Saturday Question: What Was The Best Fireworks You’ve Ever Seen? (And Perfume To Go With It)

Following great tradition started by two wonderful bloggers, Birgit (Olfactoria’s Travels) and Portia (Australian Perfume Junkies), once a week I or one of the guest writers will keep the lights on in this virtual leaving room, but I hope that you, my friends and readers, will engage in conversation not only with me or the other host, but also with each other.


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #19:

What Was The Best Fireworks You’ve Ever Seen? (And Perfume To Go With It)

For the half of my readers today is just another summer day. For me (and those who live in the U.S.) this 4th of July is going to be the strangest in … probably our lives (definitely, in all my years in the U.S.): all fireworks in the country have been canceled because of Covid-19, and the celebration will be happening mostly online.

So, since we can’t have real fireworks, I decided to dedicate this Saturday Question to your memories of fireworks. What was the best fireworks you’ve ever seen? Where was it? When? Which perfumes would you characterize as or associate with fireworks – loud, sparkling, explosive?

My Answer

I love fireworks. When I was growing up, those were rare: we had them once a year for the Victory Day (a holiday that commemorated the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945). City where I lived had those fireworks every year on the city square – the eighth biggest city square in Europe. For a child, those seemed grand and impressive. But even as I got older, I remember being completely smitten by the domes of lights falling down on us as we stood at that square.

When we moved to a quiet North California suburbs, the first year our friends took us to the 4th of July celebration fireworks over water, I was disappointed beyond belief: those limp shots happening every 10-15 seconds, one, sometimes two at a time, could barely qualify as fireworks. Over years, I learned that this was how those were done in small cities around where I live now. To this day I do not agree with a 20-minutes shooting of a single charge at a time leading to 30 seconds of something that looks like fireworks as I understand that word. I would have preferred 5 minutes of intense, big, bright and loud – real fireworks. But with crowds gathering to hold a good spot for viewing a couple of hours before the event, 5 minutes would seem like a bad bargain – so, until the last year they kept doing it in exactly that manner. And I kept watching it every year.

And then one year our friend who was into sailing invited us to join him on a boat for a water fireworks show for the KFOG radio station KaBoom concert. I didn’t know what to expect, so everything what happened was a huge surprise. I’m sure, it looked great from the shore, but from where we were on the yacht it was magnificent. Fireworks were happening just above us. Firefall streaming from the sky: just mesmerizing! It was the best fireworks I’ve ever seen.




I thought for a while about which perfume I would associate with fireworks. Surprisingly, it wasn’t easy, which is strange since I like loud and striking perfumes. But I fond one: Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle. I know that this is not an image that this perfume traditionally evokes, but it is one of the loudest perfumes I own and wear (I’m not counting Angel since I do not wear it any more – otherwise that shooting star would have been my choice).


Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady

Now, it’s your turn.

What Was The Best Fireworks You’ve Ever Seen? What Perfume(s) Would You Associate With It?

Images: my own. Fireworks photo is from that KaBoom event

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43 thoughts on “Saturday Question: What Was The Best Fireworks You’ve Ever Seen? (And Perfume To Go With It)

  1. The fireworks here in New York were not fully cancelled this year, but there were changes. It was decided that instead of having the huge display in the East River that usually lasts half hour, 5 minute displays would take place on each borough every night for the past 6 nights to avoid crowds. The exact locations were never announced in advanced. Tonight, it will be the last one.
    Living in New York most of my life, I can say that I love the fireworks here in the city and I consider them the best compared to other US cities. When I was younger I never miss a year. These days when I am not fond of crowds anymore I watch them on TV. I never thought of a perfume, but since the 4th of July is always a very hot and humid day here I would probably go with something bright, cheerful or perhaps refreshing like Ormonde Jayne Ta’if or Perfum d’Empire Corsica Furiosa.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love watching all the fireworks from round the world on Tv on New Years Eve.
    Several years ago I was in London .It was the day of the Lord Mayor’s Show. My friend and I watched the fireworks on the Thames from the terrace of Somerset House
    I can’t think of a perfume at the moment,but will be interested in others choices.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Happy 4th July!

    I guess I haven’t seen a bigger fireworks display than the one in Disney as a child. Although I want to experience yacht fidewariks now!

