And meanwhile the beautiful golden days were dropping gently from the second week one by one, equal in beauty with those of the first, and the scent of the beanfields in flower on the hillside behind the village came across to San Salvatore whenever the air moved. In the garden that second week the poet's eyed narcissus disappeared out the long grass at the edge of the zigzag path, and wild gladiolus, slender and rose-coloured, came in their stead, wild pinks bloomed in the borders, filling the whole place with their smoky-sweet smell, and a bush nobody had noticed burst into glory and fragrance, and it was a purple lilac bush. Such a jumble of spring and summer was not to be believed in, except by those who dwelt in the gardens.The 'petals' referenced in this perfume's name are those of the syringa, AKA lilac-- rain-dappled, ranging in hue from pale greenish-white to deep purple, and thoroughly drenched with scent. Though Petals contains other flowers -- my god, does it ever! -- the intensity of its dedication to lilac pushes it right to the border of soliflore status. For lilac lovers, this could be paradise-- if heaven can be measured by the square yard. For Petals is very concentrated-- God's acre of scent distilled into an inchspace.
--THE ENCHANTED APRIL, Elizabeth Von Arnim, 1922
For me, wearing Petals is like sitting within a dense bower of sun-saturated lilac shrubs growing just higher than I can see over, even on tiptoe. The experience is unquestionably lovely, if a little claustrophobic. Beyond that wall of glistening foliage, the rest of the world disappears; reality shrinks to a very small space filled to the very last atom with the sweet, lascivious aroma of summer. This mighty floral mass calls for a certain measure of submission; I felt compelled to sit very, very still in its center, fearful lest one wrong move unleash torrents of lilac on unsuspecting neighbors. Yet when I nervously asked my deskmate if my perfume was overly strong or disturbing, she said, "What perfume?"
Incredible strength... but no sillage? A curious combination of extravagance and restraint, this-- and obviously designed for up-close-and-personal encounters.
The idea of sharing Petals with a lover changes the game. There are certain people with whom it would be a pleasure to be walled up alive in lilac. Frankly, under those circumstances, who cares if the world outside disappears? My conclusion: Petals is best worn in small-scale places and close-quarter situations where scenes of high romance may be staged. This lilac bower makes a perfect Eden for two people with one thing on their minds.
Scent Elements: Orange blossom, night-blooming honeysuckle, syringa, jasmine sambac, clementine, white musk