When I first stumbled upon the Posse….oh, honeys….I thought I knew soooo much. Ha!!…and I didn’t know a THING! I knew a lot of perfumes but not a lot about those perfumes. Notes? Fuggedaboutit. But constant exposure to Patty & March and all of you expanded my horizons – and continues to do so. There are so many notes I’ve learned of, both in perfume and in the natural world – linden is one of them.
Linden came about via my friend Howard, aka LindenloverSnugglebunny. We’ve been friends for over 30 yrs and I’ve always admired his enthusiasm for the sensual aspects of Life. He’s always had a ‘thing’ for linden and used to go on and on about the smell of linden trees in bloom…blahblahblah…because I had NO idea what he was talking about (I knew One Smell-good tree: Russian Olive. He, a former forester, knew A Whole Lot More). So…blahblahblah…until I actually smelled a linden tree in blossom. Wow. A combination of oily lime rind, sunshine and cake batter, linden is one of the essences of Spring. According to Lindenlover there, it’s a tough scent to translate into perfume. I wonder what he’ll make of April Aromatics’s Unter den Linden? For my part, I think it’s perfection. Unter den Linden is an homage to the famous Berlin boulevard with which it shares its name – I can imagine that walking along that boulevard, when the trees are in full bloom, is a heady experience, indeed. The gorgeous Tanja Bochnig, perfumer/owner at cult House April Aromatics, has perfectly captured the idea of that boulevard (as well as so many of the gorgeous boulevards laid out in Belle Epoque Europe) – when I sniff Unter den Linden, I am transported back to the 19th Century, a fabulous time for arts and culture and civilized behavior – in my fantasy transportation, it all looks like the MGM film version of ‘Gigi’ (yes, I know that’s Paris but in this fantasy every major European city in the 1900s looks like an MGM set)…… gorgeously-clad women in barouches, men in morning coats or lounge suits (and the fabulous boater! Oh, why don’t men wear boaters anymore? )…..pleached lime trees above pristine pea-gravel walkways, the whole surrounded by Belle Epoque buildings…this scent, while at the opposite end of the spectrum, scentwise, from Une Fleur de Cassie , Les Heures Brillante & Amouage Beloved, has a very important thing in common with those perfumes: it is a decidedly urban scent. Paris, Berlin, New York. Not the countryside. You all know I have a ‘thing’ about certain perfumes, requiring myself to be done completely the hell up in order to do them justice. They don’t have to be particularly complex perfumes – there’s just a certain ‘something’ about certain ones that require my unruly hair be ‘did’ and me being in something crisp and sophisticated. Dropping a dress size would help, too – but let’s not get carried away here. Unlike the perfumes I just mentioned, though, which I consider to be completely urban, Unter den Linden shares some of the style of Patou’s Vacances, in that you can do the Cannes thing, with the crisp white slacks and an elegant flat – as you can see I am loving the juxtaposition of crisp fabric and soft perfume (and Cannes, like Monte Carlo, feels urban, all those boats notwithstanding. The whole ‘sleepy fishing village’ is LONG gone). I see myself in a crisp shirtwaist dress or pencil skirt with a polished cotton blouse, meeting the beautiful Tanja at an outdoor cafe in Berlin, exchanging air-kisses so as not to muss our flawless makeup (oh, shut up! Like I’m the only one to ever have this fantasy!)…we’re both awash in Unter den Linden and every other patron at the cafe is quietly marveling at our fabulosity. In reality, I would be mistaken for Tanja’s aged nanny and my hips would be hurting from walking on the pea gravel in mah Manolos…but we’re ignoring reality right now, okay? Back to the fantasy!
I really like this perfume! It’s bright, soft (with a hint of bergamot bitterness to ground it and save it from being ‘twee’) – a throwback to a feeling of sunnier, simpler times, when women wore gloves and hats and the world didn’t intrude quite so immediately into everyday life. Whether or not those days ever really existed is irrelevant: it is a lovely vision and this is a perfect perfume to fit that vision.
Until recently it was rather taxing to get April Aromatics in the US – now Luckyscent has made the cult House easier to explore. Thanks, Franco! If you are unfamiliar with the line, I suggest you try them all – Luckyscent carries an elegant sample set. containing 9 of her gorgeous scents (including Unter den Linden) $130 for 2.5ml per.
Notes for Unter den Linden: Linden blossom, honey, mimosa, bergamot, magnolia.