Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Heliotrope Confection, Tackling A Classic: Farnesiana by Caron

Here is what I can tell you about my decant of Caron's Farnesiana it is from before the era of extreme reformulations but probably not from the era of perfect vintage goodness. On the other hand Caron's Farnesiana is the perfume I have smelled closest to actually capturing the scent of heliotrope. The first time I smelled the heliotrope was years ago while visiting a friend in Chicago and the day before my departure we visited the amazing Chicago Botanical Gardens, where I spied the tiny dark purple flowers of heliotrope. I remember being so shocked by the scent of heliotrope because truly it was almond accented with a cool pungent quality to it. Such a powerful distinct scent wafted from those tiny little violet flowers.

Much has been written about Farnesiana and what I always run across is the emotions it can conjure in the wearer. For me Farnesiana is an unapologetically feminine confection of a scent. It reminds of tea parties, candied flowers, and pastels. You are entering a sunlit sitting room that most definitely has something frilly on the table and there is delicate China. I sort of adore the fact this scent is the unapologetic uber-feminine. It is rare to actually find that in a scent these days, a great deal of the time now it is also paired with sexy, sporty, or fresh. I am reminded a bit of the Gothic Lolita movement and can easily see this scent working perfectly with those fun uber-feminine dark edged little outfits.

Underneath the heliotrope and mimosa of Farnesiana there lurks a balsamic mix of vanilla, anise, and opoponax which gives the scent an unexpected darker depth. Yet, the heliotrope goodness of Farnesiana never leaves even as the dry down comes into view. The powder and balsamic co-mingle and I am reminded just a bit of the French spice bread Pain d'Epice.

Overall, Caron's Farnesiana for me is an opus to Heliotrope. It is a gourmand that plays with the almond-y facets of heliotrope and lets the wearer be in a place of supreme calm and pretty.

Try if you like Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue, L'Artisan's Jour de Fete, Trussardi Jeans for her, or Sonoma Scent Studio's Lieu de Reves.

First image from Caron.
Second image from Cashmere Lover


Marzipan said...

How have I not tried Farnesiana?(Perhaps because for years the only Caron I owned and wore religiously was Nocuturnes) I love heliotrope and see that two of my favourites (L'Heure and Lieu de R) are listed as well. and the Troussard Jeans keeps showing up and beckoning me :)as I have yet to sample it!

Jennifer Koth said...

It is all to easy to not have tried Farnesiana in my opinion considering Caron can't seem to figure out how they was want to market it or distribute it. You should definitely try it though if L'Heure and Lieu de R are your favorites. Out of curiosity did you ever try Oscar de La Renta's L'Esprit?

Marzipan said...

No I haven't but from what I have read L"Esprit would probably be to my liking. I did wear the original Oscar in high school (many, many years ago :) !!!)
Oh and I just realized that I misspelled "Nocturnes de Caron". IF you ever get to sample the vintage I think you might like it....very feminine floral with a buttery, ambery vanilla drydown.

Marzipan said...

L'Esprit is actually the "modern interpretation" of the original Oscar from 1977 according to fragrantica so I definitely would like it :) !!!

Jennifer Koth said...

While L'Esprit is a modern interpretation of the original Oscar it also has a ton in common with L'Heure Bleue which you mentioned liking. L'Esprit was one of the great surprises when it came out.