Sunday, July 02, 2006

Narcotic, Salty, Mossy, Fruity, Smokey, Marine


The wild Fairchild just had to be.......overpowering, intoxicating, narcotic, sweet, sassy, sensual, foodie, wet, mossy, oceanic (in the *natural* sense) startling, and have long legs, like the botanical garden it represents, ancient by Miami standards, yet always renewing. Originally mostly swamp, it sits on the edge of Biscayne Bay, 80 acres of wonderland, from brakish flats to a slight escarpment with long axis views, open meadows, towering trees, the largest palm collection in the world (I think), sunken gardens, fruits, and yes, the flowers. Fairchild is not known for showy flowers, but due to demands of some of the board, designing floral displays into the garden is coming.

It's the scent of the hidden flowers that gets you. The magnificent ylang ylangs, the huge pandanus (there is a Pandanus Lake there, ringed by the Screwpines), the jasmines, champakas, white and gold, the citrus... on and on. A visitor not used to the sometimes smothering effect that tropical flowers can have at night in the tropics can experience it with the perfume. A secret: not all of the hidden flowers are in the garden itself. The garden is set in the middle of a residential neighborhood, and the fragrant molecules all dance in the night air, often washed along by the salt smell of the ocean, primordial source of the land, barely thrust up from the ocean, oak mosses dripping gracefully, wild escaped herbs mistily competing with the sillage that exists few places on earth.

I broke some perfumery rules with this one. Yes, it is balanced and well-structured, but few perfumers use such odor-intense materials. Few perfumers live in the tropics, so there! This perfume can easily make the leap from what some believe natural perfumes should smell like to commercial perfumes, partly because I broke those rules and cranked up the base and drenched the middle with sweet herbal saltiness. The topnote can vaporize in five minutes, because that is the nature of the beastly-looking flower I chose, the wild and crazy pandanus. Pandanus has two sides: a fleeting topnote and a long-lasting middle that goes on and on in a cockeyed rosy manner. It's a lot of fun!

This perfume is a lot of fun, and not for the faint of heart.

Artwork by me on a lazy Sunday morning.

3 comments:

  1. Love the garden concept. It's so beautiful and magical. Gardens are like paradise on earth... The Fairchild perfume sound ever so gorgeous, even if smothering. Pandanus and champaca, yummm...
    When are you going to launch these? I can't wait to smell them all, of your lovely gardens, Anya!
    And I like your illustration for this post, too!

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  2. My two main passions in life, from earliest childhood, have been gardens and perfume, so there you go. Not until I moved to the tropics did I experience the smothering effect of the (especially nighttime) blooms.

    I hope to be able to ship samples towards the end of this month, and the bottles in August. Ask me about the bottle conundrum. No, don't! Libran indecisiveness is in full bloom here, and it's the main hold up.

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  3. Hi Anya

    I just discovered your blog and LOVE the sound of what you're doing, not least bcs gardens and perfume have been two of my obsessions from childhood - along with music (mostly, but not exclusively, classical).

    I'm also very amused by the "Libran indecisiveness" comment - that's me, too, oh gosh, yes!

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