Thursday, June 24, 2010

Where the bee sucks, there suck I

mexican orange blossom

Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

SO says the freed Ariel, and so do I wish I could do. Alas, I am but a human and must content myself with sucking nectar from a different kind of vessel. And I found some interesting new nectar in an unexpected place this morning.

A few weeks ago, Jessica said:

“Ever since I started reading your blog I have been searching for scents that I like and find wearable (which, admittedly, are rather few). One of my absolute favorite smells and flavors is citrus (particularly orange blossom, can you recommend a

good--and perhaps more widely available--soliflore? Serge Lutens is kind of inaccessible from my current location). I have always loved the marriage of citrus and "darker" elements when done right; glad to have you with us. ;)”

Well, Jessica, the accessible soliflore is available at a mall near you, at 75% off. It’s part of Victoria’s Secret’s Parfums intimes line, and called Lace—Orange Blossom. Although most of the VS line seems to consist almost exclusively in cramming as much synthetic vanilla into one small bottle as possible, the parfums intimes series took me by happy surprise—so of course, the line is being discontinued. My favorite403px-Orange_Blossom_(NGM_XXXI_p504) of the bunch, lace-orange blossom is a very nice soliflore that surprised me with its quality. It is unapologetically indolic and intense—reminding me favorably of Serge Lutens’ fleurs d’oranger. As the very natural, almost holographic  orange blossom burns off, a dull, throbbing, somewhat organically sour white floral remains behind, as well as a bit of well-rounded musk and some sort of blond wood and a salty twinge. All in all, I think if I were to smell  this blind, not knowing it came from the monstrous Victoria’s Secret/ Bath and Body Works conglomerate, I would never guess it. I would immediately think it was the product of some artisanal perfumer’s labor and reflection. 

bottom line: a begrudging thumbs-up!

So, Jessica, my dear, if you are still interested, head off to that heinous semi-annual sale and smell this. It might be something you like, and for 11 bucks, who could say no?


bee on Mexican orange blossom,(c) w:fr:Utilisateur:FoeNyx – 2005.  Painting by Mary E. Eaton from oldwikisource:, 03:52, 31 October 2004 . . Moverton (Talk | contribs) . . 550×818 (108,811 bytes) (ORANGE BLOSSOM (Citrus sinensis Osbeck).

the question is: what would Emeraude look like?

MARGARITA Check out this amazing series of pictures of different kinds of alcohol under the microscope. (There are lots more at the linked webvodkasite.)

What blows my mind is how much the images seem to express, in an abstract  way, each drink’s ‘personality.’ Each image really captures the spirit of the thing (sorry, couldn’t resist).

I wonder what a similar series of pictures of iconic perfumes would look like….. Food for thought, anyway.



Images of Margarita,  vodka, and tequila under microscope found at


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