October 2, 2006

Fragrant Fruit

This is the end of year for the best of the fragrant stone fruits, such as plums, peaches and apricots, but the beginning of the best time for pomegranates, apples, pears, and if you have no objection to imported fruit, citrus. Jo Malone is the one who comes to mind first when thinking of fragrances made to immerse deeply into the scented aspects of the natural world that can be eaten as well as enjoyed for their perfume, especially her Pomegranate Noir and her Grapefruit bath gel. I remember reading that after testing it was found that people felt those wearing the fragrance of grapefruit specifically having a very youthful quality, leading them to think that the person wearing such a fragrace was up to about seven/eight years younger than the person may in fact be. Not that many are interested in making a youthful impression as to strength, energy and vigor (!). Considering that much of the effect of a fragrance is on ourselves as we wear it, it would seem that we can invigorate ourselves this way. There is a long history of deep appreciation of the fragrance of fruit, there is an simple, ancient Hebrew prayer thanking God for the fragrance of fruit. Many other myths and religions have used apples as significantly symbolic (see this Russian Orthodox story on the legend of a saintly cook who received three healing apples from paradise). It may be the combination of texture and color with the fragrance that is released on biting into fruit that fills the nose and mouth, that triggers the deepest sense memories. Now that contemporary style encourages the further development of perfumes that combine experiences of nature from the materials of cuisine and eating, and because that experience is genderless in it's primal and direct appeal, there will be more and more creativity, sophistication and attention paid this area of sensuality within the perfume and fragrance vocabulary.
Here is Whole Foods guide on how to pick good stone fruit mentioning fragrance;
An article on planting a fruiting tree hedge for those of us fortunate enough to have the space and climate; and Bois de Jasmine's lovely review of Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir.
French cuisine famously uses especially fragrant ingredients - see here for recipes.
Above attributed to Roos, about 1620, "Fruit and Vegetables with Two Monkeys" National Gallery, London


chaya ruchama said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to comment...inexcusable !

A delight, on so many levels.

I'm continually edified to witness the complexity of your soul, and intellect, as you peel back layer by layer...

How fortunate your friends are !

Lucy said...

You are too kind, Chaya!
Thank you for all your comments and interest, it's the kind of thing that makes it all worthwhile...