For anyone who reads the Posse regularly, it’s no secret that I LOVE me some big, bombastic perfume beauties. If ever my perfume cabinet explodes, they will have to get a Hazmat team in here to mop up the spill. Vintage Mitsouko! Enough No5 to sink a battleship (vinty and current), Carnal Flower! Fracas! Epic! My garden is much the same, with Orienpet and Trumpet lilies choking the entire neighborhood. Go Hard or…Go Harder! That seems to be my plant and perfume motto.
But every now and then (more often than you’d think, really) there are some quieter scents, both in the garden and on my tray. After the lilies have trumpeted their beauty all over the land and it gets a bit quieter in the garden, I begin to notice subtle little bits of perfume here and there – often from unlikely plants. Hostas, for one, have flowers that exude quite a bit of fragrance – but it’s a quiet, indefinable fragrance, in many ways echoing the watery, green-tinged, earthy (dirt) early Spring (like Peonies which, despite their claims to a particular scent, always just smell of Everything Growing in the Garden to me, which is one of the most wonderful smells EVAH!).
I was thinking about which perfumes mimic this type of scent – the ones that teeter juuuuust on the edge of Bigger (? – that may not be what I’m trying to say, here)….. the ones that make their presence known without being HUGELY PRESENT! Jacomo Silences comes to mind, with that green undernote quieting the galbanum…..Soivohle (Liz Zorn) has the beautiful Green Oakmoss – again, the green is a quiet underpinning – and there’s the one I’m currently wearing – a LOT : Acqua di Parma’s Iris Nobile (interestingly, both it and its Sister-in-Quiet, Gelsomino Nobile, have been discontinued, to be replaced by a Camellia that isn’t nearly as interesting (jury’s still out on the Osmanthus one)…… Iris Nobile straddles that line between flowery iris and rooty iris, giving it enough heft (and subtle wet-dirt smell) to make the first application a real pleasure and enough flowery, flitting lightness to make reapplication a non-hazmat experience (I’ve been with someone who, in a tipsy state, reapplied Carnal Flower 5 times in 90 minutes! Luckily we were outside, else I would be in an iron lung! )
You know what other perfume falls into that category (but with longer longevity)? Amouage Gold. No reapplication required (omg. PLEASE DON’T) but it drifts along your day, with that quiet, indefinable ‘perfume’ smell that is so delightful. Gold was my 2nd Amouage and I wore it the entire 2 weeks I was flat on my back with that Busted Back Thing and it never failed to uplift and delight me, but without a lot of attention needing to be paid to it.
That’s what I’ve ben trying to figure out – why I like these scents so much, this time of year! Whew! That’s it! They are Pretty! But undemanding. By the time early September rolls around I’ve been overwhelmed (and happily so – but still) with bombastic scent. 80 lilies in your garden will do that to ya. The roses have stopped trying to compete and are setting hips for Autumn. My nose has a chance to settle down a bit – but it still wants a little sumpin’, y’know? These scents are the perfect transition, as I prepare to Leather Up for Autumn.
Do any of you have Quiet scents for this transitional time? Tell me ’bout ’em! I’ve got some fun stuff in the Messy Armoire and The Girl has an itchy pawnail. She’ll poke random dog org and …well, you know the drill.