Belle de Nuit

belle de nuitMidnight Fantasy and Tea Rose meet for a tryst in a hedge maze, saying, “J’adore!” while Lou Lou watches with Envy.

Plums are tasted, roses are plucked.
Night flowers bloom, then fade after a few hours, leaving a long trail of powdery musk behind.
No one speaks of it in the daytime.

It’s gorgeous and delicate, yet a bit naughty.


2001 also saw the release of one of my very favorite French movies.

Capucine

capucineCapucine means nasturtium in French–I grew them in my little garden when I was a girl–and there’s a hit of that weird woody spice note at the opening.
Mostly though, I get fancy tea-shop–jasmine oolong and marzipan cakes–and dusty bakery musk in the air, with fresh roses on the cafe tables.

The dry-down lasts close to the skin all afternoon, a gorgeous elusive vanilla, with an Alice-in-Wonderland vibe–ruffles and cookies and riddles.


This sweet little song was a huge chart topper in France the same year.

Fragonard

fragonard edgesOpens with a faceful of  white flowers, and I’m suddenly claustrophobic–have I been trapped in a hot elevator with this, when I was a child?
(When did this come out, anyway?)

Slowly drifts into soapy milk suds for a while, then settles down with jasmine and woodsy amber a foot off the skin–and stays there all day long.

Complicated–there’s a trace bit of musk that cuts through the sweetness and ages it up. This would be a great Boss-Lady-shows-her-soft-side perfume, in an up-do and day-to-evening shoes.


Fragonard opened in 1926. That same year Carl Nielson’s flute concerto opened in Paris to huge success.