ScentFan's Blog
7 years ago - 22.06.2016

Intuitively Obvious to the Casual Nose - White Florals

At Neiman's perfume counters this weekend with my daughter, the Chanel SA suggested I try a new perfume, Memo's "African leather" which turned out to be a funky and interesting Geranium. In the process, the Memo S.A. offered another called "Marfa". One sniff and I was in knee buckling bliss. Then I realized I had no need to buy Marfa since its familiarly haunting accord was done to perfection in my current signature, Kiss my Name. But what exactly was this accord?"

A little research and I knew what had slowly become intuitively obvious to my nose over the past 2.5 years of sniffing, but which hadn't fully registered before. I am in desperate love with white florals. It borders on delirium--particularly Jasmine and Tuberose combined with any sort of orange. Marfa has orange blossom, but for Kiss My Name it's Neroli, the Seville orange blossom.

Easily my greatest loves in the Neroli group are:

Jardins de Bagatelle
Aldehydes, Bergamot, Violet, Lemon, Neroli, Jasmine, Gardenia, Lily-of-the-valley, Magnolia, Narcissus, Orchid, Rose, Ylang-ylang, Tuberose, Musk, Patchouli, Vetiver, Cedar

Kiss My Name by Monegal
Iris, Egyptian jasmine absolute, Tunisian neroli, Tolu balsam, Indian tuberose absolute, Cedarwood

The pared-down version in Kiss My Name is so stunning it made me close my eyes and gasp in public, but the pared-up version in Jardins de Bagatelle caused the same reaction at home. Not an every day event in the least, I now realize.

In my Orange blossom group are the likes of:

Bergamot, Galbanum, Mandarin, Apricot, Basil, Tagetes, Orange blossom, Tuberose, Narcissus, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Iris, Broom, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Tonka bean, Amber, Benzoin, Civet, Frankincense, Musk

Cassia, Green notes, Coriander, Orange blossom, Peach, Plum, Black currant, Tagetes, Freesia, Carnation, Heliotrope, Hyacinth, Ginger, Iris, Jasmine, Rose, Tuberose, Violet, Ylang-ylang, Amber, Musk, Sandalwood, Black currant, Tonka bean, Vanilla, Vetiver, Cedar, Civet

Parfum de Nicolai's Number One Intense
Galbanum, Black currant, Tagetes, Cassia, Jasmine, Orange blossom, Rose, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang, Ambergris, Oakmoss, Sandalwood

Chanel No. 22
Aldehydes, Lily, Lily-of-the-valley, Neroli, Orange blossom, Tuberose, Jasmine, Nutmeg, Rose, Ylang-ylang, Iris, Vanilla, Vetiver, Frankincense

Panthère de Cartier
Grapefruit, Ginger, Labdanum, Mandarin, Orange blossom, Pepper, Freesia, Gardenia, Carnation, Heliotrope, Iris, Jasmine, Karo-Karounde, Nutmeg, Narcissus, Tuberose, Vetiver, Ylang-ylang, Amber, Oakmoss, Musk, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Tonka bean, Vanilla, Frankincense, Cedar, Civet

and more.

Studying them, I see that the majority in my Neroli group also contain Lily-of-the-Valley. I'd recently discovered LotV excels at counterpointing sweet florals and lending them sophistication. A pared-down example of this is Rodin by Rodin Olio Lusso. It has only Jasmine, Neroli and Lily-of-the-Valley with a little Bergamot and Musk. The result is a knock-out, though, even without Tuberose. It seems Narcissus or Hyacinth are more likely to be found counterpointing those in my Orange blossom group.

All in all, I have 21 perfumes in this category--possibly more. Though each is different, it's their white floral accords that appeal—indolic Jasmine and Tuberose with orange blossom or Neroli, counterpointed by Hyacinth, Narcissus, and/or Lily-of-the-Valley. Mishandled, this latter trio can throw off an ungodly stink, but in the right hands they elevate.

I don't think this realization would have had the same significance if I'd read about white floral accords first, then gone in search of them. In future installments of "Intuitively Obvious to the Casual Nose," I'll report new landmarks in the on-going saga: Former Human Canary ScentFan's Self-education in Perfume.

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