Category: A Scented Blog
At the start of the month I received samples of MiN New York’s recently launched Scent Stories Volume One, and over the past week I have been wearing, smelling and pondering over the eleven new perfumes. I have noticed sentiments increasing inside and outside the perfume industry, which are causing brows to be raised, followed by the comment “not another new niche perfume launch!” Niche is now a crowded space and I was very curious to smell what MiN New York’s Chad Murawczyk and Mindy Yang were serving up. As business partners, the pair own and operate one of Manhattan’s finest independent perfumeries. Their Soho boutique is a beautifully curated space, which supports the work of niche perfume’s foremost creative thinkers. How would the pair bring a fresh perspective to this densely populated market that thrives on newness? For one, the approach is different. Instead of allowing the collection to be distributed through multiple channels, this first volume of Scent Stories is available exclusively in the Americas from MiN New York. Small scale production plays into the way the collection is experienced, by appointment only from the Members Vault. Becoming a member requires registration. Applicants are evaluated not by wealth … Read More »
Last year when I met perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux, we spoke about many things. We spoke about his work as a Senior Perfumer at Givaudan, one of the world’s most successful producers of fine fragrances and we spoke about Arquiste Parfumeur, a highly acclaimed collection of niche perfumes that Rodrigo co-authored with his colleague and friend, perfumer Yann Vasnier. It was Arquiste’s owner, Carlos Huber, who kindly offered to connect me with Rodrigo when I visited New York. More often than not, perfumers work silently behind their clients and this meeting was a rare opportunity to talk directly with the man responsible for creating multi-million dollar fragrances for some of the most influential names in the fashion and beauty industry. High above the streets of Midtown Manhattan, Rodrigo’s office read like a resume of his career. His desk was filled with rows of neatly coded laboratory vials, modifications of projects he was currently working on. Finished bottles of Rodrigo’s work sat proudly along the sill of his office window. Amongst these bottles were some personal items, which had played a part in inspiring the perfumer. A brightly coloured piñata became a prop in a story about Rodrigo’s Mexican heritage and he … Read More »
This week I have been writing about recently launched perfumes, created by Australian perfume house, Grandiflora Fragrance. If you don’t already know something about these perfumes, I recommend reading the posts I published about Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine and Magnolia Grandiflora Michel, before reading this interview with Saskia Havekes, the author and florist behind Sydney’s Grandiflora brand. Last month I visited Saskia at her address in Sydney’s Potts Point, and below is an excerpt of our conversation about her latest adventure into the world of perfumery.
WMSSL: Flowers to perfumes – it seems like a natural transition but really, it’s not that common right? Tell me how this new adventure started?
Saskia Havekes: I have probably only ever bought myself one fragrance, which was Antonia’s Flowers, many years ago. It was before I worked with flowers and I was living in New York. I found a beautiful little store down in the Village and I’ll never forget finding it, smelling it and thinking that it smelled like a flower shop. Antonia Bellanca was a florist and she lived in the Hampton’s. All of that to me at that age just seemed so glamorous and amazing. And it was such a simple bottle. I … Read More »
L’Artisan Parfumeur continues its exploration of fragrance as emotion with three new additions to the Explosions d’Emotions Collection that launched in 2013 with inaugural eau de parfums, Skin on Skin, Deliria and Amour Nocturne. Like the first series the perfume boxes are covered in textured paper embossed with motifs specific to each perfume. This time a radiant fuchsia colour has been chosen to differentiate these new additions from the founding three perfumes. The French house’s ‘perfumer-in-residence’, Bertrand Duchaufour takes the collection total to six and the new additions are set for release in May-June 2014. The first fragrance communicates the explosive feeling of joy and the second fragrance is about introspection. The last of the new trio explores the emotion of passion. When I spoke with the perfumer in late November he talked about the collection being a creative vehicle to challenge him “to do something out of the normal, out of what we smell already.” For Les Explosions d’Emotions, Bertrand said, “I wanted to explore new atmospheres, new spheres of scent, new accords and new fragrances. It is supposed to be something completely different, not outrageous but something provocative.” True to his vision, these new fragrances are not outrageous in … Read More »
For my first blog post of 2014 I wanted to write about Neela Vermeire Creations, a collection of perfumes that pay homage to Creator, Neela Vermeire’s birthplace, India. After spending the past three weeks travelling in India, I feel more connected to these perfumes having experienced India’s diverse smellscape firsthand, even though I have been a fan and follower of Neela since we first met in 2012. I was introduced to Neela, a Paris-based perfume lover turned perfume entrepreneur in Florence, Italy where she was presenting her collection at the annual perfume exposition, Pitti Fragranze. To realize her vision Neela worked with two creatives, both leaders in their respective fields. The first was Bertrand Duchaufour, a French perfumer who needs no introduction to devotees of niche perfumes. As the ‘nose’ behind Neela’s fragrances, Bertrand combined a rich palette of exquisite notes, a true reflection of the perfumer’s modus operandi; innovative perfumes built with the most exceptional raw materials. The other creative Neela worked with was perfume bottle designer Pierre Dinand. Pierre has designed perfume bottles for fashion houses such as Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein. Chances are, if you have worn perfume in the past fifty … Read More »
