Lorenz Hart : Spring is here, I hear

Living in Montréal, we often need a calendar to tell us which season it is because we can’t always rely on the weather.  For instance, it’s spring here now… today is April 15th and they are announcing snow, ice pellets, freezing rain and rain for tonight and tomorrow!  Winter is certainly dragging its heels.

To make things worse, I tested a perfume this week that made me think of my childhood beach holidays in North Eastern US… Wells Beach, Cape Cod, Wildwood and beautiful Cape May, New Jersey.  My cousin, also a perfume enthusiast, told me that she wears Replica Beach Walk by Martin Margiela and so I ran out and tried it and it automatically brought me back to suntan lotions of the 70s and 80s but with a beautiful ylang ylang note which reminded me of Fidji by Guy Laroche, or at least, what Fidji used to be.

Now… I don’t think that the name itself would have attracted me much before I met FiveOaksBouquet and Tara.  I was very lucky to have met these two soon-to-be friends who taught me many things about perfume but one piece of advice informs my approach to perfume every day.  NEVER judge a perfume by its name, its price or its notes.  That single piece of advice is responsible for me wearing some of the most beautiful perfumes I own today… Stetson, White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor and, yes, even Old Spice.  AND, wear the perfume for a few days before you decide whether it’s for you or not.  Scent strips are a good start but the only true test is on your skin over several days.

And so, I put my preconceived notions of a beachy perfume behind me (I’m not a Calone fan) and I tested it on my skin and I thought it was just lovely… definitely worth going back for a sample so I can try it again.  What caught me off guard was the opening floral note… so, so pretty.  I’ll come back with a full review after I’ve tested it more.

And so, the next morning I reached for my traditional spring fragrance, Premier Figuier by L’Artisan Parfumeur… as I look forward to warm spring days.

I just heard that Nina Simone was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  This reminded me of a song that makes such complete sense for this Montrealer… Trouble in Mind (and, it’s a sing-along).

Trouble in mind, I’m blue
But I won’t be blue always,
‘Cause that sun is gonna shine in my back door someday.

Trouble in mind, I’m slow
My poor heart is beating so slow
I never had so much trouble in my life before.

I’m going down to the river
Gonna get me a rockin’ chair
If the Lord don’t help me, I’m gonna rock away from here.

Who was the greatest perfumer of all time?


Charles Darwin

If you and I were to go out for supper and share some wine and an after-dinner drink, we might get on to some of my favourite “parlour games”.  For instance, I’m likely to ask you who you think were the two geniuses of the 19th century and we’re likely to agree on at least one… Charles Darwin.  But my second choice is often controversial.  For me, Sigmund Freud would be the second, hands down! But a girlfriend of mine was shocked by my choice.  “Freud?  No way!  He was so anti-woman!”  Her choice?  Karl Marx!  Of course, the great German egalitarian.

Most of my friends are not interested in perfume and so to speak about the greatest perfumer of all time would not likely generate much conversation.  For so many years, I would have said François Coty.  He, singlehandedly, was responsible for the creation of two perfume families… the chypre and the amber families.  And, his Coty empire revolutionized the sale of perfume.  Yes, he made mistakes in his private life but for the most part, he was the great innovator, but far from the perfectionist.


Jacques Guerlain

However, on any given night (and with enough wine), you could convince me that the greater perfumer was his rival, Jacques Guerlain.  His creations read like a hit parade and most are still available today having withstood the test of time… Après L’Ondée, Shalimar, L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Mouchoir de Monsieur and Vol de Nuit.  And even as I write this post, I’m convincing myself that Jacques Guerlain really deserves the title.  I still wear his creations today.

But what about Ernest Daltroff?  Fleurs de Rocaille, Narcisse Noir, Nuit de Noël and Pour un Homme!  Or Edmond Roudnitska?  Or Ernest Beaux?  Or even, Germaine Cellier?

It’s a tough one.  I’d love to hear your opinions.

Fun perfume talk in Town of Mount Royal

TMRI hadn’t done a perfume talk in a long time so I wondered how I could remember all those perfumes and creators and dates!  But the group was so enthusiastic and asking great questions that it went perfectly and I had a great time.  Almost 30 people came out to the presentation and the 90 minutes just flew by.

Unfortunately, a couple of days later I was hit with a cold and so I’ll have to wait a week before another perfume review.  It REALLY is the worst part of having a cold… you can’t smell perfume!  For many people this is Easter weekend.  For others, it’s Passover week.  But for all of us in the northern hemisphere, it’s pretty well the beginning of spring!  And when I think of spring, I think of tulips!  They don’t smell particularly nice but, in a field, they look spectacular.

Enjoy and I’ll be back next week!

Tulip fields

Tulip fields at Sassenheim, near Leiden, 1886 by Claude Monet

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