Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Hasu-no-Hana, They do make them like that again!

Various articles, reviews and books in the perfume world are beginning to suggest that old fashioned, classical scents are making a slow comeback. I think it's only natural for trends to turn upside down after a few years and if the prediction is going to be true it wouldn't surprise me. In fact, I'd be delighted. There is also a trend in re-branding and relaunching old perfume houses up to the point when there was never an original in the first place, but a depuis/since 18XX looked temptingly good on the bottle. Grossmith is  a good old fashioned British name for a perfume house and it comes with a remarkable history. It makes me think of manly Eau de Cologne, moustache wax, shaving foam and brilliantine, all administered to the real gentlemen by his personal valet. And I wouldn't be totally wrong, but not quite right either. Wrong gender, for starters. I managed to get the three "classical" scents as samples from Bloom, and I highly recommend to try them all. My favourite is Hasu-no-Hana, described on the company's website as a Japanese lotus lily with chypre and oriental facets.

If money wasn't an issue, in what sort of hotel would you stay for a weekend? The latest boutique affair with all the modern features and some quirky design and contemporary art in the middle of a cool city, or an old fashioned 5 star luxury manor house full of grandeur and excellence surrounded by spectacular countryside? Usually I'd go for the former. Aesthetically I will be more at home there and I suspect the old palace to be a bit stuffy and full of retired rich people who demand a personal butler to care for their every whim. But sometimes.........for just a few days....I think it would be great to pretend and go for the whole Gosford Park thing. And if I do, I will take a bottle of Hasu-no-Hana.

My lotus pattern inspired by Hasu-no-Hana

I usually don't want to go the illustrative route with my perfume visuals, but in this case I feel like doing something different. Deepest purple and orange silk with golden embroideries. Iridescent and fluid like a chypre, but in the boldest colours, with wooden strength and incredible, dusty and dry oriental staying power. After a spectacular bitter orange opening it develops deeper and stronger than any modern designer fragrances ever dared and it keeps a grandeur that most niche houses would equally shy away from. It's not that it uses notes that have gone out of fashion, on the contrary, the list reads like so many other from quality fragrances today: Iris, tonka beans, ylang ylang, sandalwood, bergamot, oakmoss. But is that really a perfume that a Victorian woman would have worn? I have to confess my ignorance here and will need to catch up on my perfume history knowledge. Another reason to get Barbara Herman's new book "Scent and Subversion", I suppose.

Another lotus pattern inspired by Hasu-no-Hana

Hasu-no-Hana is so rich that I feel a bit like an impostor wearing it. My middle class, middle age, middle everything status is slightly at odds with the glory that evaporates from this fragrance. It's marvellous. It's wonderful. It's delicious. It's pure luxury. I want a bottle. I can't afford a bottle. I will spray the last drags of my sample on my loveliest silk scarf and sigh melodramatically.

How and where to wear:
There isn't much need for anything else. A silk wrap or an open kimono will do. Spread yourself lasciviously over a chaiselongue, sip on  some tea from a delicate porcelain cup and make a witty comment about the weather

Product picture via website

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