Luckily I had a chance to bask, during that brief burst of true Spring-like weather about two weeks ago, in the blooming magnolias, which were in full force, and great effect. Looking up through magnolia flowers to a blue and white sky on a warm breezy day is the most enchanting and uplifting experience. This variable quality is what I like in a Springtime perfume, too. Freshness, airy spaciousness, crossed with moisture evaporated by warm sunlight through thick petals, supported by the structure of strong dark woods and earth. So Un Matin d'Orage by Annick Goutal is perfect for me this time of year. It appears to be one of those fragrances people either love or hate, and has produced strong reactions at both ends of the spectrum. I am firmly in the camp of love. The opening is fresh, green and bright with magnolia and jasmine notes mixed into a gardenia cloud, high pitched enough to revive a faint. Upheld by top notes of Sicilian lemon, minty shiso and ginger, which burn off and melt, after a few minutes, to slide down rapidly into a pool of softness much lower down the scale, into a smooth blend of champaca and sandalwood. This softens out into a mist that retains a tiny floral tang. The scent's changeable nature from high energy to thoughtful restfulness in a relatively short amount of time is reflective of springtime weather,
the coolness of a breeze passing over the warmth of the sun on skin. It aims to and succeeds in creating the impression of a scented mist rising up after a rain. The perfumer's aim was to give the effect of a Japanese garden after a storm, and it succeeds.
Photos by me, this past April, in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. There is a courtyard of many varieties of magnolias planted close together that are among the first to burst into bloom in early Spring, that are worth a pilgrimage every year.