SONNET 18: BUT THY ETERNAL SUMMER SHALL NOT FADE…
After a long process of coming into being (5 years, inbetween 4 years shelved due to a lack of suitable materials) it is finally ready, my Linden Blossom perfume.
One night in June it happened! I walked outside in the old downtown of Freising along the little river Moosach. An INCREDIBLE fragrance hit me that I had only smelled a few times in Italy so far. It knocked my socks off…
So I went to see where it came from and discovered a tree that I identified as a Linden Tree, but a species that was totally unknown to me…the leaves were without the typical velvety hair on the back and the blossoms were bigger and of a somehow waxier constistency than the blossoms of the Tilia cordata (small-leaved linden) or Platyphyllos (large-leaved linden), which are very widespread here.
Ok, I admit it: I had to pick a twig and take it home.
The blossoms‘ scent was so strong I could smell them at the other end of the house…
I started researching and it turned out that it was a variety from the USA that is not very common in Germany. I immediately thought of my linden blossom prototypes I hade already made in 2008, sleeping in the cellar and decided to pick up the venture again.
This was what I wanted to go for! The beguiling and narcotic fragrance of the Tilia Americana, also known as the „Basswood Tree“.
Since I am currently musically occupied with some Shakespeare scorings, I thought of Sonnet 18, said to be the greatest love poem of all times. It captures that lovely, carefree early summer mood when everything is in bloom and fragrant splendor, but also reminds you of it’s evanescence. I wanted to transform that mood to a perfume.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
By a relatively new Linden Blossom co2 extract from Bulgaria I could finally realize my vision, since the common Linden Blossom absolute does smell more of a herbal tea than of the live blossoms. It’s scent ist sweet, golden honeyed and only slightly herbal. It lacks the narcotic aspect of the Linden Blossoms though, so I decided to combine it with other summery notes like sparkling Bitter Orange, Bergamot, Mandarin leaves, and more tempting florals like Jasmine Sambac, Orange Flowers, Rosa Alba from Bulgaria, Broom and Mimosa. In the base I added Honey Absolute, Indian Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Vanilla Absolute, Styrax, Tonka Bean, Ambrette Musk and a counterpoint of an especially distilled Vetiver quality to avoid too much stickiness. I definitely don’t expect my perfume to outlast Shakespeares‘ poetry, but I’m sure it’s going to please some folks.
PS: Very much to my own surprise and delight I discovered another American Linden variety with quite a similar fragrance this October and it was in bloom until the beginning of November while the leaves were already turning yellow!!!
The shape of the leaves is very distinct and it’s obviously a Tilia Henryana. Only seven month to go for the next Linden Blossom Season…