An Eternal April


A tale – and a review of sorts – of Puredistance ‘Antonia’

It started as so many days did, with that all-important question in front of her perfume cabinet early that morning. What to wear? What face did she want to show the world today of all days, today when she was off to the Eternal City where a rendez-vous awaited?

A rendez-vous that was as thoroughly unsuitable, as thoroughly anticipated and as delicious as a gourmet chocolate truffle.

She didn’t care. But she cared enough about the question to reflect for a moment in front of that cabinet. It would be Rome, one of her favorite cities in the world. Rome would be warm, and that ruled out other, more obvious choices. He would expect something seductive, something enticing him to bite. Expectations, she would have to teach him, could be dangerous.

No. Something…else, something else that reflected her slightly reckless mood this morning, something that would breathe possibilities and aspirations, something that breathed La Primavera on her aura, something that would put a spring in her step and sunshine in her heart where it had been winter for such a long time. Something the green of April leaves, the green of the dress she planned to wear. Something that would give her hope, that maybe this one, maybe this time, maybe now…it was time for a little fun, a little laughter, a little light.

So she had reached for that almost clinical glass vial, nestled within its white and green box, and a Botticelli Primavera wrapped herself around her like a flowering vine, shooting green sparks of sunlight across her skin, making her feel half her age and half her experience, which was his age exactly.

What was it, she thought later, sitting in the Roman sunshine later that afternoon, that made this perfume so enticing? Was it that verdant, lemony kick of galbanum, was it something that must have been hyacinth and orris, blooming all around her? Was it the practiced, flirtatious smile of the waiter taking her order on this Trastevere piazza, addressing her in caressing tones: ‘Signora…per piacere.’

Or was it that wearing this, feeling as she did, waiting for a friend poised to be a lover, that everything was easier in Rome on an April afternoon by the Lungotevere Raffaello Sanzio, where the linden trees sprouted leaves as tender as her newly exposed self, bursting out of a long winter’s sleep and the Tiber frothed below the embankment the same apple green as the dress she wore, the same green as this perfume and her hope?

That must be it, she decided halfway though her Campari soda. She thought not so long ago that hope was a luxury not even she could afford, that she was too old, too jaded, too cynical to ever hope again, no matter that spring was just around the corner.

But April was here now and she was here in Rome, a city that celebrated life in a country that loved it no less, exuding spring in her dress, La Primavera in her perfume, and in the delicious anticipation she could taste as clear as any Campari soda, as sharp as the slice of lemon in her glass, the same liquid gold as the sunshine on the piazza on a Roman afternoon.

Even here in the heart of Trastevere, spring was obvious in the foaming green of the flowerpots in the windows of the apartments above. The flower seller on the other side of the piazza was doing a brisk business in tulips and hyacinths. Hyacinths for the soul, went that old saying, and surely, there was hyacinth in the soul of this perfume? Hyacinth in her own soul even, when she saw him walking down the Via Gustavo Modena towards her, wearing a shirt she had bought for him in Milan, the exact green of his eyes and the exact green of her own dress.

He could be Italian almost with that dark hair and that proud, leggy stride, that strut of the shoulders men somehow lost past the age of thirty, a touch of Roman pride and braggadocio in the way he scanned the piazza looking for her.

He saw her then, sitting in the sun with her Campari, and his grin was as reckless as she felt on that Roman afternoon, as happy as the first rays of light on her skin after this endless, gray winter.

He grabbed her hand and kissed it with a flourish. “Cara!” he exclaimed with a grin.

“Sit down. Campari?” As he held her, as he kissed her, she could taste his anticipation.

“Of course! When in Rome…” He sat down next to her, and did not let go of her hand.

She could believe, on such a spring afternoon on a Trastevere piazza, that she was still young just a little longer, that those laughing green eyes would be there the next morning, like this verdant scent and this delicious moment.

This April would last eternal, just like the city itself, and their shared anticipation, the green of possibilities, green as that very special perfume she wore for a special, eternal April day.

With eternal thanks to Dee, who made it possible, and to another inspiration!

Puredistance Antonia is available at Luckyscent, the Puredistance website, and First in Fragrance.

Image of Lungotevere Rafffaello Sanzio in April, erboristeriaedaltro.com

21 thoughts on “An Eternal April

  1. I love this beautiful story, it makes me want to go sit in the sun (and that never happens!). I have tried Antonia and it smells just… wrong on me. Something sours in it with my body chemistry, I don't know what it is, but I know enough to keep it away from my flesh.

  2. Yep, you did it again. 🙂
    Love the story and it is so very fitting. I absolutely love Antonia and my little sample is almost empty. 😦

  3. Que bella, Tarlesio! You and I experience Antonia so similarly — that tender, springlike green that fills one with a sense of newness and possibility.

    I need to move Antonia to my Top Ten list. I own a bottle and absolutely love it…it's the kind of fragrance that just seems so “me.”

