Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I just received a wonderful surprise in the form of two lovely Gift Sets of Fine French Perfumes from the Fragonard House in Grasse, France. My Uncle and Aunt were the source of these delightful gifts which they picked up when they were visiting my cousin who has the good fortune to live in Grasse.
There are 2 gift sets - 15 Fragrances in all. The sets are housed in delightful gift boxes with beautiful floral designs.
The First one is "Eaux Naturelels" and contains:Cerisier, Rose de Mai, Oranger, Freesia, & Verveine.
The second set is "Dix Parfums" and contains :Eau fantasque, Emilie, Eclat, Ile d'amour, Diamant, Belle de nuit, Fragonard, Etoile, Miranda, Capucine.
Each scent is as lovely as the next... And they are all above all else - unmistakably FRENCH!
Really, there is just nothing like a Fine French Parfum - Perfect Harmony,Perfect Bloom, Sophisticated Dry-Down...
"Olfactory Novelist" Colette describes French Perfumes as, "The precious honey of French Chic."
One whiff of these tiny magical elixirs and I am immediately transported back in time to my first encounter with the Fragonard House... I was 14 years old and on a school trip to Europe and we were touring the Parfumerie Fragonard. At the time, I had no idea how much of an impact this would have on me - I was just exhilarated in a way that is unique to a 14 year old girl... I knew how lucky I was to be be in France with all my friends (and current crush)!
As I was all ready on a conscious mission to soak up everything that I was experiencing through all my senses, I was in a predisposed perfect mindset to have my first encounter with the world of Fine French Perfumes...
The scent that stole my heart was their Muguet. I still remember my first whiff - it was unlike anything I had ever smelled before! Like a breeze from Heaven - it was sweet and delicious, green and floral and, well - "Heavenly" is really the only way to describe it...
I even loved the little gold bottle that it came in that seemed like something from the days of Marie Antoinette, and had the feel of a treasure straight from the souce. I still have that little bottle to this day. Even though the precious liquid is long gone, the flask contains a lingering trace of that lovely scent. Whenever I want to go back in time all I have to do is unscrew the little top and inhale deeply... And then I am there, 14 years old in a French Parfumerie sniffing Heaven.
SOTD: A comparison test - on one arm I am wearing the Lovely "Oranger" from the "Eaux Naturelels" set; on the other arm I am wearing our House Orange Blossom Accord.
This Accord is one that I use often in many of our ready-to-wear scents,as well as in Bespoke Perfumes. It is the base for "Green Tea & Orange Blossoms," AKA "Orange Blossoms in Summertime", AKA "Wafting Titania", a fragrance that I originally designed for myself to wear to a Shakespeare performance at Barnsdall Park. This scent caught the nose of Hollywood Starlet FAIRUZA BALK, who adopted it as her "Signature Scent". And notable Fragrance Expert/CaFleureBon Editor In Chief Michelyn Camen, who named it a Top Summer Scent two years in a row!
KEY NOTES: It is really quite remarkable to me how similar these two scents are to each other! According to the Fragonard site "Fleur d'Oranger" contains "Tender neroli blossom joined with bergamot, jasmine and musk." By sheer coincidence, my "Orange Blossoms in Summertime" includes the very same notes! This was purely coincidental as I had never smelled Fragonard's "Fleur d'Oranger" Perfume before today...
TASTY TID-BIT: Parfumerie Fragonard was opened in 1926.Founder Eugène Fuchs chose to name it after the famous Grasse-born painter, Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806). The historic perfume factory in the heart of the Old Town is one of the oldest in Grasse...
The Historic Factory ~
20 Boulevard Fragonard
06130 Grasse, FRANCE
Tel: +33 (0) 4 93 36 44 65
Fax: +33 (0) 4 93 36 57 32
Le musée du Parfum ~
9 rue Scribe
75009 PARIS, FRANCE
Tél: +33 (0) 1 47 42 04 56
Fax: +33 (0) 1 47 42 17 45
Fragonard's Perfume Museum in Paris occupies two stories of a 19th Century townhouse on rue Scribe in the 9th arrondissement. Visitors enter on the ground floor, then head upstairs to a series of large rooms with a mixture of period furnishings and perfume exhibits. Displays trace the history of perfume manufacturing and packaging from ancient through modern times. It is very interesting to see how natural ingredients such as Jasmine & Rose are combined with fats and other substances to create raw perfumery ingredients.
Kelly Inside The Fragonard Museum - Photo by John L. Hart
Grasse Parfumerie - Photo by John L. Hart
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Nothing could be more delicious or more decadent than
lounging around on the Velvet Fainting Couches in our
Jitterbug Perfume Parlour, sipping a glass of fine
champagne laced with Tuberose Absolute, listening to
Edithe Piaf sing "Adieu Mon Coeur", & watching the rain
fall down on Hollywood Blvd... Perhaps, if we were in
Paris, and chocolate and/or feathers were involved...
KEY NOTES: Vanilla, Blond Tobacco, Sweet Lemon
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT TRAMP:
Rebella says, "Among the burlesque-line, Tramp is my
favourite. It is rich, vibrant and sexy, but in a
soft spoken and almost shy way. Tramp is a gorgeous
kind of golden blend with hints of something lemony
and the tobacco is laid back and creamy. The patchouli
and sandalwood add a richness to the base, but very
soft and lingering. Overall this perfume is very soft
and lingering, seductive, kind of old school... Really
nice, long lasting... A must try for creamy vanilla lovers."
