My favourite perfume of all time is Antonia’s Flowers. Created in 1984 by a florist who wanted to bottle the beautiful fragrance of her shop when she opened up in the mornings. This perfume smells gloriously of freesias and is the only perfume I have ever worn which causes people to stop me in the street to ask what perfume I am wearing. As well as freesias, it contains notes of magnolia, jasmine and lily. I cannot express how much I love this wonderful scent. I bought my first bottle when I lived in the US in 1986/1987, and have used it ever since. I don’t wear perfume very often but when I do, it is this.
From the Antonia’s Flowers website
As a student, Antonia Bellanca-Mahoney studied art in Boston and then in France. It was in France, in the markets of Aix and Paris, that she discovered all the wonderful varieties of flowers that she had up until then only seen in pictures – anemones, poppies, mimosa, freesia, and many more. These, too, left an impression on her so that when Antonia moved to New York City, a flower shop on Madison Avenue caught her eye. “They always had lush, painterly flower arrangements in the window.”
She later found out that, in fact, all the flowers had been imported from Europe and the inspiration for the bouquets came directly from Flemish flower paintings. “The connection between art and flowers became suddenly clear to me. I knew that this was exactly the kind of art related work I was looking for.”
After working for others in their shops, in 1981 she opened her own in East Hampton, Long Island, a village on the ocean. She named it “Antonia’s Flowers” and “it was a tribute to all the special gardens of my life.” Remembered for its dramatic and original arrangements, Antonia’s Flowers adorned the parties, garden weddings and restaurants of the Hampton’s elite.
“Being immersed in flowers so much of the time had a ‘sensitizing’ effect on me. I became very aware of the different floral scents – and to me, freesia was and is by far the prettiest. I looked for a perfume for myself that truly captured the essence of freesia in harmony with other flowers and found that there simply wasn’t one. Then, I imagined a perfume that would evoke the experience of entering my flower shop. That’s when I knew I had to create my own.”
In 1982, Antonia began working with the chief perfumer of one of the country’s finest essential oil houses. “It had to be a fresh, feminine bouquet…with a signature note of freesia”, and Antonia’s Flowers was first introduced as an Eau de Toilette in 1985.
I first bought it in the US, then I was able to buy it at Liberty and Space NK in London. After that, MrsH in Stockholm started stocking it. I used to decant small perfume vials of it for two of my cousins who love freesias. It smells like me.
So I was horrified to hear from one of my readers that it is no longer being produced. I have tried to find it online but sadly, no luck. So it looks like my last bottle really is my last…*sniff*
Categories: Beauty Products