THE FRAGRANCE COMMUNE - THE SPRING EDITION
by Catherine Spinley
In the past few weeks, I’ve awoken from a winter hibernation and decided the world, while wild and unpredictable, is a wonder to be explored. Simultaneously, work and life is C-R-A-Y and I can’t begin to wrap my head around picking a destination and planning an itinerary. There are so many places to see and people to meet - it’s overwhelming. All of this to say, wanderlust is on the brain and fragrance can take you to new places or remind you of places you’ve been. Here’s to a Spring magical mystery fragrance tour.
The Fragrance Commune - Spring 2019 Edition:
Top note: Pink Pepper, Turkish Rose Petals
Middle note: Raspberry Blossom, Turkish Rose Absolute
Base note: Papyrus, White Amber
Our past is our future, with history repeating itself for all to experience. One rail pass and backpack later, my camera in hand, I ready myself for a summer spent chasing (one version of) history and my ancestors across Europe in a bid to figure out who I was, am and will be. I sneak photographs of old ladies gathered in the neighborhood alleyways speaking in a staccato tongue and idealistic romantics sharing a kiss between gazes at masterful paintings as I order a glass of red wine and watch these scenes play out before me. At least that’s what I envision when I smell Byredo’s Rose of No Man’s Land. Moved by this scentsorial tribute to the nurses who served on the front lines of WWI, often called “Rose of No-Man’s Land, the rose-forward scent is grounded by a foundation of clean papyrus and musky white amber.
Top note: Mandarin Leaves, Wild Freesia Greens and Hyacinth Florets.
Middle note: Muguet Flower Stalk, Rose Centifolia Stems and Jasmine Buds.
Base note: White Cedar, Vetiver, Ambrox Super and Musk Molecules.
I’ve got flowers and gardens on the brain. My social feeds are flooded with florals: the Super Bloom in Death Valley, cherry blossoms in Kyoto, The Valley of Roses in Morocco, the pink bougainvillea wrapping its way around every surface in Amalfi. But, flowers also brings me back to simpler things like spending a spring weekend planting our own garden, the wafting scent of a neighbor’s lilac bush crossing property lines, the scent of fresh cut grass on a Saturday morning. These places and memories are bottled up in (MALIN+GOETZ) stem eau de parfum: the green freshness of stems and leaves, the pungent dewiness of soil, the perfume of bright blooms unfold throughout the day.
Top note: Radiant Wood, Copper, Cedar
Middle note: Sandalwood, Radiant Iris, Boronia
Base note: Balsam Fir Absolute, Coconut Musc, Ambergris
It may be a bit “on the nose” (pun intended) to dream of India when talking about DS & Durga’s Radio Bombay but the romantic description of this oriental woody scent, “Transistor radio hewn of sandalwood radiates ragas in the Bandra heat. Hot copper tubes warm the soft wood…” teleported me directly to the densely populated coastal city of Mumbai. The heat of the warm sandalwood and brightness of the boronia floral are cut with a crackly copper note. The balsam fir and coconut musk provide an earthiness that is grounded firmly in the scents, sounds and energy of this faraway land.
Top note: Citron, Pepper, Nutmeg, Bergamot
Middle note: Vetyver
Base note: Musk, Sandalwood
I remember my father, a frustrated hippie, playing Woody Guthrie’s, This Land is Your Land on the family record player along with some Janis Joplin and Peter, Paul and Mary’s Puff, The Magic Dragon. It was clear my father had strong ties to the zeitgeist of the 60s, the Summer of Love and the free wheelin’, free thinkin’ culture of San Francisco and Northern California. 30 years later I discovered my own San Francisco and fell madly in love; the way the heavy fog blanketed the acutely angled streets and gave way to the most brilliant sunsets. Just over the Golden Gate, the moss-covered mountains of the Marin coastline stand like green-velvet guards to those redwood forests I remember Woody singing about so long ago. Though my father’s and my San Francisco are of two different times, what unites them is the scent of the Northern California earth permeating the air. The dense fog and dew draws out and magnifies the green and soapy scent of the grass and soil. It’s the citrusy sparkle in the sun’s rays bouncing off of the bay’s waves. It’s a soppy, dewy, almost astringent aroma. It is fresh and reborn over and over again. Chantecaille’s Vetyver is Northern California in a bottle.
Catherine Spinley is the Editorial Director at The Sunday Issue as well as a freelance writer and sometimes-photographer. When not stalking other people’s dogs or yelling at people who refuse to walk up the left side of the escalator, she works in the beauty industry and practices yoga. You can read about her at worepaint.com and @spinderella1110.