Due to popular demand from my female readers, a Men's Issue will be published and the House of Penhaligon will be featured.
There will be an added feature but it will have to due with a British clothing design company that was established in 1873. It is truly one of the finest design companies in the United Kingdom that recently celebrated a 100 year old anniversary.
This month I will showcase two creative houses of such refined craftsmanship who will come together to bring a wonderful and historical part of their world that will add glamour and masculinity. This issue will also celebrate world famous British writer and author, Lewis Carroll best known for his historical fiction book of fantasy, "Alice in Wonderland". Many adaptations of this book have been but to film, but this wonderful children's book has a new version from film director, Tim Burton and Walt Disney.
This movie has already debuted in the U.K and today (March 5Th) it will debut in the United States.
Due to the slight change of the feature perfume company for this March issue, the House of Grossmith will definitely be featured but at a later date. I will keep you informed of this remarkable company.
Thank you for patience and most of all your valuable time.
P.S. I cannot wait to reveal the clothing design company.... ssshhh it is a surprise!
Due to popular demand from my female readers, a Men's Issue will be published and the House of Penhaligon will be featured.
This special Valentine's Day issue has been a labour of love. I wanted to convey different facets of love, passion, creativity and art all in the name of perfume.
I hope that you felt I accomplished this goal. However, the success of this issue could not be possible without the help of certain individuals and I want to express my sincere thank you to all of them.
Adam of Luckyscent.com
Elizabeth Engelhardt of aimee majors public relations
Sue Tobins of Europarfums
May St. Valentine's Day for you be filled with love, memories and fragrant dreams.
The cacao (kah KOW) tree was discovered 2,000 years ago in the rainforest of the Americas.
On the cacao tree there are pods that contain seeds which can be processed into chocolate.
It is said the first people to have made chocolate were the ancient cultures of Mexico and Central America. The people from Maya And Aztec mixed ground cacao seeds with seasonings to make spicy and frothy drinks.
Later, however the Spanish conquistadors took the seeds to Spain and new recipes for chocolate were invented.
Note: Information gathered and taken from the fieldmuseum.org/chocolate/history.html
It gives me great pleasure to introduce to the Fragrance Belles-Lettres family of perfumers a young man who did not start out designing a fragrance at the perfume organ but he is the third generation of master pastry chefs from France.
Mr. Francois Payard, owner of Payard Patisserie and Bistro in Manhattan New York is known for top of the line pastry masterpieces. He has received awards of high esteem over the course of his career. Mr. Payard has taken his love of chocolate to a whole new level. Not only does he cook with it but now he has designed three luxurious perfumes that are simply delectable.
These perfume creations are mouthwatering temptations that made me forget that I was writing about a perfume and not about Mr. Payard's fabulous pastries.
Lychee Mousse Perfume
The fragrance of white chocolate mixed with lychee meringue, crushed raspberry and Turkish rose water.
Pistachio Ganache Perfume
Made with milk chocolate that is blended with pistachio nougat, lavender honey and Egyptian jasmine.
Bergamot Truffle Perfume
Filled with dark chocolate, calabrian bergamot and sweeten with orange and Tahitian vanilla.
These fine niche perfumes can be purchased at payard.com
So when you have eaten the entire box of chocolates, spritz on one these fine fragrances and let the journey of chocolate continue day after day.
I remember my first quest for more knowledge about the art of perfumery. I read many books and articles and in one of the articles there sat a perfumer also known as the 'Nose' who had a strange shaped desk in front of him. This desk was curved or better described as a U-shape.
I continued to read the article and found out what this strange looking desk was all about. Since that time, I have always wanted that strange looking desk and I associate all master perfumer with this desk to construct a fragrance creation filled with finest ingredients of fruit and floral notes.
That U-shaped desk is called an 'orgue a parfum' in French and in English is a 'perfume organ'.
A perfume organ can hold over a hundred perfume ingredients in vials. The trained Nose mixes scents surrounded on the organ and it is a place that provides samples for custom mixed scents.
While on my quest to find the perfect chocolate compliment to my perfume article for this Valentine's Day issue, I embarked on a perfume blogger's dream.
It comes from Vosges Haut-Chocolat. A company founded and owned by Chocolatier, Katrina Markoff ( who is also from my home town of Chicago).
Ms. Markoff is a master at selecting every spice, flower and chocolate that is flown in to the Chicago headquarters. She is a world-traveler and a graduate of high esteem from the world renowned Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
The Sensory Collection by Vosges Haut-Chocolat is an introduction and a scentsational way of exploring all types of chocolate spices from around the world. There are dark, milk and white chocolate spices in this colorful collection of taste that meets the highest demand.
