If healing, revitalising, mending is what you are looking for in a given life period, Eau Dynamisante will help but you may also need some expert advice. And the expert in question is Edward Bach, a physician, homeopath, bacteriologist and spiritual writer, born in 1886. He devised a system of healing through the properties of flowers. His theory, was based on an intuitive attribution of healing properties to flowers he studied in nature. If all this sounds a bit unscientific, brace yourselves because Bach did not extract elements from plants but rather believed that dew collected from the petals carries healing properties. If the theory of homeopathy is a little dubious for you, then Bach is the person who went all the way and created a healing system based on intuitively defined properties of flowers stemming from the energy of the plant rather than the chemistry. Truth be told, Bach was treating psychological dispositions with his flower remedies, not physical conditions. His theory and practise is still alive (and here), and in a very modern move has spawned initially two, and later three more fragrances. Somewhere in between there was a brief discontinuation, probably due to some sort of disagreement between the successors of Bach and their marketing executives. A few years later the two initial fragrances, Vivacité(s) and Présence(s) where relaunched but by a different company and they are not currently featured in the official Bach Remedy site. Three more scents have followed since making the ethereal, alternative label a bona fide perfume house.
I came across Vivacité(s) de Bach a few years ago when my fellow perfumista and friend Nikos gave me his sample, more as a test to my weird taste in perfume as I later realised, than an introduction to a new marvel. To his nose it is an olfactive oddity, strange and unwearable. From the first whiff I was astonished by how different this one smells. If you have ever had an italian after-dinner amaro, then you already have a very good idea of what this smells like. A cloistral amaro served in a wooden cup. Freshly cut wood, and a conifer for that matter, is the first impression. Intense and masculine with terpenic nuances. Then come the bitter herbs. And when I say bitter, gin is sweet liqueur compared to this. I am no botanist nor monk so I cannot pin down different notes. If however bitter makes you think of something sombre and difficult, you are mistaken. Vivacité(s) remains bright and sparkling. The woody inclination remains very prominent and it is the kind of polished wood or very freshly cut. Pungent and more suited for topnotes rather than base. I often associate this bright woody quality with a certain fruitiness. The fruitiness of green apples or mango skin. I know that this is a very personal association but it can give you a measure of the woody qualities of Vivacité(s). The rest of the ingredients weave a herbal, bitter carpet. And like an amaro makes your teeth clench but your stomach light as the morning munchies, the same way Vivacité(s) manages to deliver what its name promises: liveliness and alertness.
So do Bach flower remedies work? I wouldn’t know because from the little research I did I think the perfumes of Les Fleurs de Bach are not genuine Bach products. Flower remedies contain flower essences in minuscule dilations, in the tradition of homeopathy but not using the homeopathic system of properties. Vivacité(s) is nevertheless a natural perfume with very specific abilities and qualities and exemplary longevity. Some real, natural ingredients have been used and in considerable concentrations to give this long lasting effect. But Vivacité(s) actually works! It is uplifting and optimistic without belonging in the go-to genre for this, the citrus cologne. Is this observation scientific? It is hard to tell. Like most scientific researches on the effects of flower remedies and homeopathy, it is inconclusive. Classic science and my left-side brain do not accept their mechanism of action. My body and my right-side brain however enjoy their effects. Classic science has coined the term “placebo” to describe the manifestation of healing through the absence of an agent and only through the will of the sick body or mind to heal themselves on thin water. I do accept the existence of placebo effect but I cannot explain healing through placebo. It exists however. So maybe healing is actually more important than the theories or practises leading to it. And in this case who am I to doubt anything that promotes self-healing and makes me feel better?
Notes from my nose: Pine wood, Amaro liqueur, Fruit skin, Bitter notes
MemoryOfScent by Christos Karageorgos is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.