Falling for Florals

Fall Flowers, originally uploaded by DHamp1.

Flowers in autumn are perhaps more groundbreaking than in springtime...The weather in Vancouver has been unusually warm for the season, which could be the reason why I am gravitating towards opulent florals.

Here are some floral bouquets that are sure to warm up even the chilliest autumnal mornings, or reflect the gentle warmth of sunlight during the fall:

Velvet Gardenia
The elegant whiteness of these lush petals is set against a dark layer of brown, ambery labdanum. The gardenia notes are a little like tea (or maybe it’s because that the first time I worn it was for an afternoon tea?). A true love. And finally I indulged in a full bottle that should last me the whole winter (at least).

Madagascar Orchid (Lisa Hoffman's Variations)
I’m particularly smitten with the Evening variation, which smells of night queen, lilac, and incense. Rich and soft yet easy to wear.

Noix de Tubereuse
And speaking of night queen, this one smells just like it. This soft, sweet rendition of tuberose, with notes of violet, rose, wild clover, amber and incense with a hint of oiliness to it that makes it seem as friendly as a Danish butter cookie.

Macarons don’t travel well, but perfume does. And my New Yorker friend Nancy was right when she described this to me as “violet macarons”. I learned what Farnesiana smells on that visit three summers ago; but didn’t learn what true violet macarons are till this May. Now that I know both, I’d say that Farnesiana is like cassie and violet macarons (cassie being a richer, more violety type of mimosa), sweetened by heliotropin.

KenzoAmour Le Parfum
For those who enjoyed the almond and rice-steam aspect of the original, this is a real treat, because it takes this abstract synthetic floral into the realm or a really easy to wear comfort scent, with some of the sharpness of the original rounded off. I’m am particularly enjoying this these days layered with L’Occitane’s Almond Milk Concetrate.

Narciso Rodriguez for Her
This number is making a comeback in my wardrobe, after a pretty long break. I’m really enjoying it these last few days, applied with very light hand. It’s comforting, soft and both floral and musky. I find this combination to be both grounding and uplifting for me.

Bois des Îles
Opulent like a pearl steeped in milk-tea. Bois des Îles is something I only wear when that special mood strikes. It could never be an everyday scent for me. It is just too special for that. I’m amazed at the rare combination of creamy woods and warm spice with just the right amount of floral and aldehydic notes to make it shimmer and diffuse like the soft-focus surface of that pearl.

Noix de Tuberéuse

flowers from my lei, originally uploaded by flicka23.

These little white flowers from the narcissus family have a rich nocturnal life: it is not until the evening that their scent is at its full intoxicating aphrodisiac powers. It was traditionally considered dangerous for a young lady to pass through them as to be overcome by its intoxicating and voluptuous fragrance and be struck helplessly by it aphrodisiac powers (Poucher, 1959). Different crops and varieties of the absolute smell differently – some are powdery, soft and sweet, other have a slightly green overtones, and the harshest ones have been described as rubbery and almost medicinal.

In modern perfumery, tuberoses are often interpreted as a bombastic, loud and high-pitched narcotic florals. Poison and Fracas are two extreme examples of how tuberose can be treated in a very bold way. Noix de Tuberéuse, however, is the first and only perfume I found so far that is built around the theme of tuberose and does not have a harsh, intimidating, heady and cloying presence.

Noix de Tuberéuse is the softest tuberose and the one that reminded me most of the pure absolute. It is simple and I consider it a soliflore as the other notes all serve to accent different aspects of tuberose: mimosa and clover leaf hint at its slight green top notes; orris enhances its powdery softness; violet flowers bring forth an almost gourmand sweetness; tonka bean brings out its rich yet gentle, creamy-buttery sweetness; and ambery incense and sandalwood add a full bodied yet mysterious aura that along with reminiscence of coconut serves as a reference to the tropical Orient.

All in all, Noix de Tuberéuse is a creamy, buttery, sweet and soft tuberose scent. It reminds me of two things – the first one being the perfume oil called “Night Queen” from India. It is not a fancy perfume – but smells delicate and alluring, like flowers and incense intertwined. I am quite sure it is suppose to smell like tuberose to begin with, as tuberose is often referred to as “Mistress of the Night”.
The other olfactory reference links us back to Lipstick Rose, as it does remind me of the scent of some lipsticks. The violet and orris that appear in both perfumes have a similar effect and create a pleasantly plasticy nuance that is akin to the taste of a shimmering pearly-pink lipstick, if you happen.

The packaging of Noix de Tuberéuse is pink, and I couldn’t think of a better colour to describe this scent. It smells pink to me… It also brings me good memories, from when I first worn it a couple of years ago and my daughter was recovering from a broken femur, an incident that had forced her to choose speech as an effective method of communication... Ever since than she can’t stop talking, and my dreams are coming true. Maybe that is why I associate it more with chilly autumn days. But regardless of my own personal memories and associations, I still feel that the heat (even the very slight heat such as the mild spring weather in which I was wearing this yesterday) upgrades this scent into the next cloying-level which decreases both its sex-appeal and delicacy.

Top notes: Wild Green Clover, Mimosa
Heart notes: Tuberose, Fig, Violet

Base notes: Tonka Bean, Orris, Amber, Sandalwood, Incense, Coconut

p.s. I can't smell the figs on my skin at all. But these are listed on the official Miller Harris website.

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