I realise the groundhog said six more weeks of winter. Thankfully, however, we seem to have moved into a transition phase. It’s been sunny for several days (and should continue to be for at least the next two weeks) and the daytime temperature is generally double digits (in Celsius). My garden path has been ‘installed’ and I’ve managed to dig out the left side ready for planting. Put bee pellet wild flower things on right along with some nasturtium seeds. Once we’re past below-zero nights I’ll put in some anemones.  Getting there.

Sat outside in the sun with the dog for first time this year. Made me think of breakfast out there once it’s warmer and reminded me of breakfast on the deck early morning (already very very hot) during our last holiday.

There are now loads of spring flowers around, the roses are starting to leaf, and I’ve managed to dig out most of the ground elder (my nemesis in this garden). March can be a weird month here (we’ve gotten snow mid-way through), but I am cautiously hopeful.

Anyway, I’ve been playing with the second Strangers Parfumerie sample, Sangre Dulce, which, as the name suggests, is a gourmand. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the other thing in this line I sampled (Carrousel something). This is better but I’m not going to be chasing any more of these.

This is simply too linear. I’m not against linear — the Gobin Daudes were linear. But this isn’t interesting like they were.

Notes list includes benzoin, blood orange, brown sugar, cinnamon, civet, honey, patchouli, Peru balm (I wonder if he means Peru balsam), pomegranate, rose water, sangria, strawberry, tobacco, wine and ylang.

The whole idea of strawberry reminds me of the original release of Miss Dior Cherie which I quite liked. Very well done, it was a perfume that made me happy – so sunny and sweet without being cloying. However, it also reminds me of those body mists available decades ago that smelled of synthetic strawberry. Slightly nauseating.

And this led me to thinking about Serge Lutens’ pine and stewed apple thing (fruit is a theme today) Fille en Aiguilles which I sampled a number of years ago and really enjoyed. I know some people get pine air freshener with this, but on me it was stewed apple and pine. Really nice combo.

Anyway, the Strangers Parfumerie iteration of the genre starts as very nice burnt caramel and pine. With development, I get some strawberry but sadly it’s the thin synthetic stuff. The caramel recedes and the pine comes to the fore.

In the end, this just doesn’t develop on me. The burnt caramel etc fades and the result made me feel slightly ill. So, nix that. Not really enamoured of this house.

On last series (ie, 8) of Spiral and just finished Joe Ide’s newest book, Smoke. It is the fifth in his IQ series. Really good — and he finished things implying there will be a book 6.

After Portia’s post last week on travel I’m more focused on the idea of a holiday late summer/early autumn if it can be done. Might try to do the Lost Gardens of Heligan finally (ie, St Austell for a couple of days – it will be mostly outside so potentially doable) and if it’s possible maybe even Paris for a long weekend… People are already booking ‘staycations’ here, with Devon (where I live) a prime target. So, 1) it’s going to be very busy during June and July and 2) a UK holiday is going to be way too expensive to even think about. Probably much cheaper to get an Airbnb in Paris slightly out of season…

So, yeah. Do you have a favourite caramel fragrance? What did you think of Miss Dior Cherie before it was altered? Any love for the Lutens FeA?

  • Dina C. says:

    I’m envious that your weather has taken a turn for the better. We’re out of the bitter cold, but we’ve had pouring rain for the last three days with chilly weather. Blergh. No gardening yet. Plants seem to still be in suspended animation. I love FeA and have a full bottle of it. I never got the stewed apple accord from it, but now I’m gonna try and smell that next time I wear it. I do remember the original Miss Dior Cherie and how it was supposed to be strawberries and caramel popcorn. I finally made up my mind that I liked it too late after it was no longer available even on ebay, but I had gotten a mini at one point which I gave to my little girl, and she loved it. Would love to stumble upon a bottle some day — I’d buy it in a heartbeat!

    • Cinnamon says:

      There’s now noise that we might get snow later in the week. I am thoroughly bored with winter. Strawberries and caramel popcorn sort of sounds sublime.

  • Musette says:

    So happy your got your path laid!!! Getting hardscaping done is so satisfying (at least for this weirdo over here 😉 . I confess to not having paid ANY attention to caramel in scent but that’s mostly because I am not a gourmand fan, overmuch.
    We are having mercurial weather right now – yesterday it was nearly 50F, so I spent the day chopping 3″ ice off the walkways…satisfying work. Now I have to spread ice-melt because it’s in the low 20s (F) and the water residue has left a lethal sheen of ice.
    But that’s okay – it’s MARCH!


    • Cinnamon says:

      After all my joy regarding the weather we’re due a freeze end of this week. That’s what happens when you live on an estuary, 5 miles from the Atlantic coast. Deep breath. That sounds mad regarding the ice. Maybe Mother Nature will feel kinder in a couple of weeks.

  • Melanie says:

    Hi Cinnamon, I have a couple of favourites from Strangers Parfumerie like Oliver, San Clemente and am now happy to own Salted Green Mango. Have tried quite a few others as the range under this label is plentyful. Bond No9 Washington Sq is my caramel scent.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    When you go on holidays will you Air BnB your place? Might pay for your trip? So jealous if you get to Paris! Woo Hoo!
    Caramel is Ambre Ceruleen by Huitiem Art for me. MMMMM
    Lutens F&A is the one I most often gift. Everyone I have ever given it to loves it madly. I also wear it regularly. YUM!
    The garden sounds like it’s coming great guns. Congratulations. Enjoy it.
    Portia xx

    • Cinnamon says:

      Gah. We’ve now got the Brazilian variant of Covid here which may mean no hols outside UK this year. I can’t see Airbnb-ing my place — at least not till I’ve lived in it for several years post works done (not sure I’d trust someone I didn’t know with my hob and oven). Will have to look up the HA. Well, I’m now at the waiting phase re:garden as plants won’t start showing up till end of this month earliest. Might sort the shed …

  • Karen says:

    My favorite is Giselle by Carla Fracci!

  • Tara C says:

    My favourite caramel fragrances are Omnia Madera and Xerjoff Lira. I did love and fortunately still own two bottles of the original Miss Dior Chérie. Fille en Aiguilles reminds me of the pine forests near the beaches in France in the departement des Landes in summer. It’s a warm weather pine scent to me, not wintery.