Three days until March – which in my book is officially spring. Yahooeeey! Now I know some of you poor folk are shrouded in snow and permafrost yet, but here daffodils are all opened up, leafbuds are swelling ready to burst, the sap is rising so fast it’s almost audible in the ache and creak of the earth. The purple acacia in my front garden is covered in its froth of yellow pompom blossom; the species tulips have poked their way through the gravel; the alliums have emerged – their slightly hairy spiralled green leaves, lime fresh, will die back before floral firework explosions open in April and May. Am I perky or what? We don’t get many frosts, and they’re rarely severe enough to set back the soft growth that’s already begun, ever earlier it seems. I’m itching to spend more and more time outdoors.
And, in honour of this time of year, I’m listing. I’m not generally your listing type, except I become so seasonally, or when ridiculously stressed, but that’s another story. I’m a long way from stressed these days. The listing: I have a colour-coded spreadsheet of my seedsowing schedule (103 types of vegetable and cut flower at last count) and, more relevant to this blog, I even list the perfumes I’m excited to try and/or buy. Unsurprisingly, there are a few Neil Morris numbers in there – winging their way across the Atlantic as I type, I imagine. Drooling over the idea of Midnight Tryst and Fetish. Then there are those of which I now need decants, because I’ve been craving them but they’re not me enough to justify a full bottle – if that makes any sense. Included here are Tom Ford Black Orchid (Update – bought a 30ml bottle from (h)e(ll)bay just now – a guy’s gotta snaffle a bargain, right?) and Miller Harris l’air de rien ( a bottle I bought and returned in December, realising that 100mls was just too much for me).
Other list items are things that have been released for some time, but that I’ve never got round to buying, even though I love them. Top of this list, and guaranteed an automatic purchase in April or May, is Hermessence Vetiver Tonka. I used the last of my large sample last night, and the hazelnutty richness with the green vetiver once again took my breath away. It’s all of 100 mls of this one for me. There are also plenty of scents that were released sometime ago that I’m still yet to try, and wonder why I haven’t, so they’re listed too – Vierges et Toreros for example. But these are strictly samples only.
Finally, there are those that I’m at risk of buying unsniffed. Three fall into this category right now. Though I’m a pretty unChanel kinda guy, Sycomore is calling me. However, his voice is a whisper in comparison to the clarion call of first Serge Lutens’ Five o’clock Au Gingembre, and now Hermes’ Un Jardin apres le Mousson. I’ve often been lucky enough to get advanced sniffage of new Serge releases, and though this time I am getting a mouillete / tester strip / spill of the perfume from Paris, that’s not enough of a taste really. I knew Louve wouldn’t be a fit, but this silly-named number has my (slightly silly) name all over it. Who doesn’t crave ginger at five o’clock? I have a not-often-shared addiction to ginger preserves, and my pumpkin pie served with ginger and cardamom cream is genius, even if I do say so myself. And I’m you’re regular spice slut, especially in the hands of Christopher Sheldrake. And seeing as sweet notes are absorbed by my skin, I’m not even worried by the candied. Must. Have. And. Soon. But even this rank acquisitiveness faded into obscurity when I read Robin’s announcement at nowsmellthis about the latest Hermes Jardin scent. Kerala? Post-monsoon? Ginger? Cardamom? A vetiver accord created by Ellena? Oh my oh my. Oh My. Oh! My! etc.
All this means I need to make room in my scent wardrobe by evicting fragrances that I rarely use nowadays. I’m determined to maintain my count around the 70 mark, as I start to be overwhelmed by any more than this. I’m not a great decision maker, and too much choice is a nightmare for me! I know in theory there’s not really much difference between 70 bottles and100, but in practice for me it’s all the difference between knowing what to grab and being stymied and choosing wrongly. Samples and decants don’t count. They’re allowed to go forth and multiply effortlessly. I rarely wear them out – they’re more my bedtime testers.
complete homage to total plagiarism of March’s post in November, I would like to give away 9 bottles, some partially used, some hardly used, some half empty, of scents which I no longer wear or, in one case, of which I have a duplicate. If you’d like to send me a little something in return, random or otherwise, that would be lovely, but you’re under no obligation. Just leave a comment below highlighting which scent you’d like, and I’ll draw the winners from a hat or similar vessel, announcing them next week, and emailing them for their address in the meantime. I’ll throw in a local product or two, too. Perhaps a tutu or two, too.
The scents are as follows:
l’Artisan Voleur de Roses 50 mls – about 60% full. Roses and I can love each other, but we never ever play nicely together.
l’Artisan Bois Farine 50mls – about 50% full. Duplicate bottle. How did that happen?
Boucheron Jaipur Homme 100ml tester bottle no box – 80% full. Too smooth for me.
Rochas Lui 50mls – about 70% full. Too much neroli for me.
Lanvin Arpege pour Homme 50mls – about 60% full. I loved you for a while…
Ungaro III (promised to Erin K, if she’d still like it) 50 mls, hardly used, no box. Roses, again.
Jo Malone Amber and Lavender 30ml – 60% full, no box.
Guerlain Habit Rouge edt 50mls hardly used.
And finally, the pià¨ce de résistance (ha!) Hugo Boss Soul 50ml, no box, 75% full (must have appeared by magic… And please, if you fancy having this one, there is DEFINITELY no need to send something back my way. I’d just be happy to find it a home).
Hilarious spring image from mooseycountrygarden.com