News: 525 posts

Latest news from the fragrance world and other interesting reading

Why This Small French Town Has the World’s Best Roses

Condé Nast Traveller’s April issue has an article about Grasse, a town in the south of France famous for its roses.  Why This Small French Town Has the World’s Best Roses follows Fabrice Penot, co-founder of perfume line Le Labo, around Grasse and explains what makes this place so unique. The article also uses my photography (the second image) from my own visit to Provence last year.

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“When is a rose not just a rose? When it’s Rosa centifolia, an old varietal so highly scented that it makes the florally obsessed downright covetous. “It’s a little fruitier, deeper, and more voluptuous than any other rose,” says Fabrice Penot, co-founder of the New York–based cult perfume line Le Labo, known for its complex yet clean, single note–inspired scents. Centifolia’s allure is heightened by the fact that it’s still grown commercially in relatively few places: The most famous is the small town of Grasse on the French Riviera, where decades of rising real estate prices have shrunk thousands of acres of rose fields to just a few plots. And although the Frenchborn Penot has traveled around the world to find inspiration for his perfumes—including recent trips to Quebec and China—his favorite pilgrimage remains the one he makes to Grasse’s annual Rosa centifolia harvest in May. To continue reading, please click here.”

Extra: From Petal to Essence : Grasse Rose Harvest

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, rose de mai

From Jicky to Petite Robe Noire : Guerlain-Osmotheque Event

On Saturday, April 11th, the perfume conservatory Osmothèque and Guerlain will present a new lecture on the history of this venerable French house. Titled “From Jicky to Petite Robe Noire”, the event will cover Guerlain’s masterpieces and legacies. The session will be presented by Guerlain’s Sylvaine Delacourte and Osmothèque’s Patricia de Nicolaï. If you’re close to Versailles, it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about French perfumery tradition from experts close to the source.

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When: April 11th, Saturday at 14h15 (1.5-2 hours duration)
Where: The Osmothèque, 36 rue du Parc de Clagny, 78000 Versailles
Online Order Fees: 22€ per person; the reduced fee for students and members of Société des Amis de l’Osmothèque is 16€. Entry for students of ISIPCA is free. To reserve your tickets, please click here.

Fragrances of the World 2015

Perfume expert Michael Edwards has released an updated version of his guide, Fragrances of the World. “My first guide book in 1984 listed just 38 new fragrances,” says Edwards. Meanwhile, the 2015 edition includes 8,000, with 1,500 new additions. As he explains, “The book organises perfumes into 14 fragrance families – including Woods, Oriental, Floral, Fruity and Citrus – and even more subfamilies from which to choose.  Refreshed weekly the online databank provides current and up to date details on new launches, while the annual guide book is an iconic sales tool with current and historic references at your fingertips.”

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The book is intended as a guide for retailers and it lists the fragrances sold today. It also contains discontinued, iconic and limited edition fragrances. The listings are indexed by gender and brand for ease of reference. The book is available at www.fragrancesoftheworld.com, $210 (a coupon code FOTW15 for a 10% discount is valid before the end of March.) Via press release

In other book releases, indie perfumer Mandy Aftel has recently published Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent. It also includes a smelling kit of essential oils such as cinnamon, mint, frankincense, ambergris, and jasmine.

Aedes de Venustas Palissandre d’Or : New Perfume

New York perfume boutique Aedes de Venustas is introducing a new fragrance in May 2015. It’s the 5th fragrance from the house, following Aedes de Venustas Eau de Parfum, Copal Azur, Iris Nazarena, and Oeillet Bengale. Palissandre d’Or is inspired by the Indian rosewood tree, but instead of offering a rendition of rosewood essence, it’s a fantasy based on the oriental woody theme. Created by perfumer Alberto Morillas known for his sensual and elegant compositions, Palissandre d’Or “sheds a new light on the immemorial scent of precious Oriental woods, in a smoldering palette of burnt sienna, lacquered red and molten gold.”

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As the press release describes the fragrance, “crystal-clear ambrette – a natural musk with rose, pear and iris facets – brightens rich inlays of cool spices: pink pepper, coriander and nutmeg. Then, as the torrid heat of cinnamon rises, the scent opens up its heart to deliver its secret: a rare sandalwood extract from Sri Lanka. Subtly smoky, rose-tinged and creamy, it is made more luscious still by the milky warmth of copahu balm and a silken patchouli extract.

A bold trio of cedar essences add structure and texture to the lustrous blend. Clean, bracing Virginian cedar gives it vigor and tempo. The Lapsang Souchong tea facet of Chinese cedar and the Russian leather smokiness of Alaskan cedar – another rare new extract showcased by Alberto Morillas – carve burnished patterns into the fine-grained wood.”

Aedes de Venustas Palissandre d’Or Eau de Parfum will be available in 100 ml/$245. Also sold in a purse spray ($110) with three 10 ml refills ($195). Via press release

L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privee : New Fragrance

April 2015 will be coming up roses at L’Artisan Parfumeur. Rose Privée, its new launch, will pay tribute to the roses of Grasse. Rose de mai, or rosa centifolia, is one of the traditional crops in the Grasse region, and even today, the plantations are maintained, albeit in smaller scope.

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Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour worked with his Grass-based apprentice Stéphanie Bakouche to create the floral harmony of Rose Privée. It’s built around the absolute of rose de mai, with magnolia, basil, lilac, and carnation adding a bright touch. The drydown is accented with patchouli.

In other L’Artisan news, the house was recently acquired by Puig, the parent brand of Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne and Carolina Herrera. The same acquisition has also brought Penhaligon’s into the Puig family.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privée will be available starting April 2015 at the brand’s boutiques and department store counters. 50 ml Eau de Parfum/£77; 100ml/£95. Via press release.

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