Where we live there are huge sunflower fields. At this time of year there is a constant question on our local Facebook page, “Are the sunflowers in bloom?” Ten days ago the answer was yes. Mrs. C, the poodles and I headed out to walk through the gloriously vibrant fields. Every year I am always struck at the lack of scent of these happy flowers. It feels like Mother Nature left something out. A flower which is meant for observing and not smelling. Of course perfumery is not bound by the laws of Nature. They are free to imagine what a sunflower should smell like. Floral Street Sunflower Pop tries.
Floral Street has been one of my favorite new brands because creative director Michelle Feeney has overseen an excellent collection. One piece of it is working exclusively with perfumer Jerome Epinette. His minimalist style is an ideal match to Ms. Feeney’s vision.
Another thing that has happened is she also looks for opportunities to collaborate with outside interests to bring scent into new venues. For Sunflower Pop the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is the partner. Ms. Feeney is tasked with creating a perfume which captures the vibrancy of sunflowers in the wild and on canvas.
When you’re standing in a field of actual flowers or gazing at a Van Gogh still life the one thing which leaps out is the intense yellow of the corolla. A citrus mixture of bergamot and mandarin represent that brilliance. Of course there is the dark center and so M. Epinette adds in a touch of passionfruit to create a deeper shading to the citrus. Instead of sunlight it seems more attuned to the yellow petals.
It is the heart where the “pop” in the title occurs. M. Epinette constructs a Bellini accord with peach lactone and aldehydes. This is a fizzy piece of fun. The smile that looking at sunflowers brings to your face. Plum blossom and orris add the same kind of depth that the passionfruit did in the top accord. Together the citrus and Bellini make as audible a pop as the prosecco used to make the cocktail.
The base is focused on the sweetly animalic honey. M. Epinette uses just enough so that the subtle growl is apparent. Some musk and amber make sure it doesn’t disappear. This is that moment as the sunflower is past its peak when the snap of the early color has given way to slightly droopy gold.
Sunflower Pop has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
Given the freedom of imagination Ms. Feeney and M. Epinette have created a lively vivid example of what a sunflower should smell like.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Sephora.