As a freelance writer and a mum to two little girls, the only thing I read more voraciously than beauty blogs are parenting ones. I picked up one gem that I use all the time on my girls to deal with the inevitable sibling question, “Who do you love most?”
I respond, smug to have a pre-prepared answer to a curly question for once, “I love you both uniquely!”
Although I know, rationally, that the jasmine coiled along the wrought iron fence out the front me can’t hear me, I sometimes whisper through the kitchen window to my wisteria, “you’re my favourite but shhhh, don’t tell the others…”
Now you know the depths of my flower issues, we can proceed.
Wisteria is not the most famous of flowers in perfumery, yet has the headiness of tuberose, the sultriness of jasmine and the spice of freesia. It’s cool and slightly watery like sweet pea but much more elegant. And there’s something about that contrast between the delicacy of the soft purple racemes and the fact that the plants themselves are tough as old boots that makes me especially fond of them (shhh!). The experience of sitting in the cool shade of a heavily laden wisteria vine as bees buzz and the sun shines outside your living air-con is pretty exquisite, and thankfully you can re-create wisteria in the flick of a wrist with the right scent. Here’s my three favourite wisteria-inspired perfumes for spring.
Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream, $60 from Myer
That cool shade, under the boughs, lazy wisteria feeling? Here it is in a bottle. Don’t be fooled into thinking that Daisy Dream is a “youth” scent. It’s breezily light, yes, with an almost watery quality that could be mistaken as lightweight, but that’s the magic, the dream of the scent. It’s coconut water that adds that effect, and submerged underneath are juicy blackcurrant, and sweet, luscious lychee but they are sheered out to make them pale and ethereal. They’re the perfect accompaniment to wisteria’s delicate, yet elegant floracy. Daisy Dream’s pale blue colour is a spot on representation of its calming, cooling effect, which ripples away to a very gentle pale woody musk at the base. Worn judiciously this is definitely office worthy, but also I plan of over-spraying with abandon once spring kicks into summer and the humidity rises to recreate my own personal wisteria arbour.
My Burberry Blush, Burberry, $120 from David Jones
This is superstar perfumer Francis Kurkdjian’s third fragrance in the My Burberry line inspired by London gardens, and it’s another stunner. It’s the first light of day in that garden that captures Kurkdjian’s imagination this time and he creates a gorgeous sparkling opening of lemon and glazed pomegranate, fresh and crisp and with an enlivening sweetness that blossoms into a classic rose petal heart. It’s here that the wisteria begins to emerge. All the Burberry scents balance freshness with a sophisticated spiciness and here our faithful wisteria does the job, adding depth and exoticism to the sweet fruit of the opening to ensure Blush doesn’t stray into candy crush territory – instead it becomes a sophisticated, vibrant floral right til the end. Like watering the garden early in the morning of a hot day to come, and my go-to for day weddings, garden parties, the races… and watering the garden, truth be told.
Diptyque Olène, $155 from Mecca Cosmetica
Some fragrances seem of a time, and some manage to exist outside it. Olène is definitely the latter. If My Burberry Blush considers florals in the dawn, Olène is more of an evening thing, with generous doses of jasmine and honeysuckle mingling with the rich wisteria note, all its nuances explored – just add mint juleps and a southern belle, or perhaps even better, a Provençal terrace and a tiny table for two. The fragrance opens large, so brace yourself, but it mellows beautifully on the skin and in the skillful manner of all Diptyque scents, Olène includes the sense of green stems and tender leaves as well as a leathery narcissus note that gives a beautiful texture to the fragrance (yes perfumes have a texture, you’ll see!). Olène is not for the faint-hearted, it’s for true white floral fanatics. If this is you, I mean me, I mean you, then Olène could be your secret wisteria weapon for instant flower gratification.
This story originally ran on BEAUTICATE.