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Every year in late spring, early summer, Mother Nature performs one of her magic acts: the linden trees bloom. Their delicate, bell-shaped, cream-coloured blossoms hang on filament stems, sheltered by the dense foliage, and their scent wafts on the breeze, fresh and honeyed, a sweetness layered with green leafy notes. It is a divine scent.

Called lime blossom, tilleul, or basswood in other parts of the world, linden trees are tall and stately and leafy, renowned in poetry and song for their perfumed shade. Linden blossoms have been used for centuries to scent soaps and creams, in herbal teas, as tinctures and in aromatherapy, because the scent has powerful restorative properties. 

Bees know this. Bees love linden blossoms - they are bee food. 

And I love linden blossoms. They’re even better than May lilacs in my smell book. The scent is so unique - green, fresh, sweet, grassy, all in one sniff! I’ve tried for ages to find the perfect linden perfume that captures the magic of the linden note for me, with some success. Tilleul by D’Orsay has been my best find until a few weeks ago, when I discovered Onder de Linde from Baruti Perfume, an independent artisanal perfume company based in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Onder de Linde is a hand-made extrait de parfum which opens with the delicious green of a fresh-cut bouquet of linden flowers, spiked with a splash of fragrant lilac and slices of crisp apple. This accord is so unique, it’s transfixing. Suddenly it’s a beautiful summer day with not a cloud in the blue, blue sky!  Green, fresh, a little spicy, a little earthy, a hint of fruit under the soft florals, the accord persists into the heart, when the bees arrive and the linden blossoms become more honeyed with a musty nuance of golden beeswax. 

The heart is where perfumer Spyros Drosopoulos lifts his linden fragrance out of the soliflore category, and elevates it to a truly interesting and more complex perfume. The vegetal earthiness of orris root keeps the floral sweetness subdued and soft, light as a feather, but at the same time notes of musk and vanilla are introduced which create a warm undercurrent as the heart moves to settle in the base. 

The base dries down with an accord of satiny smooth sandalwood and green vetiver, which is a perfect balance to the floral sweetness, and extends the natural airy honeyed quality of the linden heart with what I detect as mown grass and hay. The musk is quietly insistent, adding more animalic depth. Never too green or too sweet or too powdery, Onder de Linde feels like the perfect summer day, bees buzzing, birds chirping, mowers mowing. With a soft waft and good durability, the scent is one that anyone can wear and enjoy all day.

In Onder de Linde, perfumer Spyros Drosopoulos has found a way to include a sensation of velvety warmth, an animalic quality, which is the sensual element that I’ve always found missing in other interpretations of the linden note. His fragrance avoids the noticeable soapiness or heavy sweetness that is found in other linden fragrances, and instead creates the feeling of the pure beauty of the stately elegant tree in all its natural surroundings. 

He says: “Onder de Linde is a magic potion - here to chase your blues away. Joyous and uplifting, this fragrance is full of promises of early summer.” 

I think he’s exactly right, and I second that emotion….

Onder de Linde Extrait de Parfum is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $8.00 for 1 ml.

Image - Onder de Linde 30 ml. bottle - perfumeniche.com

 

Image - courtesy of Penhaligon's

When my husband I were starting to get to know each other, we discovered we both had Scottish roots. After we married, it was fun to go through our photographs of his mother and aunt dancing Scottish sword dances as teenagers and my father and uncles dressed in their Black Watch tartan kilts when they were young men. If I looked at those old pictures long enough, I swear I could hear bagpipes calling out to me. So, of course, it was only a matter of time before we headed to Scotland.

On our first visit, we took an overnight train from London to Edinburgh and the moment we arrived, we both felt at home. We loved the city, the people and the sites. We played tourist for the week we were there, and I remember a particularly wonderful day spent wandering the beaches at Aberlady Bay. It was the kind of trip that leaves a soft spot for the place in your heart. That soft spot was touched again, many, many years later, when I sniffed Penhaligon’s Blasted Bloom.

Blasted Bloom was introduced in 2015 along with Blasted Heath. According to the Penhaligon’s press release, the idea for the creation of these two fragrances was “the extreme, wild and passionate British landscape; that moment where the Land meets the Sea and untamed energy explodes…”

Blasted Heath was designed for men, while Blasted Bloom was created for women. Both fragrances were signed by renowned nose, Alberto Morillas. For these fragrances, Mr. Morillas “was inspired by the poetry of the nation’s island landscape – in particular the wild coasts of Scotland – where the land meets the sea, to create these intriguing perfumes.”

Mr. Morillas is a popular guy around here. We love his fragrances, like Bronze Goddess, Palissandre d`Or, Manifesto and Le Chant de Camargue, so I expected Blasted Bloom to deliver, and I was not disappointed.

It opens with a burst of berries. They aren’t jammy or stewed; instead, the smell is floral and fruity, like when the scent of wild berries growing in the ground gets caught up in a breeze. A salty aquatic note says the breeze is coming off the ocean. Soon, I smell the scent of crushed green leaves, botanical and fresh, as if the leaves were being crushed underfoot as I walked along a wild and beautiful rugged coastline. Something I’ve never done in Scotland but somehow recognize in this fragrance.  The breeze dies down as we move to the heart where I smell roses and apples. It’s the scent of eglantine, a wild rose with apple-scented foliage. The eglantine is boosted by Pink Peppers SFE’s. Made by Firmenich, Pink Peppers SFE’s are fresh, aromatic and spicy – which warms the rose and gives it depth. Hawthorn, smelling like marzipan, adds a gentle almond sweetness to the heart. The base is woody from cedarwood, while Clearwood™ contributes the dark woodiness of patchouli and the warm creaminess of amber. A note of moss imparts a wet-earthy greenness to the base, while musks add sensuality to the blend.

Blasted Bloom in one of the most harmoniously blended fragrances I have ever smelled and something a man could easily wear as the drydown is elegant and fresh, green and woody – it gives the impression of being in a field out in the open by the sea.

We’ve been back to Scotland but haven’t taken a walk along a coastal path, but I’ve got my eye on Duncansby Head and the Gates of Hell, after all, now that I know what it must smell like, I want to see it!

Blasted Bloom is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.

 

 

Welcome to perfumeniche.com

"She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight."

                                                                       Raymond Chandler

We are Gwen and Kay, two perfumistas making our scent journey in the cool, clear North.  We are also BFFs - we hang out together a lot, travel together - so we try, buy and share fragrances.

What started out as a shared interest grew into a hobby, and has now become our obsession.

We’ve spent many evenings with a glass of prosecco, a little cool jazz playing in the background, spritzing, sniffing - “How does this smell on you?” and, sadly, sometimes scrubbing.

We’ve tested and tried hundreds of samples over the years, and when we deemed a fragrance ”full bottle worthy” (FBW), one of us has tracked it down and bought it. We now own a lot of really great perfumes, and we continue to buy bottles of what we think is the best of "niche" as new scents are launched.

Also, we include many perfume "classics" that are the foundations of modern perfumery - like Shalimar, Chanel No.5, Eau Sauvage - plus other perfume "gems" that have been discontinued, or were ahead of their time when launched but now fit perfectly in the Niche category. 

With so many exciting discoveries, we can’t help but talk about our passion with other friends. Wherever we go, people ask “What is that perfume you’re wearing? Where can I get that?” So we end up sharing a bit of our “juice” with friends. But the circle has grown, so we've started this website to let others buy and try samples from our collections and experience the fragrant beauty we write about.

WHAT WE DO

We blog

We blog once a week and post a story about a scent from our collections, and add it to our Decant Store. We're not scent critics, so these aren't negative reviews. We love all our fragrances  - that’s why we bought them! But we describe how we think they smell, and share our stories about why we love them - maybe you’ll rediscover an old flame, or fall in love with a new scent.

Or we post conversations about whatever has grabbed our attention recently. Or we write about a specific perfume note,  and offer a Decant Pack, which allows you to explore new territory by trying 3 or 4 fragrances in a special pack at a special discount price.

We sell

We sell 1 ml. decants - .7 ml volume once you allow for the stopper in the vial - filled from our own bottles in our collection because the only way to experience a fragrance is to try it on your own skin. We take the fragrance from its original bottle and decant it into a smaller brand-new, 1 ml sterilized glass vials so that you can try it on your skin to see if you like it.

Through our Decant Store you'll have access to some of the world’s greatest niche scents, hard-to-find fragrances, and classic favourites. 

When you click on the Decant Store tab you’ll find our personal descriptions of each of the fragrances we currently offer from our collection, then you can add them to your Shopping Cart.

Let's be clear (this is a disclaimer!!)

  • We don’t sell full bottles of any fragrance - just .7ml decants. We only sell decants  from the perfumes we've bought.... because we love them.
  • We don't re-sell manufacturers samples.
  • We don’t represent any perfumers or distributors, so we don’t have every scent from a whole line of perfume.
  • We aren’t being paid to promote any product or scent.

If, after sampling a fragrance, you decide that you must have it, i.e. it is FBW (full bottle worthy), and you can’t find it, e-mail us and we will direct you to the best source we know – retail store or online source.

We provide

A place for you to learn about scent, and to share your fragrance experience with others. Click on the section called Resources, under My Perfume Notes (see top right), where  you'll find a Glossary, and fragrance FAQs. You'll also find two great tools we've created - Handmaps and My Sample Perfume Notes - so you can keep track of, and record your own scent experiences.
 
We hope you enjoy perfumeniche.com, and visit us often. Leave your preconceptions behind, look around, see what’s on offer, read the Blog, share your experiences and discoveries, and join the circle.

It’s just us.