Spring is literally “in the air” where I live. Being outdoors is like walking in a fairy tale perfume land — I breathe in the scents of viburnum, hyacinth, scented tulips, clematis, magnolia (several species are in bloom), narcissus, lilac, English laurel (hey, perfumers, do make a perfume smelling of this beautiful floral note…I’m begging!) Frankly, I’d rather be outside than writing a perfume review!
Since Robin is living it up in Barcelona this week, I’ll take a mini-vacation myself by writing a short review of a perfume that’s perfect for this moment: Union Gothic Bluebell.
Union describes Gothic Bluebell in romantic fashion:
The dark oak forest opens onto a sun-dappled clearing, revealing a castellated, Victorian folly, surrounded by a sea of fragrant bluebells — this Arcadian idyll conjures the essence of Gothic Bluebell. Here, its simple but potent beauty has been blended with narcissus absolute and (a close sister) the hyacinth — both garnered from the Scilly Isles. These rest delicately upon a soft, forest floor of deep green violet leaf from Devon and ground ivy from the enchanted woodlands of Dorset. Dark and Dreamy!
Gothic Bluebell (named after Hyacinthoides non-scripta) presents a heavy hyacinth scent combined with hints of, dare I say, mothball (camphor). It’s a combination that’s evocative for me, reminding me of chilly spring days back in Virginia at my grandmother's house, days punctuated by sun…then rain…then sun again — and a springtime cottage garden in “insane” bloom (oh, and the aroma of my grandmother's medicated knee ointment). The green notes of Gothic Bluebell are in the background, small and distant compared to the flowers. The base notes of Gothic Bluebell bring to mind Molinard Patchouli Intense, with its old-fashioned patchouli-camphor-vanilla accord (better than white musk blandness, yes?)
Gothic Bluebell is heady stuff: liqueur-y, sweet and bold…just like the scent of hyacinths. Gothic Bluebell’s intensity makes me think “purple”…this is an over-the-top floral, simple, but potent, that probably will appeal to perfume lovers who appreciate non-fresh, non-contemporary fragrances.
Union Gothic Bluebell has good sillage and lasting power; it skews more feminine than unisex to my nose. Gothic Bluebell's juice is a dark amber-orange color and it does stain fabrics (I got some on a white T-shirt); let the perfume dry on your skin before getting dressed.
Union Gothic Bluebell is available in 100 ml Eau de Toilette, $185. A rollerball coffret of Gothic Bluebell; Celtic Fire; Holy Thistle; and Quince, Mint & Moss (four 5 ml bottles) is $75. For buying information, see the listing for Union under Perfume Houses.
Now back to the garden. Weeds need plucking and flowers need sniffing. Happy spring to all.
Note: top image [altered] via Wikimedia Commons.