One of the absolute best parts of spring is the incredible array of flowering trees. When I lived in Vancouver, I always took them for granted and didn’t notice to them each May; but when I moved to Toronto, a city with sparse greenery, I came to feel for these trees what can only be described as adoration. They make the polluted air smell like sweet nectar, and rain down pink and white petals all over the dirty city pavement like snowflakes. It doesn’t really get any more magical than that.
I get so heartbroken when all of the flowers die and the petals on the street rot and disappear. Lilacs, magnolias and other blossoms only last about a week before perishing, which crushes my little tree-hugging heart, but nothing gets me quite like the cherry blossoms.
Cherry blossom culture here in Toronto is sort of insane. I mean, it doesn’t surpass the Sakura blossom fever in Japan, but I’d wager it comes pretty close.
Basically, there’s this big grove of cherry blossom trees in the city’s largest park, and when they bloom, the area is filled to the brim with hundreds of people, all scrambling to eat their picnics without getting stepped on or somehow snap a photo without ten other people in the background. It’s seriously such a madhouse that the park had to put up signs warning visitors to be gentle with the trees, as many of them get damaged by overexcited flower fans.
Though these tiny little pink and white flowers are wonderful to look at, they are extremely delicate; and this year, thanks to constant rain and a particularly long winter, they lasted only a couple of short days. I was able to visit the trees once during their stay, but I was still pretty sad that I didn’t get to have a picnic or read a book with tiny pink petals raining down on me.
Desperate not to let my favourite part of the season slip away, I started gathering products reminiscent of cherry blossoms with the fervour of a squirrel gathering snacks for winter.
Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady
I love Ilia’s lip conditioners because I find my lips are always so dry when I wear normal lipstick, and this blush petal pink is by-far my new favourite springtime shade. All-natural, organic, and infused with moisturizing ingredients like cocoa butter, and oils of jojoba seed and orange and jasmine, Blossom Lady is so soft and delicate.
Amyris Femme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
OK, so, nothing about this scent is explicitly related to cherry blossoms in any way, but something about it just stuck with me, and for a completely unknown reason, this perfume and the sakura trees are attached together in my mind.
A blend of Californian orange, amber, iris, vetiver, and Jamaican amyris, this fragrance is the perfect intersection of woodsy warmth and delicate floral, like the meeting of a musky cologne meant for older gentlemen in the embrace of a field of flowers. Sniffing the bottle alone instantly transports me to a sunny afternoon spent underneath a flowering tree (preferably with a bottle of wine from the Napa Valley and a massive white sun hat).
L’Occitane’s Cherry Blossom Line
The exquisite beauty of the blossoms is perfectly captured in L’Occitane’s amazing Cherry Blossom collection, aka “Cerisier Rouge.”
Described as “fruity and floral,” this sweet scent was blended to celebrate the captivating charm of the flowers, and it really delivers. With notes of lemon, orange, blackcurrant, raspberry, wild lily of the valley and red cherry tree extract from Provence, there’s something so fresh and warm about this scent that it almost exactly mirrors the way the parks here smell when the trees are in bloom.
Plus, the packaging is delightful, and there are a ton of different products to choose from to ensure your entire life smells like pink flowers.
LORAC PRO Powder Cheek Stain in Petal Pink
This long-lasting blush is, like, really pretty. With rich, smooth pigment, and antioxidants like green tea and pomegranate built right in, it has great staying power, and protects your skin while you wear it.
Formula X Cherry Blossom Top Coat
There’s no way this list could be complete without this! When Anne-Marie wrote about this polish, I knew I needed it in my life, and now that have it I don’t want to wear anything else!
I like layering it on top of a nice simple white, or a pale pink like Deborah Lippmann’s Shape of My Heart (like I did here.)
Do you get cherry blossom trees where you live? I'd love to hear your recommendations for products that remind you of them!