Blog post by Gwen
Honeysuckle - Photo: perfumeniche©
We have good friends who have a beautiful old stone farmhouse in Périgord, and over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to have been invited to vacation with them there.
Moira and I love to cook and have wonderful memories of shopping at the village market and making dinners together for our families, which we ate in the walled garden under a big, old chestnut tree.
We’ve had great fun on those visits - good times and great memories, but one olfactory memory always takes me back to meals in the garden: the smell of honeysuckle.
Honeysuckle vines grew around the kitchen doorway, and I vividly remember carrying platters of food from the kitchen to the garden and taking a big gulp of honeysuckle-scented air as I passed through the door. It’sone of the headiest floral fragrances I know.
The kids have different memories of honeysuckle. They used to pluck the flowers and suck out the drop of sweet nectar at the bottom of the blossom – a reminder that it’s not called ‘honeysuckle’ for nothing. Well, we call it that. Chèvrefeuille translates as ‘goat leaf,’ which is what the French call honeysuckle.
When I first smelled Le Chèvrefeuille by Annick Goutal, I immediately returned to sweet memories of good times with good friends in Provence. Turns out I’m not the only with scent memories of honeysuckle since Le Chèvrefeuille was inspired by Goutal’s daughter Camille’s childhood memories of the honeysuckle that used to bloom outside her bedroom window at the family home there in Provence.
Each time I smell Le Chèvrefeuille, I can’t get over how fresh, green and gorgeous a fragrance it is.
It opens with the sweet, honeyed smell of honeysuckle tempered with the bitter citrus tang of petitgrain. Petitgrain is extracted from the leaves and twigs of bitter orange, giving the opening a crisp, fresh green note that makes me think of the honeysuckle vine. The fragrance of honeysuckle is challenging to capture in perfume and is often paired with other flowers to bolster its floral effect. Narcissus plays that role here. Like honeysuckle, narcissus is an early spring flower, and its presence evokes the tender days of spring. As it blooms, the green note passes and jasmine comes forward. Honeysuckle’s fragrance intensifies in the evening - which is why I have such strong memories of it at dinner time - so it makes sense that exotic jasmine would show up in the mix, creating a heady white floral accord, leading to a drydown where the jasmine is more prominent.
And what a drydown! Le Chèvrefeuille is the essence of spring - fresh, bright and romantic. It’s essentially a soliflore with no dramatic twists, turns or surprises except for how much you’ll love it.
Check out Le Chèvrefeuille in our Shop.