By now it is old news that Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes created a set of four perfumes for the Denver Art Museum's "In Bloom--Impressionists and Post Impressionists Flower Paintings" exhibition last summer. She used Monet's Garden in Giverny as inspiration, creating three perfumes to celebrate specific aspects of the garden, as well as an aroma meant to represent the entire garden and which was used to scent the experience space entitled Giverny In Bloom. I had sent for samples, as I try almost everything that Dawn creates, but somehow the samples got misplaced. I recently remembered I had never tried them, and fortuitously spring is the perfect season for their debut. In this post I will talk about two of the four scents, which though unique share some similarities.
Giverny In Bloom
This is the perfume that Dawn created to represent the whole of the exhibit. On the website it is described thus: "An impressionist style perfume of green budding trees, wet dewy flowers and soil, that transforms to a rich floral bouquet." This is really it, in a nutshell. On first application the perfume gives a lovely viridescent effect. This pale green aura is so lovely I would like to immediately spray again, as it soon wanes and begins to change and evolve.
Next comes the smell of raw earth in springtime. The earth is newly uncovered after hibernating all winter, rich and damp and ready to give life. I get the impression of digging in the dirt to plant sprightly spring seedlings, ready to be neatly tucked in to their new beds. A few minutes later the scent is changing again. It gives off a little sweetness; not sugary sweetness but the beautiful honeyed sweetness of flowers in bloom. The floral scents are rich, yet at the same time muted. The scent is like the gentle wafts of scent the breeze carries as you're walking near the garden. No one note stands out but they make a lovely accord. On me this wears close to the skin but it is oh so beautiful!
After a couple of hours I no longer get the floral sweetness. Giverny In Bloom is still very green but the florals dance in and out. Overall the perfume reminds me of a watercolor painting of Monet's garden. It is a beautiful spring green perfume. The earth, the flowers and the effect of water and dampness make it a true painting composed of all the different parts of the garden, but everything runs beautifully together.
My review is based on the Eau de Toillette version. Giverny In Bloom also comes in perfume strength which I imagine would be gorgeous. And my heart started palpitating when I realized it is also available as a room spray! I would love for my bedroom to smell like an afternoon spent strolling through Giverny!
La Jardin Vert
Dawn created this perfume to represent the green background and foliage of the garden, a backdrop for the magnificent beauty and color of the flowers. The perfume is described as "densely green", along with aspects of rich soil, minerals, moss and woods.
Oh my! On application there is a burst of deep green which quickly turns vegetal, and although it is not listed as a note, I get a mushroom vibe. The humus soil is damp and laden with twigs and leaves; mossy stones hiding in the shade of the lush green trees. For some time the scent does a dance back and forth between the green notes and the fragrant earth. In time I smell muted florals; it is still green but there is a slight floral edge. The addition of galbanum and oakmoss make this a chypre. At this point in the development Giverny In Bloom and La Jardin Vert seem as if they are polar opposites, but the strong green notes give them a common DNA. At the end of the day after hours of wear these two scents end up smelling remarkably similar, at least on my skin. The La Jardin Vert still has the deeper oakmoss smell but otherwise their notes have come full circle.
I have admired DSH Perfumes skill with green perfumes. The vintage feel of her Vert Pour Madame and Pandora display Dawn's artistry with that which smells green. Giverny In Bloom is a green watercolor painting and La Jardin Vert is in oils, but they are both beautiful scents to brighten your spring. For more on the collection go to Part 2 or Part 3.
Beautiful painting by Carol Renee and is for sale on Etsy.