Last year I had the fortune of a brief introduction to French perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. We were introduced in Florence at Pitti Fragranze, one of two annual perfume events in Italy. I was there with The Perfume Magazine and Bertrand was there, no doubt to support the numerous niche perfume brands that have one or more of his creations in their collections. Bertrand is known for his prolific work. Not only is he the “perfumer-in-residence” at the French house L’Artisan Parfumeur and British label Penhaligon’s; his name is credited to perfume titles by Aedes de Venustas, The Different Company, Neela Vermeire Creations, Acqua di Parma, Parfums MDCI…the list goes on. These brands are diverse in aesthetic and geography yet the one thing they have in common is the desire to produce the world’s most innovative and qualitative perfumes. Speaking with Bertrand, I understood why he is the preferred perfumer of these houses. Not only are his perfumes celebrated for their originality and beauty; there is integrity in his work and the perfume houses he works with are aware that Bertrand’s nose for detail comes at a cost. After launching his career inside some of the world’s biggest perfume manufacturing houses, … Read More »
Last month a package arrived from France containing a sample from the recently launched perfumed candle range, Rive Sud Interior. The brand was inviting a range of bloggers to write about the collection created by Christine Bodino, an interior designer who lives in the South of France. Her design work features around the Cote d’Azur from Cannes to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and she is known for her modern, minimal approach to design. The Cote d’Azur is lined with small enclaves of France’s wealthy and Bodino’s designs reflect this coastal lifestyle, led by a privileged few. The fragrances are “sensuous and ephemeral” and “elegance and refinement correspond to her instinctive, passionate nature and inspired universe.”
* images from www.christinebodino.com
For Bodino’s first journey into scent design, the designer worked with independent perfumer Delphine Thierry. Thierry also resides in the Cote d’Azur and has worked on one of my favourite fragrances for 2013, Lubin’s Akkad as well as fragrances for Cloon Keen Atelier and Masque. Knowing she was the perfumer behind Rive Sud Interior I was curious to explore the collection.
Inspired by a Pavese poem, Via Della Basilica was the example from the collection shared with bloggers and media. Other’s thoughts on … Read More »
How did 2013 disappear so quickly? This was the realization I had whilst retracing my New York steps from pages of scribbled notes in my travel diary. June’s trip seems like it happened yesterday and MiN’s latest Facebook photo, showing the boutique’s street front covered in snow is a reminder that the New York summer I experienced has well and truly past. Because of the high concentration of things to smell in Lower Manhattan, I’ve written this post in two parts (Part One – published in September). This long overdue second post covers the remaining addresses I visited in Soho, Nolita, Noho and the East Village.
Lower Manhattan is my favourite area of New York because it hosts some of the island’s most interesting sights, sounds, tastes and smells. Built over layers of history, Lower Manhattan is a mélange of cultures and the city streets tell some of America’s greatest immigration stories. Walking down the Bowery I was conscious that under my feet lay an old dirt track, which Dutch settlers used to import produce from farms on the circumference of the city. As the city expanded The Bowery became one of 18th century Manhattan’s most fashionable and affluent streets. Then … Read More »
This month Puredistance has presented its latest extrait de parfum, BLACK.
Created by perfumer Antoine Lie, who is known for his subversive creations with houses such as Etat Libre d’Orange, Comme des Garcons and Nu_Be; Lie has designed a perfume for Puredistance around the concept of mystery, elegance and subtlety. BLACK has been designed to wear close to the skin. By this I mean the diffusivity of the scent throws only a short distance from its wearer. The sensual nature of this style of perfume is that others perceive it only when they enter within an intimate radius of the wearer. Adding to this sensuality, the notes are designed to unravel in layers that whisper softly instead of shouting their presence. Perhaps the most mysterious approach to sharing this new perfume with the world is Puredistance’s decision not to reveal the notes of BLACK. The company’s owner, Jan Ewoud Vos encourages his audience to “envision, smell, and feel. Don’t analyse.”
Without any olfactory roadsigns of a perfume pyramid to guide me through the experience of BLACK, I approached the scent with thoughts of what the word, and concept symbolise to me. As a word, black has many associations. Etymology suggests black is … Read More »
When vintage perfume fans discuss their favourites, names like Jicky, Fougere Royale and L’Origan regularly come up for discussion. These perfumes are natural favourites amongst vintage collectors, and originated from a time when perfumery was undergoing great change. From the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, perfumes were evolving rapidly and advances in science aided chemists with the synthesis of molecules such as coumarin and vanillin. Taken from nature, these odours gave perfumers a new lease on creativity. This modern era also guided a change in Europe’s puritanical attitude towards perfume wearing. Compared with the relaxed attitude of today, 19th century European culture was regimented. There were strict guidelines that dictated which perfumes should be worn and which ones should be avoided. In 1833, Madame Celnart wrote in her book on social etiquette: “Strong odours such as musk, amber, orange blossom, tuberose and others of this kind, are strictly forbidden.” Odours that were perceived as being ostentatious or overtly sensual were avoided by anyone concerned with upholding a good reputation in society. The body was a matter of privacy and perfume was not worn on skin. Instead, perfume was applied sparingly to personal items … Read More »