    The closest thing I have to a fitting perfume would be another Frédéric Malle, Superstitious. A big, bright jasmine.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Without a doubt the best fireworks I’ve ever seen were in Paris on July 14th, Bastille Day. It is far more opulent than anything I’ve seen in North America, going on for an hour with music. My very best memory was the fireworks commemorating the 50th anniversary of WWII Victory. It was at the Trocadero. All the lights went out on the Eiffel Tower and air raid sirens went off, then fireworks shot left and right like bombardments. Suddenly Edith Piaf was singing Sous le Ciel de Paris. Then Judy Garland singing Over the Rainbow with a rainbow of fireworks across the Trocadero. The whole thing was stunning, mesmerizing. I will never forget being there in that beautiful moment, in a huge crowd of people, effervescent with excitement.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve just spent 30 minutes watching last year’s Bastille Day fireworks and lights show. Magnificent! Tomorrow I’ll try to find the one for the 50th Victory anniversary. But of course, even with a good quality video, it’s not the same as being there.


    • Hmm, for the perfume I’d go with Immortal Beloved, or that fizzy chestnut one from SSS. Aldehydes definitely needed, though there again Black Powder by that line we saw in Selfridges with the juke box theme would work as a gunpowder kind of accompaniment!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Zambelli Fireworks was founded near Pittsburgh so we have a long history of amazing fireworks shows – they used to have small displays every weekend along the river. The biggest I remember seeing was during the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta – which ran to six figures in the past, apparently. But the best show I remember is the 4th of July over Waikiki Beach that we saw from a boat – perhaps not the longest or most spectacular but the best family memory. Perfume-wise – I’m going with Bronze Goddess because it brings Hawaii back for me!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I knew nothing about Zambelli Fireworks before your comment. Now I spent some time reading and watching some of the examples. Very interesting!
      Bronze Goddess is Hawaii for me as well.


  6. Happy July 4th!

    Canada day was July 1, and there are no fireworks this year because of Covid.

    One year my friend and I were to be bridesmaids for the wedding from heck. it was New Year’s eve and we were dreading the end of July wedding. I had bought lobsters, for a treat, so we were having a midnight snack of lobsters and champagne, and we heard a crack. We went to my kitchen window, which was on the top floor of a high building, on a high hill over looking a harbour, and the fireworks were going off. So not a huge display like what some people are describing-but unexpected, and wonderful.

    My firecracker perfume-some thing beautiful and brilliant-maybe Fleur de Cassie. I got some samples way back in 2001, and expected to love Carnal Flower. It’s beautiful, but not for me. The Fleur de Cassie, on the other hand, was perfect. I don’t get why people think it’s difficult or smells like wet paper-to be it just smells glorious, like a fantastic French perfume :)

    Liked by 3 people

    • How was that end of July wedding, BTW? (Just curious :) ).

      Carnal Flower didn’t work for me either, and I like Fleur de Cassie and have a travel spray of it, but it doesn’t always work for me: sometimes it smells “dirty” – I can’t explain better.


      • oooh-the father of the bride had a slip of the tongue, and called it “the funeral’ by accident-kind of tells you everything you need to know :)


        • I’m sorry you had to live through that, but your story made a small company to chuckle (on a long and slightly boring car trip I just had to share why I was giggling reading my phone). So, thank you :)


  7. Count me among the lovers of fireworks here! The best I’ve seen in real life were in Washington, D.C., when we visited friends over the Fourth of July holiday many years ago. We watched the fireworks over the Mall from the bridge that leads to Arlington National Cemetery over the Potomac River. But the most spectacular Fourth of July celebration I remember was the Parade of Tall Ships on the Hudson River in 1976, for the Bicentennial.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The best fireworks show I’ve seen was in Nagaoka, Japan for Matsuri festival in early August. Many years ago I visited and my friends bought tickets for good seats (first come first serve on the grass). The show lasted 2 hours and was spectacular, with a finale of a row of giant spherical fireworks.
    For today, in Massachusetts, USA (not sure if there will be fireworks – probably yes) I’m wearing a sample of Olé! by Ramón Monegal. A big pineapple.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m not sure I’m prepared to watch 2 hours of fireworks… Maybe with good music (and probably some wine ;) ).
      Pineapple in perfumes? Not sure if I’ve ever smelled any perfume with this note, but theoretically it’s not something I want to smell like. Did you like it?


