Wednesday, January 27, 2010
FINE FRENCH PARFUM
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