May 5, 2009

Magnolia Heaven

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.

7 comments:

chayaruchama said...

Gorgeous blooms !

Knowing your 'woody predilections' [oooh ! that sounds marvellously randy, somehow !]-
I'm glad that Matin D'Orage is giving you pleasure.

It makes wonder, though- why not L'Instant- M. Roucel's gift to Guerlain- in the luxurious body creme ?

He adores his magnolia- and slips it in, wherever he can.

[BTW- have you ever marvelled at how different Southern and Northern magnolias are ? Down South, the leaves are shiny, and the fragrance more ebullient and sweeter...]

Lucy said...

Dear C,

I have never been down south, so one day I will go in time for the magnolias and get the full southern magnolia treatment.
I have some L'Instant but not in a body cream -- that could be so good, you always know what will suit me...

Anonymous said...

Yes the southern magnolia is sweeter, but they are all lovely to behold when in bloom. One of my very favorite things.
Liz

trish said...

I still have yet to get myself to Saks to try Un Matin d'Orage, maybe this weekend? I have some time to myself tomorrow....

~T

Lucy said...

Hey Liz, I do look forward to my finally meeting with a southern magnolia --

Trish -- give it 20 minutes, try it and walk around for awhile, and then after the seductive top notes burn off you will find the very round and mellow basis of the thing. See if you like it...

trish said...

PS: You'll want to go here http://scenthive.wordpress.com/2009/05/10/your-blog-is-fabulous-awards/

for a little love :-)

~T

Lucy said...

Dear Trish, thank you, I love love.
I am thinking about how I will concoct the reply...