Spring Picks, 2010

Spring is finally here.  My daffodils and hyacinths are blooming, and so are the cherry trees, both wild and cultivated, white and pink.  There are baby calves bounding through the fields (if you’ve ever seen them run, you know where the phrase “kick up your heels” comes from), and I’ve even seen a few rabbits.  And the light!  The light has that golden, poured-lemonade quality that engenders happiness.

Goodbye to orientals and heavy vanillas, goodbye to tobacco and leather scents.  I’ve packed them away in the bedside cabinet to await chilly weather. 

A few scents I love for spring:

It’s the perfect time for lily and lily of the valley, so I love to wear Diorissimo, the old Kenzo Parfum d’Ete (1992 version in the frosted-glass upright leaf bottle), and Donna Karan Gold.  Nothing else says spring quite like cool, pristine white flowers.

Green scents come into their own in this season.  I wear quite a few of these.  Chanel No. 19, Silences, Le Temps d’une Fete, Chamade, and Crown Bouquet are favorites.

I also think it’s the perfect time for violet scents.  Who doesn’t love these tiny flowers poking their heads shyly through heart-shaped leaves?  Violet can be a little difficult for me — either dusty-powdery or candied — but  for violet soliflores I like Penhaligon’s Violetta and Annick Goutal La Violette.  The Penhaligon’s is a little greener, and the Goutal a little more rosy, but they’re both gentle and attractive.  Les Nez’ The Unicorn Spell is lovely, too. A few violets-in-composition scents that I like: Caron Aimez-Moi (violet, anise, and vanilla) and the incomparable Apres l’Ondee (violet, heliotrope, and ethereal melancholy magic).

Edit, April 30:  I’ll add lilac scents as well, since I’ve been craving them over the last couple of weeks.  Favorites: Jean Patou Vacances (of which I only have a tiny sample), Frederic Malle En Passant, and DSH Perfumes White Lilac.  Technically, Vacances is a lilacs-in-a-green-setting composition, not a soliflore, and I suppose En Passant is as well.  Another lilac composition I love is the gorgeous, satiny LeLong Pour Femme – lilacs and orchids.

Image is Spring Garden from nomm de photo at flickr.com.

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15 thoughts on “Spring Picks, 2010”

  1. Is Donna Karan Gold a white flower fragrance? Can you describe it a bit more? Mainly jasmine? Like Joy? Or totally different? I haven’t seen it anywhere, but have heard people mention it a couple of times and sounds like something that might be worth hunting down.

    1. Hi, SS – Gold is primarily lily. Lily straight up, no muguet or discernible jasmine or anything else. My 14yo daughter keeps sneaking spritzes of mine, not that I mind. She COULD choose to smell of, say, that really loud Bond #9 Broadway Nite sample (eek). I bought my 1oz bottle of edp (I prefer the edp to the edt, but then I really love lilies) on ebay for about $10, including shipping, and then found another 1oz edp for $8!! Somebody’s got a birthday coming up, and maybe after that she won’t need to sneak spritzes… ssshhh.

      1. Mals, your poor daughter- the whole internet has known about her birthday present for months!! And yes, I would be very concerned if your daughter started wearing Broadway Nite… she might as well be sneaking out of the house to meet her 25 year old boyfriend :O (WHICH SHE IS NOT I’M SURE!)

  2. Not pre-empting Mals’s reply, but I own this one and just bought a bottle for a friend today, as it happens, having recently got her into it. It is lush, funereal, meaty white lilies over amber. The body lotion is great too. A little goes a long way, but it is a very realistic evocation of lilies of the big blowsy kind with the annoying pollen.

    Lots of Gold about on Ebay, though you won’t see it in the UK shops anymore. Let me know if you would like me to send you a sample.

    1. You’re right, lily and amber – the amber is rather quiet on me. The real things used to make my allergies go crazy, sitting there on the choir loft rail at the church we used to attend, right in front of my nose. Gold doesn’t make me sneeze, though.

      Thank heavens for ebay!

  3. Oh, I do like the DK Gold, too. Funny, though; I don’t think of it as cold. Warm. Radiant, even. But it is absolutely straight up lily; you’ve got me thinking about cold and warm and all. As for potential birthday gift…Yay! The edp has the nice what’shisface bottle, too. To be honest, I got my first bottle because I thought the bottle was cool. (And that is RARE for me.) My back up bottles are all about the juice, though. Edp and edt. I like ’em both.

    Come to think of it, I like the edt because it’s, well, “cooler”…

    1. SS, I keep seeing references to Gold as being a warm lily, and I just.don’t.geddit. The amber doesn’t really register to me, and I think that’s the difference. IMO Gold is quite smooth-textured and cool, like pressing one’s face into the satiny petals of real lilies. (If I ever have lilies in a bouquet, I snip the pollen-covered orange stamens off, and then I have no allergy trouble at all.)

      1. It must be the absence of amber, then. It’s both a support and a permeating layer for me when DK Gold goes through my nose.

        Differences in perception are one of the things I love about the discussions over at Laurie Erikson’s Perfume in Progress blog. Laurie is quite open to how different people receive notes either differently, or, in some cases, not at all. Our pal in perfume Musette is anosmic to iris. I spent a few frantic months trying to wrap my head around the Big Science Brain that said this wasn’t possible, from a chemical/biological point of view. Then I realized that a) his knowledge was largely chemical, b) the science of reception is still learning about the process, and c) if a bunch of people report differences, SOMETHING is going on. And that something is certainly affecting the nebulous “like/don’t like” when it comes to perfume.

        Kind of fun that in this particular case, the feelings run warm on one side, cool on the other–but “thumbs up” for both. 🙂

      2. Yes, the amber must make the difference. Wonder what’s going on with that… I usually like amber unless it’s too sweet (a la Bois de Paradis). I do already know that I’m anosmic to some things (Boucheron Jaipur, Nahema, KM Peau de Peche), so it’s possible I’m just not smelling the amber in Gold.

  4. I don’t smell the amber in Gold either – although I’ll give it another huff when I get home. I find it to be a straight-up sparkling lily on me and perfect for spring. I’ll have to give Chamade another shot – I got a decant in the winter and it didn’t do anything for me. Now that it’s warmed up, I might feel differently.

    I’ve also pulled out my Le Labo Fleur d’Oranger 27, which is just perfect for this time of year.

    I just went in on a split for vintage No. 19, so I’m looking forward to finally getting to try that one.

    1. C, maybe we *are* anosmic to the amber. Huh. I think it’s straight-up lily too.

      Chamade takes sooooo long to develop on me – I didn’t like it for the first hour, the first time I wore it. I do like galbanum, but the opening of Chamade is rather unfriendly, I think, which is why it’s so fascinating that it blossoms into this rich golden floral thing. I’m a little more patient with the opening now because I know what’s coming.

      Yippee on that vtg No. 19! Last month I found a slightly-used vtg 50ml bottle of edt on ebay, still in its outer case AND box, for about $35. I snapped that sucker up. So when I saw that big split on the google group I thought it wouldn’t be fair for me to horn in when I already had a good supply. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

  5. I tested the DK Gold again last night and – nothing but lily. So, while I can usually smell amber, maybe I am anosmic to *this* amber.

    I’m going to test Chamade again tonight and wait for it to develop – then I can give a more fair assessment. I’m sure that I’ll be able to find a happy home for it if I decide that I don’t care for it.

    I thought about testing it today, but decided to go with my beloved Le Labo Fleur d’Oranger 27 because it makes me happy.

    I’m practically salivating over the No. 19 – I’m just thrilled that someone else did the tracking down so I could stop trawling ebay for some.

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