May Muguet Marathon: Muguet Fleuri

May Muguet Marathon: Muguet Fleuri

My oh my, muguet! Oriza  L. Legrand’s Muguet Fleuri opens with a decisive, spicy greenness that comes from top notes of green leaves, grass and lily-of-the-valley, per Fragrantica. The middle notes are galbanum, angelica, violet leaf and lily-of-the-valley; base notes are lily-of-the-valley, oakmoss and lily. Kafkaesque attributes the spiciness of the opening to the violet leaves, but I wonder if it doesn’t also come from the angelica. The firmness of the green top notes reminds me of the leaves of lily of the valley, which are very beautiful in their own right and offer just the right contrast to the delicate silver-white bells of the flowers on their long, slender stalks. The leaves are sculptural in their form, larger than the flowers and sometimes even hiding them. They are smooth and firm like the leaves of hostas, and reach to the sky in pairs like hands lifted in prayer.

Lily of the Valley leaves

Lily of the Valley leaves; photo from Verdure

I love the opening of this fragrance. It just happens that I am staying this week at my sister’s house, where she has an old, well-established patch of lilies of the valley, so I am able to compare the perfume and the flower directly while I type this. Continue reading

May Muguet Marathon: Perle de Mousse

May Muguet Marathon: Perle de Mousse

When I was lucky enough to visit the Scent Bar last fall, on my first visit ever to Los Angeles (which you can read about in Fragrance Friday: S(c)en(t)sory Overload), I asked the lovely sales associate to show me some lily-of-the-valley fragrances. One of those she selected for me to try was Ann Gerard’s Perle de Mousse, which means “pearl of foam” but can also mean “pearl of moss.” (In French, oakmoss is “mousse de chene”). The name conjures up lovely images of the pearl-like white flowers of muguet against a dark green background, which is one way gardeners and florists like to force lilies-of-the-valley in pots and planters covered in moss, through which the flowers grow. I came home from LA with a sample of Perle de Mousse from the same lovely sales associate.

Lily of the valley plants growing in moss in a planter

Lilies-of-the-valley grown in moss; photo http://www.growingwithplants.com

Here’s the copy about Perle de Mousse on Scent Bar’s website LuckyScent: Continue reading

Fragrance Friday: S(c)en(t)sory Overload

Fragrance Friday: S(c)en(t)sory Overload

This is the fragrance story I was going to share last Friday, before I heard about the attacks in Paris. So last Friday was a Fragrance Friday moment of silence in honor of one of the world’s greatest fragrance cities. This Friday, I’ll describe my recent (and first) visit to Los Angeles, the Broad Museum and the Scent Bar.

I was in Costa Mesa for a conference; an old friend had recently moved to Los Angeles and invited me to spend some time with her downtown, where she lives. We made plans to spend the morning at the new Broad Museum of contemporary art, where she works on weekends, then eat lunch in Little Tokyo, then make our way to the Scent Bar, storefront and home base of http://www.luckyscent.com, a noted online retailer of independent, niche and hard to find perfumes.

First, the Broad Museum. Continue reading

What Went Well

What Went Well

Lots of wonderful things went well this week!

  1. I spent 24 hours with an old friend, who has moved to LA to make a new life after several major transitions, and we had a fantastic time, as if we haven’t been apart for several years. Because she lives in my heart, even though we don’t see each other often any more.
  2. I visited a fantastic new museum, thanks to my friend: The Broad, in downtown LA. It was an amazing experience and it has a wonderful collection of contemporary art. Because its founders, the Broads, are generous philanthropists who want to share their art collection and because my friend is an engaged participant in LA’s Arts District.
  3. We also visited a spot on my bucket list, The Scent Bar, a fragrance store that specializes in niche and independent perfumes, where the staff could not have been nicer or more helpful (I’ll write more about it on Fragrance Friday). Because my friend and I decided to be a little adventurous and do some exploring. So much fun!

What went well for you this week?

Photo: NPR.org