Category: A Scented Blog
One of my favourite writers on the topic of perfume is world renowned author and perfume expert Michael Edwards. His book, Perfume Legends, is a key resource when I am researching legendary perfumes of the 20th century. His Fragrances of the World database is a reference I always use when I write about a perfume on my blog. Michael Edwards has an office here in Australia and Mrs Edwards is Australian, so even if a majority of his time is spent in Europe, America and more recently, the Middle East, Michael returns to Australia every year and I have had the fortune of hearing him give talks about perfume for the past two years; his fragrance masterclasses are also legendary. Earlier this year, Michael accepted my request for an interview and I began recording my conversations with him as part of my research. The final recording I made with him was a talk he gave for Sydney Perfume Lovers, a group of Sydney-based perfume enthusiasts that meet regularly – their calendar of events is posted on their Meetup website. For this event, the group’s founder, Catherine du Peloux Menage organised a Q&A with Michael. Catherine … Read More »
The story of La Parfumerie Moderne begins in the small resort village of Le Touquet-Paris-Plage on the northern coast of France. Overlooking the English Channel, Le Touquet was an early 20th century playground for holidaying British aristocrats and wealthy visitors from all over the world. Business thrived and grand hotels were built on a palatial scale to accommodate visitors. The most notable grand hotel was the Royal Picardy, built in 1929. It was advertised as the largest, most luxurious hotel in the world. For 20 years the Royal Picardy was the jewel of this affluent seaside village but these lucrative years were short lived. War and the Great Depression crippled business and the hotel fell into a state of disrepair. In 1951 it closed its doors forever.
Years later we meet the main character of La Parfumerie Moderne’s story. In the 1960s, Philippe Neirinck was a young boy. The son of hoteliers, he regularly vacationed in Le Touquet with his parents. The Neirincks spent time in one of the vacant palaces, which had closed to the public. While the adults amused themselves, these empty palaces became the playgrounds of children. Wandering from room to room, young Philippe would imagine the hotel … Read More »
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 »