Traversee me up, Scottie

I was standing on my back porch trying not to inhale while I brushed fur from the cats’ rugs before washing them. Life was dull, and my sample of L’Artisan’s Traversee de Bosphore had still not arrived. But hurrah! The puppy-like roar of the postman’s little motor bike announced that this could be the day, and thankfully it was. I was feeling like you could traversee me anywhere just then, and the Bosphorus would do just fine.

My initial impression of Traversee was one of disappointment. I had been expecting leather and iris but I got little of the former and none of the latter. I was sad about that because they had sounded so intriguing combination with the fruit and Turkish delight which my brain does register very loudly. I had to tell myself that those darker notes must be there, grounding and providing structure to what would otherwise be just sticky syrupy fruit.

I had a colleague once who would travel to Turkey once a year for work and would bring us all back a box of Turkish delight. This was very generous, but the price to be paid was listening to his annual lecture about how this was genuine Turkish delight because it included pistachio nuts and was dusted with confectioner’s sugar. A far cry from that chocolate coated stuff you buy in the supermarket, he always said. I was never brave enough to advertise my plebeian tastes by remarking that I adore the chocolate version. A bar of Fry’s Turkish Delight, gobbled in a few greedy bites, has helped me through many sticky situations. I liked the ‘genuine‘ Turkish delight but the pistachios would catch in my throat and make me cough.

Actually, according to Wikipedia, the Turkish delight most favoured in Turkey consists almost solely of chopped dates, pistachios and hazelnuts or walnuts. It seems that it is Westerners, including my credulous colleague, who prefer the jellied sort. Likewise, Traversee du Bosphore is surely a dream of Turkey. Our own dee found it evoked for her not Turkey so much as

the courtyard of an English manor on a brisk fall morning just moments before the hunt.

L’Artisan claims of course that the fragrance captures ‘the scent of a languorous day exploring the narrow streets and influences of Istanbul’. Well, I’ve never been to Istanbul but I reckon there are as many sky scrapers and shopping malls there as in any capital city, and as far as I know they don’t smell of anything very much except stale air conditioning.

Still, perfume is about fantasy. Jacques Polge apparently said of his famous oriental for Chanel that Coco was his interpretation of an Orient which begins and ends in Venice. When writing about Escale a Portofino Luca Turin suggested that the Portofino of today is not necessarily one we would really want to escale to. And, well, there might be a stinking alley behind 31 rue Cambon but I couldn’t care less.

I’m still not sure about the opening of Traversee du Bosphore. Perhaps it will be better for me in cooler weather. I’m thinking of Sonoma Scent Studio’s Femme Jolie (sadly discontinued), a combination of fruit, spice and cedar which for me it is unwearable in the summer. I lose the cedar and get lots of jam. What I do love in TdB is the waft of the drydown – not so sweet, but woodsy, nutty and creamy. Beautiful, as I’m sure Istanbul must be too.

10 thoughts on “Traversee me up, Scottie

  1. This was pure pleasure to read Anne-Marie; thank you! The first paragraph especially, so visually resonant; I felt both the dullness and the thrill of hearing the motorbike approaching… I love the sound of an approaching mailman!!!!

    TdB is an odd little ducky, but one that I really love 🙂

    1. Thanks dee, that para got written and re-written a few times. Sadly the postman also delivered a couple of those envelopes with windows in them. Nothing nice ever comes out of them.

      1. Haha, so they have window envelopes in Australia too, eh? I guess I need to rethink my escape plan 😉

        Revision, revision, revision… pays off. I was bragging to my husband earlier today about how lucky I am to have such a talented team-mate!

  2. What a lovely visit and thinking through of Traversee de Bosphore. I wish I had been able to linger enough to come up with such a thoughtful rumination; as I recall, I sprayed it, and yelped “that’s sweet!” and then spent more than an hour tormenting my companions with reports of its continuing sweetness.

    Yes, I even held up my patch of skin and said “smell this!” They agreed; it had gone quite sweet on me. To what extent the agreement was based on what the smelled or their desire to see me get over it already, I do not know. 😉

    I may go back and try again. Maybe.

      1. Thanks ScentScelf, I held up my wrist to my 12 y.o. son and he grunted: ‘Errr … chocolates or lollies or something … ‘. Yup, pretty much, at that point. (It did improve but it took a good hour or so.) We perfumistas must be painful company at times!

    1. I don’t know Drole de Rose, but if that’s a candied violet in there, I’d not like much. I like mine wet and earthy. Thanks for your comment.


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