mardi 17 décembre 2013

Two magnolias will blossom in January at Grandiflora: one by Sandrine Videault, one by Michel Roudnitska

Sandrine Videault chose a unique path. Formally trained by two of the most respected perfumers in the industry, Edmond Roudnitska and Pierre Bourdon, she became an independent. Much of her work focused on less-explored avenues of composition: she recreated historic perfumes, like the Egyptian kyphi produced for the Museum of Cairo, sponsored by L’Oréal. She worked with artists (such as Fabrice Hyybert) and as an artist for installations and events. She also chose to move back to her native New Caledonia, a French territory, far from industry centers, and had started to create a client portfolio in Australasia. She only took on commercial projects which afforded her total creative freedom, and with clients whose vision she could totally embrace.

Saskia Havekes, a prominent floral designer based in Sydney, Australia, was one such client. The first time I met Sandrine in the flesh in Paris, she was just starting on a magnolia fragrance for Saskia, whom she adored. Until the end, she kept working to get it just right, to make Saskia happy…

Sandrine’s heartbreaking demise pushed back the launch of Magnolia Grandiflora, which was to become her last creation. Now it will be coming out at last, but no longer alone. When visiting Art & Parfum, where the fragrance would be produced, Saskia met Michel Roudnitska. Clearly, he fell for her as Sandrine had. Though he doesn’t really work as a commercial perfumer any longer, he did have his own interpretation of the scent of magnolia, the very magnolia that grew in his father’s – now his – garden…

In January, Grandiflora will be launching two fragrances: Magnolia Sandrine and Magnolia Michel. Both rooted in the land of Cabris, Michel’s home and the place where Sandrine was born as a perfumer. A unique project – when has another brand been launched with two different interpretations of its namesake flower? And a beautiful tribute to the spirit that nurtured the inspiration of Sandrine Videault and Michel Roudnitska.

17 commentaires:

  1. Oh, how lovely! I'm thrilled to get one more work from Sandrine - every time I wear Manoumalia I'm a little sad because I would so love to have smelled more of her unique and gorgeous work. I haven't gotten excited about a new release in a while, but I'll definitely make a point of getting my mitts on these. Have you gotten a sniff yet?

  2. A happy-sad post. What a remarkable development. Magnolia is the new white.

  3. Amy, I did smell Sandrine's Magnolia when it was presented in Paris, and hope to discover Michel's soon. I'll review them after the holidays.

  4. Jordan, Sandrine is very much in my mind lately, especially since, by some extraordinary coincidence, I've just met another member of faculty at the business school where I teach who knew her well too... But then, Sandrine had a way of bringing about such serendipitous events.

  5. I love Manoumalia and admired Sandrine's approach as much as her artistry. It may be the way you tell it (sorceress of words!), but the loss of the creator of the first perfume followed by the birth of the second perfume by someone who had had no intention to create seems like a magical fairy tale twist to the story. nozknoz

  6. Nozknoz, Michel had already composed the magnolia, but for himself. Still, yes, all of it is a little magical...

  7. Very eager for your reviews! Since you first mentioned Grandiflora and how it was Videault's last creation, I've been searching for samples at European websites like Aus Liebe Zum Duft. I had begun to think that the scent was just ultra-exclusive niche, and I wouldn't be able to get it. There are just too few proper magnolia soliflores. I love magnolia and so I'm delighted to hear that the samples (and reviews) are forthcoming, and especially from Videault AND Roudnitska, both of whose (rare) creations I almost always love.

  8. Erin, you're right, neither has been very prolific in commercial perfumery, and as far as I know that's not an avenue Michel intends to pursue. Which makes both scents all the more precious.

  9. Sandrine loss was so sudden for someone so lively, it was hard to talk about her in all but the present tense.
    With the unexpected birth of a new creation, it get more natural to speak about Sandrine Videault at the past tense. The mourning is over.

    Serendipity is the right word, I love Michel Roudnitska's "noir epice" and like his Delrae compositions. I like their bold yet refined personnalities.
    Manoumalia has guts yet spirituality too.
    Magnolia is perfect, it's such a misterious character. I'm building great expectation for theses perfumes. Those two can't have given into the too classic tuberose-coconut idea of magnolia.

    Is there a place in Paris where Saskia's perfume will be available?

  10. Julien, neither of these magnolias is tuberose-coconut (I can't actually think of one that is). In Paris, they'll be available at Colette in January.
    It's still difficult to speak of Sandrine in the past tense when you knew her.

  11. In Colette? and soon! Nice. I'll step once more in that hellish hipster den.

    Tuberose coconut : you know... not fully coconut. White flower tuberose with a nutty waxy roundness.
    Every perfume presentation that blurs the line between tuberose, gardenia, and fragrae. That is, everything under the sun!
    (ex : "gardenia passion", every gardenia facet (like in Fracas), even "Private collection tuberose gardenia" was deceptive for me on that point)

    I mean most brands prefer to push a coconut waxyness instead of displaying the mushroom facet of gardenia. That's where the room perfume "un gardenia la nuit" from Malle is a success.
    Another path that pleased me is perfume that are using lentisque, like "iris nobile".

    And my brain tricks me with "magnolia" because the word is close to gardenia : and maybe the leafy minty medicament undertone of the magnolia leaf extract (kuddo Maurice Roucel!) would fit a gardenia composition? [I love this coumpound! Have you tried the FLOWER chinese magnolia extract of Laboratoire Monique Rémy?]

    I compassionate with your pain. You were lucky to have Sandrine Videault as a friend, the weight must strike you much harder. But all-in-all it was a luck to have had her granted as a friend.
    Me, just as a distant admirer, a testimony perfume is enough to alleviate my pain.

    I expected nothing more at all, I feel it like a wink from Videault, to have put a perfume birth in her death. A nod to mythological flower transformation, or the birth of Adonis.

  12. Julien, that's what I thought, you're hearing "magnolia" and thinking "gardenia". Our brain does this weird "auto-complete" things to us sometimes...
    You're right, there is something mythological for someone who is gone to be reborn as perfume.

  13. I just got my mistake. It has been about magnolia all along. Silly me.

  14. Denyse, thanks for the clarification. I'm very much looking forward to your review of these new magnolias. nozknoz

  15. It is now possible to get Magnolia Sandrine via:
    They ship worldwide.
    It is rather expensive, but it's totally worth it.