  4. Gorgeous, as always.
    I have not tired any Puredistance fragrances yet. In a way, I don't feel I need to after reading your story..it's like I have experienced already it!

  5. Suzanne – it's wonderful, wonderful, wonderful stuff. As I said elsewhere – I take back every snarky thing I may have said about Puredistance in the past, snark born of ignorance – at least that's my excuse!

    But just as an aside of all of you that have tried it – am I the only one on Planet Earth who is reminded more than a little of Jacomo's 'Silences'? (One of my own top twenty) Antonia is sweeter and softer, with a lot less of that 70s chypre edge, but they could be siblings – or at least my nose seems to think so!

  6. I love what Suzanne said, that Antonia “fills one with a sense of newness and possibility,” and, Tarleisio, that is what you have so perfectly captured in your story.

    Green fragrances and I have only just started our love affair, and I'm glad that you mentioned a similarity between A and Silences—I've been debating on whether or not to add S to my burgeoning green collection, and I think that you description clinches the deal!

  7. Well, JoanElaine, if I can't induce a lemming with my stories, then I guess I haven't tried hard enough! 😉

    Just kidding, of course. But I'm telling you, girl,. should the opportunity arise – take it, really.

    Because – they don't make them like this any more – or so even I once thought! 😉

  8. No slight to any of you lovelies, but of all the comments I hoped I'd get, yours, Dee, was the one I had most anticipated, since you'd raved so much about it – and won that crystal column, too! (Which you surely deserved!)

    You gave me the chance to try it for myself, and all I had to do was breathe it in – in Trastevere, in Rome, in April.

    I received Silences as a birthday present last year, wished for solely on the basis of Helg's review of it – and that, as they say, was THAT. I'll have to long for Antonia a while longer, but Silences is very close and equally GREEN if not quite as sweet – not to mention, it's a bit easier to obtain!

    Dee – if you like your greens – and I'm sure you do – you can't miss it.

    But I shall miss Antonia once she is no more. On the other hand – the possibilities remain! 🙂

  9. Oh, Tarleisio- I wish I'd known you loved Antonia so much before I sent those glass atomizers to you, I would have tossed in my unused sample of Antonia. I will save it for you for the next package I send your way. 😉

  10. Dear T,
    I am late to see this since I am on the road, but I am so glad to have taken the time and read this wonderful story now. My day is off to a great start.
    First of all: I am always filled with satisfaction like a proud mother, when someone comes over into the camp of Puredistance worshippers, I am firmly lodged there and I fully believe once you smell them all doubts (and the snark!) are gone…

    And concerning your story: perfect. I can identify a lot. And I have an enourmous craving for Antonia now, sadly my bottle rests on its green pillow at home, I might have to go to Roja Dove once more today, just to spray it on myself. Your words are powerful and moving, thank you.

  11. B, I'm, glad you liked my little story! I was rather worried you might not! 😉 And you're very welcome, always.

    Ah, but lucky, lucky you. Roja Dove…sigh. let me know if you get a chance with Diaghilev! I've read so many great things about it…

  12. Another lovely story!

    I adore green florals, and was quite looking forward to trying Antonia. However, it doesn't work on me either; there is a sour chemical undertone that is extremely offputting. My two older children, generally tactful, actually backed away from me, eyes wide, while I was wearing it. “Mom,” said my teenage daughter, “that is truly awful. Truly.”

    I think it's a well-made fragrance, and I love the tender green idea it expresses… on someone else.

  13. Museinwoodenshoes: I'm actually relieved to hear that it soured on someone else too, I was starting to think there was something wrong with me since everyone seems to love it so much. It soured, and then it nauseated me. Such a gentle, pretty scent that turned into poison on me!

  14. Muse and Carrie – I feel your pain. You read all these glowing reviews in purple prose and perfumed ink, and once you get your hands on something hyped and touted to the very skies and you put it on your skin – and it's vile to the nth degree – that really, truly bites!

    It happens to me, too. I can mention among them…Bal à Versailles, Ormonde Woman, Muscs Kublai Khan, Je Reviens, and (I'm so, so sorry, Ines, and you sent it to me!) Worth Courtesan. Ugh does not even begin to describe what horrors they all perpetrated on my skin! And I had such hopes for a requited love affair – but no. It was not to be, and that's just how it goes, sometimes.

    One woman's Obsession is another woman's Poison! 😉

  15. Amen, Sista. The good part is, what doesn't work for us, we can use for trade fodder or gifts to those we know love whatever scent it is. I love the little club mentality we've got. 🙂

  16. Tarleisio, no need to feel sorry. 🙂 I believe Courtesan is one of those perfumes many will have problems with (serious ones).
    I remember when I first tried it some years ago, I thought who in the world would bottle something so awful.
    And look at me now, proud owner of a bottle. 😀

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