Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fragrance of Life

Having been barely home a week from Europe before going over to Vancouver to spend a week there with family, I'm now back and getting reacquainted with my garden. If, as this bench above (situated in the delightful Phoenix Garden in London) claims, Sir Digby Jones takes time to smell the flowers (which you'd rather doubt if you read his CV), then perhaps I could steal an hour or three for mine. Sadly, right now my garden is more in need of weeding, pruning, and watering than it is of any indulgent sniffing.
But since we're talking of smelling attractive fragrances, I'll mention that I did take the time to smell a few new perfumes while away, and I picked up a small bottle of Annick Goutal's Heure Exquise (which hour is, apparently, Twilight)
I bought my bottle at Merci where it was about all I could afford (although there was much I could admire!) and when I got home and did a bit of research about it, I found this wonderful description over at Fragrantica: a nostalgically beautiful and very graceful floral from Annick Goutal. . . . created by Isabelle Doyenne (together with the late great Annick Goutal herself) in 1984. Romantic as are most if not all of Goutal's creations, Heure Exquise stands apart from the rest of the collection thanks to its truly exquisite Florentine iris heart note. The iris in the fragrance is supported but not at all overwhelmed by Turkish rose and Mysore sandalwood.

All very well and good, but here's the part I love: Heure Exquise smells best when worn for romantic purposes, preferably by someone with a bit of experience in the matters of the heart. Annick Goutal herself imagined its possible wearer to be 'sublimely feminine'.

Need I mention that Pater seems to enjoy the fragrance as well!

Now I'd better take my experienced, romantic, sublimely feminine self outside and get busy with my secateurs . . .


  1. How bizarre. You read about marmalade and then read my blog post; I was thinking this morning 'I think it's time I tried some new perfume' and then read this post! I must see if this is available here and try it.

  2. That fragrance sounds intruiging!

    Have fun in your garden. I finally got fed up with the dilapidated appearance of mine on Friday, and dashed over to Home Depot to pick up some pony packs and potting soil. At least there's some color in the containers now (aside from brown!).

  3. Just wanted to thank you for the mentions of Phoenix Gardens. Sometimes it takes a visitor to show you an aspect of your city of which you were totally unaware. A quick vox-pop of my London family members and friends revealed that none of them knew of the existence of Phoenix Gardens either. Now we all plan to remedy this and will be making a point of stopping by next time we are in the area.

  4. It's a delight when you find a fragrance you can connect to on both intellectual and sensual levels!

    The linden trees are in full bloom, mixed with orange blossom, a wonderful natural fragrance.

  5. not even a comment about this entry, but looking at the adorable leopard car shot, I saw your hair--you got it cut quite a bit, no? It looks great (as does that cute little dress...)


  6. 'sublimely feminine'.
    LOL what a vision to have in your head as you conjure up such a scent.
    It is lovely to spend time trying out new fragrances, and even better to find one that works. What saddens me is no matter how lovely they smell, I get inured to it and no longer reap the benefit. I have tried alternating but this does not seem to work either.

  7. Tiffany: and if it's not available there, perhaps you'll have to schedule a trip to Paris! (and yes, odd synchronicity of thinking across many, many miles)
    Pseu: I'm thinking of grabbing some annuals for a quick splash of colour as well.
    60/16: I'll be curious to see what you think -- we loved the Garden and gleaned several ideas we hope to copy.
    Duchesse: We don't seem to get linden trees here but the Mock Orange (Philadelphus) are just finishing and they've been sublime!
    Lisa: I got it cut late last fall and I've been enjoying the change altho' I'm wanting to get more length again on the sides. Thanks re the dress -- I know it's a bit to short without tights but on such a hot day . . .
    Alison: The part I love almost as much as the "sublimely feminine" is the notion of being suitable to someone with considerable experience in matters of the heart. As you say, LOL, indeed ROFL!!
    I guess I'm lucky that I don't get too easily jaded with my perfumes although I admit to having several (oh yeah!) at once.

  8. I am so looking forward to the day when Blogger comes up with a smellovision widget. Laugh if you will but who ever thought Tivo was possible. Since there is no smellovision I will stop by the Goutal counter next time I can.

    I do have a fragrance that I wear just for romantic purposes. It is not my favorite but He-weasel loves it.

  9. Just a word re your current visitors...hide the bottle....Grace loves a fragrance.....and has been her much younger years of course (maybe 6 months to spray quite liberally..which is survivable with my not too expensive bottle of white linen or happy in bloom but with your I said ..hide the bottle...:)....and thanks again really haven't even had time to enjoy the house again on your own...and now two little residents under you!

  10. LBR: Smellovision -- bring it on! (although I can foresee also wanting to turn it off, quickly!)
    Kath: okay, we had a very quick little chat! I think my bottle's safe ;-) And you're welcome -- we're having fun here, no worries!

  11. I have "Eau de Charlotte"--cocoa, powder, black currant. Mmmmmm....

  12. Mmmm, Karen, I love the sound of that one -- I googled to find some more description of it, and it definitely sounds like something I'd love to try.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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