I’ve realised rather late in life that it can take me some time to notice things that are blindingly obvious to others.
Cass’s Blog with Jonathan’s comments in manly blue and Georgie’s comments in a fitting and fetching shade of ginger and Cass’s last words (where necessary) in ladylike pink.
I don’t know why this is. Do I really drift along in Dolly Daydream mode the whole time? Don’t answer that. Never! Ngngngng! (the sound of me not answering that)
Case in point: my mother and my sister were always enchanted by flowers and gardens (my sister is a famous florist – see REBEL REBEL) and both planted wisteria in their gardens decades ago, so every year their splendid, mature plants flower vigorously (not sure if that’s an appropriate adverb but it’s what popped into my head). Not often I get the opportunity to say this, but: “fecund” Must you? Oh, I think you know the answer to that Somehow though, I didn’t actually notice its magical scent (I know, I know) I didn’t either, did anyone? until Jonathan and I went to Granada for our 2nd wedding anniversary and we were assailed by the stunning perfume. You couldn’t possibly not notice it; it was everywhere, in full bloom, and absolutely breathtaking. See? I have to be hit around the head with a thing. I mean, I didn’t like Schitt’s Creek when I first saw it, for heaven’s sake!
Ever since then, I’ve longed for someone to ‘bottle’ it, because the season is so short. I always find this so upsetting as London in Springtime is swathed in Wisteria and it plays a huge part in why it’s my favourite season!
Counter-intuitively, I rather admire the elusive nature of the flower’s fragrance; I like to think that it has a will of its own and won’t be conquered. I asked Pia, our amazing perfumer, why she thought it had never been successfully reproduced (in my opinion, anyway) and she said she assumed that the flowers are simply too delicate to distil – or that it would have to be done by hand, which would make it more expensive than gold. Or diamonds.
While we do now, finally, have a wisteria in our own garden, and it does tend to be in full flower just as we arrive back in Spain in Spring (which is the best welcome ever by the way), I’ve remained wistful about it, because I’d love to be able to enjoy it all year long. I assume you can tell where this is going…. Fingers crossed it’s not to some tortuous wordplay with wistful and wisteria! Rude!
Pia says: “I was given this brief at the height of wisteria season, so I spent day after day putting my whole face into billowing pillows of the flowers, inhaling, assessing, imagining. Because the fragrance is so narcotic, it’s tempting to settle on the bold, animalic notes, but there’s so much more to it”. Hands up who’d like Pia to write all our blogs from now on? I’ll get my coat then… Oh, God! No! I didn’t mean… Too late.
Pia approaches her fragrances as works of art and this one is nothing short of genius. She’s used top notes of bergamot absolute, black pepper and clove, heart notes of wisteria accord, mimosa absolute and ylang ylang absolute, and base notes of jasmine, heliotrope and musk.
When we got Pia’s first sample, I took the candle out with me, to the places where I know wisteria blooms magnificently in London and smelled them side by side. While I maintained a respectful/anonymous distance. She’s cracked it, ladies and gentlemen, but don’t take my word for it! Might I add, the label artwork is utterly gorgeous as well! You may, and it is.
This blog is dedicated to the late Frankie Duncan, my mother, who would have loved our wisteria candle.