It’s the end of July and summer is going strong here in the Midwest…There’s almost no place to run away from the brutal heat except for the garden which is ablaze with flowers and Monarch butterflies .
The fairies seem to have taken pity on me, they fan me with their wings and take delight in turning on the hoses in the most inappropriate moments. Last week when I was on my way to a fashion show that I was chairing for The Cleveland Orchestra, several of them decided that it would be hilarious fun to turn my hat into a watering can for the tomatoes and my Herme’s handbag into a planter for the ferns. Today they decided that it would be fun to push me into my young neighbors wading pool. Oh well….I love it that they're trying to take such good care of me!
So today I have 6 stunning natural perfumes to share with you that are truly fairy touched and fabulous. I love them and you will too, so without further adieu I bring you the last installment of A Midsummer Night’s Dream Perfume event! My thanks to all of the wonderful perfumers and bloggers who participated. It was indeed a treat to get to know all of you just a little bit better!
To say that I love Pixie Dust by Amanda Feeley would be an tragic understatement. First of all there’s the description….”Pixie Dust Botanical Perfume is a scented description of an ancient British forest..the kind that you would have found in the 16th century”. This scent is all of that and more. I am reminded of a silvery scented pomander worn over a brocade and velvet gown. I am reminded of my favorite image of all, one of the healing wise woman who lives in that very forest. I am reminded of a story that I once read of a young titled woman of the 16th century who wanted more from her life and escaped into the forest everyday to sit at the feet of that same wise woman in search of a life filled with magic and healing. Pixie dust is beautiful and I’m overwhelmed by the emotions that it provokes in me. Filled with antique oakmoss and violet, lilac, vanilla and honey the scent of it reminds me of my very roots which lie in the fertile soils of herbalism, energy work and wicca. There is rose and bergamot and the lovely heliotrope comes out to play. I want this scent in all of its forms, but mostly I desire it in a medieval wet potpourri that I can place in an antique silver biscuit barrel in my bedroom. Pixie dust takes me back to another lifetime in another time and place and whether that is indeed fantasy or fact it is still a comforting and very healing emotion for me.
Bottoms dream is altogether a completely different perfume than Pixie Dust…Bottoms Dream reminds me of a fabulous peachy cocktail garnished with raspberry puree and champagne and served in a beautiful glass. It’s playful nature makes me want to put on a lovely dress and go dancing with my dashing husband . Amanda may not have meant to provoke all of my Southern Belle fantasies but she did and Bottoms dream is definitely that because her rose and jasmine accords are the olfactory equivalent of a wink and a curtsy. I want to bath in this (How about a bubble bath Amanda?) because it makes me giggle. Like a perfect coral lipstick and just the right toenail polish, Bottoms Dream has the distinct feeling of a wonderful night of heavy petting (Isn’t that what our mothers used to call it!) with definitely the wrong sort of boy nestled behind curtains of Spanish moss, half naked and sprawled indelicately on the sexy soft grass.
I had a beautiful aunt that was dead before I was ever even thought of. Her name was Sadie and the pictures that I’ve seen of her show an exquisitely delicate woman with red hair that was always twisted up elegantly with tendrils escaping down the sides of her very soft face. I have always longed to meet her. As soon as I sniffed Jane Cates lovely Dreams and Visions, I was instantly swept back to a dream that I’d had over 20 years ago. I was in Denver at the turn of the century and I was watching a lovely woman standing by a beautiful automobile on a turnstile. She was dressed in a beautifully diaphanous sage green dress with a long flowing scarf and her red hair was blowing across her pretty face. There was a scent of rose, not of the dusky sort but very sweet and it lingered even when I woke. I asked her who she was and she laughed and told me that her name was Sadie. When I described her and asked my mother she identified the scene for me completely. Dreams and Vision is that sort of fragrance, like a beautiful celadon green pashmina shawl that you’d wrap around your shoulders like a caress. With notes of patchouli, cassia and sandalwood you’d expect it to be muskier than it is but the mimosa and the rose absolute weave a spell that absolutely timeless and more than a little bit playful.
