I had no idea I wanted (needed!) a bottle of Fleur de Fleurs, a Nina Ricci perfume from 1980 (via Nigel Groom, second edition) until I actually had one. How did I miss this beauty? Fleur de Fleurs is a classic floral that would have fitted in decades earlier: an aldehydic blast that opens the doors and windows to a rolling hills of spring flowers: hyacinth, lilac, iris, and muguet, before it settles into the sexy lady who wears civet and wants you to know that. Not exactly the shoulder pads and excess of the 80s, which is perhaps why it's one of those forgotten gems.
Is Fleur de Fleurs original? No, not even within the classic Nina Ricci collection (that's where Germaine Cellier's creations, Fille d'Eve and Coeur Joie come in). But it's incredibly beautiful. I'm a sucker for hyacinth, and when it's accompanied by iris I'm a goner. Here the floral heart is even fuller with a cascading bouquet of white flowers (think of Princess Diana's wedding flowers) that seem to flow and trail. I smell a fantasy of a cottage garden hidden behind a small house in the middle of a bustling city.
I'm extremely lucky to have a giant bottle of Fleur de Fleur in extrait. It's so big that I can practically soak myself in it and savor every nuance. It keeps coming back to the relationship between the cool and crisp hyacinth and the creamy yellow of jasmine and ylang-ylang. Together they fill the air and give the impression of a flower field that stretches endlessly, as far as the eye and nose can see them. The abundance is nostalgic and romantic, making me think of all the places I have yet to visit and the summer days awaiting in the future. And they're all here, captured within the beautiful bottle.
Some days this is all I could ever ask for.
Art: George Hitchcock, Dutch Girl, 1904.