THE BOUQUET OF MADAME VIBERT ~ White by Undergreen Paris

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It was all white. Everything was white, the iced chestnut trees in the Tuileries, the clouded winter sky, the doves eating baguette crumbs from the old woman’s hand by the Place du Carousel. The snow over all of Paris was new clean white.

 Snow in Paris

He walked toward the Rue de Rivoli past the Louver he leaned into and against the blanching freeze that turned every thought east to a distant spring. His winter coat lined in white fox could not keep the cold out, the cold came from within. A longing for her that could never be satisfied, only staved off by the smell of white flowers.  He had to get to the flower shop and smell her flowers again. The tuberose and delicate Amyris that she always wore in a corsage in May, The Jasmine and Ylang Ylang in her perfume, the orange blossoms of their wedding day in Giverny, the bouquet he carried always in his heart.

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  He crossed under the arches of the Palais Royal and turned west along the Rue de Rivoli fresh snow the color coconut shavings fell like feathers from dying angels. The Angels of Paris he knew who had no souls or tears or compassion for the living of the city, but only watched and waited like the gargoyles of Notre Dame for nothing other than the white cold night.

He pushed on to Durocher nearly knocking over delivery boy unloading boxes of white mint for the chef at Le Dali. When he burst through the double doors of the flower shop his glasses fogged over white in the sudden hothouse induced tropics of the establishment. Blindly he thrust a fist of Euros to the shadow figure before him. Madame Durocher had the bouquet ready and into his hands at once. She knew so well now his daily routine and bid him adieu with a sigh. She watched from the door as a flurry of white snow enveloped him.

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   The taxi was waiting on the corner near the statue of Jeanne D’Arc just as it had yesterday and as it would be tomorrow. The driver knew how important this fare was and never missed the pickup. The man with the white bouquet said nothing as they sped south east across the city toward the Place de la Bastille. Half way around the monument in the Place the taxi turned on to Rue de la Rouquette. They were almost there.

Monsieur Vibert stood nose buried in the spring flower bouquet before her tomb marked with the little soulless angel of white marble. He wanted to smell only the bouquet and not the dying iris mixing with the styrax from the next crypt.  Everything was as white as the dress she was buried in. His tears, one by one fell to freeze on the petals of his bride’s wedding bouquet.

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“White” by Undergreen (Paris France) is such a beautiful melancholy perfume. One expects a tuberose, jasmine perfume infused with aldehydes to be overwhelming. But here I have found a delicate romantic broken heart of a perfume that is purely lovely.  The ingredients are listed by Undergreen as 100% natural and they certainly smell fresh. Not laundry fresh but fresh cut from the top coconut note to the iris used to make the orris butter in the base of the perfume

The first aldehydic blast opens the perfume with white mint and coconut which is stunning and modern. It embodies the feeling of a bright euphoric white light that draws you forward into the heart of the perfume. As it calms in the first moments of the shift to the middle notes the aldehydes stay to open the heart notes and give them a classic elegant support.  It is here in the heart where the jasmine, ylang ylang and the orange blossoms create an envelope of gorgeous white insolent beauty, indolic accords that waft in and out with the ever rising note of the tuberose that comes up from the base of the perfume. In the dry down the aldehydes fade into a supporting roll for the balsamic styrax that blends with an earthy orris butter that is simply put, creamy and lush. There is a touch of white flower Amyris wood that with the orris butter and the rest of the base notes work well to keep this tuberose open to any sex that prefers to wear it. It is a male friendly tuberose in fact. “White” is marketed as uni-sex but lets face it, the notes in this perfume don’t care who wears them, just that you enjoy them.

The perfume has a moderate sillage and lasts on my skin about six hours.

tuberose

Many find tuberose to be just too heady a floral to wear but here in “White” I find it is a tamed tuberose and quite charming. “White” would be a good place to begin to explore the white indolics and make friends with them before moving on to the big guns.

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WHITE BY UNDERGREEN 5 GOLD STARS *****

On a final note I must mention that I got my sample of “White” from Olfactif. A wonderful online service where for a nominal fee you are sent each month three beautifully packaged and generous samples of new niche perfumes. In my first box there was “”Perfect Coconut Milk” by Sarah Horowitz Perfumes, “Bombay Bling” by Neela Vermeire (see my review) and “White”. I am so thrilled to have found this wonderful source for perfume sampling.

Olfactif Link: http://www.olfactif.com/

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22 Comments

  1. Mint and white flowers? That sounds so interesting. I’m finding I like a touch of mint in perfumes now and then.
    What a sad love story… I guess a lot of love stories have their share of tears though. Beautiful writing as always, my dear Lanier.

