Blanc. White: rarely is the color of white – what is considered pure white, and characterized by red, green, and blue codes that are exactly equal, thus marked with Hex triplet #FFFFFF. If you ask interior designers, they all agree that there are so many variations of white, and only reading the names of different “whites” is fun. Even if you are dealing with pure white, it’s an illusion. White is a perception we have when our eyes are confronted with all visible wavelengths of light! All colors of the rainbow united give white, but all materials that scatter light in every direction also appear white.
Blanc Polychrome by Atelier Des Ors is an array of bright colors that swirl around joyfully before uniting to form a glowing beam of light.
White color is often associated with purity, and historically white equals goodness, cleanliness, newness, simplicity, elegance, and neutrality. For me, it is also always a festive color, connected closely to sunshine.
In the world of perfume, white are floral fragrances usually featuring notes of jasmine, gardenia, and tuberose – the trio fantasticus among others. The funny thing is that indole in jasmine, for example, can also be anything but „white“ – if we think about white as neutral, squeaky clean, and “light”.
Tuberose? Oh, however white its petals are, sometimes I feel it as being dark, black as night! Even oud can give you a very „white“ feeling, or some mints and anis, if done and in a very light manner, and depending on the raw materials used. And “white florals” have been around for a very long time, thanks to isolates, aroma chemicals, and some very expensive real flower oils.
There are also „white“ musks: big molecules that are subtle in scent but heavily important for a perfume formula. Some you might associate with that squeaky clean feeling, describing them as „clean“, „soapy“ or „powdery“: say hello to Ambrettolide, Ethylene Brassylate, Galaxolide, or Habanolide, for example.
So what does the color of white smell like? Not literally, because I think that if we apply the same rule to perfume as to the color of white, white would actually be a combination of different elements that basically cancel each other out. I would say that it smells like any of your personal sets of associations, be it a memory of sails rumbling in wind, first snowflakes falling upon frozen ground, a freshly pressed soft cotton cap pulled onto a babies head, images of neatly folded clean linen, or Tic-Tacs you might keep in a drawer of your car.
Like a prism breaks a ray of sunlight into a rainbow of colors, so can a perfume, composed of many different notes that might remind you of other colors, leave you with a feeling of – white. Or better said, like a lightness that feels – white.
Most of my impressions of summer are colored bright white. Not only because of clothing choices, and the easy-going feeling of wearing simple white T’s, jeans and sneakers, or light and chic summer dresses accenting exposed suntanned skin.
Summer begins for me with bundles of white-colored clothes pulled out in June and put away in a matter of days after Labour Day. My summer “whites” are light, transparent, and mostly easy-going, while the winter ones are denser, more elegant, and worn less often.
White are the pebbles in bright sunshine on my favorite beach, crests on waves of the sea, sea salt, ice cream, seashells, stone walls, and houses in a tiny fishermen’s village on my favorite island.
Those shades of white are always in an intense contrast with the intense colors of blooming flowers, deep blue tones of the sea, rich green crowns of pine trees, and the deep brownish-red color of earth. The water is soft and sunshine harsh: any laundry washed and dried there is perfectly white!
My personal olfactory impression of “white” is a Mediterranean „white“, I would say, intense and so natural and relaxed at the same time.
More things I associate with white are also memories that go back to the time when I bought a white bathing suit as a teen but no one told me that it’ll become totally transparent once when wet. One swim, and – ouch! Or my clumsy attempts to apply chalk-white nail polish at the seaside, which was meant to look classy but in reality it resembled drawings of pre-school kids trying to paint with tempera, spilling it all over the table. White nail polish can look extremely sloppy if applied by an untrained hand, trust me.
The best part of it all: I couldn’t care less! Summertime just lowers any expectations of perfection I might usually have: what matters is to have fun and to relax. Sea salt, carelessness, and pebbles crack and chip any nail polish on your hands and feet after a few days anyway.
I was really looking forward to Blanc Polychrome from Atelier Des Ors, released this summer, together with Rouge Saray – an EdP belonging to the Black Collection. The packaging of Blanc Polychrome is the same as for the White Collection but the fully transparent perfume glows with golden flecks in a transparent bottle that now comes with a golden cap. Transparency and lightness are accentuated in the presentation in every detail.
This is also the first fragrance in the new, Eaux Collection (Eau de Parfum with 20% concentration).
I tested and wore it intensely during my summer vacation, and it performed really fine in sizzling hot weather. What happened is that I kept pulling it out long after I have packed all my white summer dresses away.
I still can’t accept that summer is nearly over so I cling to any memory of it: those peaceful and relaxed days spent at the seaside this year seem sweeter than ever! And this is the reason why I’ll keep reaching out for those fragrances that remind me of summer even in the gloomiest of rainy and cold days: just one sniff takes me away to a sunnier place.
Blanc Polychrome created by Marie Salamagne swirls upwards at first, with a blast of juicy lemons, bright yellow, and with an air of tingling freshness reminding me of my morning routine at the seaside: lemonade first, then coffee. Eyes still squinting, trying to avoid bright rays of sunshine ricocheting from white stone walls and smooth surfaces.
As your eyes adjust to the intense light of a summer day, you can’t miss noticing how blue is the sky, and how that reflection of clear blue reflects upon the surface of the sea, which sparkles while white-crested waves roll in a neverending rhythm. The morning air is salty, and as the temperature rises, cicadas get louder and louder, invisible in the surrounding, lush vegetation.
The feeling of fresh, just slightly bitter yellow then gets orange streaks and is smoothed out at the edges with a crisp and bright green, which feels like holding a white cup filled with crushed lemon tree leaves and stirring the leaves with your fingers, just to feel how it smells. And the lavender note that I feel is not in any way associated with dry or fresh lavender flowers, it feels like you’ve just pulled your hand through a freshly watered lavender bush, just brushing its silver-green sharp and thin leaves as you pass by, but the trace of scent rises slowly and reaches your nostrils tenderly, bringing along a feeling of warmth rising from the ground.
As the fragrance develops further, the feeling of citruses is still present as an underlying layer lingering below smooth musks but the overall feeling is soft and tender, joyful, and yet very calming – the other thing that surprised me is how long-lasting Blanc Polychrome is, although being an EdP it tends to linger on, rather skin-close, but for hours.
And then, in the later stages of development, the fragrance feels airy white, pearly like a flash of teeth in a big, happy smile, and blissful without being demanding.
All the transitions are smooth and with finely blended accords that just glide, never losing the luminosity that’s present straight from the beginning. I do not see any need for dramatic shifts here, Blanc Polychrome perfectly delivers what is promised, and does so in a way that’s not loud or disturbing: it just glides confidently, keeping its inner feeling of freshness all the way, self-content, smiling and relaxed. Like brighter shades of smiles in the summer, when hair gets lighter, skin glows in the sunshine, and living seems easier.
Notes: mandarin, lemon, rhubarb, solar accord, petitgrain, jasmine petals, fig leaf, lavender, ambroxan, moss, musk. Available in 100 ml bottles, test before you buy. For availability, please visit Atelier Des Ors.
The Plum Girl
Photos: Atelier Des Ors, The Plum Girl, Pexels.
Disclaimer: A sample of Blanc Polychrome was kindly sent to me by Atelier Des Ors, my opinions are – as always- of my own.
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