Linden Season

Fragrant pages Natural perfumery

The lime trees exhale their last days of blossom. I will miss the sedative effect pretty hard. I will have a farnesol withdrawal, I will sneeze, I will sniff the air like a hungry cat. But separation is salutary, it makes us appraise the things that do not belong to us, for a little while or forever.

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But, as a matter of fact,  the linden fragrance can easily accompany me throughout the whole year. I have allies carrying the distinctive redolent hues of the large-leaved, little-leaf and silver lindens, which are the most common worldwide.

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Unter den Linden – April Aromatics – I dream of a walk in Berlin in June trying to figure out whether the pungency I inhale from this perfume is real! Alarm-clock lemon ring escorts me wherever I go, so that the people exclaim: “Well, now that you are here, we don’ t feel sleepy anymore!”. I smile and carry on, because the lemon vibe smoothes down in a sunny bouquet of magnolias and mimosas, linden pollen is shelling from the first blossoms, adorning the wet streets, as if it encourages me to achieve anything, despite the rain.

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Ombra di Tiglio – L’Erbolario – if you have ever wondered what the perfect scent of a detergent should be , you should quit the quest. I found it in Ombra di Tiglio, that doesn’t  minimize the merits of the perfume. On the contrary – most detergents mix the seemingly useful (the usual tinge of surface – active substances, a.k.a. the soaps) with the proven pleasant  scents (lemon, ocean, white flowers), but I hadn’t  run into one, which would respond fully to my personal criteria for ‘balmy laundry’. Thereon, I frantically test all the new softeners, but I wish I didn’t  since they irritate my skin in most cases. I wish someone makes a detergent with the fragrance of Ombra di Tiglio – linden tea with a lemon slice and a fluffy pad of soapy musk.  It enfolds and cradles to sleep in warm weather. On rainy days, serves a steaming tea on an embroidered doily.

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The two fragrances have a lot in common, but they succeed to keep their independence and can be effortlessly distinguished nonetheless.  Cucumber and melon, plastic, honey, and even powdery nuances are fitfully stepping forward and backward, inspiring the vision of a lava lamp. However, Unter den Linden is the ravishing ‘The triumph of music’ of Marc Chagall,

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while Ombre di Tiglio is the bashful ‘Little Thief’ by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

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Nose: Tanja Bochnig for Unter den Linden – April Aromatics; unknown Ombra di Tiglio – L’Erbolario.

Photos and illustrations: personal archive; Marc Chagall – The triumph of music – Maquette for the mural Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Art Center, New York, 1966 (via Art Blart ); William-Adolphe Bouguereau – Little Thief, France, 1900 AD (via Museum Syndicate ).

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