Mrs. James M. Fadeley nee Catherine Sweeney

Mrs. James M. Fadeley nee Catherine Sweeney

Possets’ latest Cambienne perfume is named Catherine. It is a tribute to my mother and I will tell you a bit about her so that the perfume might make more sense to you. My mother loved peppermint, spearmint, and other minty volatile concoctions as well as camphorous  and zesty ingredients. She adored chypres and though she was very picky about her fragrances, she did like some oriental/resinous blends. She could wear light florals better than anyone, and I think that she was made for them but, of course, she had a very small part of her perfume collection devoted to them. You would not be likely to have found L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci on her dressing table (though she did buy a couple of bottles of Fleur de Rocaille by Caron), but Bandit by Geraldine Cellier was always in the place of honor. At the end of her life she was mad for Tea Rose by Perfumers’ Workshop and wore it everywhere. In the middle, there were perfumes which smelled a lot like fabric; like silks and fine linens (but never that ‘clean linen’ sort of soapy smell)–so Le Dix by Balenciaga enjoyed a great run of being the favorite. She appointed Miss Dior to by my signature fragrance when I asked her. I always thought that one would have been perfect for a Vestal Virgin, it was almost an astringent suit of armor against amour, but it was sophisticated.

I don’t think mom ever knew this but she loved: galbanum, good lavender, and the scent of leather in perfume. When she didn’t like something, she would declare it,”Hot GLUE”! That was the verdict that reformulated Femme by Rochas received (I thought it was great but my taste was not the same in perfume). I don’t think she cared at all for Chanel Number 5.

It was mother who started me on the path to being a perfumer. Without her I would never had had the fire to do what I do. She “doused” herself in Bandit before going off to the delivery room to have me, and she declared that I could never be a perfumer because I wasn’t French when I told her that was my aspiration at age 7. Well, of course, I would have to had become a perfumer after that sort of a turn down, wouldn’t I?

Today is Mother’s birthday. Today I put out the first Cambienne of 2013 named Catherine in her honor and it contains things that she would have loved. After making it I realized that it was indeed her spirit: unique, zesty, unusual, adventurous, and very sophisticated but also (dare I say it) quite alluring. Quite.

Cambienne: Catherine can be found at Possets Perfume. It is produced in limited a quantity and only to be available once. It is part of the Cambienne series where one perfume evolves over the course of the year. This year we focus on rare ingredients for the Cambiennes.

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