Wednesday, 30 September 2015

JICKY by Guerlain

In our constant quest for "newness" and originality we sometimes forget some of the classic creations from the past. These evergreens manage to hold onto their reputation through a mixture of rediscovery and loyalty. Maybe it's time to start revisiting these icons, and where better to start than with the one that changed the face of perfumery for ever.

The fascination in the early nineteenth century was the beautiful soliflor fragrance or the ever popular lavender. Some scents were simply single flower preparations, or if they did have additional ingredients then they were only present to extend the life of the fragrance, or boost the central ingredient. That was until 1889, when Aimé Guerlain created a truly iconic perfume.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Princesse Pauline - Galimard's New Perfume

When Parfumerie Galimard launched Napoléon in February it was originally intended as a unisex fragrance. It had a wonderfully floral heart but was tempered by the more masculine base. However, it quickly became clear that it was appealing more to men than women, and so a female equivalent was needed. The fragrance had to be something that was new for the company but also one that wouldn't compete with the others already in their range. Interestingly, for a long time Galimard had stayed away from a typical rose scent, and so this seemed the perfect opportunity to create one.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Music And Perfume

Everything in life creates an impression, sparks a memory or ignites a passion. These "real life" inspirations can sometimes create the most powerful and challenging scents, which is why perfumers have always called upon "daily life" and filtered reminiscences to find that next blockbuster. Yes, abstract creation can also result in very exciting perfumes, but I have always liked to be able to hang my fragrances on a story. A description or an actual image are easier for people to share, because they can come to the same conclusion. What is harder though is when music is used as inspiration. Are you interpreting words, melody or even emotion?

I was first challenged with this question by Ugo Charron, a perfume technician that I met in Grasse. He asked me whether I thought it was possible to create a perfume based on a piece of music. "Of course", I replied, not realising then just how much time I would eventually spend working on it. His concept was a perfume recreation of a 'techno' tune, mine was Edith Piaf's "Hymne a l'amour" ... I'm significantly older! So, the question you end up asking yourself is what aspect of the music do you want to create?

Monday, 14 September 2015

Guerlain Lavande - The 1920s Mystery

With their vintage recreations now totalling fifty, Thierry Wasser and Frèdèric Sacone have allowed perfume fans to experience some of Guerlain's most famous fragrances. Obviously choices have to be made, and not all of the perfumes can be included. One of those which is missing is Lavande. It might not sound very impressive, but unraveling the truth has made me realise just how special it really is.

My interest in Lavande began because of contradictions that littered various blogs and websites. Nothing about this old girl seemed to add up. There were various release dates, various ingredients and even various creators. So I thought it was time to rediscover this forgotten gem, and maybe try a recreation of my own.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Could You Be Creative?

Nestled among the hills surrounding the French town of Grasse you find three parfumeries. Now you may be familiar with Fragonard and Molinard but what about Galimard? Founded in 1747 by Jean de Galimard, it is the third oldest perfumery in the world, after Farina Gegenuber and Floris of London, and offers the "Studio of Fragrances" where for €45 you have two hours and one hundred and twenty seven oils with which to create your very own Perfume. Possible? Let's find out.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Guerlain's Sexual Scents

When Guerlain introduced the Elixir Charnel range in 2008 there were quite a few raised eyebrows at the news that this prestigious house had entered the controversial arena of "sexual" scents. With a collection aimed quite clearly at women with very distinct and adventurous sexual styles, it blew the lid off the most famous and respected historical perfumery. Sex has always sold, that is the undisputed law of retail, but what would Aimé Guerlain have thought? I hope that he would see it as a bold move to modernise a traditional style, and maybe even chuckle at the same time. So what exactly is "Elixir Charnel"?