I love flowers. I love having flowers all around the house. I love receiving flowers and I love to give flowers. There is something about a bunch of fresh flowers that brings a smile to my face. I am a spring baby so maybe that has something to do with it. I love their myriad of colours, the shapes and most of all for some, their fragrances. My nose tends to be drawn to roses or lavender or the freshness of jonquils. I love that the fragrance of particular flowers lingers in the air and is either so overpowering that it’s the first thing you smell as you walk into the house or it can suddenly waft by and catch you by surprise.
When I was a little girl, I used to stand by my Mum’s dresser and count the number of perfume bottles she had lined up. And then one by one I would take each lid off and inhale each fragrance. To this day, a whiff of Estee Lauder’s Private Collection makes me think of my Mum. Like mother, like daughter; I too loved perfumes from an early age and I remember it was Elizabeth Arden’s Sunflowers which was my first purchase. Over the years I have worn and collected many a fragrance. I am the type of girl that likes one for the day, one for evenings, an atomiser for the handbag and a couple that are “just because”.
Often like shoes, I like to bring new bottles of perfume home with me from a holiday and not just because of duty free but because they remind me of a memory. Recently I was in Capri, Italy and went to the profound perfume house Carthusia. Immersed by the history behind their fragrances, I came home with one as a gift for my girlfriend and I also now wear Via Camerelle during the day.
I get married tomorrow and one of the last things I organised was finding myself a fragrance I will eternally know as April 10. A couple of weeks ago, one of my bridesmaids asked me if I had a perfume for the day? A perfume that would tie me to the day and if I was to ever wear it again or smell it in the future, then it would bring me back to April 10. I contemplated; do I wear an all-time favourite like AOD’s Lostmarch or find something new? Hunting around and realising too late that I should have carried with me a stash of coffee beans to neutralise my sense of smell each time I tested one, I went from woody to citrus, to sultry to fresh. I smelt classics like Chanel’s Coco and Estee Lauder’s top seller Beautiful. I found the new Balenciaga fragrance to resemble toilet cleaner and I thought Kiehls’ Original Musk was not special enough. I was looking for an instant love affair, a smell that would whoosh me off my feet and immediately envelope me and my senses. I was mostly getting drawn to the floral fragrances but desired one that was not too flowery or an inevitable headache.
In Mecca Cosmetica, I fell in love with Antonia’s Flowers Floret. The shopgirl sprayed my wrist and for the rest of the afternoon I walked around, occasionally taking a sniff and loving the fresh yet playful scent. As the hours wore on, the fragrance lingered and didn’t fade and made me think of fields of fresh flowers and warm spring days. I came home and googled Antonia’s Flowers and read that “Antonia” was so inspired by French flower markets and their translation in art that she opened a florist on New York’s Long Island. Quite soon afterwards she developed fragrances to try and capture the scents she was surrounded by each day. Floret was “inspired by the rambling sweet peas in her grandmother’s gardens, and convinced of the power of the ‘living flower’, Floret was created to recapture the memories of her childhood.” Floret has layers of marigold, rose, apricot, lily of the valley and tuberose.
Floret will now always be my April 10 and as I spray it on my wrist and other pressure points tomorrow, I look forward to discovering the special memories that will be forever attached to it and conjured up when it is sprayed in days to come.