Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Midsummer Night's Dream - EnVoyage Perfumes Titania

En Voyage Perfumes Titania

Edward Robert Hughes's
Midsummer Eve
The second Midsummer scent I received was from Shelley Waddington of EnVoyage Perfumes. She also provided a meditation on the Titania, Queen of Fae, but this took its inspiration from a very different part of Shakespeare’s play.
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk roses and eglantine.

~Oberon, describing Titania’s bower, where she sleeps.

Top Notes: Fir Needles, Spice and Citrus.
Heart Notes: Basil, Mint, Geranium, Lavender Hidcote, Ylang-Ylang, Wild Rose and Heliotrope.
Base Notes: Juniper, Ho-Wood, Aromatic Woods and Nuts, Moss, Fern, Savory Leaves, Iris, Honey.
This is Titania as her vexed but nonetheless doting lover sees her. It is so different from Bellatrix Perfumes Titania, it is almost astonishing. Ankica Milic’s Titania is strong and bold, and the passage Ankica choose includes lines that can be played as vaguely threatening. Shelley Waddington focuses instead on Titania’s softness, and beauty. It gives us a scent that is more a reflection of the Queen, as seen through the eyes of a lover, than that of a mirror. And yet, despite the wildly different trajectory here, I think it is equally beautiful!

Galadriel, the Lady of the Wood
The top is fresh and minty and reminds me of falling asleep on a bed of fresh pine needles in a cool forest. The sweetness is very gentle and natural. It is so elegant, as though a beautiful cape were made from the greenest spring leaves and mosses and a crown made from the tender twisted stems and branches and wrapped around you. It has a kind of majesty to it that remind me of what it might be like to see Cate Blanchett play Titania as though she were much softer version of Galadriel. In my mind, I go immediately to the image of the playful, dreamy Titania after she has been bewitched by Oberon, which apparently was the exact inspiration. But it not only reminds me of Titania as she is lying sleepily in her bower, it also reminds me of the slowly waking lovers near the end of the play, when they arise and cannot recall if they have lived, or merely dreamed, the night’s events.

I really wish I could place the sweet part of this. I keep looking to the notes for guidance, but I just can’t work it out. I think I’m mostly getting geranium, with a decent hit of lavender and honey. Yes, I’m definitely getting lavender, now that I think back to my friend Tiff’s wedding, which was an outdoor June pagan wedding in a wood along a lake, and lavender was the theme flower/scent. She carried lavender; some of the cupcakes were lemon lavender; we threw cups of dried lavender over the couple as they left. It was dark and warmly wet and the smell of lavender was everywhere that afternoon and night; I suspect if you were going to make her a scent in commemoration of the event, which was very midsummer themed (fairy themed touches around the wedding as well), this might be, not the scent she wore, but the actual smell of her union day itself. FN1.

Bridal Veil Lakes,
where my friend was married
Every fairy take his gait;
And each several chamber bless,
Through this palace, with sweet peace;
And the owner of it blest
Ever shall in safety rest.

~ Oberon, giving instructions to the fairies

Which brings me to another tangential, but thematically appropriate, thought. This would make an excellent scent for a summer wedding, in the merry, marry month of June. Shakespeare’s work itself transpires around what becomes a triple wedding, and this seems like an excellent scent for a warm outdoor ceremony, because I can imagine it warming on the skin beautifully without becoming overpowering. How perfectly it all plays together, and how wonderfully Shelley Waddington did with this one. If you close your eyes, you can imagine this smell wafting through the whole of Theseus and Hippolyta’s house at the play’s end as an olfactory experience of having each couple’s love, and all those among them, and all those their love has yet to create, being blessed by nature and by magic.

Wonderful. Magical. A hit for summer, for love, and definitely worth owning if made available for purchase.

To see more visit A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Perfume Event, running June 14-24, 2011.
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1. I’ll tell you, because I know you’d want to know, she wore Coco Mademoiselle.

11 comments:

Ines said...

I love your review of Shelley's Titania! It seems much better than mine.
I cannot but agree how wonderfully easy it is to love this. :)

Oh, True Apothecary said...

Beautiful review! Shelley's work is always stellar and it seems she proves it once again with her Titania.

AbsintheDragonfly said...

This is just sounds like a beautiful fragrance, and I am putting it on my list.

Thank you so much for your eloquent participation Diana!

Diana said...

Ines --

I really liked your review. I think we all have such different things to say, and I find that educational.

Diana said...

OTA--

This was my first EnVoyage scent, but I am very impressed. I want to try more of the line right now!

Diana said...

Absinthe--

I really loved it. I'd personally love to own it.

Diana

Tiff said...

I love the description of this scent! I've been following your midsummer theme reviews pretty closely - thanks for the heads up. I would love to get my hands on a sample of this. Suggestions?

Diana said...

Tiff--

Cross your fingers and hope it goes up for sale?

You can try a little of my sample next time we get a chance to hang out. You need to come over and see how I set my perfume up in the temporary apartment.

Bellatrix said...

G r e a t review!!

Shelley said...

Diana, thank you for your lovely review. And thank you all for your kind comments.

This event totally rocks!

Tiff said...

I'd love to do both of those things. Perhaps when we're both back from our various family travels?