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Image - hyacinths from http://hayefieldhouse.com/
February is a tricky month. You think the winter is almost over when you see the first snowdrops coming from the ground or buy the first hyacinth bulbs from the local florist. But February is still a cold winter month with its night frost and cold wind striking into the marrow. Warm and fresh florals is what we all need during those cold grey days.
I have to think of Mitsouko – a light, but deep fruity chypre created just after the war – a peak point when need for something light and beautiful was drawn to a head during the post-war devastation. Inspired by experiments of flacon007 I also decided to create this perfume following the formula presented on Linda Andrews’ website. I have got almost all the ingredients. It was interesting to start with mixing of two main contrasting components of almost any chypre – oak moss and bergamot. Only two components, but they make a recognizable core of a chypre fragrance. A couple of drops of peach aldehyde and the skeleton of Mitsouko is ready. Of course there is still a long way to make it a recognizable Mitsouko. I still can’t smell the “cookies” (it’s my personal olfactory association to recognize a chypre character). It was very interesting to discover a lot of herbs in this formula – tarragon, lavender, celery, coriander and chamomile. All together they brought a bit strange note to the fragrance that I recognize neither in a modern EdT nor in an old perfume. But there is a magic of maturation. Five days farther and this strange note is combined with a citrus freshness that is not that strong in any vintage perfume touched by time. I do recognize the “cookies”. Now the only thing I need is a suitable atomizer, dilution till EdP concentration and more maturation for another couple of weeks. And I am ready to meet the spring. There is still a strange note of plastic amber that I recognize in the base. Let’s see how it behaves on skin after the dilution and maturation.
There is one more thing I need to honour the spring – a smell of fresh verdure and hyacinths that are so popular in Balmain’s creations. On the website of a local supplier of ingredients for making of perfume, soaps, shampoo’s and other happy staff at home I found a simple formula of Des Fleurs Blanc:
8 ml alcohol
20 drops Lyral
18 drops fenylethylalcohol
12 drops benzylacetate
6 drops alfa terpineol
5 drops alfa ionone
5 drops benzyl salicylate
4 drops ylang ylang III oil
Des Fleurs Blanc are rich with benzyl acetate and gives a very concentrated sultry fragrance. To fixate the white florals I added some Peru balsem (it’s a perfect fixative for white florals next to Benzoin Siam), some vanilla and synthetic musk. The fragrance was reminding me a hot summer instead of soft fresh vernal breeze. Fortunately there are many green notes to bring freshness to a floral fragrance – I added some leaf alcohol together with it’s salicylic ether, a couple drops of galbanum and helional. Some calone and cyclamen aldehyde gave it some acquatic transparency. Modified Des Fleurs Blanc is a fresh fragrance with green notes of hyacinth that turns into sweet white florals with tender green nuances by the dry down. Well – all it’s need now is a suitable atomizer, dilution till 10-12% and some maturation.