Violet

The Fragrance That Helped Me During The Cremation Of An Old Friend – Maria Candida Gentile Exultat

Not too long ago I attended the ceremony before the cremation of an old friend and colleague. We had shared very good and really bad times together. My friend and I were the same age of fifty which made his death extra confronting and painful.

When you turn fifty and look at your life not all of us are where we had dreamed we would be. It can be disappointing. I know from personal experience although life has given me very unexpected gifts. In his life my friend had chosen to follow a bumpy uneven and at times difficult path to walk.

While dressing for the cremation it felt a bit frivolous to think about what scent to wear. I did not feel like wearing a fragrance. My lost friend was not interested in scent and I did not want to impose my fragrance on other people. But as perfume is not only an adornment to me, I decided to wear a calming, quiet and serene scent, Maria Candida Gentile Exultat. There was not a church mass but it felt like the right scent to wear due to its connection with the Church of San Lorenzo in Rome.  A visit to the Church of San Lorenzo during the hour of vespers inspired Maria Candida Gentile to create Exultat according to the official website.

Incense plays an important part in Exultat. As incense is used in mass to purify and sanctify, it felt like the right thing to wear. The combination of violet, woods and frankincense makes it both a spiritual and calming scent. It helps you stay in the moment and close to yourself. Scent can help us a little in coping with difficult times and Exultat helped me a bit on that particular day because of it’s calming qualities.

Losing a loved one can be devastating I know from experience as I have lost my mother not very long ago. I can only imagine what it must feel like for his family and other loved ones he has left behind. He and his laugh stay with us in our memory.

(Notes: Top Note: Frankincense, Orange, Bitter Orange, Lime
Heart Note: Violet, Violet Leaves Base Note: Woods, Vetiver, Texas Cedar wood)

A beautiful In Memoriam was written in Dutch by Peter Mabelus.

Guerlain Apres L’Ondee Eau de Toilette Sparkle of Joy

Violets

Some weeks ago I had the opportunity to swap for the classic Guerlain Apres L’Ondee eau de toilette. The eau de toilette is a recent version which can still be bought in perfumeries and department stores.   Originally Apres L’Ondee was made in 1906 by Jacques Guerlain. It means after the rainshower in French and is meant to captivate the light and fresh atmosphere after the rain in Springtime or Summer when it is a bit warmer outside.

What surprised me most about Apres L’Ondee was its radiance and youthfullness when I scented it for the first time. After about a minute, it was as if its radiance was restrained, like a child who is not allowed to walk in the rain and enjoy it fully, wanting to play with her boots in the mud.

On my skin Apres L’Ondee has a slightly medicinal scent at the beginning, I call it medicinal but others have referred to it as herbes de Provence. Dissappearing to leave a light violet scent on the skin, like it has been powdered.

The fact that Apres L’Ondee  is referred to as a real classic fragrance had deterred me a bit. Jean Claude Elenna  paid homage to the sillage of Apres L’Ondee with Frederic Malle L’Eau d’Hiver*. Maurice Roucel made Guerlain Insolence edt as a modern version of Apres L’Ondee. It had left me with the impression of an old and musty fragrance. But none of these were the case. Not only does Apres L’Ondee not give the impression that it was created more then a century ago. When I scented it I started wondering why I had been looking for a holy violet vintage grail while it was right before my eyes to be found.

What did I like about Apres L’Ondee ? It takes me to the beginning of  joy. You start to see a sparkle of light as a new era is about to start but still do not experience it fully and feel a bit restrained by your environment or circumstances.  It feels very different to the Italian fragrance Luce made by Hilde Soliani where you can experience the joy fully and openly.

Try Apres L’Ondee especially if you like violets and do not be put off by the fact it was created more than a century ago. Have you been looking for a holy grail or perfect fragrance when it was right before your eyes to be found ?

Notes according to Guerlain (read more on the website of Monsieur Guerlain ) : bergamot, lemon, anise, neroli, hawthorn, rosemary, lavender, lily, orchid, violet, rose, jasmine, heliotrope, orris, sandalwood, vanilla, musk.

Fragrance family: floral spicy amber by the French Committee of Perfume / floral oriental fresh by Michael Edwards

When to wear: at a job interview, when meeting your Mother in law for the first time, at an occasion where you want to wear a subtle and refined fragrance or when you want you start feeling joy over a new beginning of a job or new period in your life.

Painting Courtesy of Mary-Clare Cornwallis

Read more about experiencing joy while wearing a perfume in my review of Hilde Soliani Luce

* More to be read in the article New Yorker The Scent of the Nile