Orchids That Never Wither

After telling you the story of my fascination with orchids and unrequited love to them, I kept thinking that there were many aspects that I haven’t touched but which would have added more proofs to how I feel about these flowers. Not that it would matter to them. In human interactions that would definitely have the opposite effect and could even be classified as stalking but I don’t expect a restraining order from these majestic flowers so let me share with you how I deal with my orchid fixation.

Before I went down the proverbial rabbit hole and started stocking up on bottles, decants and samples on a SABLE scale (Stash Above and Beyond Life Expectancy ©Vanessa’s SIL), for a while I was into a costume jewelry. I liked and wore different pendants, necklaces and rings before that period and do it now, but for several years I was in the phase of the initial accumulation of costume jewelry to match things in my wardrobe.

There are some one-off, rare, vintage as well as “cheap thrills” pieces in my jewelry collection, but the same way as it often happens with perfume collections, when you end up with multiple bottles from the brand you like, my jewelry box (both real and proverbial) accumulated multiple creations by artists or brands that I like. But even that cannot explain why I own not two or even three but four (!) necklaces depicting orchids. I didn’t realize it until I was writing that first orchid post. Let me show you my orchids. And, unlike their living prototypes, they never wilt on me!

When I fell in love with Michael Michaud‘s botanical jewelry, it was mostly available from art galleries, boutiques and just a couple of online retailers. Now search returns pages and pages of sites where you can buy these beautiful creations.

Michael Michaud White Orchid Neckklace

This white orchid necklace made from patinaed bronze with a pearl was one of the first pieces by the artist I bought. I can’t say that I liked it the most of what was available then (he constantly changes the range introducing new items and retiring older ones) but it was a good price… So was the second orchid necklace (bronze with hand-applied patina and enamel) that I bought last year: I saw it on eBay right before my Hawaiian vacation and just couldn’t pass.

Michael Michaud Banana Split Orchid Neckklace

Chico’s clothing has never been my thing but for a while I was fascinated with the jewelry selection in the local store. Since then I found several Chico’s necklaces I liked and bought. They are not extremely elegant or subtle but I like them and they get me more compliments than my more sophisticated pieces (didn’t we all had similar experiences with mainstream perfumes in our collections?). One of these necklaces just happened to be another orchid (metal with enamel). And it seems Rusty likes it as well.

Rusty and Chico's Orange Orchid Necklace

My most favorite of all orchid necklaces is the one by Franz Collection (I’ve previously features another necklace from the same brand – an iris one – in my In the Search for the Perfect Iris post). It’s made of porcelain and it looks exactly like it does on the picture below (I took a picture myself but then decided to use an official one because mine wasn’t doing the necklace justice).

Franz Design Green Orchid Necklace

Finally, I’d like to play my own “LUST – MUST” game (I hope you’re familiar with the concept).

There’s a new Orchid jewelry line from my favorite designer Michael Aram. I don’t think I’ll be buying any of these but I enjoy looking at them.

Michael Aram Orchid Jewelry

While Aram’s jewelry is outside of my purchasing comfort zone, his home collection is much more approachable. A couple of years ago my vSO gave me a diffuser from Aram’s Black Orchid collection as a New Year gift (I showed the picture of it in the post How Do You Take Your Amber?). And for the last New Year I got from him a candle from the same collection. I haven’t tried lighting it yet but unlit it smells nice.

Michael Aram Black Orchid Candle

Do you own any botanical jewelry?


Images: white orchid necklace, Chico’s necklace and black orchid candle are my own; the rest – official pictures.


How Do You Take Your Amber?

We had a really strange winter this year*: it has never actually got cold. When I say “cold” I mean, of course, our Californian cold – something like 10C/50F. Instead of it the average high temperature in February, for example, was 16C/60F. I’m not really complaining especially after hearing about record levels of snow and cold weather all over the world. After all, no matter how much I realize that warm weather in absence of rain makes our drought situation even worse, objectively if feels nice.

But there was one serious negative consequence for me: this past winter I couldn’t wear almost any of my favorite amber perfumes. Even though I do not do a conscious season rotation of perfumes, my wearing habits gravitate towards the commonly accepted practice of lighter scents in summer and heavier members of my collection in winter. So the only amber I wear in hot weather is my amber necklace.

Amber Necklace

As winter approached I was eager to start wearing my favorite ambers again. The first disappointment came when I put on Ambre Russe by Parfum d’Empire. This perfume was on my “to buy” list for a couple of years so I decided to finish the sample I had and finally buy a bottle. Actually, I would have bought it not waiting for the last drop to leave the sample vial if it weren’t for an unavailability of more reasonable 50 ml bottles. Now I think that maybe it was a sign: the last time I wore it from the sample I felt almost like washing it off. Now I’m not sure any more if I even want it.

After that I was very careful approaching the rest of the usual suspects: Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens, Ambre Fetishe by Annick Gotal, Amber Absolute by Tom Ford and Mitzah by Dior – each got just one wear, if that. I didn’t dislike them but I didn’t get the same warm feeling I used to get from them before. Even L’eau d’Ambre Extreme by L’Artisan Parfumeur felt too heavy for the weather.

There were just a couple of ambers that worked better and didn’t scare me. Unexpectedly, two of those were Ambre Orient by Armani Prive and Amber Oud from By Kilian. I am surprised because both have agarwood – the note that is difficult for me. But this time amber + agarwood combination seemed exactly what I needed. One more perfume that suddenly came into favor was Calamity J by Juliette Has A Gun. After I deplete the decant I will consider adding a bottle to my collection.

Despite all that I had more amber in my life this winter than ever before: last New Year I’ve got a gift from my vSO – Black Orchid Diffuser Set from my favorite designer Michael Aram. I’ve never had a diffuser before but was glad to get this one since I have some other items from this collection. Official notes are citrus, floral notes, tropical fruits, cedar, sandalwood and musk but for my nose it smells like a light amber perfume. And for a while, until I realized from where that wonderful scent was coming, I tried to figure out which of my perfumes left those traces and, which was even more important, where?!

Michael Aram Black Orchid Diffuser

So this year I take my amber light or very light. And, it seems, with agarwood. But I really hope that next year I’ll be able to enjoy the “heavy hitters” (© Olfactoria, Queen of Amber) again.


How do you take your amber nowadays?

* Ines recently started her post with the exact phrase but I swear I had this part already written by the time I read her post.


Images: my own