Monday 4 March 2024


A bottle of the perfume English Cherry Blossom from Shay & Blue
There are few things in life that you can be truly sure of, with the exception of the changing seasons. However, with the continuing issues around climate change, even these are getting a little out of kilter. Though the start and end dates might now seem to vary from year to year, the order at least remains the same. Most people take summer to be season one, followed by autumn and winter, but by spring we’re all definitely ready for a little hint of returning sunshine. That’s why spring is the perfect time to reach for a much-needed bottle of blossom, and you can’t go far wrong with English Cherry Blossom from Shay & Blue.

The scent of cherry blossom is one that many companies have tried to recreate over the years. From Floris to L’Occitane, brands have attempted to capture the delicacy of the white and pink blooms. The Sakura cherry blossom, which is the national flower of Japan, is traditionally celebrated between March and May as part of the Hanami festival, and it’s this that usually acts as the inspiration. This was true of the 1999 Guerlain release, composed by Jean-Paul Guerlain, and which was launched as a limited edition each year. However, there are other “cherries”, just as beautiful, that we can marvel at.

The more traditional cherries that you see in the countryside or in gardens can fall into two camps. There is the recognisable sweet cherry, with its juicy centres that just long to be enjoyed, and also the sour cherry, which is a favourite amongst birds and gin makers. Both go through the regular flowering cycle, with delicate blossoms that vary between virginal white and delicate pink, but it’s the end result that sets it apart from the non-fruiting Sakura variety. So, when Shay & Blue started to explore their interpretation of “cherry blossom”, they looked a little closer to home.

The box for the perfume English Cherry Blossom from Shay & Blue
Shay & Blue enlisted the help of perfumer Julie Massé who said, at the launch of the perfume in 2016, “Perfumery is a language. Composition is the translation of an artistic vision of life, something between pure creation, interpretation and affirmation.” It’s this exciting position between the real and the imaginary that has been captured so beautifully in English Cherry Blossom. Whether it’s the act of “flirtation”, the sensation of “fleeting”, or the “flush of first love”, the sensual side of the fruit meeting the innocence of the petal is perfectly realised. So, will you be enchanted or seduced?

The fragrance opens with a deliciously crisp blend of bergamot, and it’s this that conjures the spring weather that’s hitting the blossom. There’s also a touch of apple in here which, while adding to the crispness, hints at the juiciness that is to follow. The floral quality of the cherry blossom is realised thanks to a honeysuckle and freesia accord, with its delicate nuances, but it’s also accompanied by a sour cherry note that brings to life the fruity aspect. In here as well is a dose of powdery iris and a hint of vetiver, so there’s an earthy side to the fragrance that is addictive. Spring may not last all year, but English Cherry Blossom is perfect for any season.

English Cherry Blossom is available from the Shay & Blue website at priced at £25 for 10ml, £35 for 30ml, and £65 for 100ml. [Sample provided by Shay & Blue]

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