Livia Says, "Today, I decided to wear ‘Tramp’ – when I
read that the notes included Sweet Lemon Blossom, I
thought it’d have a bit of a floral-citrus hit to it,
but on my skin, the Warm Vanilla, Sugar and Blonde
Tobacco are the stand-out notes. Beautiful!! I never
thought I’d enjoy the smell of tobacco in a perfume!
But the blend with the vanilla sugar note has really
surprised me!! I think I know what I’m going to ask
my parents to get me for Christmas!"
(Perfume Critic: www.perfumecritic.com)
TASTY TID-BIT #1: Young Sally Rand literally
ran away from home to join a carnival as a teenager.
Over the years she worked as a nightclub cigarette
girl, figure model, cafe dancer and stage actress
(under the name Billie Beck). Notorious Sally was
considered the greatest fan dancer ever, she caused
a national scandal by performing her first "obscene"
dance at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair... When she
was unsuccessful in gaining a role at the Fair, she
industriously staged a Lady Godiva inspired stunt at
the gates, arriving entirely nude, atop a white horse!
The scandal boosted the World Fair’s popularity and
Sally was invited to be a featured performer in the
‘Streets of Paris’ exhibition, where she performed her
feather fan dance in a mock Parisian street scene...
TASTY TID-BIT#2: The Victorian Coupe glass
is rumored to be styled from Marie Antoinette's breast...
Friday, January 1, 2010
Selecting the first scent of the year is in my opinion, a very profound decision.
Therefore, it is never a choice that I make lightly. After all, the perfume that I choose to inhale on my very first breath of the New Year is forever going to remind me of this particular day and who I dreamed of being in the year to come... And on this New Year, my perfume of choice is also the first scent of a new decade, which makes the decision even more lofty than usual.
So who is this fantasy person that I would have myself become in 2010 and beyond? The first thought that comes to mind is that "she" is Joyful... I would also love to be enchanting,mysterious,feminine, playful, and carefree(I can dream can't I?)! As I conjure up adjectives that describe my dream of self for the year to come, one scent drifts very clearly into focus - ABSINTHIA!
ABSINTHIA is the perfect scent for celebrations! One spritz and I am ready to enchant and be enchanted. It's likewrapping myself in a green velvet cloak as I venture off into the wild night. Whenever I wear ABSINTHIA, I find that I am in a similar mood to the bygone times when I would reach for one of my all time favorite fragrant friends,YSL PARIS. The key notes are very different from ABSINTHIA, but the powdery,romantic,feminine feel is quite similar.
PARIS the Perfume, is named after Yves-Saint-Laurent's beloved French city. It was created by Perfumer Sophia Grojsman,and was intended to be a tribute to Parisian women who are known for their elegant romantic style and their eternal sophisticated charm. It is a heavenly woody-floral scent with key notes of Rose, Violet, & Bergamot finishing with a soft, warm Sandalwood dry-down.
What beautiful memories this scent triggers! This was the scent that I was wearing when I was a "PYT" living a dream life as a fashion model in Paris. One whiff and I am instantly transported back to those magical times of dancing all night at the Bain Douche(AKA "Les Bains"),leaving the club at Sunrise and walking though the streets in a somnambulist's stupor...
As Hemingway said, "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris (as a young man),then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast."
FIRST SCENT OF 2010: ABSINTHIA
KEY NOTES: Wisteria,Sugar,Vanilla,Absinthe(Wormwood)
TASTY TID-BIT: (Per Wikipedia)
"Absinthe is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic (45%–74% ABV) beverage. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from herbs, including the flowers and leaves of the herb Artemisia absinthium, commonly referred to as "grande wormwood". Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but can also be colourless. It is commonly referred to in historical literature as "la fée verte" (the Green Fairy).
Although it is sometimes mistakenly called a liqueur, absinthe is not bottled with added sugar and is therefore classified as a spirit. Absinthe is unusual among spirits in that it is bottled at a very high proof but is normally diluted with water when consumed.
Absinthe originated in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. It achieved great popularity as an alcoholic drink in late 19th- and early 20th-century France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Due in part to its association with bohemian culture,absinthe was opposed by social conservatives and prohibitionists. Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Aleister Crowley, and Alfred Jarry were all notorious 'bad men' of that day who were (or were thought to be) devotees of the Green Fairy.
Absinthe has been portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug. The chemical thujone, present in small quantities, was singled out and blamed for its alleged harmful effects. By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in most European countries except the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although absinthe was vilified, no evidence has shown it to be any more dangerous than ordinary spirits. Its psychoactive properties, apart from those of alcohol, have been much exaggerated.
A revival of absinthe began in the 1990s, when countries in the European Union began to reauthorize its manufacture and sale. As of February 2008, nearly 200 brands of absinthe were being produced in a dozen countries, most notably in France, Switzerland, Spain, and the Czech Republic. Commercial distillation of absinthe in the United States resumed in 2007."