Floral Veil by Jean-Marie Santantoni for Grossmith 2012

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Post by Madeleine

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Hello fragrance friends,

Like my friend Val, I like to indulge in perfume games. Most weeks, you’ll find me re-doing my top 5 and top 10 perfume lists, imagining what celebrity scent I’d wear if that was the only available option on earth and so on. I’m also guilty of indulging in the occasional perfume questionnaire now and then, even though I’m likely to cringe or smirk at the signature scent that’s recommended to me. However, a certain scent kept cropping up on a few of these quizzes I completed that it got me intrigued. The fact that it had tuberose as one of the notes pushed me into buying a sample. The scent is Floral Veil by Grossmith.

Floral Veil by Jean-Marie Santantoni for Grossmith 2012

Floral Veil Grossmith FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Citrus notes, green accords
Heart: Geranium, rose, ylang, tuberose, vanilla orchid
Base: Cashmeran, amber, musk

Floral Veil opens up all joyous and spring-like. The sharpness of the green accords gives way to a dainty floral bouquet that’s cheerful, but still very well mannered. It’s the scene of an English garden from a Jane Austen novel: very pretty and restrained. You can picture the female heroine, perhaps Emma, drinking her earl grey tea under a parasol adorned in a dress of sunbleached blooms.

Floral Veil Grossmith Tea Field Brett Jordan FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Despite the mention of tuberose in the notes, it’s sadly lacking on my skin. Here the floral is all about the ylang for me which gives the composition a solar quality. It’s the shimmering of sunlight on pale petals; their fragile blooms simmering and wilting in the heat. There’s a sense of airiness to the warmth here too: the white florals are breezy and relaxed rather than heady in nature.

Floral Veil is a tremendously pretty composition and while I like wearing it, I can’t help feeling that there are perfumes in this category that just work better on my skin, especially given the price point and longevity (around two hours). However, given its demure nature, this is nice office scent or a good pick for languid spring or summer days when you want to feel the earth under your feet and the warmth of the sun on your face.

Floral Veil Grossmith Miller_Girl-with-Guitar WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Further reading: CaFleureBon and Now Smell This
Twisted Lily has $395/100ml and sample: $5/0.7ml

Have you tried Floral Veil or any other Grossmith? What perfume games do you like playing?

With much love till next time!
M x

8 comments on “Floral Veil by Jean-Marie Santantoni for Grossmith 2012

  1. Azar says:

    Hello Madeleine,
    I love reading your reviews. You really tell it like it is in a beautiful way! I am very familiar with three of the old Grossmith fragrances – Phul Nana, Shem-el Nessim and Hasu-no-Hana. I like them a lot but they are, as you say about Floral Veil ,”airy”, “pretty” and “demur”. I find all three to be relatively short lived as well. Usually I like to wear more serious, heavy and sometimes even outrageous fragrances but these do have their place, perhaps in the office as you suggest, or in lieu of the ubiquitous summer cologne.
    Azar xx

    • Madeleine says:

      Hi Azar,

      Thank you for the lovely comment! Thanks also for the feedback on the other Grossmiths. I think these are demure because that was what the fashion was when Grossmith first launched. Like you, I like a little more guts to my perfume.

      M x

    • Tourmaline says:

      Hello Azzar,

      I was so surprised to read your comment that you find three of the old Grossmith fragrances “airy” and “pretty”. I only know Phul-Nana, and my experience of it is very different. I first encountered it back in about 1972, when I was aged around 10 or 11. One of my classmates gave me and a few other friends each a tiny, 5 ml bottle of perfume for Christmas. I’m not sure whether she gave each of us the same fragrance, but mine was Phul-Nana. The bottle (which I still have, minus the label) had a red lid and a label with a painting of a beautiful Indian woman in a pink and red dress and bare feet, dancing wildly as an Indian man in a white turban sat watching.

      Back then I had only a few perfumes, all of them gifts, including Blue Grass, Three Flowers Skin Perfume, 4711 and two fragrances by Avon – Honeysuckle and Bird of Paradise. Compared with all of these, Phul-Nana struck me as very strong, rich, exotic and altogether wonderful. It lasted for a few years because I wore it only on special occasions and applied just a couple of dabs. The scent lingered on me for most of the day. Eventually the label became very tatty, and, in my youthful foolishness, I removed it.

      Fast forward 40 years to 2012, and I had long since lost hope of ever smelling Phul-Nana or seeing its colourful label again. But then I obtained Internet access and began tracking down old fragrances on eBay. Imagine my delight when I found a small, 15 ml vintage bottle of the perfume on sale from a woman in South Africa. The picture showed that same bottle with the gorgeous label; the only difference was that the red cap was domed rather than flat. I bought it, and was transported back to my childhood when I again smelled that distinctive fragrance. I would describe it as an oriental, or at least a floral-oriental. The label stated that the perfume was made in South Africa.

      I see that in 2009, Grossmith re-released Phul-Nana (originally released in 1891) and the two others that you mentioned, Azzar. I wonder whether they smell like the originals. I have just read reviews of the new Phul-Nana on Fragrantica and Basenotes, and am heartened to see that many people seem to regard it as an oriental fragrance, using descriptors such as “opulent”, “strong, rich, voluptuous” and “exotic”.

      I particularly enjoyed reading the superb, detailed review of Phul-Nana on Kafkaesque (7 Aug 2013), where it was stated, “Phul-Nana feels like a very expensively made fragrance with very rich ingredients done in the old tradition of classic perfumery to create a simple, elegant, very seductively opulent, spicy floral oriental”. For this person, the fragrance lasted on the skin for nearly 10 hours.

      I guess this just confirms how very differently people can perceive the same scent. Thank you for the lovely review of Floral Veil, Madeleine; it definitely makes me want to try it!

      • Madeleine says:

        Thanks Tourmaline,

        How wonderful that you got some Phul Nana and were transported back to childhood! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

        M x

      • Azar says:

        Hello Tourmaline,
        I haven’t worn my Grossmith for awhile and will give them all another shot. Thank you for the reminder.
        Azar xx

    • Tourmaline says:

      I’m so sorry Azar, I didn’t mean to mis-spell your name in my post!

  2. cookie queen says:

    Hi from the pool in Greece Madeleine! Nice review. I am steadily working through the Grossmith collection and enjoying each one. They are seamlessly beautiful. I do think it can be a problem when we only have samples to work with. A good hefty spray from the bottle often gives a different vibe. I hasten to add I own no Grossmith yet, but did get a serious go on them recently. Of the newer ones, Golden Chypre and Saffron Rose are gorgeous.
    Tzatziki fragrant hugs. xxxx

    • Madeleine says:

      Hi Val,

      Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday! Yes, I could see that spraying would be better with these….I must get some decants. I’d love to try Golden Chypre.

      M xxx

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