Saturday, February 4, 2017

February Perfume Post: Kenzo Flower and Olympic Orchids Sakura

There's a lot to be said about perfumes that smell nothing like anything in nature. At least, those that work. A hot synthetic mess is no fun to wear and even less fun to smell. But when "unearthly" or "unreal" is part of the brief, some amazing perfumes are born. I'm looking at you, Mugler Cologne! My favorite "unreal" perfume is Kenzo Flower, which is based on an imagined flower that links nature with urbanity:
My Kenzo Flower Collection (bottles mostly empty now)
Alberto Morillas designed Flower in 2000, and as you can see, there are many flankers available, and yup, I've pretty much tried them all, and bought most. Flower smells nothing like an actual flower, though notes of violet and rose are mentioned. It's a synthetic wonder.

There is as much, or more, to be said of perfumes that conjure up a piece of Gaia in her entirety. The designer does not need to use only naturals for this, but must be intimately familiar with the territory she/he wishes to evoke in scent. My favorite indie perfumer, Ellen Covey, excels at this art. Her perfumes can create utterly realistic "scent scenes" and "scents of place". Dr. Covey is also an Alert Gardener, primarily of orchids, and she knows her plants! The Olympic Orchids perfume I am reaching for almost daily this winter is Sakura, an ode to cherry trees in bloom. Not just the flowers, the whole bloomin' orchard, dirt included!
Cherry Trees, MRobb, 2015, mixed media
Cherry blossom perfumes are a staple of late winter and early spring in Europe and Asia. Even the most renowned don't smell much like actual cherry blossoms, and they certainly don't smell anything like the trees themselves, or the ground they grow in! Dr. Covey has included accords for every aspect of a cherry orchard in bloom, and I can attest to its realism. It's a springy heaven for a gloomy winter, and I'm charmed and amazed a perfumer can create such a realistic tableau. Great work!
Olympic Orchids Sakura, photo by MRobb, 2017
If you want to read more about Kenzo Flower or Olympic Orchids Sakura, here are the links:

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