Monday 4 June 2012

Lavande de Nuit II

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

‘…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.


Elizabeth Young said...

This sounds absolutely wonderful Deborah! Images of Aunts with cotton handkerchiefs which smelled of lavender come to mind. I can't wait for your parcel to arrive so you can share with us whether or not it is a close replica.

Maureen said...

That opening description of Lavande de Nuit reads like poetry.

Tina said...

The descriptions (of Agua Lavanda Puig) remind me of 4711 which my nan loved when I was a child.
Also Clarins Eau Dynamisante which I like wearing during the summer. Although the latter doesn't contain lavender it is a scent that always reminds me of warm summer days in the mediterranean! :)

Lisa Erin said...

Lovely post. I know some people associate perfume with the cloying clouds that follow elderly women around, but it is such a personal thing. Scents that please the nose, and spark the mind and the emotions. Your descriptions of scents are always palpable. I can almost catch the aroma filtering by... :)

Adiante said...

La première photo est simple mais belle. Le regard que tu poses fait toute le différence !

Libby said...

I, too, cannot wait until your package arrives!!! Let us know, in your wonderful prose, just what the scent is!
I might have to order some....

Marcheline said...

I just bought some of Kilian's Absinthe Vert... and on me, it smells like an old man that just came from a barber's shop (which is not a bad smell, just not what I was expecting), and after a few hours it broadens out and smells like plain vanilla.

I suppose I may be a bit prejudiced because I actually drink absinthe, and am very familiar with the taste and smell of it, and for the life of me I can't smell anything like absinthe in this perfume. No wormwood, no anise, no "tang".

Smell is like all our other senses, I suppose - very different for each person. I wonder what would happen if I added a few drops of actual absinthe to this perfume?

Nothing daunted, I am going to try Agua Lavanda next.

Deborah Lawrenson said...

Hi Marcheline,

Too bad the Kilian scent didn't work for you - and interesting what you say about the lack of absinthe. I had been wondering about that myself, though I've never even smelled real absinthe let alone drunk it. It's an odd name for what is primarily a lavender fragrance. There must be a reason... I think you're absolutely right that some perfumes work for some people and not for others - just like food, books, anything really!

Hope you get on better with Agua Lavanda - though that really does come on like a gent emerging from the barber's! As it was always supposed to.

All the best.

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