at their booth at the 1st Artisan Fragrance Salon in San Francisco, July 8th.