Post by Azar
Spanish Geranium by Lanvin
Spanish Geranium (Geranium d’Espagne) was created for Lanvin in 1925 by the brilliant perfumer Andre Frysse. It sold for a short time, became unavailable for many years, was revived in the 1950’s and finally discontinued around 1970. The 20th century actress Joan Crawford (“Mommy Dearest” to some) was reported to have said of Spanish Geranium that it was one of the three fragrances she “would never want to live without”. The other two were Royall Lyme by Anthony Gaade and Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew. Jungle Gardenia was also one of her favorites. Unfortunately for Joan (and for the rest of us) Spanish Geranium and the original Jungle Gardenia that she loved so much are long gone while more mainstream, crowd-pleasing fragrances, like Royall Lyme and Youth Dew, remain.
In the 1960’s my mother was given a bottle of Spanish Geranium Eau de Lanvin (an EDT). She favored Arpege so gave me free access to the SG, which I used with a heavy hand. The scent of Spanish Geranium, as well as the characteristic Lanvin accord, are burned into my memory. In those days my application of this fragrance was so liberal that one of my music comp professors actually took me aside on a hot Spring day and advised me on the appropriate use of perfumes and colognes. I remember his exact words and often ignore them.
Spanish Geranium is a bracing, in your face, almost masculine rendition of its floral namesake. The top notes are a combination of the familiar scent of the flowers and foliage of the zonal geranium (Pelargonium zonale) and the crushed leaves of the hybrid spicy rose geranium (P. ‘Graveolins’). Citrus, perhaps unripe lemon or bergamot, and what might be pepper add a sparkle to the floral mix. The opening never truly fades, giving Spanish Geranium the illusion of a soliflore, which it definitely is not. After about five minutes oakmoss, palmarosa and a touch of patchouli join the geraniums, eventually drying down to a light amber, a woody resin and something animalic, perhaps civet. The entire SG fragrance mélange floats on the same Lanvin accord that supports Arpege and My Sin. I can’t really describe this accord, but if you have used vintage Lanvin you will know what I’m talking about .The sillage can vary between quite intimate to moderate and the longevity up to 4 hours on my skin and more on clothing.
When I first tried Spanish Geranium I thought it was the strangest fragrance I had ever experienced. Admittedly I was quite young at the time but, even now, I find SG to be hauntingly beautiful and (for lack of a better word) just a little bit “odd”. I LOVE odd! Perhaps you will too! Remember that this is a very vintage EDT. It has faded somewhat but has not turned. What I perceive to be a fascinating, odd smell is the same scent I’ve encountered, bottle after bottle, from my first sniff over 50 years ago up to and including what I’m enjoying today.
I just asked Lucie Joly (the Assistante Chef de Produit, what does that title mean?) if there would be a modern revival. She was very cordial but said that an SP revival was not in the works right now, thanks for asking and she would let me know if they decided to do a reissue. I suppose it doesn’t hurt to put a “bee in their bonnet”. It might be interesting to see what kind of Spanish Geranium would emerge to suit modern tastes and restrictions. When I think of a modern revival of SP I get the the image of a strange mutated butterfly with a vague memory of another life as something else. This image was probably a result of reading Ellen Covey’s most recent post referring to butterfly memory, among other things.
WHAT CAN YOU WIN?
There will be 2 winners this week, each will receive:
1 x 2ml decant from my stash of Spanish Geranium EDT
P&H Anywhere in the world
HOW DO YOU WIN?
Open to everyone worldwide who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.
To be eligible just leave a comment about anything related to geraniums or pelargoniums and mention how you follow the APJ’s (e-mail, wordpress, whatever).
Tweet: @OzPerfumeJunkie Vintage Lanvin Spanish Geranium GIVEAWAY http://wp.me/p3PURw-1Vs
@LANVINofficial #Perfume #Giveaway
Entries Close Sunday October 6th 2013 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
The winners will be chosen by B-Azar or by Gomez the pionus parrot from same sized folded papers on a tray.
The winners will have till Wednesday 9th October 2013 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.
DATES FIXED! OOOOPS! Naughty Portia with the cut & paste