Spring has finally sprung! And I for one am thrilled. Not much has REALLY changed but something just clicks for me when its officially Spring. (The early onset of Daylight Savings Time doesn’t hurt the effect either). The thyme has become green again, new parsley is already up and the momma clary sage has babies sprouting in my garden. Plus, I’ve even seen buds on the apple tree and lilac bushes in my yard. I’m filled with inspiration and growing energy to take on all that I’ve planned for this year: sweet.
Which brings me to the very first launch of the new year: Vert pour Madame. I have actually been considering and even sketching this perfume for almost two years but in the past few month or so everything has come together just the way I wanted it. I have noticed the influences of the 1980’s in fashion and certainly the resurgence of interest in the classic (galbanum based) green chypre of the past few years and thought that it would be fun to examine, deconstruct and be influenced by the past to create something of my own but with some homages; some quotations. So, of course I looked at one of the quintessential green Chypre perfumes of the era, Chanel no.19, with its lovely use of galbanum juxtapose a classic rose / jasmine heart and leather in the drydown as well as a much more modern construction, Jil Sander 79 (very lily of the valley / galbanum/fresh citrus/ cedar), which I felt when I smelled it was a total throw back and reference to Jil Sander’s roots in the late ’70’s when she started releasing perfumes. Both have the elegance and sophistication (and womanliness?) that I associate with the green floral chypre genre. Ultimately, after sniffing around and thinking, I found myself at the doorstep of a revered classic among perfumistas: Deneuve. This long discontinued perfume was one of my best selling ‘reconstructions’ until some of the drydown notes I was using became unavailable and I had to discontinue my own version, too. It seemed a natural… to create my own retro style chypre with an echo of Deneuve. Perfect.
The fact that ‘Vert” is redolent of early Spring florals, a cool freshness in the topnote and a richly resinous woody base made it just right to coincide with the Vernal Equinox. One of the pivotal notes (but not necessarily an emphasis note) is hyacinth which, although synonymous with Spring, needs to be handled with care. It’s a wonderfully intense and complex sappy, honeyed green floral scent but if used unwisely can lead to headaches and people screaming while running from the room. I think it’s glorious but it’s not for the timid. I find it adds to the ‘powerhouse’ nature required to pay homage to an ’80’s quality scent but needs to be tempered. In comes a beautiful classic accord: delicate lily of the valley, softening white peach and warming orris fused with the king and queen of perfumery, rose and jasmine. I’m already fascinated at this point. Then comes the Sandalwood which harkens in all of those lovely dry woods, resins and moss. Oh, and there’s some animalics (musk and civet) in the mix as well. All I can say is that I’m so glad I waited until all the facets fused to create a perfume design that I find seamless. I’m happy it’s Spring and I have a new love in my life. (And she’s delicious).
*persephone image found at: http://studioconti.com/ram.html