It is a circular shaped palette much like the perfume organ and it comes in vials for nibbling and these unique spices are the niche of chocolate from countries such as Ecuador and Papua New Guinea just to name a few.
The Sensory Collection is extensive much like what a master perfumer would have in their lab and by this it comes with the following...
- A flavor wheel to help you describe each chocolate
- A notebook for your thoughs and inspirations
- A blindfold for party fun
Now the blindfold is an added treat to me. I don't know many perfumers who use it on their quest to create the perfect fragrance but it indeed will show your knowledge of chocolates to impress your friends.
This world class package can be purchased at vosgeschocolate.com for $375.00
Hilde Soliani, a master perfumer takes pride in her remarkable skills that were inherit ant by her grandmother. Ms. Soliani, is a perfumer from Italy and her range of fragrances range from the smoky tobacco filled rooms at a theatre to a scent made with the idea of flowing tulips. Her vast imagination and effortless skills has given her niche line a fragrances to be become a cult figure.
It is not to my surprise that Hilde Soliani has created two remarkable chocolate fragrances that are befitting this special issue but what is always surprising is how much more wonderful her fragrances are then just simply reading about all the fine ingredients she has created in a scent.
CiocoSpezissimo and CiocoRosissimo Eau de Par fums are a part of her Profumo e Gusto in Liberta' collection.
These gourmand fragrances are made with chocolate and spices and can be worn by men and women.
CiocoRosissimo is a fragrance filled with Damascus rose, fresh grass, vanilla, Bulgarian rose, chocolate, wood and English rose.
The lush smell of chocolate and roses coming together is sweet and rather creamy. It smells like rose scented baby powder but masculine enough not to be too heady and sweet. It is ideal for anytime of the day and especially on a date when romance is off the essence.
100 ml $175.00
CiocoSpesizissimo is based on her grandmother's liqueur and it consist of spices, Italian basil, pepper, white chocolate, dark chocolate, wood, bitter cocoa from Brazil
100 ml $175.00
This is a mild spicy scent even with the zest of pepper and basil, it is not overpowering and the white and dark chocolate overlay gives it a smooth texture that holds and glides to the skin with a warm inviting scent.
It is a great alternative to the gourmand chocolate fragrances because it is also based on food properties.
Profumo e Gusto in Liberta' Collection can be purchased at luckyscent.com
When it comes to the master of arts and that includes not only the art of perfumery but vast knowledge in fine arts, then you would need to speak with Dawn Spencer Hurwitz.
Ms. Hurwitz is a master perfumer, fragrance consultant, artist and owner and founder of Parfums de BEAUX ARTS/DSH in Boulder, Colorado.
I have written about Ms. Hurwitz before and her knowledge of art that has been put into wonderful historical fragrances much like Francois Rance' is her expertise. She is the Michelangelo of finer touches when you need a fragrance for a special occasion such as her wedding collection or if you want a traditional rose scent or a simple but elegant twist to that traditional rose scent, Ms. Hurwitz can do it all!
Her educational background in fine arts and the opportunity she receive working as an apprentice at the perfume shop after graduating from school was a golden opportunity and it led to her destiny in life.
There are three glowing fragrances created by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz that will be featured. Two are of chocolate gourmand and the third fragrance reminded me of what Francois Rance' would have created if he were alive today.
Bois du Chocolat Eau de Parfum
Dark Chocolate, Vanilla
Musk and Patchouli
Bois du Chocolat is a rich wood and chocolat scent that is so soft and light. The whisper of chocolat acknowledges that it is there and there the puff of vanilla and sandalwood come around in a discreet manner.
St. Valentine Eau de Parfum
Bergamot, Nutmeg and Parma Violet
Bulgarian rose absolute, Centifolia rose absolute, raspberry and tea rose
Amber, Bourbon Vanilla, Dark Chocolate, French Vanilla and Vanilla Absolute
This is the ideal, Valentine's Day scent if you are stuck in tradition. It is beautifully warm and powerful but not overbearing. You are simply showered with roses and drips of lasting vanilla shimmer down to a warm tone like a warm kiss in the night.