  9. Like pl67 I was born and raised in NYC. Best fireworks ever was 1985 overlooking the East River from the Queens side…. spectacular view. I was wearing Nocturnes de Caron.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Why 1985? Was it some special occasion (for fireworks or for you personally)? Or did you not watch fireworks since then? Or did they get less impressive over time?


  10. Best fireworks for me were Washington, D.C. July 4th fireworks in the 1980’s. My husband and I lived in Arlington, VA, just across the Potomac River from D.C. and we could watch the beautiful fireworks from our balcony. It was gorgeous, seeing the fireworks exploding over the Washington Monument and reflected in the river. Really great memory.
    Second best fireworks were at my son’s wedding in Cancun a couple of years ago. Gorgeous fireworks over the ocean.
    Fireworks perfume, Tyrannosaurus Rex by Zoologist. This baby exploded in my nose, in my face, I felt like I was in a scent bomb blast. I didn’t really like it, but it had the fireworks effect!
    Beautiful fireworks, on the other hand, occur when I spray my Diptyque Essences Insensee’ Rose de Mai. Stunning! Feels like I am surrounded by falling rose petals when I spray on this beauty.
    Hope everyone has a happy 4th!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m curious: for the wedding, is that a special service you can order? Do they have designated spots where it can happen? How do you order it? By minute? By shot? As a package?


  11. Martha‘s Vineyard 1989. the Four Seasons Fireworks. Each season represented by different colours. Winter was all white and silver and huge and beautiful. Hmmmmm. A perfume? I have to copy Tara. Superstitious. Perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I need to read-test Superstitious: I remember it smelled good on Tara, but I don’t remember how exactly it smelled.

      I like the idea with 4 seasons. It can be paired perfectly with music. And probably with perfumes as well :)

      Liked by 1 person

  12. A long time ago in Santa Barbara, CA. We were on a boat in Santa Barbara Harbor. The harbor was filled with all sorts of boats, all their lights twinkling in the dark. The fireworks were directly over us. It was incredible!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect we had similar experiences. I have several more pictures with lights-lit boats – and it was long before “live” pictures on iPhone, so I had to time those shots well.


  13. My favorite fireworks would be pretty much any of the shows I saw while living in the UAE. They always seemed to find an excuse to have fireworks there and they were always over the top. The shows where they would light them off from the Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building) were always so impressive but, even the nightly shows for the heritage festival or global village festival were well done. And I completely agree small town US shows can be highly disappointing once you have seen the big ones with non stop lights and sparkles. But there is still something magical about them even when small.

    I always try to wear Tommy Girl on the 4th of July because it seems “All American” to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For a couple of decades, even though I know what it will be like, I still usually cannot stY completely away from 4th of July fireworks. This year I was really angry with all people who were shooting illegal fireworks: not even because it’s a fire hazard but because I can’t just hear the shots without trying to locate them on the sky – and those small private ones aren’t visible. So, it felt like they were teasing me. But watching streaming of the NY fireworks helped a little;)


  14. Hey Undina,
    I’m ambivalent about fireworks. LOVE watching them and get ridiculously excited if they are good. On the flip side they are enormous generators of terrible stuff for our atmosphere and I always watch them thinking “there goes all my hard work at trying to minimise my footprint.”
    There have been quite a few amazing displays in my life but the ones that always come to mind were in the early 2000s. I was helping host New Years Eve celebrations on the rooftop of the Museum of Contemporary Art next to Circular Quay on Sydney Harbour. We were on the 6th floor, I think, and we could see the Harbour Bridge on our left, then right up the harbour. Behind us were buildings with fireworks displays as well. It was unbelievable, we were right in the middle of it all and they were awe inspiring. It left us all breathless. Perfect way to end and start a year.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved this description. I’m so intrigued by your country. Also, thank you for reviewing Vanille Charnal from AG-I bought a bottle. I remember seeing this series, and then it was gone-no fan fare, nothing. I hope it’s good :)


    • I’m too tired to go and read about it now, but do you know for a fact that those fireworks are anything at all compared to the daily pollution from cars, planes and all types of manufacturing? How about an offset from all the people who watch fireworks (plus spending a couple of additional hours before an after) instead of staying at home and watching TV?
      I need to think about it :)


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