Welcome to MoodScent4!
We are four perfume bloggers based in France, Holland, England and Wales who post on a different joint subject every couple of months. This time we have chosen Wedding Guest Fragrances as June is the wedding month. You will find links to the other blogs at the end of the post. We hope you have fun reading our different choices and adding your own in the comments.
My choices were inspired by wedding guest outfits. I have matched them to fragrances. The outfits I chose are the Cocktail Dress, Gala Dress, Chanel Tweed Jacket/Formal Suits, Informal Jeans and Barefoot at the Beach Dress.
Try A Rich Abundant Bouquet Of Flowers – The Cocktail Dress
When invited to wear a cocktail dress a good choice would be the abundant floral bouquet Jean Patou Sublime. This is one of my all time favorite fragrances. Created in 1992 by master perfumer Jean Kerleo this classic rich scent starts with sweet sugared orange rind to continue with a warm floral bouquet of Rose, Jasmine, Lily of The Valley and Orange Blossom. Try the older round vintage bottle shown on the photograph and the richer Eau de Parfum if you can. It has a dirtier drydown probably due to the added civet, making it more sophisticated and intriguing. Some would say making it more French.
Notes for Jean Patou Sublime: Bergamot, Mandarin, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Rose, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Orange Blossom, Madagascar Vanilla, Amber, Sandalwood.
Select An Elegant Flower – The Chanel Style Tweed Jacket
Invited to a formal wedding and plan to wear a Chanel style tweed jacket with pearls or another more formal suit? Try Frederic Malle’s Iris Poudre. This cooler more introverted elegant fragrance is an excellent choice for those weddings where you want to keep a bit to yourself and keep some distance for whatever reason.
Notes for Frederic Malle Iris Poudre : Aldehydes, Iris, Ylang Ylang, Rose, Vetiver, Musk, Vanilla, Tonka Bean.
Pick A Crisp Fresh Floral – Informal Jeans
When invited to an informal wedding where you can dress as you like and even come in jeans, a crisp soliflore (based on one flower) scent is a good choice, like the gardenia inspired Hothouse Flower by Ineke Fragrances. This is a fresh natural green fragrance with green stems, creamy white petals and green foliage. The dry down is inoffensive but lovely like white clean transparent cotton.
Notes for Ineke Fragrances Hothouse Flower: Earl Grey Tea, Green Foliage, Cypress, Gardenia, Fig, Frankincense, Galbanum, Guaiacwood, Musk, Corn Silk.
Choose A Big Bold Flower – The Long Evening Dress
When going to a wedding dressed in a long evening gala dress, you could select the iconic big floral by Serge Lutens Fleur d’Oranger. Fleur d’Oranger contains notes of white flowers like white rose, orange blossom, jasmine and tuberose. Which makes it very fitting for a wedding to wear. Although named after the orange blossom this scent can be more an opulent creamy tuberose scent to some.
Notes for Serge Lutens Fleur d’Oranger: Orange blossom, Jasmine, Tuberose, White Rose, Citrus Peel, Hibiscus Seeds, Cumin, Nutmeg.
Pick A Natural Flower – Barefoot White Dress On The Beach
For a wedding on the beach, in nature, garden or outside wear the all natural April Aromatics Jasmina. With jasmine, pink grapefruit and ylang ylang this scent is happy, sensual and uplifting but makes you feel relaxed as well. I have used the oil version regularly lately and very much like it.
Notes for April Aromatics Jasmina: Jasmin Grandiflorum, Ylang Ylang, Pink Grapefruit
Tara’s choices from A Bottled Rose, Megan’s from Megan in Sainte Máxime and Samantha’s from I Scent You A Day can be found by clicking on the names of the websites. I am curious about their choices, aren’t you?
What fragrance would you pick as a wedding guest? Will you be going to a wedding this year? If so, what fragrance will you wear?
Disclosure: all photographs were made by Esperessence, April Aromatics Jasmina was a pr sample, the other bottles were bought by me.
Ramon Monegal is a Spanish perfumer who started his own company in 2009 after working for almost 35 years in de perfume industry. He made perfumes like Azahar for Adolfo Dominquez and Alada for Myrurgia. Ramon Monegal is the fourth generation of the family who founded the Spanish company Myrurgia. In 2012 he published his first novel La Perfumista. At this point the book is only published in Spanish but it might be published in English in the future.
The book La Perfumista was the starting point for the interview with Ramon Monegal.
La Perfumista is about a woman from a famous perfume family who decides to become an architect. After a career as a successful architect she decides to work as a perfumer and start a beautiful project in the French city of Grasse to preserve original jasmines. This project is sabotaged and at the end the main character Laura Nogues starts a journey on the African Coast to find the Fifth Sense perfume, Quintaesencia. Some elements of the book are inspired by Ramon Monegal’s own life. The perfume Quintaesencia was created by him and can only be scented in his boutique in Barcelona.
In the book you mention the importance of choosing a perfume which really suits us personally which matches our personal style. How should we choose our own perfume?
It is very important for people to be aware of what they communicate to the outside world by wearing a perfume. A perfume should be like an accessory you choose with your clothing. It should complement your style, mood and the time of day. Your perfume should be a good match, a marriage you might call it.
