I breathed a gentle fragrance – April Aromatics

By Asali

We all know the feeling; so much to do, so much we want to do, and yet there seems to be not enough hours in the day, days in the week etc, to do all that. I was actually in the privileged situation that Ines wanted me to write here on her blog, and it would have been a very suitable time to ‘help out’, since she’s busy with her thesis. But I just couldn’t find the space, neither in my diary nor in my head to write something, and that, although I wasn’t short of things that I wanted to write.

One of the things that I have wanted to write about, are the perfumes of April Aromatics. However, I got a bit carried away with one of them. So, I’ll save the others for another time.

April Aromatics are organic perfumes from Berlin based perfumer Tanja Bochnig. I first read about Tanja’s perfumes at another blog, where all her fragrances were listed with a mini review of each. One particularly seemed to be calling my name, not as usual because of the description or the notes as such, but the name; it was called ‘Unter den Linden’. This name associated so many stories for me that, wanting to refer to some of them now, I hardly know where to start, or how to explain the deep strings it tucks at with me.

First of all, the famous Boulevard in Berlin, the place where for the last three and a half centuries Berliners and visitors alike have been taking their Sunday strolls. It’s also the calling name for the famous old Statsoper Berlin, also called Staatsoper Unter den Linden (as opposed to the (former)West- Berlin opera called Deutsche Oper Berlin), in short Unter den Linden.  Any musician talking about Unter den Linden will be referring to this historic house. Then there are the numerous poetic references to lime tree in the German literature as being the tree of love. From Walter von der Vogelweide’s (1170-1230) ‘Unter den Linden’ to the Romantic poetry, the lime tree becomes the symbol of love and harmony, the place where lovers meet, below the lime trees. Perhaps most famous of all is Müller’s poem from Schubert’s Winterreise ‘Der Lindenbaum’ or ‘Am Brunnen von dem Tore’ as it’s called when sung as a simple strophic version of Schubert’s more complicated artsong. My own favourite song of lime trees is Mahler’s interpretation of a Rückert poem ‘Ich atmet’ einen linden duft’ (I breathed a gentle fragrance), where Rückert plays with the different meanings of the word Linde in German to make it respectively; the twig of lime blossoms, gentle, soothing or with ease. It is also under the lime tree that the thwarted lover seeks and finds eternal peace (as in ‘Am Brunnen…’, or another Mahler song ‘Die zwei blauen Augen’).  So there is also sadness in this idyll. You probably see where this is going…

UdL has a lovely fresh citrusy opening, like the first linden blossoms still light and gentle. As the fragrance warms on the skin, you feel other blossoms coming out to play, here I especially smell a rounded mimosa; but like with the bergamot in the beginning, it feels like they are there to add to the true nature of the linden scent, rather than wanting to take over from it. There is never any of that heavy summer drunkenness of the lime, it’s the early excitement of the first curious flowers all dewy fresh in their loveliness, and only slightly sweet. Now and again I feel as if a tiny bit of twig found its way into the perfume as well, as if in homeopathic style the flowers would still remember the tree which they grew from. The fragrance shimmers as if you were walking underneath the lime trees, the sun shining through the heart-shaped leaves, between lightness and sweetness, playfulness and reflection.

Unter den Linden manages to be calm yet uplifting, and joyous yet melancholic. It’s an adorably beautiful Linden Duft, and just perfect these days as we long for warmer and gentler weather.

“Unter den Linden” spoke to me from the first moment, the name alone, I wanted a perfume with that name, and it was everything I hoped for and more too, and I’m delighted that it found me. That’s one happy linden-love story.

