Have you ever smelled a perfume that’s so good it makes you want to write a love song about how much you love it? A scent that shoots you in the heart like cupid? A scent that makes the need to own it feel more powerful than lust?
Welcome to Aedes de Venustas Pelargonium.
A pelargonium is a member of the geranium family and has bright velvety petals as vivid as a flame. This flower is more or less the main star in this fragrance, but the supporting cast makes this unforgettably wonderful.
It opens with clary sage and lime. The herby clary sage note complements the peppery petals of the pelargonium until it gives me a vivid image of an English country garden on a cool damp day. The herby floral accord makes me think of very expensive soap- the kind that makes your bathroom smell like an unaffordable hotel suite. The musk is an almost iris-like musk with its muted, classy subtlety, yet it is unmistakable and lingers on long after the citrus opening has bloomed and faded.
There is allegedly a carrot note in here somewhere, but unless I’m mistaking one root for another, it comes across as more iris like, which as you know, can smell earthy and rooty.
The base is guaiac wood, vetiver and moss, giving enhancement to the earthiness that peeks out in the middle phase. The oakmoss adds a touch of damp greens, which only makes me fall for it harder. I’ve always found geraniums to smell faintly medicinal, and this facet is showcased with touches of elemi, often used in cough syrup and medicines. Don’t let this put you off, there’s no TCP note here, more of a clove/violet thing going on.
This is primarily a floral, but it’s as if each facet of the pelargonium scent has been given a partner to showcase its talents and double its impact. Perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer is a genius and I will be her fan forever.
This is the fragrance I will buy for myself when I get that novel published (and I will).
Aedes de Venustas Pelargonium is available from Selfridges at £210. My novel will have to be a bestseller I guess. My sample was a kind gift from Aspects beauty PR, for which, many thanks. Opinions are my own.
Welcome to the second post in the MoodScent4 collaboration! We are four perfume bloggers based France, Holland, England and Wales who will be posting on a different joint subject every couple of months. Each time we will individually pick a selection of five or so fragrances to fit a particular mood or occasion. You’ll find links to the other blogs at the end of the post.
We hope you have fun reading our different choices and adding your own in the comments.
Wherever you are in the world, you’re bound to have noticed that it’s wedding season: unless its currently Monsoon season where you are (i.e Wales), in which case, please read this later in the year when the sun’s out.
With a number of wedding invites thudding on mats (I’ve had three this year), we thought it only fair to help you out with an informal guide to what scent to wear if you are a wedding guest.
As a wedding guest, there are certain protocols one must stick to. For example, there’s the obvious blunder of wearing all white to a wedding, or wearing attention seeking outfits that may attract more looks than the poor bride gets. Also, as a wedding guest, this is no place for racy cleavage and skimpy skirts. If you’ve invited either of the Hadid sisters, you may want to pop a Post It note in their invitation. Call me old fashioned, but I’ve seen a bag of oranges wear more string than they had on at the Met Gala (hoiks bosom and clutches pearls).
Scent wise, the rules still apply, at least in my book. I wouldn’t wear anything loud or experimental that makes everyone look round in church for the wrong reasons. Neither would I always play it safe and stick with airy florals (although they certainly have a place).
Here then, are my own personal mainstays when I am invited to a wedding.
Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps
I wore this to the wedding I attended on Saturday. It’s a beautiful classic floral that will be familiar to many, yet in my opinion, has never been overexposed. It’s gentle, pretty, delicate and warm (dash of amber in the finish). This is one fragrance I will never allow myself to be without. Here’s my review.
4160 Tuesdays Raw Silk and Red Roses
With a name like this, this beautiful scent just cries out to be worn at a wedding, and it suits the occasion perfectly. This is my usual Go To scent for weddings but I couldn’t find it yesterday. Like Virginia Woolf, my box of minis and samples needs a Room of One’s Own. Raw Silk and Red Roses smells so deliciously of old fashioned roses, yet it has depth and facets that lift this away from any other rose scent that I have tried. You can read my review here.
Cartier Baiser Fou
I fell hard for this after not being enamoured of the original Cartier Baiser Volé. Where Baiser Volé was all about the lilies and not in a good way, Baiser Fou is the fun, more playful sister. Smelling like a cross between fresh raspberries, Milky Bars and expensive lipstick, this is perfect for a summer wedding where lipstick ends up on everyone. You can read my review here.
Andy Tauer Noontide Petals
I have yet to find anything that smells similar to this aldehyde beauty. It’s bright with citrussy lime and clean soapy aldehydes, but changes throughout the day. By the time the evening party comes around, you’ll be smelling of tuberose, jasmine, frankincense, patchouli and roses. It has the added bonus of giving you the sure knowledge that nobody else will be wearing it. Unless you are going to a wedding full of perfume peeps. You can read my review here.
Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely
This one gets lots of mentions on my blog and that’s because it’s wonderfully versatile, long-lasting, and as girly as pigtails. I adore Lovely. The florals give way to rich creamy woods and patchouli and the whole shebang lasts all day. I spray mine in my cleavage and the back of my neck and I was still catching delightful wafts at bedtime. It’s not overpowering and I guarantee it will go with your dress. For the price, this remains one of the best value fragrances I know. It’s usually around £20 a bottle and I’m wearing it today.
How about you?
What scent do you wear to weddings? Do you have a favourite or do you choose as you go? Do let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
I am chuffed to beans to have three international colleagues to collaborate with. Find out what Tara, Esperanza and Megan all had to say on the subject of wedding guest perfumes. Between us we cover Wales, England, the Netherlands and France, which makes us the last word on European fragrances. We decided.
