Queen Maria of Romania, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England and Russian Tsar Nicolai the II-nd is our muse. Regarded as the most elegant princess of her time, it was her writing that triggered the inspiration for the Florae Parfum.
Starting with her childhood memories “of humid, dried leaves”, “smoke”, “vegetable gardens”, “rotten potatoes”, “old hessian bags”, “the sweet violet”, “the laurel”, “the huge cedar in front of the house”, the lake belonging to the residence in England, the fruits gathered from the orchards were she was visiting with her pony Isabelle, and right to the smell of basil and orange flower from her mother’s boudoir, the base of her perfume was laid same as the most distant memories that sit always furthest, at the back of our minds.
In her lengthy walks, Her Majesty always paid attention to nature, the caprifolium fences with the fragrant honeysuckle flowers, “ the grand magnolia with smell like lemon”, “passiflora”, “jasmine”, “the primulas coming out of the dead leaves”, or the “rosa gallica, pink and fresh” associated by the queen with the image of a fairy.
She was fascinated by her mother’s boudoir, with the perfume flacons, soaps, crèmes, rose water, the ricin pastilles, or the iris powder sachets from Florence, the same place from where today we are getting the orris butter used in our perfumes.
While still a youth in England, the Queen falls in love with the linden flower, a smell that she recalls while visiting Iasi, a city in north-east Romania and the capital of Moldova at the time. The “black salsify from Osborne”, or the smell ”of the white beer soup, sweet and with raisins”, the Baumkuchen-“ the brown cake covered in sugar”, the smell of the lilies, for which the queen made almost an obsession, or that of the roses full of dew that she planted in all her gardens, all are a part of her extraordinary life. She remembers the smell of the English fog, her father’s tobacco and a heavy Russian perfume, all of which are found in the perfume alongside the wet England nature, but also the lush Romanian earth in spring, represented with oakmoss, vetiver, sandalwood, and hyrax, which is an African ingredient that so well depicts fields of grass from spring to autumn.
And because the queen also loved the perfume of lady Emma Osborne with the lemony scent, and while in her time in Malta she was surrounded by jasmines, geraniums, white chrysanthemums, anemones, bougainvillea and citrus trees, a world which she called “of dream”, the petitgrain with its green tint was added to the neroli, the zest of lemon and mandarins, over the geranium and the Egyptian and the Sambac jasmines…
She loved the English opera and the theatres where “you could smell the bouquets of red, velvety and very opened roses” for which, the noble damascena and centifolia roses were added.
The perfume mentions also the scent of the churches with the frankincense and narcissus used at ceremonies, “the carnations, violets, basil and mock orange flowers” given to the Queen by a monk from the Cernica monastery, or the jams and apples from the nuns of the Pasarea monastery where it smelled like smoke. It did not forget the smell of spring and its flowers, the tulips and the hyacinth, the acacia or the fruit trees in flower, with the pepper and violets from Malta planted by her mother, Her Imperial Highness the Dutches of Edinburgh.
“La princesse lointaine” as the Queen was often called in her youth for the reason that she lived in the far and wild Romania, was renowned for her beauty and elegance. She was always surrounded by flowers in her quarters and in her gardens, at the Cotroceni Palace, Peles Castle, at the Balcici summer residence, or everywhere she lived even if for just a little while.
She earned the name of “the Queen of Gardens” and for us she will always be the Queen of Flowers.
Florae is presented as a multi floral bouquet parfum extract.
All quotes are form Her Majesty Queen Maria of Romania’s writings.
“After the war, the passion for gardening came towards me with a power I have never known before. Flowers everywhere, in gardens, in houses, in hospitals, in every single corner of the street, flowers, flowers as a sign of hope and faith. And after this, I created gardens everywhere I went, colourful gardens, memory gardens, for happiness and for beauty”
– from the autobiography “The Story of My Life” written by Her Majesty Queen Maria of Romania