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· Perfume Notes: Florals

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Perfume Notes: Florals
by Dain

When I began thinking about how to approach the very broad and diverse category of florals, it occurred to me that organize it, note by note, would be self-defeating. In the first place, some florals aren't particularly floral; a good example would be iris, which is really more a woody, earthy smell. Others, such as gardenia or lotus, are notoriously difficult to reconstruct, while some, such as lily of the valley, don't even yield a natural extract. But most of all, the problem with florals is that a tendency towards legible, realistic representations, especially in soliflores. Though a technical feat equal to any, since even the finest quality rose extract doesn't smell like the real thing, they are differentiated only by the differences inherent to the flowers themselves, and there's something tedious about a woman who smells like a botanical garden. A proper perfume is abstract. This is why Opium is more beautiful, more interesting, and more important than Bellodgia. And then, there is the fact that if you go note-by-note, you waste time on mediocre perfumes.

So, I've decided to go by treatments, ordered roughly in increasing degrees of complexity, with notes as a secondary consideration. All the soliflores have been lumped together into two categories—transparent (like air fragrant with flowers) and opaque (the latter should recall the creamy, silken textures of petals in addition to verisimilitude)—which strikes me as very just, as all the transparent soliflores in the world put together are not even remotely equal to Chanel No. 5. That's why Jicky's here—it's not a floral, it's a fougère, I'm not disputing that—but otherwise I'd be stuck with lavender water. If you're wondering where the floral chypres are, I've already done a chypre arc.

transparent solifloreJo Malone Orange Blossomorange blossom
opaque solifloreSerge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminelletuberose
tropicalAnnick Goutal Songestropical bouquet
fruity floral via melonFrédéric Malle Le Parfum de Thérèsejasmine
aquatic floral via teaHermès Osmanthe Yunnanosmanthus
green, via galbanumGuerlain Chamadehyacinth
green, non-galbanumOrmonde Jayne Ormonde Womanviolet
fougèreGuerlain Jickylavender
aldehydic, soapyEstée Lauder White Linenmuguet, rose
aldehydic, lactonicChanel No. 5rose, jasmine
aldehydic florientalCaron Parfum Sacrérose
floriental, spicyYSL Opiumcarnation
floriental, darkGuerlain Vol de Nuitnarcissus
gourmand florientalGuerlain L'Heure Bleueheliotropin

8/02/2008 [0]

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