Thursday, September 9, 2010

Roses are red...

OK, folks, I'm not a bloggy kind of person which has meant that I've frequently slipped into extended essaying here (not a bad thing per se), with the counterproductive effect of posting only a few times a year. Since I do want to make this space a bit livelier, I will try to be more frequent and brief, albeit without relinquishing occasional attempts at lengthier meditations.

So here, for one is a picture from a beautiful Victorian-style Salon de Thé in Strasbourg aptly called Au Fond du Jardin. This lovely place of respite right next to the Palace Rohan and the awesome, but busily touristy Muenster was bound to remind of perfume, not just because of the divine Madeleines that come in a baffling variety of brilliant variations and will surely burn themselves into your olfactory and gustatory memory as powerfully as the ones Proust smelled, but because the whole place is about the smells of flowers (dried rose leaf infusion, gently floral- scented tea compositions), the tastes of sweets and spice and a plush world of yore which can only evoke classic heady perfumes in ornate flacons.

I communicated as best I could with the gracious host and Anglophile Frédéric Robert (the "stylist") and his partner Laurent (the "creator") and felt naturally compelled to recommend Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet as a perfect scent for anyone who so lovingly designed such an Ur-British environment in the heart of Alsace. I also had on hand a few scents from my travel coffret which seemed perfect matches: vintage Italian-made Czech & Speake No. 88 and Washington Tremlett's Black Tie, both made by the wonderfully skilled folks at Forester Milano , who have access to some phenomenal floral essences. That brought to mind another of their rose masterpieces, the beautiful, melancholy-masculine Domenico Caraceni with its dark resin and tobacco. Feasting on an Audrey Hepburn Madeleine (spices & Earl Grey), sipping the floral Un ange à Rome (rose and bramble) in their little flower-drenched forecourt, while traces of a fine rose scent sweeten the air is as close as paradise as one will get on earth - to Strasbourg, friends.

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