Thursday, March 15, 2012

Byredo Green (Happy St. Patrick's Day!)

Green Milk

Byredo is a Swedish fragrance house, founded in 2006 by Ben Gorham. Byredo manufactures all its perfumes in Sweden and has a vision based on craftsmanship and fine materials. The noses of the house are Olivia Giacobetti and Jerôme Epinette, who did Green.

Even though Byredo just became available in Toronto in February, at Holt Renfrew, there was a previous Canadian connection. Ben's dad was Canadian and he lived in Oakville and Toronto. Green was inspired by Ben's memories of his father's scent, an "overdose of green notes," a combination of green beans and Geoffry Beene Grey Flannel.

Green is an unusual combination of bitter green notes and sweet, milky-powdery notes.  It opens with a blast of bitter green and orange blossom. After a couple of minutes this becomes the smell of green stems and fresh cut flowers. The smell is much like walking into the cold room of a florist - the damp, sweet and green smells of freesia and cut stems. As Green develops on my skin, a soapy aspect becomes noticeable. It's half creamy, half powdery-sweet.

The effect reminds me of milkweed and the sticky, milky-white sap that seeps out when you break its leaves or stems. The smell and feel of milkweed are vivid memories from my childhood, from early pinkish flowers, through fat green pods, to dried husks filled with downy fluff and seeds. As a result, I find the wearing Green very innocent and comforting.

House: Byredo
Nose: Jerôme Epinette
Notes: Orange petitgrain, sage, jasmine, rose, honeysuckle, violet, tonka, almond, musk

Monday, March 12, 2012

Diptyque Jardin Clos

My Secret Garden

As the days get warmer and the sun returns to Toronto, we all smile a little more. Green shoots that will soon reveal brightly-coloured blooms are just starting to push their way out of the dark soil but it will still be a month before the our branches are covered in blossoms. I want to wear Spring flowers now, like narcissus, lilacs and tulips, but especially hyacinths. These flowers are sweet but not too sweet. They're "thick" smelling to me, like their waxy petals, but they also have dry, green, spicy, and metallic edges to them.

Diptyque Jardin Clos is inspired by the smell of a walled garden in the Spring. After a lightly-sweet and dewy opening, the rich diva smell of lilacs and and the sharper green-spicy smell of hyacinth are laid over a bed of leaves, moss and a touch of the woody, earthy smell of cedar.

Jardin Clos doesn't seem to get a lot of love in the blogs. This first time I smelled it I wasn't impressed either. I think the smell of hyacinth is a difficult one to love. But this year I put it on and it was exactly the right thing.

Jardin Clos smells like the springs of my childhood, full of rubber boots, pussy willows and puddles and hours spent exploring the wilds of woodlots and back gardens.

House: Diptyque
Nose: Yves Coueslant and Christiane Gautror
Notes: watermelon, white lilac, blue hyacinth, leaves, moss, cedar, musk