The first line on the website’s copy for Ellis Brooklyn Florist Eau de Parfum exclaims that the scent “is a celebration of citrus floral.” On paper, this means that the fragrance is a celebration of my two least favorite categories of perfume. But two things drew me to call in a sample anyway: For one, it was created in collaboration with DSM-Firmenich principal perfumer Frank Voelkl, who also worked on my two other favorite Ellis Brooklyn scents, Aprés and Sun Fruit. For two, the bottle is a delightful shade of hot pink that stands out against my collection of otherwise mostly clear-glass-with-a-black-or-gold-cap fragrances.
Sometimes, judging a book by its cover leads to a positive outcome. The first sniff elicited from me an audible “oooh,” and Florist quickly became one of my go-to scents. The full-size bottle sits front and center on my desk; I’ve found myself reaching for it even as the weather grows colder and the rest of my fragrance wardrobe starts leaning toward the warm and spicy. I’ve also since acquired the mini version: A 7.5 ml bottle that’s perfect for travel and, most importantly, looks like an accessory that would come with an American Girl Doll.
Instead of the somewhat “dusty” profile I get from a lot of floral perfumes, the honeysuckle and pear notes in this blend give it a sweet — but not sickly — undertone. The pear, in particular, is something special. According to Voelkl, this is the first 100% natural extract of pear on Firmenich’s perfumer’s palette, created using Firgood, a “a solvent-free natural extraction that uses only the water that is inherent in the biomass’s cells to produce highly pure and authentic olfactive identities.” Basically, that means Firmenich is able to extract fragrances from items they were never able to extract from before. To put pears into perfume, Voelkl says, scientists would previously have had to rely on techniques like headspace technology to recreate the fruit’s scent.
The pear note “adds a unique brightness and vibrancy on top,” Voelkl says. “The juicy fruitiness gives you the impression of biting into a fresh pear.” As I write this, pear season has just ended in my neck of the woods, but my recent memories of the many pears I had for breakfast throughout October confirm his assessment. Florist also triggers some less-recent memories with its gardenia, honeysuckle, and jasmine mid-notes, a combination also used in Viva La Juicy, an iconic fragrance that launched toward the end of my high school days.