Through its olfactory pyramid, this fragrance will trace the experience of picking a small bouquet and then drying it between the pages of a book. But for its literally bookish base, it should smell as if it could have been produced decades ago. Just as with a dried bouquet, one whiff should suggest a fondly-remembered past. Rather like Stella, its contents are suggestive of times past while its audience is relatively young.
The top notes should include lilac, not too sweet, and transparent but definite green notes, galbanum or otherwise. (Think of the lightest of the Vent Vert reformulations or of a less-chemical Jontue – the initial impression should be definitely green without masking the flowers or smelling of mold.) A freshwater accord such as is found in Bath & Body Works’ Rainkissed Leaves may be present or not – ditto hints of lily-of-the-valley.
The green notes and any watery scent that may be present should fade when the heart notes assert themselves, turning the fragrance more straightforwardly floral. Iris would be a nice addition, although it is expensive, or a violet if it is not too powdery or sugary. Rose should be present, but only subtly, and better if it is a slightly overripe rose. The lilac should remain and grow sweeter at this point, to better transition into the sweetness of the base. Think of Chanel No. 19, Penhaligon’s Victorian Posy, or some of Crabtree & Evelyn’s offerings. If this scent were a woman, she would be soft-spoken, but she’d have excellent posture and a good vocabulary. She’d listen to Satie’s Gymnopédies in idle moments.
Finally, the sweetness of the lilac should fade, while the iris/violet and rose remain, and blend into the sweetness of old glue and leather such as are found in old hardback books. CB I Hate Perfume’s In The Library is the ideal reference here, but of course that has no floral notes in it, and this scent has no need for the furniture polish component. An element of bitterness can reappear at this point, whether from chamomile or from variants of the green top notes.
This scent is something that women from about 25-35 might buy for themselves, or that mothers might buy for their daughters. It’s sentimental rather than sexy, serious rather than flirtatious. Give it a palette like a Caillebotte painting – light green, muted purple, warm brown, and the neutral shade of a rainy sky seen through a dirty window.
Submitted by blkbrd