Lumiere Eau de Parfum
Bergamot, Cardamom Absolute, Cinnamon Leaf, Coriander Seed and Nutmeg
Almond milk, Hazelnut, Rum and Sweet Cream
Amber, Australian Sandalwood, Coffee Absolute, Opoponax and Peru Balsam
I choose the House of Rance' as the feature for this special Valentine's Day issue. I choose the master pastry chef, Payard and Vosges Haut-Chocolat for their extreem dedication and beautiful details to making sweets glide to the tune of harps and I chose the master perfumers, Soliani, Duchafour and Spencer-Hurwitz for enduring and being passionate about the art of study and creating after creating until perfection is all theirs.
Questions about these and other fragrances can be purchased at dshperfumes.com
Much like master perfumer, Hilde Soliani, master perfumer, Bertrand Duchafour has a twist to the art of perfumery with his gourmand creation on the sensational chocolate.
The House of L'Artisan Parfumeur is a French niche perfume house established in 1976 by Jean Laporte and since that time there have been amazing fragrances produced.
Mr. Duchafour is the perfumer for 2002 launch of Piment Brulant Eau de Toilette. This unisex fragrance is referred to as an Oriental Spicy scent and it consist of hot pepper, clove, cocoa, tonka, vanilla, amber, cinnamon, musk and poppy.
This super red hot fragrance is captivating but smooth and sensual as well.
The Mexican red hot pepper sets the tone but with masculine and feminine traits with the bit of sweetness from the vanilla and tonka and the musk wraps around the chocolate as the center attraction.
If you are looking to set the world on fire, then Piment Brulant Eau de Toilette is right for you.
This fragrance can be purchased at artisanparfumeur.us and luckyscent.com
EAU DE CHARLOTTE
Floral Fruity Gourmand for women
Launched in 1982
This beautiful and delicate scent was designed for Annick Goutal's daughter, Charlotte who wanted a fragrance to smell like her favorite blackcurrant jam.
Eau de Charlotte toilette is a flowery scent that is for day or evening and it is long lasting with an elegant smell that wraps your heart and soul around the finest of scents and spices that the world has to offer.
This fragrance simply glides and stay on the skin without feeling heavy or too sticky. It is simply a breathe of beauty.
Lily, Black Currant Blossom
Mimose and lily-of-the-valley
Vanilla and Cacao
Available for purchase at annickgoutal.com beautyencounter.com
There is nothing more fascinating then to go into a posh bakery with ceiling lights beaming on the variety of delicate pastries adorned with colorful frosting and stuffed with creme brulee filling or with luscious chunks of plump fruit.
A tremendous work of art is ready to be put into an 18 karat gold frame and submitted to the Louvre Museum in Paris for pastries, if they had such a category.
I love to read about a perfumer putting their taste buds into motion and create a gourmand fragrance that is adorned with a sweet and edible temptation using the finest ingredients known to man or woman.
Master Pastry Chefs and Master Perfumers are indeed creators of edible art either by mouth when you take that first bite into that honey puff or with the first spritz of aroma on the wrist that has a top note that screams Madagascar vanilla.
This entire month of February is dedicated to the fine men and women who present to us some of their finest creations. It warms my heart to know that there are still geniuses in the niche category working together in the form of flavors, aromas and creativity.
Please take time to read about these wonderful masterpieces and the creators who have taken the time to present to this world, the 'finest of its kind'.
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was a huge fan of Francois Rance' and had him to create several fragrance that was commissioned by Bonparte.
Three of those fragrances will be featured in this review section.
The fragrances are Laetitia Millesime, Josephine Le Vainquer Eau de Parfum and Le Vainquer Eau de Parfum (Napoleon)
Josephine Le Vainquer Eau de Parfum and Le Vainquer Eau de Parfum are part of the Collection Imperiale. Jeanne Sandra Rance'the great-great granddaughter of Francois Rance' revised the name of these two fragrances and it was added to the Collection Imperiale in 2008.
A fragrance for women was a perfume created for Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's mother.
It is a floral spicy fragrance that has an spicy sweet aroma.
Bergamot, Mandarin Orange and Orange Blossom
Rose, Caribbean Magnolia Wisteria and Nutmeg
Patchouli, French labdanum, Tolu Balsam and Vanilla
Josephine Le Vainquer
Prior to his cornation, Napoleon Bonparte approached Francois Rance' and asked him to create a fragrance for his love and bride, Josephine that would dominate the air every time she walked into a room. Rance' agreed to the task and Bonaparte commissioned this fragrance for Josephine. This fragrance is considered as a floral wood musk scent.
Iris, black currant galbanum, violet leaf, cloves and white peach
Jasmine, hiacynth and ylang-ylang
Amber, sandalwood, bourbon vanilla and white musk
This fragrance "Le parfum de Vainqueur" means Perfume of the Conqueror was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte. He requested from Rance' a fragrance that would be compatible to Josephine Le Vainquer. He wanted to mellow together whenever they touched and the scent to become one of uniqueness.
