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.

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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.

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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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