Monday, May 7, 2007

Antonia’s Flowers by Antonia’s Flowers : Perfume Review

Two weeks of beautiful sunny days, not a hint of rain in sight. And then suddenly, the rain and cold are back, everything changed. The weather started taking a turn for the worse last night and today we woke up to overcast skies and dreary rain. When you live in a country dominated by the wind and rain, you start thinking about the weather a lot. Talking about it, even. It becomes a conversation point. Talking about the weather is so pedestrian, part of my mind tells me. But it can’t be helped; the joys of spring still flagrant in my mind, how can I not lament the loss of the sun’s warm rays on my skin? Who’d ever choose for the tears of rain on their face when they could have the fond caress of sun on their cheeks? They skies should never have to be so gray in May.

There are so many ways to choose a perfume, so many ways to use it. There are perfumes that are not so much part of my wardrobe but integral parts of my character that I use to underscore and highlight who I really am; perfumes that are one with my identity, my spirit. There are perfumes I use for seduction or to express my mood. There are yet others, which let me travel back to the past or help me reach grounds my feet have never touched. And there are still perfumes I’d never wear outside, so incongruent are they to my character, but that I still have to have to use as balm – soothing remedies for those times when not everything in my day is right. One such is Antonia’s Flowers signature fragrance.

It was for those qualities that I was looking for today in my perfume and I instinctively reached for it. I longed for its freshness, its cheeriness, its optimism. Antonia’s Flowers was created in conjunction with perfumer Bernard Chant and was launched in 1985. It focuses on the designer’s beloved freesia and even though it does not quite strike me as a soliflore, this is the only flower note I can clearly discern. It is softly accentuated by lily, but the jasmine and magnolia never make an appearance for me. Despite its ‘living flower’ technology, I have to assert that to me, natural freesia is much headier. The freesia in Antonia’s Flowers is soft and green, never quite as boozy as the bouquets the tables of my paternal home were always adorned with in Easter. Perhaps this is different in other concentrations of the perfume – I have only experienced the EdT. But this is far from criticism. It is this fresh, lush greenness that draws me to this perfume on rainy days such as this one. The overall effect of the fragrance is freshly cut grass, so luscious and juicy as can only grow in rainy countries such as this one. In the opening the green is joined by sparkling and slightly sharp citrus that dissipates before you even knew it was there, to give rise to the grassy field where the sun is projecting its rays between the shadows cast by the foliage of the trees. There is a slightly musty accord there too, that struggles to come through from time to time, the mildewy scent of dump clothes. Instead of finding it a turn-off, this is a smell that makes me happy in this fragrance, as though the green field was not eerily quiet, but alive with boys and girls laughingly drenching each other with water, partly to tease, partly to cool themselves from the summer’s heat. A game I’ve often played in childhood... It is this accord too, that makes me marvel at how lively the freesia in this perfume really is. It is a scent that often rises from the flowering bulbs, but not from the cut flowers. After a couple of hours of wear, the grassy smell becomes soft enough to allow the true flowery character of this fragrance to bloom. And it blooms in the softest, quietest manner possible. Unobtrusive, dewy and green, Antonia’s Flowers is simple and cheerful. The sense of spring, gentle and true: perfect balm for a rainy day.

Pictures courtesy of and respectively.


Abigail said...

Sounds wonderful, I'm always partial to scents that include a fuller picture of the botanical (like fig scents with bark and leaves). Though as far as I know, I can't smell freesia. It's not widely grown around here, so I may be mistaken.

helg said...

I am so sorry the rain makes you feel blue.
Glad though that a green fresh freesia scent has the potential to cheer you up. Nice to read.
Wishing you many sunny mornings ahead!


Divina said...

Abigail: I am a little confused, do you mean that you find Freesia scentless?

Helg: Yeah the weather really managed to get me down. I am not one of the people that hate rain and I can accept it just fine during the winter... But spring came early for us this year and I got addicted.. Combined with other pressures I have been experiencing in the last few days, the dark, stormy weather really did make me blue :( It is looking up again though today and I am hoping it was just a passing spell. Though it is hard to tell here! The weather is always unpredictable in our little corner of the world.

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