Green and Gold

mountainsIt’s September. It’s the Autumnal Equinox, and I’ve been watching the color of the sunlight shift ever so slightly away from hot summer glare, almost metallic, to the gentle warmth of Autumn afternoons.

The whole world is green and gold, rimmed in deep blue enamel. I love this time of year. Soon enough the mountains will go all russet tweed, but not yet.Β  For now I am wearing green and gold perfumes and glorying in this all-too-brief weather. It’s perfect.

Horse chestnut tree in autumn
Horse chestnut tree in autumn

Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete is still beautiful, even in its current eau de toilette state. The old stuff was labeled EdT, but it wore more like an EdP – deep, rich, floral but glowing woody underneath. Almost too wistfully gorgeous to bear. Smells like sunshine through leaves.

Ralph Lauren Safari is another green-and-gold I am learning to love, after finding the parfum version too sweet. Safari smells like cut grass drying into hay, plus freshly waxed wood furniture and a hint of vanilla. Its green shades straw-colored, and its gold is the warm gold of polished maple.

Guerlain Chamade is a round ball of bitter-green that gradually melts into the creamy pale gold of good custard, from cold shoulder to surrender.

Cstormy fieldoty Chypre (the really old stuff, not the 1980s Chateau Collection rerelease) is an elemental green, and there is a power and strength to it that smells like being outside with a storm approaching… eerie billowing shadows of clear olive green and dark gold.

There are other green fragrances, certainly, and I’ve made no bones about how much I love greenies in general, but these four capture my heart in early fall. Soon enough I’ll want leathers and spices and dried fruits, Smell Bent One and Givenchy Organza Indecence and Jolie Madame and Amouage Memoir Woman… but for now, I luxuriate in mellow, vibrant green and gold.

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14 thoughts on “Green and Gold”

  1. Hi there,
    I loved this post, and the pictures are gorgeous too.
    Down here spring has sprung, the camellias, daffodils and bluebells are starting to fade and the sun tolerant azaleas are just bursting forth. Clivia are a riot of orange and the liquidamber is the most startling grey and acid green.
    Though we are in opposite seasons I am finding Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete perfect too. Thanks to you. I grabbed an older bottle and it is just slightly top note turning but the rest is perfection.
    Portia x

    1. I Love LTdF in both spring and fall. Seems like I notice the floral notes more in warm weather and the woody basenotes more when it’s cool. Spring and fall are my favorite seasons, anyway… too bad they don’t last as long as summer and winter.

  2. Like Portia, I love PdN Le Temps d’une Fete in the spring. I keep meaning to try it in other seasons, but some reason it’s firmly rooted in my brain as a spring scent. I have an older bottle of Safari. The top notes are off and every time I wear it I have to restrain my self from throwing the bottle out during the first 30 minutes of wear time. After that it is pretty darn good. Do you have vintage Chamade? Because what I’ve sniffed recently, bears no relationship to the description you’ve written.
    Still hot and sunny out west and I am eagerly anticipating autumn weather and praying for rain this winter.

    1. A lot of people find LTdF a spring-only scent; you’re not alone. The Safari being so ooky up top… you know, it does have aldehydes and they go off pretty easily. I have had difficulties in wearing vintage stuff when it takes more than 10 minutes or so for the off notes to float away.

      My Chamade stash consists of a 1970s EdT in a funky tortoiseshell-pattern plastic-top bottle, plus a decant of 1980s PdT (which is, hmm, flatter and powderier, where the EdT’s topnotes are starting to go weird). And a teeny bottle of extrait, age unknown. But I have smelled a more current version of the EdT – this was maybe two years ago? – and it smelled okay to me.

  3. What a beautiful part of the world you live in! Those mountains are stunning.

    Will have to haul out my bottle of LTdF and see if it’s started to turn (noooooo!!). I’m one of those people who has always thought of it as a spring scent, so I’m glad to be kicked out of that rut (I wonder how many other perfumes I have a seasonal blind spot with??).

    I tried Ninfeo Mio for the first time recently and loved it. It’s also in the green-and-gold category, with citrus and fig mellowing out the sharp greenness and adding richness and depth and golden-ness. Yum!

    I have a small vial of the 1980s Coty Chypre and was underwhelmed by it… I’ll put the vintage on my must-try list!

    1. It IS beautiful around here. Truly so.

      How old is your LTdF? I really need to double-check on my stash of older (pre-refo) stuff (a partial 50ml I bought from a friend who was tired of it, and a 30ml I had started to use before thinking, “Hey, I should go ahead and buy a BIG bottle of this because I love it and because I already killed my first 30ml.”). Hope it’s doing okay. I do have other scents I only seem to want in spring – and I really love doing the seasonal shift. Reminds me, I need to officially do that for fall.

      I don’t do well with fig leaf (the fruit is okay) in perfume, so I never bothered to test Ninfeo Mio. But I can see how it could be green and gold.

      The 1980s Chypre is dull, if you ask me. Rather powdery. Of course, there are people who think it’s pretty good, but it didn’t touch me either. Surrender to Chance did have a stash of the vinty parfum at one time, and it was WAAY spendy… but so beautiful.

      1. Just checked my back-up pre-refo 30-ml bottle of LTdF (it’s about two years old) and it’s fine… phew! Will have to re-swaddle it in Parafilm and put it back in the storage cupboard.

        I have a 30-ml of Nicolai’s Rose Pivoine that’s three-quarters gone; it’s the same age as the LTdF. I grabbed it a couple of months ago and what was left had turned badly. Since there wasn’t a lot it wasn’t too bad a loss, but still… that’s the first time I’ve had something turn, and it was like discovering that your wine is corked (ugh).

        Normally I don’t like fig in any form (Philosykos almost killed me, and I’ve always hated Fig Newtons, heh), which is why I was surprised that Ninfeo Mio works so well for me.

        Fortunately my beloved ambers and vetivers only seem to get better with time, so I’m grateful for that. πŸ™‚

  4. Just wanna say that I am grateful for the new blog background, pics, etc. SOOOO much easier to read/see. Thank you. And thanks for continuing to blog. I may not comment often, but I’m always lurking.

    1. VERY glad to hear it’s easy to see. I like it so much better… why did I ever change?? Fatal boredom, I guess. There’s a lesson in that, the “grass is greener” nonsense we all tend to fall prey to from time to time.

      Glad to see you around!

  5. Can I say I love the header-really love it.

    Your description of Chamade always makes me wish that the hub had not deep sixed it. Oh well. Chypre he might like but good luck finding any. Those bottle turn into pile ups on fleabay. Still a girl can hope πŸ˜€

    1. Chamade is So Good. Probably my favorite of the classic Guerlains (well, there’s Apres l’Ondee, too).

      Chypre. Oh my. That’s all I can say.

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