When I smell the completely lovely Orchard eau de parfum by Lisa Fong , my mind conjures up the enchanted smell of my gardens at midnight, which is my favorite time to go outside and lie in my hammock. Somehow the nasty bugs are all gone, but the fireflies are out and about, dancing among the flowers and lighting up the evening , cheerful and sweet. My senses of smell is heightened at that time of night and I can smell the pollen and the ripe fruit and the roses take on an effervescent quality that is narcotic to my senses. Orchard is a delightful blend of wild chamomile and clary sage which may account for the subtle relaxation that this parfum provokes. It’s a very beautiful and sparkling fragrance that turned into honeyed sweetmeats on my skin. Vetiver, Oakmoss, and Mimosa round out the blend and turn Orchard into a veritable Renaissance Faire for the senses. I love its candid playfulness and the way that I smile when catch a glimpse of it hours later. Sexy and sweet, Orchard has delightful longevity . Several hours after I put it on I thought that I caught a hint of jasmine scented white chocolate and when I shared it with my husband he proceeded to bend his lips to my neck and take a deep nibble and out to the hammock we went…..
Nectar of Love by Tanja Bochnig is stunning. That’s really the only way to describe it. In an instant I was taken back to a story by DH Lawrence that I read many years ago. At that time I was deeply into Women’s Studies and fascinated by the concept of the Sacred Prostitute. The book was called “The man who died” and it was based on the premise that Jesus having survived the crucifixion travelled into the country and found himself at the sacred temple of a devotee of Isis. Here is the scene in the story where he finds himself watching her as she prepares to receive him …
“The priestess did not look at him. She took off her saffron mantle and laid it on a low couch. In the dim light she was bare-armed, in her girdled white tunic. But she was still hiding herself away from him. He stood back in shadow and watched her softly fan the brazier and fling on incense. Faint clouds of sweet aroma arose on the air. She turned to the statue in the ritual of approach, softly swaying forward with a slight lurch, like a moored boat, tipping towards the goddess.
He watched the strange rapt woman, and he said to himself: "I must leave her alone in her rapture, her female mysteries." So she tipped in her strange forward-swaying rhythm before the goddess. Then she broke into a murmur of Greek, which he could not understand. And, as she murmured, her swaying softly subsided, like a boat on a sea that grows still. And as he watched her, he saw her soul in its aloneness, and its female difference. He said to himself: "How different she is from me, how strangely different! She is afraid of me, and my male difference. She is getting herself naked and clear of her fear. How sensitive and softly alive she is, with a life so different from mine! How beautiful with a soft, strange courage, of life, so different from my courage of death! What a beautiful thing, like the heart of a rose, like the core of a flame. She is making herself completely penetrable. Ah! how terrible to fail her, or to trespass on her!"
Nectar of love is the scent of that Temple….filled with precious Tuberose, jasmine and rose it’s an incense that burns in the heart as well as the loins. I wanted to pour my sample into a little vial of gold and anoint myself with it. It is a perfume for the breasts, for the sweet spot between your thighs and the hollows of your throat. I wouldn’t wear this everyday, but I would wear it when I wanted to seduce either in body or spirit. Nectar of love is sexy and sensual but it’s more than that….it’s transformative and I fell in love with it’s beauty immediately and I promise that you will too.
Fare the Well Nymph by Lisa Abdul Quddus is a delightful fragrance that reminds of a bit of my favorite midsummer cocktail which (witch) is a Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Redolent with spicy rum and Velvet Falernum, this citrusy classic has a bit of magic in every sip, especially on a hot summers day. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is a strange sort of brew, alternately sweet and bitter and it’s one of the most seductive potions that I’ve ever tasted and so is Fare thee well nymph…..This perfume is filled with an almost tropical sexiness but not a distinct sweetness…juicy Clementine and mandarin petitgrain cool you with their fragrant breath almost instantly but just as quickly the passionate Night Queen and vetiver will sweep you off your feet. The resin Omumgorwa lends a seductive trancelike magic to the perfume and while the Patchouli and Labdanum ground the senses. All that’s missing is a sarong, black sands and a beautiful musky young raven haired man to take your breath away.
Waterhouse Painting by Waterhouse!