I never realized how closely related carnations and cloves were until cdg connected the dots. While a superrealistic carnation scent, the clove supports and brings it out and the two notes dance together in a dipping and weaving mating dance; sometimes I smell clove, sometimes carnation, sometimes just enhanced carnation. I also get an oxidized tea note. SO I wouldn't consider this a soliflore, although some may be inclined to, since the clove, tea, pepper, and rose notes only serve to round out and enhance the carnation scent, which is certainly the star of the show here. But to me, since the clove plays such an important role in the understanding and development of this scent, this becomes an elegant study in the ways the smell of
chloroforms er, chlorophyll, and spice work together—how they are all part of a great continuum.
I am getting dimly remembered shades from my childhood of high school dances on the reservation, that my dad would chaperone when he was a teacher there. I remember feeling such awe for the sophistication and glamour of all the dudded-up teenagers—the boys (men to me then) in their rented polyester tuxes with carnation boutonnières, and the women wearing those puff-sleeved Cinderella numbers. The carnation, now overlooked by a country that now buys orchids and birds of paradise for their 14 year-olds’ formal parties, was then king. I remember burying my nose in a fallen boutonnière, being amazed that such a prosaic little bud could have such a gorgeous scent, and then squishing its firm head in my hands, rolling it around on my palms to extract the fragrance, and finally, slowly, tearing the flower apart with the little pearl-tipped pin to smell all the separate parts.
But the carnation wasn’t always relegated to the ‘filler’ section of the local florists. It has a long and storied history as one of the kings of the flowers, from the classical period on, but that, alas, is a tale for another day.