Be Like Dad: Keep Mum

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In the old times, when Mothering Sunday was a feast of honouring one’s mother church, children brought home a posy of wild flowers for mamma. I remember as a tot that my grandmother was still keen on this idea. When I made a fuss about the problem of finding them in our streets she allowed that flowers picked from the garden would just about do. I was wary of this as there had recently been a row about helping myself to daffodils but I remember gathering a small bunch of sea blue sillas from beneath the sitting room windows and these went down well.

So I have been scanning the shelves here at Les Senteurs looking for the fragrance of wild flowers that might intrigue you and please your mum. You can cheat a bit if you want to, as so many of our garden blooms started off in hedgerows, fields and streams before being refined for the garden. You can always blur the edges and fall back on iris, rose, jasmine and tuberose if you must. Meanwhile the more creative can use their imaginations to romantic effect.

James Heeley’s L’Amandiere is an enchanting visualisation of a perfect spring day. An orchard of almond blossom spreads a pink and white canopy over a carpet of hyacinths and bluebells while a note of linden florets suggests the imminence of summer while evoking the sweet green lushness of new grass. Almonds and their flowers are loaded with appropriate symbolism – the Mystery of the Virgin Birth, hope, fertility, life’s sweetness & bitterness, the path of righteous living, the passing of the years. Maybe to emphasise the intensity of spring, L’Amandiere is conceived as an extrait, a parfum: concentrate and compressed vitality, the richness and bounty of the two Universal Mothers: Earth & Nature.

Now wander barefoot into a field of red and white clover. Are children still taught to suck nectar from the flowers as we used to do? Atelier Cologne’s Trefle Pur continues a tradition of clover fragrances which began with Piver’s barnstorming Trefle Incarnat nearly 120 years ago. This new 21st century clover is a fragrance simultaneously lush and innocent, rainy and sunny, with touches of violet leaf, basil, moss and neroli. Knee high in buttercups, “when the fields are white with daisies” as Florrie Forde used to sing.

Lorenzo Villoresi’s Yerbamate is another perfumed pasture, this time revolving around sharp green galbanum oil. This plant, related to our cow parsley & fennel, grows wild in the mountains of Iran but this scent to me is very English: emerging from a deep dark wood into open meadows under a clear blue cloudless sky. It’s like wading through trefoil, camomile, ferns and sorrel surrounded with flowering trees rampant with sap & spring vigour.

An honourable mention here too for Ophelia by Heeley Parfums. Think of Millais’s painting of Elizabeth Siddal floating downstream on a current of flowers. Though here you must permit a certain poetic licence for we smell not rosemary, pansies and rue but the tropic elegance of tuberose, ylang ylang and jasmine. However these heady scents are treated with a freshness, lightness and modesty which are the special charms of a wild flower.

As for the charms of your own wonderful mother find them all reflected in the 1001 myriad magical perfumes of Les Senteurs. Why not pop round?

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COMPETITION!

Write a review of your favourite Les Senteurs fragrance – in prose, poem or rhyme – and post it on our shop website. Tell us what you love best about a scent in not more than 200 words. Does it make you laugh or cry? Is it soporific, seductive, witty or mouthwatering? Tell us your deepest thoughts! There’s a de luxe set of prestige samples to be won by 2 lucky people so get thinking and composing now.  James Craven will choose the two winning entries which we will announce on Saturday October 5th.

Click here to get started!

Good Luck!

(Terms and Conditions: Entries submitted after midnight on Thursday 3rd October 2013 will not be considered. Due to postal restrictions, this competition is only open to residents of the UK. The prizes are as stated, are not transferable to another individual and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. No responsibility can be accepted for entries lost, damaged or delayed in the post, or due to computer error in transit. The winner(s) agree(s) to the use of their name and will co-operate with any other reasonable requests by Les Senteurs relating to any post-winning publicity. The promoters reserve the right to amend or alter the terms of competitions and reject entries from entrants not entering into the spirit of the competition.Reasonable efforts will be made to contact the winner(s). If the winner(s) cannot be contacted, or are unable to comply with these terms and conditions, Les Senteurs reserves the right to offer the prize to the runner(s)-up selected by the same judges.)