Notes for Unter den Linden from Tanja’s webpage; Linden blossom, Mimosa, Honey, Bergamot and Gardenia (and confirmed no twigs in thereJ) and can be purchased at

http://www.aprilaromatics.com/

As a little aside UdL has just been nominated for a Prix de Parfum Artistique.
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16 thoughts on “I breathed a gentle fragrance – April Aromatics

  1. Suzanne March 12, 2012 at 16:44 Reply

    "Now and again I feel as if a tiny bit of twig found its way into the perfume as well, as if in homeopathic style the flowers would still remember the tree which they grew from."How beautifully stated, Asali. This sounds like such a gentle, pretty fragrance. And thank you for explaining the association to the opera house in Berlin … I can understand how this fragrance has many lovely associations for you in particular.

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  2. Asali March 13, 2012 at 00:52 Reply

    Thank you Suzanne, it really is very beautiful, and nicknaming an opera Unter den Linden, is a bit more poetic than say 'the met' 😉

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  3. Olfactoria's Travels March 13, 2012 at 10:47 Reply

    Asali,I can't say how much this post touched me. I associate many of the same things with that beautiful name as you do, and some things can be expressed so well in the German language, like that Rückert poem illustrates.Thank you for this, it brightened my morning.

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  4. tara March 13, 2012 at 11:59 Reply

    What an absolutely gorgeous review, Asali! Loved learning so much about all the associations this perfume and it's name has for you. It does indeed sound perfect for this time of year.

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  5. Ines March 13, 2012 at 12:07 Reply

    I completely agree with everyone's comments. 🙂 This review is just lovely – and well, now I want some Unter den Linden. I grew up with a lime tree in my yard and it is THE smell of my childhood, the one that makes me smile and feel like I have no worries in my life.

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  6. Asali March 13, 2012 at 13:25 Reply

    Dear Olfactoria, it made *my* morning that my writings touched you, that truly means a lot to me. And I am glad to know you get many of the same associations, Rückert especially, whoes poetry I adore, as I do the German language.

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  7. Asali March 13, 2012 at 13:31 Reply

    Thank you so much Tara, I am very happy that you enjoyed it:-) Sometimes it's like that with perfumes, and then I feel so privileged to be able to share that, and even happier that it's also appreciated.

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  8. Asali March 13, 2012 at 13:46 Reply

    Ines, I know how special the scent of linden is to you, I am sure you would enjoy this perfume very much alone for that reason (sorry for creating a lemming for you ;-)). Thank you for being so sweet and supportive:-)

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  9. Vanessa March 14, 2012 at 19:52 Reply

    I loved your review, which was enriched by your own connections with the opera world.As for me, I love linden and I love Berlin. Indeed I shall be back there in April and will see if I can track this range down. Thanks so much for the heads up!

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  10. Asali March 14, 2012 at 21:48 Reply

    Thank you Vanessa, I am happy that you too love Berlin and linden- a winning combo it seems:-)Do track Tanja's perfumes down, and make sure you try her 'liquid dreams', I think you'd really appreciate that one too. I hope you'll let me (or us all in your travel-oges?) know how you fare.

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  11. Natalie March 15, 2012 at 02:32 Reply

    Like some of the other commenters, this reviewed touched me, but because I don't have any of these associations. You made it clear even to me what makes this fragrance special. Thanks, Asali!

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  12. Asali March 15, 2012 at 17:43 Reply

    Natalie, I'm happy that my associations could touch you, even if/ or exactly because they weren't yours, thank you for letting me know 🙂 BTW your new blog-look is awesome.

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  13. Undina March 18, 2012 at 03:24 Reply

    Asali, it is such a beautiful review! I love linden blossom scent, it has also so many different associations for me. I will definitely try to get a sample of this perfume.

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  14. Asali March 18, 2012 at 21:12 Reply

    Thank you so much Undina, when you love linden blossom I really think you should try this one. I think that in the states AA/ Tanja B sells at etsy, but I'm not entirely sure, you can always ask at the link provided.

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  15. […] friend Asali wrote a fantastic review about this perfume on Ines’s blog All I Am – A Redhead. I let her speak here, because I […]

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  16. […] All I Am – A Redhead […]

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