Blog post by Gwen

Tilia – floral and woody and summer everlasting

Photo: perfumeniche

When my son was set to start preschool, he was a little anxious about the whole situation. So, on his first day of school, I drew a red heart on a small piece of paper, folded it up and put it in his jeans pocket. I told him that hearts mean love, and anytime he misses me or the cats, he can look at the piece of paper and remember that we love him. It worked a treat, and for a very brief second, I thought I might actually be good at this mothering thing.

Preschool ended, and summer began. I was pulling weeds in the garden one day when my ‘helper’ came up to me with a big smile on his face. In his small hand was a heart-shaped leaf, which he presented to me. I thanked him for the lovely leaf, and with great pride, he said, ‘Mom, it’s a heart. When you look at it, you know I love you.’  A moment so meaningful I framed the leaf. It hangs in my office to this day.

What he had given me was a leaf from a linden tree, also known as basswood or lime tree, depending on where you live, a part of the genus Tilia. These trees are tall and majestic, with heart-shaped leaves and fragrant white flowers that hang in clusters. If lilacs are the smell of spring, the honeyed, jasmine-tinged scent of linden is the smell of summer. Which brings me to Tilia from Maison Marc-Antoine Barrois.

Tilia is the fourth fragrance in the line, all of them signed by Quentin Bisch. The first three are leather-based fragrances that explore imaginary planets and moons. Tilia is an imaginary star in a constellation of imaginary stars created by Bisch that takes the Barrois line in a more floral and feminine direction.

Tilia opens with a burst of linden blossom that smells bright and lightly floral, with citrus and green facets. Soon, it gets honeyed and powdery, bringing to mind nectar and pollen. A note of broom echoes the honeyed aspect of linden as its apricot facet gives Tilia a gentle fruitiness. Heliotrope is almond-sweet and powdery; it’s joined by a note of heady jasmine that links to the orange blossom facet of the broom to create a lush, floral bouquet. At the base, vetiver gives Tilia earthiness that begins a transition from feminine to masculine, as it settles on a warm, rich, woody accord. Ambroxan is woody, too, and its animalic, ambery and mineral facets complete the fragrance.

The drydown is warm and sunny, radiant and tenacious.

To my nose, Tilia is a beautiful interpretation of a linden tree: leaves, flowers, woody branches and trunk and earthy ground. But it’s an imagined scent from another planet, and on this planet, summer lasts forever, lazy vacations never end, picnics with friends go on and on, flowers are always in bloom and heart-shaped leaves mean love.

Check out Tilia in our Shop.