Ineke's Garden

Angel's Trumpet, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

It was a cold-gray-wet mid-November day in 2007. Ineke and I sat at the Starbucks across from Vancouver Public Library (the main branch, which Moshe Safdie has humorously designed to resemble the Colosseum and give my city an imposed air of culture). This was my first time smelling Evening Edged in Gold and my immediate reaction was that of familiarity. I couldn't quite pinpoint it at the context, so Ineke mentioned the influence of the grand woody-floriental scents from the 90's - Feminite du Bois and Dolce Vita, both with a pronounced cedarwood and fruity notes.

Months later, Ineke kindly sent me a sample of her new opus (by the way - Ineke has a new and beautifully packaged sampler set, with all her 5 fragrances, titled “Volume 2” and meticulously wrapped and packaged in their miniature matchbox-like case within a larger drawer-type box), as well as the three floral bases used in the perfume. Two of the bases are ones that Ineke has created “from scratch” so to speak, using flowering plants in her garden as a reference and inspiration.

Although these floral bases play a modest role in the formulation percentage-wise (the woody and musky notes play a more dominant role here, accounting for more than half of the composition), they sure are what sets Evening Edged in Gold apart from, say, Dolce Vita and Samsara.

The Angel’s Trumpet (aka Datura) base is reminiscent of lilies and reminds me greatly of the lily-and-orange blossom saturated Lys Mediteranee, yet with a far more pronounced lily-of-the-valley note (most likely from Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol and other muguet molecules).

The Midnight Candy base is a lot less floral that I expected it to be and smells very candy-like indeed, and has a dusky, smooth ripe-plum-like texture which goes very well with the more complex, apricoty-osmanthus base (Ineke used both osamnthus absolute and an osmanthus base for Evening Edged in Gold - I have to say I personally prefer the absolute as it is).

The Angel’s Trumpet I’ve taken pictures of (see above) did not have much of a fragrance (at least not in broad daylight). Keep in mind that I've met in in mid-day; according to Bill (Ineke's husband and business partner), it is at night time when the flower releases it's lily-like scent into the air, and the yellow variety is the one to look for (the bush I've found being peach coloured may not be as fragrant but I'm bound to check out if it's still in bloom this very evening).

Midnight Candy is the flower that “stars” in this fragrance’s packaging. Unfortunately, I haven’t smelled it either. Again, according to Bill this finicky dusky flower will only show off its olfactory capabilities on a hot day after 4pm. In a cooler day it won't be as generous sharing its fragrance. I am very curious to hear if any of you who have tried Evening Edged in Gold are familiar with these two fragrant flowers and could “find” them within Ineke’s perfume. I would love to hear from you more about the plant inspiration for this perfume.

Interesting Read: Interview with Ineke Ruhland

Visit Basenotes to read an interesting interview with San-Franciscan/Canadian perfumer Ineke Ruhland. Ineke is about to launch her new perfume, Evening Edged in Gold, thus adding the letter "E" to her fragrant abecedary anthology...

While still inspired mostly by her garden (this time the flowers of Angel's Trumpet and Midnight Candy), Evening Edged in Gold is meant to be a heavier and sweeter scent than the spring/summery breeze of the rest of the collection - with notes of Golden Osmanthus, Plum, Angel's Trumpet and Midnight Candy and a base of Saffron, Leather and Woods.

Ineke talks about her inspiration, about her perfumery school, and also raises the question - which perfumes are better, the modern ones or the perfumes of yesteryear? Here is a quote:

"Many perfumers cite travels as their main inspiration, but that doesn’t tend to work for me in a direct sense. When I visit a new city, the first things I tend to see are the botanical garden and modern art museum, so perhaps it does work in an indirect sense. I’m also not big on food inspirations, or using historical perfume references. At ISIPCA, we had the historical collection of the Osmothèque stored in the basement and were constantly smelling the classics, but I always had a hard time getting past the density of older compositions, not to mention the prevalent use of civet! I’m not very sentimental about the past, tending to be rooted in the present in terms of my fragrance preferences. I actually think that perfumers today are much more talented and technically proficient than perfumers of the past, and I’m very grateful that we have a multiplicity of raw materials available to us that didn’t even exist fifty years ago."

I would be very much interested to hear what Smellyblog readers have to say about this. Feel free to share your insights by adding a comment.
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