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is an early pioneer in the world of indie perfumes. US based, Dawn (or DSH to fans), constantly innovates and has a wide fan base worldwide. In fact, I’m astonished I took so long to get here.
I was recently sent two samples of DSH scents by friend of the blog (and friend of me!) Patsi, who is always very generous and supportive of my perfume habit, having a serious habit herself. Thank you Patsi!
Today I am reviewing Giverny in Bloom. It seems appropriate to look at the pictures of Monet’s gardens in Giverny as I sniff them since this scent was created to go alongside the “in Bloom” scent experience at Denver Art Museum.
This scent will be instantly recognizable to anyone who remembers playing in the garden as a child. Did you ever pick flowers, snap ferns and sniff leaves or was that just me? If so, you will easily imagine how transporting this earthy, realistic fragrance is.
This was almost astringent on first spray, like rubbing a broken fern between your fingers. After that the flowers come in. Not just petals, but stems, stamens, buds: the whole shebang. It smells like a very good florists: it’s flower heads, yes, but seeds and leaves too. It is springlike and abundant. There’s lilacs, carnations, mimosa, roses, jasmine, neroli, violets, linden blossom- it’s all there. But what makes this stand apart from a good spring floral is the addition of the greenery and earthiness. There’s soil tincture, oakmoss, galbanum, ambergris, and patchouli. All this works not against, but alongside, the prettiness of the flowers, giving a dose of realism that makes this really stand out. A good gardener knows you have to get your hands dirty and that’s what this smells like: a real garden, with all the flowers, the sharpness of green leaves and a woody, earthy base. Like the strokes of an Impressionist’s brush, the blending is cleverly done to give an artless feel that allows each note to blur into the next without losing itself.
Viewed alongside the legendary paintings, this makes for a wonderfully uplifting experience.
I shall be seeking out more DSH after this. Thank you Patsi for this fabulous intro.
All scents are available from the DSH website. This just in-I have it on good authority that DSH does indeed ship to the UK! There is also a good sample service, and free samples with every full bottle purchase.
Top photo from Fragrantica. Middle photo from www.famousartistsgallery.com. Bottom photo from www.lifo.gr
Avon is a prolific launcher of fragrances. I don’t think a brochure goes by without a new fragrance and I particularly love the scratch and sniff pages. This week I was given a little sample of a new Avon perfume by my lovely Avon Lady Jill, who I mention frequently. She comes to my door like a fragrance dealer and delivers her packages round the neighbourhood. She no longer brings her adorable Basset Hound Cody, since my Ginger Tom cat Ian saw him off. I digress.
Avon to me, is hit and miss, but that’s just because they cast their nets wide. For instance, Avon Far Away is not my cup of tea but is their Number one best-seller. I smell it everywhere when I’m out and about. However, their latest launch: Perceive Oasis is so good that I plan to stock up in case they discontinue it like they did with Perceive Dew a few years ago.
Perceive Oasis is all about the peony. Peony is one of the most delicate and feminine floral notes in fragrance. It doesn’t have the headiness of jasmine or the creaminess of tuberose- it’s all delicate flowers and ballerinas and fairy wings. Perceive Oasis combines peony with violet leaf and a white musk finish.
It is an uplifting scent, with hints of clean laundry and springtime in it, yet done very simply. It veers towards the ozonic if anything, but that just adds to the clean, clean, clean vibe.
On Fragrantica, some members list this as smelling similar to Chloe, and I would agree with that, although this is lighter and is more peony than rose.
It is currently only £7 a bottle and I have already placed my order. What a lovely surprise this was. Poor Jill will have to use a wheelbarrow to deliver my Avon if they keep this up.
You can buy Avon Perceive Oasis from Avon Shop UK, and prices vary from £7 to £11 depending on that month’s offer. In my book, that makes this a solid gold bargain.
I had my first bottle of Estee Lauder Beautiful for my 18th birthday, bought for me by my father. I don’t know how he chose it. He and Mum had been divorced for eight years by then, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t her idea. It was 1988 and the adverts on the TV and in magazines portrayed the beautiful Paulina Porizkova as a bride. Certainly there is something very bridal about this many flowers in one place.
Beautiful pretty much uses so many floral notes that there are none left for anyone else. Back then I noticed Roses. These days I notice the Tuberose and the Jasmine more powerfully than any other notes. In fact I’d go as far as to say that it doesn’t do to break Beautiful down into individual notes. The cacophony of different flowers almost produces a new hybrid flower, which, if it existed in real life, you would only ever need one in a bouquet, and nothing else. That would be plenty, believe me.
My taste has changed since I was 18, which was 25 years ago. These days I don’t like my scents so sweet. However the creamy, loud, sweet flowers of Beautiful will always hold a place in my heart as it is the first proper bottle of perfume I ever owned. I will never forget the thrill of seeing the pink and gold box when I took off the wrapping paper.
The notes include an eclectic range: Amber, Sandalwood, Rose, Carnation, Tuberose, Narcissus, Lilac, Bergamot, Jasmine, Geranium, Marigold…If you saw the notes written down and had never smelled Beautiful, you imagination would be thoroughly confused by all the contradictions.
Creamy flowers, loud and proud, with a warm, sandy finish. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but to me, it speaks of the idealised glamour I aspired to when I was 18, when even my spectacles were rose tinted.