Fragrance

By Liz Bekesz

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
(From, “To Autumn,’ by John Keates)

By the third week of August, I’m touched with a melancholic wistfulness for what-just-was, and for what is fading away so quickly: Summer. I can no longer discount the dwindling light of day, nor the muted sweaters that have taken over the shop windows. Autumn is in the air and approaches swiftly, stealing away the warm, sensuous golden glow I’ve grown to know and love.

Luckily, I can still evoke this golden happiness even after the wide, open road of summer closes its lanes. That’s why I’ll continue to wear my favorite fragrance from the past season: Profumi Del Forte Versilia Aurum, well into the fall. Cheerful, fruity top notes of orange, strawberry, and plum will still give way to a warm, radiant bouquet (rose, jasmine, tuberose, lily of the valley, heliotrope, orchid), and finally, what emerges will be the faithful kiss of light vanilla, touched with tolu balsam and grey amber. Versilia Aurum will recall summer’s sweetest glow, long after bikinis are packed and toes are re-trapped.

Available: Avery Perfumes at Limelight Marketplace, 20th Street & 6th Ave, NYC http://www.theaveryperfumes.com

The reality is, we eventually welcome the crisp break of autumn; its blank, new slate feel and its swirling invigoration. Jo Malone celebrates the season with English Pear & Freesia, a new scent inspired by the great English Romantic Poet Keats and his wistful ode, “To Autumn.” The fragrance was created by award-winning Master Perfumer Christine Nagel, who states the challenge in creating the fragrance lay in “recreating the scent of a pear captured just at that moment of perfect ripeness.” She started by “examining the fruit’s duality:” the crisp texture of its skin, versus the succulent, juicy fruit contained within. “You enter the fragrance immediately through the skin, just like when you bite the fresh fruit, and then directly after, the supple juicy pear,” explains Nagel, then adds that “the full-bodied pear note is an innovative technical achievement.”

The King William Pear note is joined by quince (a fruit in the pear family, with a more honeyed tone), and is undercut with white freesia and wild rose. Patchouli, white amber and musk add warmth, while green rhubarb – both soft and acidic – imparts a unique modernity to this classically understated fragrance.

English Pear & Freesia successfully captures a fleeting moment in time: pear, at its prime. Crisp and vital, its sweetness teases the edges, but never overpowers a fresh authenticity. All in all, a breath of ripe English orchard that wears well against the backdrop a brisk Fall day.

Available at Jo Malone, 946 Madison Avenue, NYC and http://www.jomalone.com

Lush Retro Ginger Fragrance shares something in common with English Pear & Freesia in that it’s decidedly not as sweet as one might expect. I had prejudged it completely, anticipating the comfortable, familiar ginger that so harmoniously coexists with the darlings of the holiday baked goods world: brown sugar, citrus peel, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. But while Ginger is certainly spicy (its base IS Ginger Oil), it is also floral and woodsy – not to mention, damn sexy (Mimosa Absolute, Rose Oil, and Geranium Oil, Jasmine Absolute, Juniperberry Oil, and Ylang Ylang Oil are also in the mix). It’s a fragrance that will make you feel more like a sophisticated lady than a cake; a fragrance that plays as well with vintage chic as it does with jeans and a white button-down. I’ve affectionately nicknamed Ginger “My Invisible Pearls:” While quite different from my usual favorites, it has already stolen my heart.

Available: http://www.lushusa.com

Originally published September 2010
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