This fragrance is for men and it has a woody aromatic aroma.
Nutmeg, ginger, melon, citruses and watermelon
Lavender, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, geranium
Leather, iris, and amber musk
These highly aristocratic fragrances with the finest ingredients that are lengendary and timeless is available at the Official site ranceusa.com
Niche perfumery is the opposite of mass perfume production. Niche perfumes are created with devotion to fine fragrance notes and essential oils are used in place of alcohol. This is an area of perfumery that is truly fascinating because so many perfumers have created wonderful works of art and sometimes it can be hard to describe it.
Niche perfumery applies to all parts of the world as long as the main goal is art and creativity.
Niche houses tend to have their own perfumer in charge of the fragrances of the house, just like it was in former days. The packaging for niche fragrances is a lot more complex and more ornate than for mass market fragrances. This was the second most important component that grabbed my attention to this market. So much time and dedication is taken and the pride behind it is priceless.
If you are new to niche perfumery, Welcome! It is truly an exciting and educational journey that will forever leave you breathless with so many wonderful fragrances to choose.
The Gourmand fragrances are basically a new category. It is a fragrance that has edible notes such as spices, honey, amber, vanilla, cinnamon and of course, chocolate.
These scents are delicious and in most cases smell just like the real thing.
Gourmand scents are perfect for cooler seasons and are so fun to wear.
Since the theme is chocolate for this month, here are some descriptions of different types of chocolate.
Deep earthy and bittersweet. Chocolate is known for its aphrodisiac properties (unisex).
A soft and creamy gourmand note with characteristic cocoa butter-sweet vanilla (unisex).
Milk chocolate is chocolate with milk powder, liquid milk or condensed milk added.
A dry, rich aroma of cocoa beans without the cocoa butter (unisex).
PERFUME AND PASSION... A LOVE STORY
Over 200 years ago, before the coronation Napoleon Bonaparte spoke with master perfumer, Francois Rance' about having two perfumes commissioned for himself and the love of his life, Josephine. These two incredible scents however were not to be released under 200 years after the coronation. The beauty and the rare talent of Mr. Rance' was to create a fragrance for Josephine to dominate whenever she walked into the room, but when the both of them were together, then the other fragrance is to merge with Josephine's fragrance and create one unique scent.
The House of Rance' finally released these two loving and passionate fragrances in 2004.
The two fragrances are called, Rance'Le Vanquer and the formula is available elsewhere, however The Perfume House in Portland, Oregon has the bottles of the actual perfume found in the original vats.
The Perfume House is owned by Chris Tsefalas, master perfumer.
Francois Rance' was known for using the finest ingredients and caught the eye of Napoleon Bonaparte. Mr. Rance' became Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte's favorite perfumer and had several perfumes commissioned by Napoleon.
The relationship between Emperor Bonaparte and Mr. Rance was one of respect and a great friendship.
The HOUSE OF RANCE' is a dynasty of a family owned company that was founded by Francois Rance' in the 1600's.
Mr. Rance loved the art of perfumery and in 1795 devoted his life to this art as a perfumer and created masterpieces for the French aristocracy.
No, Francois Rance' did not create a gourmand fragrance but his creations go far deeper than the scent of chocolate or vanilla.
He created perfume for the love of the art and therefore he was recognized for his rare talent and walked into the lives of many of the aristocracy to create for them only, a perfume to be cherished forever.
Valentine's Day is about love and sharing and expressing that love which can be done in a form of a song, poem, holding hands or sharing a kiss.
There is one love story that Mr. Rance' was greatly involved in that consisted of two lovers over 200 years ago and that was Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte.
The love story begins and the perfume creation for the Napoleon and Josephine still endures to this very day.
Greetings! Happy St. Valentine's Day to you!
Love is in the air. The expression of kindness and respect on this special day is one of a kind. The sharing of delicately decorated Valentine cards nestled in a red or pink envelope for the intended with loving words written on it stating, BE MINE.
Busy, busy are the floral shops wrapping up in beautiful shades of tissue paper red roses for the intended with loving words on the small card hidden beneath the stems stating, I LOVE YOU.
Brightly red cardboard boxes intricately carved in the shape of a heart are laying quietly but boldly in the middle of the pastry shop ready to be picked up and taken home to the intended. Once the box is opened, there sits many pieces of the finest chocolates of its kind and that is where our story begins....