Constance, Countess of Trentham : Difficult colour, green… very tricky.

Maggie Smith in Gosford Park

Maggie Smith as the Countess in Gosford Park

One of the funniest lines in Gosford Park (2001) was unscripted.  And who else but Maggie Smith could come up with such a line and deliver it in such a way that would leave the wearer wondering if she had just been given a compliment or the rudest of insults!  So when Claudie Blakley as Mabel Nesbitt arrived on set in a green dress, Maggie instinctively said, “Difficult colour, green… very tricky” and the associate producer, Julian Fellowes, burst out laughing.  They decided to keep the line.

I would say that green perfumes are also difficult, if not tricky.  On my skin they come off very chemical.  And, even a hint of green is sometimes rough as in Chanel No. 19 with that poisonous galbanum opening.  Judging by Michael Edwards’ green family of his Fragrances of the World 2012, it certainly is one of the smallest families… so I assume that they are not that popular either.

Of those that I have tried, I think Sisley’s Eau de Campagne is wonderful, but expensive. Chanel’s Bel Respiro is also lovely, also expensive. I’ve tried Devin by Aramis a couple of times.  Not expensive, but not great either and almost no lasting power.  On me, it smells too soapy.

It seems that to enjoy a really good green scent, you have to break the bank.  And then again, maybe not entirely.

I recently tried Eau de Céleri by Montreal-based Monsillage and I was delighted.  It recently won the Artisan Category of the 2015 Art and Olfaction Awards.  I’ll get back with a full review shortly.  In the meantime, if you know of any green scents that work for you, I’d love to hear about them.

Enjoy!

Dame Perfumery : Lime, Gardenia and Benzoin

Created by : Jeffrey Dame

Date : 2015

Genre : Gardenia soliflore

Concentration : eau de toilette

I believe that I have a lazy streak and I think that’s probably why I love legible perfumes… I like to wear perfumes that are easy and recognizable.  And so when I tried Dame Perfumery’s Lime, Gardenia and Benzoin, I got it immediately! It’s a simple lapel gardenia or as the French would say, “une boutonnière”.

I’ve always loved gardenias. When I left home, a gardenia was the first plant I owned. The small white flowers were so fragrant and beautiful, I immediately fell in love. Unfortunately, that plant never flowered again after I took it home from the florist shop and so I think from that moment on, I’ve always been searching for that distinctive gardenia fragrance.  I thought I had found it when I read about Arquiste Boutonnière No. 7, but no.  The Arquiste version is not so much a gardenia as a woody scent and Victoria from Bois de Jasmin hit the nail on the head when she described Boutonnière No. 7 as more of a vetiver than a gardenia.

I’m not surprised that the owner behind Dame Perfumery and the creator of Lime, Gardenia and Benzoin has been in the perfume marketing business since 1980.  Jeffrey Dame knows a lot about perfume.  I liked most of his fragrances when I tested them on scent strips but the one that stood out for me was this perfectly-executed gardenia soliflore.

People who read me know that I don’t write many perfume reviews because there are so many excellent bloggers out there who write perfect reviews but when a perfume moves me, well I can’t help myself.  And this one is worth writing about.  Lime, Gardenia and Benzoin is, without a doubt, in my top 10.  I started wearing it 2 weeks ago and I haven’t stopped since.  It’s like wearing a gardenia in a lapel… close to the wearer… a private pleasure… and it seemed to disappear when I was busy but distracted me occasionally when my mind was in neutral.  Like all perfumes that I love, words are scarce but suffice it to say that this one is definitely worth a try. And at this price, I paid less than $100 Cdn., it immediately goes to the top of my go-to list.

Lime, Gardenia and Benzoin is an eau de toilette but it behaves more like an eau de parfum. It’s got great longevity, on me it lasts the complete day, but not a lot of throw. It’s perfect for the office because it definitely won’t bother the people around you.  However, anyone getting close to you is going to enjoy it.  I have no doubt.

I’ll tell you that this review was written last week and I stalled on publishing it because I just couldn’t think of an appropriate image but sadly, the image came too easily to me this week. I could easily imagine Omar Sharif (1932-2015) wearing this simple, sophisticated yet discreet fragrance… and especially with that ruffled shirt!  This image says it all.  Enjoy!

Omar Sharif as Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl

Omar Sharif as Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl

Iris Apfel : There is a terrible yearning for glamour and fantasy and some mystery which is all gone out of today’s life.

Iris Apfel in her fantastical apartment.

Iris Apfel in her fantastical apartment. Click to enlarge.

Many of you have certainly seen the film Iris, the Albert Maysles documentary on Iris Apfel.  It’s a film that will stay with me for many reasons one of which is the absolutely encouraging fact that this 90-something year old is vibrant, clear in her thoughts and speech and isn’t afraid to state an opinion!  Recently, in an interview about the film, Iris said,

There is a terrible yearning for glamour and fantasy, fantasy, fantasy… and some mystery which is all gone out of today’s life.  Everything is so cut and dry and grey and same.

Of course, today’s progress has certainly given us a more comfortable life than former generations.  My grandparents lived all their adult life in relatively poor conditions… I’m talking material wealth.  My grandfather was a common labourer.  Three of my grandmother’s sisters and one brother lived in a lower flat that even a couple without children today would find small! My great aunt Marie slept on the couch in the living room for much of her life.  The four adults all shared one unheated bathroom!  However, when they partied… that little flat couldn’t contain the love and the overwhelming joy of us all being together.  I know this may sound some like “Little House on the Prairie”… but it’s true.

Today… we have larger apartments and sleeping on a couch is unheard of unless it’s a pullout and even then, it would only be for a short time.  No doubt about it, money doesn’t buy happiness… but it does buy comfort.

In exchange for this comfort, all the fantasy of life is gone… all the mystery.  Maybe by wearing some crazy incense perfume or some heady, indolic over-the-top jasmine or simply über-luxurious Chanel No. 5 Parfum we can add a little mystery to our lives… a little luxury to make up for the loss of magic.

Addendum (added June 29th) : Here is the interview from where I pulled the above quote.

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