Ylang Ylang Nosy Be by Perris Monte Carlo (2014)
In 1976 at age 21, (and with only 12% body fat- those were the days) and a well-traveled rucksack, I was bumming around the world as many kids my age were at that time. It was cheap, and I was aimless and carefree before settling down into my adult life.
Thanksgiving that year found me homesick and maudlin, stepping off the deck of a catamaran into what was then the small funky portside town of Gustavia on the island of St. Bartholomew a.k.a. St. Barts. I was lucky enough to find a small room to rent on the other end of the island.
After handing over my tattered passport, and the equivalent of $12.00 for the first night, I climbed the hill to my tiny apartment, threw my stuff on the bed, and threw open the white wide-louvered balcony doors.
And what I saw took my breath away.
Emerald green tropical forest cascading down the hillside and ending in a mile-long,
blinding-white sand beach melting into an utterly calm cerulean colored bay, and not another soul in sight.
And that’s when it hit me. The smell. The gorgeous smell of something akin to jasmine, orange blossom, pikake and a dash of vanilla.
I swooned. Honest to god, I swooned. I immediately ran down to the office and in my broken third grade french asked the kind young lady behind the desk what was that amazing smell??
She laughed, said something incomprehensible, and seeing my blank stare, wrote one word in english, on a piece of note paper….”Ylang.”
And that my friends, is what’s in this bottle of Perris Monte Carlo Ylang Ylang (grown on the island of) Nosy Be. Exactly.
(…and I still have the note.)
Notes: Ylang- ylang, lemon, grapefruit, cardamom/ ylang-ylang, jasmine, orange blossom, damask rose/ ylang-ylang, labdanum, vetiver, cedar, vanilla and field scabious.