Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ode to Linden Blossom (Lime Blossom / Tilleul)

This morning I read Now Smell This, as I normally do, and found an article by Pia about Roger & Gallet's Linden Blossom shower gel. This got me thinking about Linden Blossom, how it's one of my most favorite scents, and how I rarely think about it or find it very often in fragrances.

Linden is especially amazing as a natural scent wafting in the air on a gorgeous late spring, early summer day. Linden blossoms grow on trees which I believe are also called Lime trees depending on where you live. Jo Malone's perfume called French Lime Blossom is actually the scent of Linden Blossoms, since I believe the British word is Lime Blossom and not Linden. Not surprisingly, Jo Malone's French Lime Blossom is among my favorite summer perfumes.

Linden, in it's natural state, is such a gorgeous, sweet and ever so slightly green smell. I remember going on a walk many years ago and experiencing this scent for the first time. I was having a picnic under a Linden tree and could not stop commenting on this lovely scent. Luckily I was in a preserved park and the trees were labeled. From that moment on I could recognize a Linden tree and will always always remember it's scent. The tree itself is rather tall and nondescript but with heart shaped green leaves. It's the perfect tree to flank a long driveway or garden trail as it's branches don't normally grow very far out horizontally. The trees tend toward upward growth and stay rather neat like soldiers. I believe there are a large sections of Linden trees in Central Park, NYC as well as London.

The tree associated with Freya, the goddess of love, is the Linden tree. The Linden tree is usually considered a romantic symbol. There are many poems and songs incorporating the Linden tree as a symbol of love, beauty and romance.

This leads me to a idea that I've had for the past several years. Someday I want to have a fragrant garden. A yard that is solely planted for the purpose of beautiful fragrances, timed so each blooming does to compete with one another. In that yard I will have many Linden trees, along with lilacs, magnolia, apple trees, peony, David Austen roses, petunia, violets, pansy, iris, Stargazer lily, butterfly bush, bleeding hearts (though not fragrant, too beautiful to skip), and the list goes on....

So far I only know of two fragrances that focus on Linden as the main act. As mentioned above, Jo Malone's French Lime Blossom, and Provence Sante Tilleul. I like both of these fragrances but would love to know of more. If anyone knows of other Linden fragrances please let me know.


xxdfarre said...

Have you ever tried Parfums D'Orsay's Tilleul - I thought it was gorgeous. Not too easy finding D'Orsay but well worth while. If you are in London a little shop called Cologne & Cotton stocks them. Large bottles and inexpensive.

Abigail said...

Yes! I have since found D'Orsay Tilleul. It was too late for summer wearing but I sniff the cap constantly.

Mr.Moto said...

Hi Abigail, You might consider...

"La Chasse Aux Papillons" by L'Artisan Notes;
Linden blossom, lemon tree blossom, orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose.

dorothy said...

It could be Evening of Paris, that your grandmother used. The following is cut and pasted, from the Vermont Store:


This perfume is better known as "Evening in Paris" and it has been in existence since 1929. It features rich floral (violet) and fruity top notes; intense heart notes (tilleul, clover, lilac, rose, jasmine); smooth, creamy, slightly woodsybase notes (vetiver, styrax, cedar, vanilla); and it soon became one of the most famous fragrances in the world."
The Vermont Store link is:

I know exactly what you mean, about your grandmothers perfume, and I had the same experience, whenever I smelled a vintage bottle of Evening of Paris.

Most of the vintage bottles were cobalt blue. You can view some photos at this link:


Anonymous said...

L'Artisan also makes an amazing fragrance called l'ete en deuce.
The Scoop
"Gauzy, soft and refined, this summery blend is extraordinarily charming. Those who, like us, adore Olivia Giacobetti’s translucent style, will be delighted with L’Ete en Douce. The airy orange blossom and the ethereal linden are blended with a delightfully cool mint note, which highlights the fresh greenness of the florals and makes them seem diaphanous, like the finest of silks blowing in the wind…The soft base of white woods and white musks lingers on the skin, turning L’Ete en Douce into one of the loveliest your-skin-but-better fragrances we have encountered. A must have for summer!"

Anonymous said...

I just discovered linden as a fragrance and I love it. I found a whole line of linden scented perfume from a company called Library of Flowers. it is a U.S. small batch perfumary and the smell is amazing.