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14529-300.jpg Diptyque - Do Son Eau de Toilette spray - 50 ml


Item 14529

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It all starts in Tonkin in the thirties. Land of marshes and mists and sweet-smelling summers, land of contrasts too; green grasses and precious rice fields of the Red River Delta, the luxurious garden that feeds Hanoï, set against the mountains all around...

Yves Coueslant grew up in Haiphong, a vast harbor in northern Indochina where his father, a lawyer in love with China, was established. His mother, hardly bearing the heat and damp monsoon weather, used to rest for hours in the fresh and quiet half-light of her sitting room. She loved the bitter sweet fragrance of tuberoses and the great department store in town where she used to buy whatever was fashionable from Paris.

In the summer, the whole family used to retire to the fresh-aired mountains of Tam Dao. It was so sultry at times in Haiphong, that his father had a small pagoda built by the seaside, in Do Son. A small path bordered with balustrades leads the way along the sea made purple by the ferruginous silt from the Red River. In the background, the Along Bay and its 3000 islets. The soft breeze on the terrace used to mingle with his mother’s fragrance when she was near, and the scents of flowers in the heat.

Today, more than seventy years later, little has changed. The town has spread around the old family house that has been turned into a hotel.

At Do Son, the pagoda and the balustrades of the small path along the sea are still there. The evening breeze still carries all its mysteries along, soft lulling exhalation, when the scents of heavy flowers and the seaside wind gently mingle at the end of the day.

Yves Coueslant went back to Haiphong. Only once. Today he longs to breathe in his mother’s precious fragrance once again. The Vietnamese word for tuberose “cây hoa hûe” shows its likeliness to our western lilies. Same white, all pure and virginal, yet its fragrance, somewhat heady after sunset, evokes much more sensuous dreams.

At the time of the Italian Renaissance, young maids were forbidden to walk around tuberose gardens lest they should get dizzy with the scent.

In Vietnam, tuberoses are devoted to worship. They are sold on markets, armfuls of them wrapped in large canna leaves either alone or with jasmine and ylang-ylang, as an offering.

The Tuberose belongs to the liliaceae family. Both a flower and a plant, it bears a great number of small trumpet-shaped buds, all white as white can be. Its fragrant molecules constantly renew themselves, for more than forty-eight hours after the flower has been being picked.

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