The Tulip

I love flowers.

On the morning of my birthday I’ve got the most beautiful bouquet from my vSO delivered to our house. The same evening for the party many of my friends brought me more flowers. Mostly roses. One of them, V. decided to be original: he brought me a bouquet consisting of a single tulip.

It was a wonderful party, we came home late, tired and with an armful of flowers. As quickly as I could, I found vases for all the flowers so that they would not die and we were off to bed.

TulipFor the next couple of weeks I was throwing away all the beautiful flowers as they were wilting. And only the tulip was holding up stoically in its vase on a mantel shelf (high away from my cat’s reach). I didn’t remember tulips being that lasting but I was glad it outlived roses, lilies and other more noble flowers. I didn’t dare to check how firm it still was having experienced on more than one occasion that one touch was all a tulip needed to become a pile of petals. Even my vSO, usually not too observant when it comes to anything flowers-related, finally noticed an unusual longevity of this tulip. And was told immediately to not even think about touching it.

Almost four weeks after my birthday, while talking to V., I mentioned that I was still enjoying his gift and almost went on discussing how extraordinary it was but stopped because he was laughing and saying something like: “Of course! Anybody can bring a real flower but not everyone is bold enough to bring an artificial one”… He wasn’t laughing at me, he clearly thought that I knew it wasn’t a real tulip and was joking. I forced a laugh out as I was hurrying to the fireplace. Still not believing it completely I touched a pink petal…


La Tulipe by Byredo – created in 2010, notes include rhubarb, cyclamen, freesia, tulip, blonde woods and vetiver. Only reading reviews for this perfume I discovered that there were tulips that had no smell (“Contrary to popular belief, there are fragrant tulip species…”). For me, my whole life I knew that tulips smelled, I knew tulips’ scent. I remember that scent, I imagine now how exactly they smell – green, fresh, slightly bitter, more vegetal than flowery. Does La Tulipe smell like a real tulip? No. How does it smell? Green, fresh, slightly bitter, more vegetal than flowery. The ideal “idea of the tulip”. And I like it as an idea. I’m not sure if I would even like to have a more realistic tulip perfume. This one is just right. Also it has a surprising longevity for such a fresh and light scent.


I still keep that silk tulip in the same vase (I just poured water out), on the same cat-proof shelf. I know it’s not real. I’m not sure if I would even like having a real tulip there all the time: I like tulips but they are not my favorite flowers. But every time when I notice it up there I like the idea of the tulip that it represents for me. And I smile remembering its story.


One of these upcoming days my blogging friend from Another Perfume Blog is getting married and she’d chosen Byredo’s La Tulipe as her wedding scent. I got to love this perfume because of her so I dedicate this post to her and wish her a lot of happiness and love. And many more occasions to choose and wear great perfumes.


Image: my own (yes, that very tulip)


25 thoughts on “The Tulip

  1. And I was already wondering what kind of a tulipe species manages to live so long in a vase? :)
    You had me laughing when I read what exactly happened. :D

    Btw, I also got a bouquet of red tulips for my last birthday and they were absolutely gorgeous and alive for some 10 days. I’ve never gotten tulips before but now I wouldn’t mind them more often.


    • Really? Tulips weren’t popular/common in Yugoslavia? It’s really surprising for me since it was one of the most common and inexpesive flower in the USSR so I always thought of them as of commonplace flowers in Europe.


  2. Enjoyed the tale of the two illusionary tulips, Undina! I too have always known the beautiful scent of tulips so question it being a popular belief that they are scentless. I think le Tulipe will be a great wedding perfume for Anotherperfumebog and I bet she’ll love this post.


  3. Oh I would love to smell a scented tulip. The varieties we have do not have a fragrance. I plant them for one season only, our climate is too hot with mild winters. I have read to dig them up and put them in the freezer. Must investigate these scented varieties. Thank you :)


    • Now I will go around sniffing tulips I come across to see if they actually smell.
      In our area, as I heard, we have a similar problem with lilac bushes: our winters are too mild. The solution – as I read – was to put some ice on the ground around the bush 2-3 times during the winter season.


  4. Я по-русски, ладно?
    Спасибо за удовольствие от рассказа!
    Скажи, ты уже познакомилась с новым Jo Malone, диким голубым колокольчиком? Я раздумываю, стоит ли мне наскрести время, чтобы выбраться понюхать. Звучит для меня привлекательно, с нотой ландыша. Не знаешь ли ты, есть он в магазинах?


    • Don’t waste your time now for the trip. Jo Malone’s Wild Bluebell is not a limited edition so whenever you get to the store it will be there. I cannot say that I dislike it but I do not smell anything there to like or warrant a full bottle purchase. A very disappointing release.


    • Sunflowers seem very appropriate for a kitchen somehow.

      Hm… I tried to remember how sunflowers smell… I remember the scent of the fresh seeds’ part of the flower but don’t remember if the flower part itself smells.


  5. What a fun story! Artificial flowers have got better and better over the years, like so many ersatz things.

    I am not sure if I ever smelt La Tulipe, but will look out for it as it sounds really special.


        • There are not that many perfumes of which any perfumista needs 100 ml, 50 ml are more reasonable (and as I mentioned on your blog there is La Tulipe in that size), 30 ml are a much better size and 10-15 ml (“perfumista size”) would be ideal.


          • Love this one! Byredo perfume are available in a set of 3 x 12 ml. And the other scents are great too and long lasting! Nice for a group purchase!


          • You’re right, it’s not a bad option. Though I would rather go for the decant of a bigger bottle in this case: Byredo’s bottles aren’t that interesting, so choosing between better price and an original packaging I would go for the price.


  6. A very funny story – and a memory triggered with just one look at your everlasting tulip!

    I have yet to try any Byredo fragrances, but I am rather intrigued by a few of them, La Tulipe included.


    • So far I’ve tried just two of Byredo’s perfumes: La Tulipe (and it’ll be a decant for me – at least for now) and Pulp (which I found very interesting but need to test it more to see if I like it enough to go byond the sample).


  7. Pingback: Six by Byredo: Two Perfumistas’ Impressions – Undina's Looking Glass

  8. Pingback: Visiting Three Monarchies, Part 4: Perfumes I bought – Undina's Looking Glass

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