    • I know! Mint in “White” is the new black in perfume! Yes, tears burnish the heart of every love story. Thank you Poodle!

  2. Oh my goodness, you had me choked up! Beautiful review, and now I’m eager to try White!

    • Thank you Annina. You know I had no clue where Monsieur Vibert was going in such a hurry when I met up with him by the Louvre. So I was quite surprised to end up in Père Lachaise Cemetery and a little choked up too.

  3. A charming evocative post and it does make me want to try the perfume, about which I’ve been wondering. You like Olfactif? It sounds rather fun as a service.

    • Thank you! Yes I am so happy I joined Olfactif. A little treat arrives each month. Three little treats in fact, in a beautiful black box.

  4. White floral, ding! Beyond enchanting story, ding!
    YOU, ding-ding-ding!
    Wow!

  5. Those tuberoses do need taming especially for men. This sounds like understated elegance.

  6. A lovely winter white tale. I’ll go visit Olfactif as you did.

    • Hellooo Mary! Yes do give Olfactif a try! (And we are due for a lunch again with Madame H.)

  7. Dearest M. Lanier
    I adore your tale of Paris frosted like a cake at long gone wedding breakfast.
    How strange that memories and present times so often collide… the last time I was in Paris it snowed, we stayed a little way from the Place de la Bastille and I always love to pay a visit to at least one of the city’s great graveyards whenever I am there…. oh yes, and my thoughts too have turned to winter for some unbeknown reason.
    As to the perfume… in your delicate, elegant description is sounds as fine and pretty as a piece of Sevres.
    Thank you as always sir for sharing your stories.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • how did I miss this note from my dear friend P. Dandy? I am so glad you liked it and I do hope you can sample this perfume.

  8. Such an eternal bouquet of love, heartbreak and devotion!

  9. Enthralling piece, Master Lanier! I’m a sucker for wintry landscapes and snowbound stories, while the melancholy of lost love is always powerful, so The Bouquet…had me from its entrancingly well-written opening… Ah, the white, white, white of your story’s spell-struck frozen Paris, the city both ancient and ever-modern…and the exquisitely described pain of M. Vibert’s anything-but-frozen heart… Jeepers, you really got me, sir! Must have MORE! *winks*
    Beautifully-limned melancholy, tragic romance. The sadness speaks to me, as does the imagery of the winter-haunted city. Yep, I liked it. 🙂

    As to “gorgeous white insolent beauty”, yes please! White by Undergreen must be quite magnificent.
    Warm (or should that be *Chilly*?!) Regards, George.

    • Dear George,
      Such flattery could turn a young girl’s head. Alas I am not that young girl BUT I am deeply flattered by your very kind words. I am so pleased you are finding joy and enjoyment in my babblings. It is a real treat to have you visit.
      Always,
      Lanier

  10. Flattery, schmattery, sir! It was a pleasure to read, and “babblings”‘? Mais non, they are splendid, besides calling them makes you sound like me, and nobody wants that! Besides, your great friend, the spectacular Miss Vickie adores your stories and she’s barely ever wrong (don’t tell her I said that!) and SOY-tainly not here. 🙂
    Your comment about such flattery turning “a young girl’s head. But alas I am not that girl…” made me laugh, I don’t suppose you have her number do you?! Ah, no, a truly *dubious* joke! I tend to really go for the more sophisticated slightly more mature lady, which may come under the heading of “Too Much Information”. *grins*
    Thanks for taking the time to reply, Lanier. (you don’t mind me calling you that do you? You may certainly call me George as you asked elsewhere!) You are a delight, I think it’s testimony to Ms Lester’s specialness that she attracted such charming, sensitive, witty, people as the Perfumed Dandy, A Gripping Life, and yourself, and more recently Heather From Arles and Teamgloria etc but gosh I must stop gibbering embarrassingly!

    • Sir George, Such flattery could turn the head of a sophisticated woman of a certain in your direction…but alas… Well enough on that joke.
      Your secret about the rightness of Miss Vickie shall stay locked in my heart and on this page. And in my book there is never too much information, after all that is how we get our stories to tell. No info no literature. As for being a delight? Well yes I am but that is only because i delight in the people I met and know and only reflect the light receive back out to the world. I was born that way. Yes The Dandy is wonderful as is Gripping Life and Miss Heather from Arles…and as most decidedly is Sir George.

  11. I’m not a big white floral kind of person, I mean, I have my favorites but in general, it’s not what I reach for. However, this story was so melancholy and evocative that I too want to smell that bouquet he was clutching next to those dying irises in the cold snow. Thank you, Lanier. As always, you charm me!

    • I hope as always the reality of the perfume won’t disappoint.
      Thanks Luv.


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