paul parquet: 3 posts

Perfumers on Perfume : Archives from the Osmotheque

I was preparing the materials for my ISIPCA lectures when I remembered a wonderful series of articles that the Osmothèque kindly made available to me. These articles were Ernest Beaux and Ernest Shiftan, two legendary perfumers representing different styles and times. Re-reading them made me realize once again how cultured and thoughtful were these great creators–and how much effort they put into each accord. One other article in the series was written by a perfumer Robert Bienaimé about Paul Parquet, the author of Fougère Royale and Le Parfum Idéal. The articles were translated into English by Will Inrig, so many thanks to him as well.

ErnestBeaux1-osmotheque-300chanel

I hope that you will enjoy reading these articles, if you haven’t done so already. Or perhaps, it’s time to revisit them. They’re as enjoyable and relevant as ever.

Perfumers on Perfume : Ernest Beaux on Fragrance Masterpieces

Perfumers on Perfume : Paul Parquet

Perfumers on Perfume : Ernest Shiftan

If you have any other historical topics that you would like me to explore, please let me know in the comments.

Scented Ferns : On Fougeres

“If God gave ferns a scent, they would smell like Fougère Royale” is a sentence supposedly uttered by perfumer Paul Parquet who in 1882 created one of the earliest modern perfume legends, Fougère Royale for Houbigant. And so, you hear again and again the same story of ferns (fougères in French) being scentless and Parquet being the genius responsible for the first perfume that “didn’t imitate nature.” That Parquet was a creator of remarkable skill is beyond doubt, but are ferns really scentless?

estonia-forestfougere royale

For many years I thought so, but today I’ll gladly admit my mistake. There are numerous varieties of ferns, and even the ones with the most delicate of scents have a distinctive odor. In my new FT column, Fougères: fern-inspired perfumes, I explore my botanical discoveries and discuss some of my favorite fragrances in this ever popular family.

Extra readingPerfumers on Perfume : Paul Parquet and fougère perfume reviews.

On a related topic, do you have any perfumes that evoke the smell of a forest to you?

Left image: Estonian forest, photography by Bois de Jasmin. Right image: Fougère Royale for Houbigant ad.

 

Perfumers on Perfume : Paul Parquet

Ernest Beaux called Paul Parquet the “greatest perfumer of his time.” Coming from the legendary creator of Chanel No. 5, it’s very high praise, but Parquet (1856-1916) deserves it for his innovative work. Although most of his fragrances, like Le Parfum Idéal or Coeur de Jeannette, created for Houbigant, have not survived, his influence is profound. He is responsible for giving perfumery the fougère fragrance family, inspired by his marvelous Fougère Royale. His experiments with novel synthetics inspired many groundbreaking fragrances of the 19th and early 20th centuries such as Piver’s Le Trèfle Incarnat, Roger & Gallet Vera Violetta. Even Beaux himself was under the spell of Parquet’s creations.

Paul Parquetfougere royale

The start of Parquet’s career was in hosiery, rather than perfume. It was not until 1878 when his father bought a perfumery called Houbigant-Chardin (founded in 1775 by Jean-François Houbigant) that Parquet became interested in the business. In 1881, Parquet bought Houbigant-Chardin from his father, and over the course of the next three decades composed a fascinating and original collection*. His style was bold, dramatic, and daring, but also romantic.

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