Post by FeralJasmine
I did my undergraduate work at a university that was famous for its campus viburnums. Unfortunately it was even more famous for its student suicide rate, and many of them seemed to occur during the viburnum season, although I trust it had more to do with final exams than the flower itself. For me, on my way to exams, the extraordinary, penetrating, sweet and spicy scent of the viburnum was encouraging. It seemed to act on me as a kind of aromatherapy, and sometimes I would stand next to a bush in full bloom, huffing it up like fragrant crack. Those are times that I still remember as moments of pure beauty, when everything else steps aside and joy wells up in an fleeting but perfect moment. So naturally, when I tumbled into the perfume obsession, I began looking for a perfume that would express that scent.
For those who might be interested in a viburnum scent, the perfumes that list this note are:
Boudoir by Martin Gras for Vivienne Westwood 1998
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
BaseNotes gives these featured accords:
Top: Viburnum, mandarin, bergamot
Heart: Rose, tobacco flower, coriander, orris
Base: Vanilla, sandalwood, amber
Boudoir. That’s it. One. It’s from the line of Vivienne Westwood, the punky fashion designer. Her firm still sells a reformulated version and here are the listed notes: viburnum, bergamot, mandarine, rose, tobacco flower, heliotrope.
I have the original version, and here’s a more accurate list of the notes: viburnum, heliotrope, powder, slight spice, skank. Faint but unmistakable skank. Like I was scurrying on my way to an exam, sweating slightly, and got laid under a viburnum bush. Which, I assure you, never happened. At least partly because it would have made me late for an exam.
Photo Stolen 66SquareFeet
There are viburnums that aren’t fragrant, and then there are the heavenly fragrant ones. If you have never smelled one of the fragrant viburnums in bloom, I can only describe it as creamy heliotrope with spice, especially nutmeg. It’s a sweet scent, you will have gathered, and if you dislike sweet scents then no doubt you’ll dislike this one as well. And I can’t pretend that this perfume smells exactly like viburnum, because nothing does. There is a strong sweet opening, then wafts of near-viburnum with faint undertones of skank, then a somewhat powdery and slightly spicy drydown. On my scent-eating skin, the whole show lasts about 90 minutes.
Westwood Bridal Photos Stolen TheBestFashionBlog
Now, let’s talk price. Some companies seem to hike the prices of their perfumes to create an aura of unattainability. I’m not thinking of anyone in particular here, just anyone whose initials are Killian Hennesey. If you want the priciest, then save your pennies and best of luck to you. But if, like me, you love a bargain, there are many to be had among the older scents that are all over Ebay. I have to add that most of these former mainstream scents are better than any mainstream perfume released within the last dozen years. Think back to the days when aquatic and ozonic notes weren’t around, melon barely ever appeared, and nobody aspired to smell like fabric softener. That’s what you get when you buy older scents. Some are dirt-cheap, and some are only moderately cheap. This one is moderately cheap. The old one and the reformulation are easy to tell apart; the original is cognac-colored and the reissue is pink. I’ve never tried the reissue, because my little flask of original will probably last for years. If you have no prior history with viburnum, the scent may not mean much to you. To me, it brings back those exciting nerve-wracking days when nothing, not career, not home life, nothing, was in place yet. I wouldn’t want to live there now, but I do enjoy visiting.