By Elio Iannacci Bond mania is upon us. Skyfall, the…
After berries, peaches, apples, the newest fruit to gain favour with perfumers is the aromatic, juicy pear.
I’m not a big fruit eater. Given the choice, my breakfast options are less fruit salad and more Eggs Benedict any day of the week. And yet, a little pear at breakfast, in its simplicity, is divine. Sliced over salad, incorporated into a main course, or even juiced in a summertime cocktail: Delicious. Juicy and green, crisp and fragrant, it’s also a delightful option to spritz on, perfume-wise. Yes, pear perfumes are newly in vogue.
Pear perfumes for the present
“The popularity of fragrance ingredients goes in cycles,” explains Paula Pulvino, the founder, Villa of the Mysteries Perfume (VOTM) in Brooklyn, New York. “While always a part of a perfumer’s palette, pear had a bit of a moment in the late ’90s, early 2000s and so now seems poised for a comeback as a featured perfume ingredient in compositions.”
Described as a sweet, refined and fruity note, the pear has been favoured for it is a green and slightly less starchy essence than say, the apple. This might explain its pervasiveness in eaus past, such as in Ultra Male by Jean Paul Gaultier and Burberry Woman by Burberry in 1995, Sheer Halston by Halston in 1998, and Tresor In Love by Lancôme in 2010.
And while notes of peach, grapefruit and berries do their best to add a juicy flavour to perfume, the pear provides a new-ness that feels fresh and perennial to current fragrance wearers. Consider the prevalence of starched white shirts worn by models walking down the runways of Vera Wang, Amanda Wakely and Zac Posen this season, and we see the pear as perfectly apropos for it too is a symbol of clean, of new beginnings and of spring.
“It represents that simplicity in fashion and in fragrance,” affirms Pulvino. “It’s a note that can be used for a subtle, straightforward and uncomplicated effect.”
Thanks to its versatility, perfumers have long manipulated the pear note in multiple ways. Christian Dior J’Adore offers a sparkling and luminous rendition for women. Hermes Un Jardin Sur le Toit suits both sexes with its fruity/floral garden appeal. Miller Harris Poirier d’un Soir combines a boozy pear replete with birch tar, while Jo Malone offers a floral composition in the English Pear and Freesia cologne.
Pear perfumes, this season
“The pear note invites a constant reinvention of itself in fragrance, as its subtleness can be combined in any number of ways with many other notes, and perfumers are experimenting with that effect again,” Pulvino says.
This season’s latest pear offerings include Marc Jacobs Pear Splash, a light and aromatic incarnation of its 2008 predecessor; Givenchy Live Irresistible Eau de Toilette, which possesses a mysterious spicy-sweetness; and Guerlain Pera Granita of the Aqua Allegoria collection, which is a light and nuanced, aquatic pear sorbet.
“The pear has taken a more prominent place in fragrances, so once again, it feels new,” — Paula Pulvino
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