My inspiration for this summer's release is the trees from my childhood growing up in India. I have an affinity for trees, and when I close my eyes, the forms, colors, and shadows of two trees in particular arise in my thoughts--the mango tree and a tree called the Flame Of The Forest.
Flame of the forest is a tall tree, standing prominently, dominating other trees in a landscape. It blooms in the month of January and February. And how!
Imagine cool winters about to change to spring. Against a clear blue sky, a large brown branch forks as it reaches upwards. It is bare, bereft of leaves, but is bursting with brilliant orange flowers. The whole branch is covered with them, similar to plum and cherry trees, come spring. (Source: Gutam2000 - Own work | Butea monosperma in bloom at Hesaraghatta, Bengaluru)
Unlike the mango tree, which I have described as having a quiet presence, the Flame Of The Forest announces itself like a clarion call, a bugle to herald its arrival. Perhaps it's because the mango tree is evergreen, while the blooms on this tree last only a few weeks.
I have a strong memory of walking barefoot on velvety blooms that had carpeted the ground. All around my feet, the ground was orange. I could barely see the soil. I gathered armfuls of wilted petals, and put them in my frock. At the end of the day my hands were stained bright orange. (Photo by Dev Bagdi on Unsplash)
The flowers don’t really have a fragrance, so this perfume is not about their scent but about the tree's look.
I also wanted to evoke what the name of the tree suggests--a fiery, smoky quality.
The composition of Flame Of The Forest perfume captures the dry, brown wood of the branch, the smoke of the flame, and the raw feel of the bare branches. A shock of spice highlights the bright presence of this tree.