I see skies of blue, flowers pink and yellow, lilac and white, tree branches budding with fresh green leaves, dainty little fruit-tree and big, porcelain-cup thick Magnolia blossoms everywhere! Yes, Spring is here…Persephone has returned!
Spring in March, still struggling with chilly mornings and evenings, but it seems like everything bloomed in only a couple of days. The time has come for me to pull out a fragrance I gave a lot of thought and occasional wearings during the past six months – Southern Bloom by Goldfield and Banks.
This perfume is very comforting every time I wear it, it felt like a warm hug during cold, Winter days, but now the timing to sit down and write about it was somehow right for me. Or maybe it’s because while enjoying the first sunny and warm late March days, I remembered that it isn’t Spring everywhere…
It all began when we met in September last year, during Pitti Fragranze in Florence. Dimitri Weber spoke to us over lunch about Spring in September and how he has to rush back to Australia because Brown Boronia fields were starting to bloom. Spring in September!
And Boronia flowers:
Dimitri, the creative director of Goldfield and Banks founded this brand in Sydney, Australia and he wanted to use native Australian ingredients as much as possible, giving importance to this specific terroir, making a difference.
He spoke with so much love about Australia, Brown Boronia flowers, fields on Tasmania’s Bruny Island, the harvest time – because the brand is working directly with growers. Then he pulled out a bottle of Southern Bloom perfume (harvest 2017), together with a tiny bottle of Brown Boronia Absolute, one of the most expensive ingredients in the world, at 100USD/gram:
Brown Boronia absolute, derived from concrete – is really different. It has a rich, multifaceted floral character. As much as I remember, it’s flowery with a touch of green, a bit dusky, never too sweet. I would say even a bit „dry-creamy“, like you are smelling the whole bush, not just flowers.
Southern Bloom is a limited edition fragrance – because the perfume itself will depend on the harvest, absolute being slightly different every year. It has been used in perfumery before, but Southern Bloom puts it in the heart of this perfume and weaves the whole fragrant story around it.
All the time after hearing this story about Southern Bloom, I kept thinking about – black swans!
I’ll explain: until the 19th century and discovery of black swans in Australia, all existing swans were thought to be – white. No one imagined that swans of any other color existed.
These beautiful birds also have their role in the Australian culture, representing „Australianness“. There’s more, a whole „black swan“ theory!
The idea of „black swans“ is mentioned in a quite famous book „The Black Swan“ – by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, ranked in 2007 by Sunday Times as one of the 12 most influential books since WW II. I remember reading it a number of times.
The impact of highly improbable is tremendous, we can all agree. The books also underlines that we humans tend to find simplistic explanations for unexpected events, but only after these happened.
The concept of Taleb’s „Black Swan“ is that highly improbable events have three principle characteristics: they are unpredictable, they carry a massive impact, and after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes these events appear less random and more predictable then they were. It’s a brilliant book, I suggest you read it if you haven’t yet. Black Swans are everywhere…even in the world of perfumes.
I digress, but this is where the story about Brown Boronia took me…Back to Southern Bloom with this extraordinary, „Black Swan“ note at its heart!
We have here high-quality ingredients from all over the world, elements of Australian terroir, the owner is Belgian-French, coming from fragrance industry….enter a Frenchman: the perfumer behind this fragrance is Melbourne-based Mr. Francois Merle-Baudoin, a 5th generation Perfumer from Grasse.
Southern Bloom is a floral-creamy-powdery fragrance, beautifully blended and finely balanced. Elegant, comforting, soothing – in a quite unique way. Longevity is very good, projection moderate: it becomes discreet, with a lovely drydown many hours later.
The fragrance shifts from the very beginning: at first, you are greeted by a bright fruity-slightly tart welcome. As you enter and walk along, it embraces you, it feels like you have walked into a cloud of creamy, soft pink petals, swirling gently around you.
This sensation of white flowers is just a little bit resinous and soon the fragrance transforms as sensual ylang-ylang and jasmine begin to flow. At this point I could feel milky strains of coconut appearing, weaving its way around flowers, and a string of orange-like tones.
Half an hour later the fragrance shows its greener side, becoming more earthy- green with the addition of dry, broken flower-bush twigs, adding depth to that beautiful powdery-iris sensation I enjoy so much.
The dry-down is very beautiful: at this point Southern Bloom stays close to the skin, forming an aura that will stay with you for some time, very creamy and rich. You can still feel occasional whiffs of opulent flowers lingering over sandalwood, with a powdery-dry, a bit earthy iris dust sprinkled over them.
These transitions are smooth and the overall impression is refined, making this a very wearable fragrance. I wear it as a comforting fragrance and on my skin, it feels very feminine.
Southern Bloom, released in 2018, is the latest, first floral fragrance in the brand’s Native Collection, including Wood Infusion, Desert Rosewood, Pacific Rock Moss, White Sandalwood, and Blue Cypress.
Notes (as stated by the brand): Boronia Absolute -Tasmania, Jasmin Sambac – India, Cassis – France, Sandalwood – Australia, Vetiver – Indonesia, Ylang Ylang – Madagascar, Coconut Accord, Iris – Italy.
Southern Bloom, harvest 2017/2018 is available at Goldfield and Banks website and chosen niche perfume stockists, USD 249/100ml Eau de parfum, limited production.
It took me six months to ponder over this perfume, but the moment I first smelled Brown Boronia absolute was unforgettable…
The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl
Southern Bloom perfume generously provided by Goldfield&Banks, opinions of my own. Terms as stated below: