Lavande de Nuit starts as a winter white scent, and turns into summer on the skin. The first burst of powdery sweet heliotrope and white iris develops a sharper note of wild cherry, drying down to a milky almond base with a signature flourish of the unexpected, in this case a bracing dash of hawthorn. After a few hours of warmth it pulsates with wild herbs and lavender in sunlight. A faint mist of caramelised hazelnut and vanilla emerges, and finally a deep smoky lavender. It is one of those scents that seem alive on the skin, subtly incubating, insinuating its personality and leaving a mesmerising trail.
Ever since The Lantern was published I’ve been getting inquiries through my website about the fictional Lavande de Nuit perfume. Then I wrote a Lavande de Nuit post on this blog and it began to get a surprising number of hits through google searches.
I too have been intrigued by the possibility of finding a fragrance that matches some of these imaginary elements and the same spirit. So far the closest is Absinthe Vert in Kilian’s A Taste of Heaven range. But then my old friend Josine (who has always been passionate and very knowledgeable about perfume) wrote a blog post about perfume and I knew that I had to have some Agua Lavanda, a Spanish cologne created in 1940 by Antonio Puig. “A drier Mediterranean scorching countryside smell…with very dry lavender and aromatic herbs such as thyme,” she wrote here.
Styles and tastes in perfume change over time, so it is an added fascination that Agua Lavanda is the right era for Marthe Lincel’s Lavande de Nuit. As I wait for my order to be processed and posted, and I am travelling very hopefully indeed towards the moment I open the parcel.
Perhaps it will be the case, as Robert Louis Stevenson put it originally (and the words rang so true that a simple allusion to them now suffices): “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.”
But meanwhile, I’m enjoying the pleasure of the wait, the possibility that this might contain that delicious je ne sais quoi that would make this special. Along with top notes of lavender, rosemary, bergamot and petitgrain (made from citrus leaves and twigs) there are promised middle notes of clary sage and geranium, followed by musk, cedarwood, tonka and moss.
I’ve been reading various online reviews of Agua Lavanda and letting the senses expand in the imagination. Wouldn’t you, reading these from Basenotes.com?
‘…the perfect fragrance. Agua Lavanda is the smell of daydreams. A lovely breeze of soapy lavender that will magically make you look more elegant in the perception of those who cross your path. One shouldn't overanalyze but simply enjoy spells like these.’
‘Agua Lavanda tells its story calmly…What is remarkable to me about this scent is the return of middle and even top notes that never really vanished but are again seemingly renewed. This accounts for the surprising longevity of this cologne.’
There are many more reviews that you can read in their entirety here. And if anyone knows it well already, please do tell me what you think.