mercredi 21 décembre 2011

Boucheron: Diamonds go with everything


Hear that tinkling sound? Those are the iFrags cowering on their shelves, exhaling asthmatic little puffs of iso-e super. In the wake of a new licensing deal with Interparfums (Lanvin, Van Cleef & Arpels…), the 1988 Boucheron is being re-launched, and she’s going to show them how it’s done. 
 
I never wore Boucheron back in the days and so can’t assess whatever nips and tucks it underwent. But such as it is, it’s a compliment-getter (and from people in the industry, no less). Despite coming twelve years after Van Cleef & Arpels’ First, the first jeweler’s perfume and perhaps the last straight-faced aldehydic floral, the scent belongs to the classical era: a haughty, hefty, complex floriental carrying some of L’Origan’s DNA by way of Bal à Versailles. Both the 1988 Boucheron and the 1962 Bal à Versailles were already somewhat retro at the time of their launch.
This classical stance was deliberate: in Michael Edwards’ Perfume Legends, Boucheron Parfums CEO Jean-Claude Le Rouzic explains that the “aggressive” style of 80s blockbusters like Poison and Giorgio was the last thing he wanted.

In his Journal of a Perfumer, Jean-Claude Ellena explains that in First, he “collected, borrowed and piled on all the signs of femininity, wealth, power”. Firmenich’s Francis Deléamont and Jean-Pierre Béthouart worked on a similar idea, glazing the honeyed (broom, narcissus), heady (jasmine, orange blossom) and balsamic (tonka bean, vanilla) warmth of the base notes with a hard, pearly sheen. Both effects – the cold, sparkling top notes; the opulence of the floral heart and oriental base – convey the idea of luxury, as well as the feel of a strand of pearls: cold and hard at the outset, warming and coming alive on skin…

Because it refers to the heritage of perfumery, the fragrance also achieves the same heirloom quality as Boucheron’s jewels. Boucheron Eau de Parfum has the natural authority that comes from being the offspring of a long line of classics; somehow, despite its grandness, it is an easy wear. Was it Elizabeth Taylor who said diamonds go with everything?

Photo: Helen Bennett by Horst P. Horst, c. 1937

14 commentaires:

  1. Ooh, this sounds lovely. I adore First - it is a truly beautiful fragrance, sort of Chanel No. 5's less-haughty sister. It's not challenging or mysterious, just gorgeous, but a good gorgeous that's impossible to argue with. I have lately been craving big, complex, composed fragrances, if you know what I mean - "pavé" perfumes, if you will, with lots of elements & facets; things that really show off a perfumeur's chops. Looking forward to this one.

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  2. Exciting news! A German friend gave me her mini of Boucheron that she received when it launched. The bottle is beautiful, and so is the perfume. Every once in a while I put on just a tiny drop and inhale that opulent scent, what a treat! I may try it this Christmas Eve, it's very suitable for high holidays.
    -Marla

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  3. Amy, I think it's already in the shops, the new bottle was launched in November... I love both simple bold formulas and "pavé" compositions (love the expression). Though the pared-down style is more common today, you've still got some contemporary juices that are more facetted. But Boucheron leans more towards old-school, if not in the actual formula (of which I know nothing), at least in the effects.

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  4. Marla, a commenter on the French side said this new iteration has undergone quite a few nips and tucks, so I imagine it's less opulent than the original... Still quite beautiful, though, and I agree, very well suited to holiday celebrations.

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  5. D -
    This sounds absolutely lovely! I wore Boucheron for about .32 seconds back in the day and remember little of it, save the bottle with the sapphire top, and probably wouldn't have given this a first sniff, incorrectly lumping it in with the Big 80s as is my wont. Now...? Now I will sniff and spritz it with abandon (okay - maybe sparingly) - when next I'm in civilization

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  6. Musette, I too was expecting an 80s powerhouse. It's still got pretty strong sillage, but not in an oxygen-sucking way. More like something that was well built -- after all, Béthouart composed Parfum Sacré which is a classic and a template for later rose-musk-sandalwood accords, so the man knew (knows -- he's still active) what he was doing.

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  7. What has been the fate of Boucheron Jaipur? The one by Sophia Grojsman, the plummy one? Has it been discontinued, reworked, reissued? It's quite yummy, too.
    -Marla

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  8. Marla, I'll have to look into it, I have no idea, but I doubt it's been discontinued - under the new Interparfums licensing deal, it'll probably be (or has been) relaunched too.

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  9. Thank you for investigating, Denyse, and have a very blessed holiday!!
    -Marla

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  10. I don't know whether Elizabeth Taylor said that diamonds went with everything but it was Marilyn Monroe who said, when a suitor easily slipped a diamond ring on her finger and asked her if it was too big, "Oh no... they can never be too big!"

    Happy holidays!

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  11. Normand, that must have been in Gentlemen prefer blondes...

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  12. This sounds very intriguing. I must try to find some to sample. I appreciated the backstory on it, too. Thanks!

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