eau de parfum intense
50 ml  1.69 fl.oz


Tulip Mania.


NOTES: Flower, Stalk, Leaves


” What about these soliflores? Well it’s just a fancy name for a fragrance built around one single flower. Perhaps one asks themselves, where’s the art in something perceived as so modest? That very word, modest, should be underlined because that is exactly what a soliflore should be according to me. Creating a soliflore is the endeavour to imitate nature, showcasing the work of the very best perfumer of all, Mother Nature herself. And nature never brags about all the beauty it surrounds us with, it’s simply there for free. Something I think should be respected and cared for. It’s popular to create soliflores around what we call mute flowers, flowers that simply won’t give up their oil. Lily of the valley, honeysuckle, hyacinth, lilac, freesia, peony, lily, carnation and many more.

All of these have to be recreated synthetically or together with the help of a few similar naturals we can get the oil from. In the Semper Augustus I was presented with two challenges – Recreating a flower most people don’t think have a scent and secondly recreating a flower that no longer exists.

The Semper Augustus was the very epitome of Dutch tulip growing in the 17th century, at the price of 13000 florins in 1638, you could choose between buying a nice canal house or one bulb for the same price. The tulip market crashed that same year. Much later they found that a virus caused the beautiful streaks in the flower, these “broken” tulips are still grown today but the original is gone. Tulips do indeed smell, but it’s shy so you need plenty of them to smell it. You could smell them from miles away when I visited the tulip fields outside Lisse. It’s magical. Waxy, musky, hints of saffron and something reminding me of Ambrette seed with an olfactory body very similar to freesia. It took me a long time and many trials to find the exact balance. Using the same trick nature does, complexity disguised as effortlessness. Weirdly enough I hope you find it simple, only then do I feel like I gave nature and the Semper Augustus justice”. Fredrik Dalman In-House Parfumeur.

To explore the Alinea Collection from the comfort of your home, we offer the Alinea Sample Set HERE

Make a selection of five different Alinea creations that you love to try and receive a € 35 gift voucher redeemable against any 50 ml Eau de Parfum Intense flacon.

To truly experience the artisanal craftsmanship of the Alinea Collection, we welcome you to our Atelier in Amsterdam where you will be greeted by our in house-perfumer Fredrik Dalman and/or creative director Jeroen Oude Sogtoen.

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1 review for SEMPER AUGUSTUS

  1. Oh my, this perfume. It brought my senses to a standstill; such was its ornament and mystery. It makes beautiful sense for Mona Di Orio, a house based in Amsterdam to paint a perfume inspired by a legendary lost tulip. There is a gorgeous slo-mo ache in the movement of Semper Augustus. The mood of molecules opening on my skin, in brain are akin to the art of Bill Viola, bodies breaking so very slowly in water. There is a portrait he took of the actor Jake Gyllenhaal under water, face distorted by bubbles. It is impossible to tell if he is slowly rising to the surface or falling to the depths. This obfuscated ambiguity also defines the abstraction of this dazzling floral.

    Semper Augustus was perhaps the most famous of all tulips during that most strange of Dutch periods that came to be known as tulpenmanie or Tulip Fever during the seventeenth century. It is odd to think that such widely available flowers to us now caused astonishing collectors’ madness then, with bulbs fetching insane prices, more than houses, land and annual wages. Eventually the bubble burst and the mania that swirled around these hypnotic rare flowers collapsed and Dutch commercial life took a shuddering hit. One of the things that fuelled the obsession was the appearance of so-called ‘broken flowers’, an effect of infecting the solid petal colour with another hue. It was something called the Mosaic Virus that caused the much sought after mutation. At the height of the boom, the Semper Augustus tulip with bone white petals stained with flame red streaks was the most expensive bulb in town.

    Ambrosius Brosschaert the Younger, a master of the Dutch Golden age of painting, used Semper Augustus tulips many times in his precise lush compositions, the red flames of the mutation flaring against the snow of elegantly twisted petals. I photograph and paint flowers every day, it’s what I do, and tulips fascinate me; the coiled collapse, the bowed heads and the undulating lines, curves of the leaves. They shift so imperfectively, yet over hours seem to have rearranged themselves utterly. Fredrik has created a magnificent piece of art, a wet slow-moving vortex of tulip sci-fi beauty that I can only marvel at. I will admit it is my favourite of the line, not simply because it is a tulip-inspired perfume, but because it captures the weirdness of tulips, the squeak, snap and viscid creepiness of handling and loving them.

    On skin you get creamy bloom, snapped stem, rubbery leaf and water. All these things come at once and then fall dreamily away. Things distort as if you view the flowers through glass and water. Edges bleed. It smells at once sharply green then gorgeously cashmere soft and aqueous. Ambrette seed is the beautiful material that sweeps through Semper Augustus as it blooms on skin, creating an intoxicating and radical transparency of olfactive floral portraiture unlike anything I have smelled before. And like real tulips, the shift in shape and tone in this composition are subtle yet hugely impactful. I think it’s possible to wear Semper Augustus endlessly and never grow weary of its intricate allure.

    Alex Musgrave ©TSF 2020

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