After you have chosen a perfume you can change it a bit by layering it with another perfume. It is like cooking a dish. You can start carefully by adding the spice sweet pepper. The pepper is added slowly, little by little. You can do the same with your perfume. Another perfume can be added bit by bit to your regular perfume to adjust it to the time of day or your style. In the morning you can add light cologne to give yourself a little boost. Customize your own perfume and create your own bespoke perfume!
For example if you use my perfume Cuirelle, you can use a citrus or more fruity perfume with it in the morning. Add brilliance to it with an orange blossom. In the evening you can add a beautiful chypre perfume to it. You have to use your intuition with this. The perfume Cuirelle is like suede smooth leather, sweet with cedar wood, vanilla, very elegant. By layering it with another perfume you can create your very personal and own perfume. The most important thing is to lose your fear.
Personally I discovered layering perfumes while staying in Paris when I was young. In those days you only had a few perfumes women were wearing and you could distinguish them very easily on the street. Once I smelled a perfume on the street from a lady and I did not know what it was. I asked her and she told me that she had layered one perfume with another one. It was very chic in those days to do this.
How do people choose their perfume when they come to you boutique in Barcelona?
We look at what they wear, their personal style. They smell many of my perfumes. You really have to get acquainted with them and experiment with them. Our spoken and written language is very difficult and limited when you have to describe scents. You have to experiment with perfumes and play with them to find your own signature scent. You can become older or younger by wearing a certain perfume as well. I notice people increasingly wish to have a more personal, original perfume.
I always tell people that buying a new perfume is like buying new shoes. At first people might not feel very comfortable when wearing their new shoes but after a while the shoes feel comfortable and fit your feet beautifully. It is the same with a new perfume.
At the end of your book you introduce a list of perfume ingredients to help people to choose their own perfume. Could you tell us more about the list you included?
The ingredients are the language a perfumer uses to compose his perfumes. Normally this is not something perfumers talk about publicly. In general perfumers are very much hidden behind a celebrity scent. It is not even known that they made the perfume. Fortunately this is beginning to change. With my book I wanted to introduce the public to the work and language of a perfumer.
Each ingredient of a perfume transmits a special quality. For example rose transmits love and cedar wood transmits strength. It is important for people to be aware of these qualities when they choose a perfume. Are the qualities of the perfume in harmony with their own personality? With my book I wanted to explain this by using some examples of celebrities like the actress Audrey Hepburn, actress Ava Gardner, dancer Isadora Duncan and Princes Diana of Wales.
I associated Ava Gardner with the perfume Opium by Yves Saint Laurent although she did not wear it. Ava Gardner was a very passionate woman. She had love affairs with famous Spanish bull fighters while staying in Spain. Like Opium, she had the strength and vigour of pepper and the energy of blossoming oranges.
You have developed your own perfume line and have a boutique in Barcelona as well. What was the reason for opening your boutique?
I chose to do this for several reasons. The way we smell is not very well developed. We easily get distracted by other senses, light and noise. Some places where perfumes are sold can be quite aggressive with their light and noise. So I wanted to create a special place for my perfumes where people could choose while in a comfortable place, suited for scenting perfumes. I designed the interior as well, as interior design is another passion of mine. The perfume bottle is also my design. In the 19th century it was very common for perfume houses to have their own place. When the fashion designers started introducing perfumes this disappeared.
Are perfumes craft products, are they works of art or both?
Some perfumes are works of art like Dior Diorella, Nina Ricci L´air du temps, Chanel No 5 or Coty Chypre, Guerlain L´Heure Bleue. Yves Saint Laurent Opium can be seen as a work of art as well although the quality of the ingredients was lacking. The modern perfumes are more works of design. Perfumers do not have freedom to create what they want. For me it is not easy to have my own freedom as a perfumer.
If Spain would be a perfume what would it smell like?
It would smell like orange blossom, azahar. I still have the idea of developing a perfume, Made in Spain. Spain would smell like Southern Spain with incense, labdanum cistus, orange, azahar, maybe some jasmine, melon or other fruits.
In my experience it was very difficult to find an orange blossom or azahar perfume in Spain. Could you tell me the reason for this?
In Spain, orange blossom or azahar is very much associated with only one part of Spain- the South. Azahar is a very Arabic scent. Normally orange blossom is used in perfumes with jasmine or tuberose. Personally I find that orange blossom brings brilliance and optimism to a perfume and I like to use it.
How do you work as a perfumer? What is your personal style?
A perfume should stand on its own and be enough as it is. I do not like this whole trend of creating flankers of existing perfume. It is like asking the composer Beethoven to make another version of his Fifth Symphony.
The book La Perfumista is available on line on Amazon in Spanish. More information about the perfumes of Ramon Monegal can be found on his official website.
Photographs of showroom and Ramon Monegal are published with courtesy of Ramon Monegal Projects. The Rose photograph was made by me, the Orange Blossom Tree is freestock.
I would like to thank Henriette Hackenberg for her help with this text and Ramon Monegal for giving this interview.
This interview was originally published June 30, 2012 and updated February 2, 2016