Sunday, January 10, 2010

Nineteenth-Century Flower Girl

I went to the American Lives exhibition at the Met today, which included one of my favorite nineteenth-century genre paintings entitled The Flower Girl by Charles Cromwell Ingham. The flowers that spills out of the girl's basket are rendered with such intense and vibrant hues and delicate brushwork that they appear nearly life-like, as though one could bend down and smell the cheerful bouquet. On a related note, I decided after the exhibition that I needed to fulfill my unrequited floral olfactory need with a stop at the new Madison Avenue boutique of renowned French parfumer Frederic Malle. The shop is refined (60's modern) in an elegant Parisian manner that manages to remain entirely unpretentious, and the staff is gracious, knowledgeable, and has a playful attitude towards scent that is quite inspiring. After smelling glass bell jars perfumed with a variety of luxurious florals, I settled on the 1er Mai candle (housed in fire-engine-red glass) that smells exactly like lily of the valley. There is something about the scent of fresh flowers that is so appealing and really changes one's whole mood, and there's honestly nothing more romantic.

photo credit: Charles Cromwell Ingham, The Flower Girl, 1846. oil on canvas.

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