jeudi 3 mai 2012

Mr. Roudnitska's Muguet

Here is a picture of the most famous muguet in the world: the one planted by Edmond Roudnitska as he was composing Diorissimo, in the garden of Sainte-Blanche, near Grasse, where he lived and set up his company Art et Parfum. This is where the oil of my own Séville à l'aube will  be blended with tender loving care by my dear Olivier Maure, the owner of Art et Parfum and of Accords et Parfums, its production branch. If L'Artisan Parfumeur order it soon enough, I might be able to add a chapter about the blending to the US edition of The Perfume Lover: because of the number of precious, tricky natural ingredients in the formula, the whole operation is carried out manually, in an order determined by Gérard, the master of the blending facility, according to the way each material needs to be handled and how they react with each other.

When I was there yesterday with my friend Angela of Now Smell This, they were doing an organic vanilla reconstitution and they'd just added a "coconut" lactone obtained through fermentation, so that the whole facility smelled like a tropical drink. But just wandering off with Olivier into the multicoloured glory of the garden, we could dive nose-first into the very first May roses of the season, huge peonies, lilacs, white and purple wisteria, tiny mauve rosemary blossoms, yellow crownvetch flowers that were almost pure indoles, and little blue flowers whose name I forget, that smelled exactly like honey. We crumpled lemontree leaves that smelled of lemon verbena, and a special kind of sage... Then Michel Roudnitska kindly showed us up to his parents' office, where we discussed his work creating soul-healing blends based on shamanic rituals with Native American people in Canada and Brazil.

It was a magical day, with lunch on a terrace in front of the 10th century castle of Cabris. Angela and Olivier were the best company I could dream of. We thought of all of you. You were there with us.


And here is the original bottle of Diorissimo, owned by its author!

27 commentaires:

  1. What a perfect day, Denyse. Sounds magical.

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  2. Perfume lovers' nirvana! I wore Diorissimo for the last two day, after reading that you and Angela were off to its home. I have a few days off and will celebrate by diving into The Perfume Lover.

    I'm very interested in the shamanic perfumes - are there plans for those to be available someday?

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  3. Oh, I forgot to sign the question about shamanic perfumes as nozknoz - I must really figure out how to use one of those accounts. Cheers, nozknoz

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  4. ::sigh:: How lovely.

    I have about 20 pages left in your book and I can't bring myself to finish it...

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  5. Jarvis, Olivier has just dropped me off at the airport, like he used to drop off Mme Roudnitska. I'm sunburned, happy and a bit tipsy. The place is magical and he's one of the most adorable people I know!

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  6. Nozknoz, happy to have inspired you! The sample Michel gave me is in my checked luggage so I'll add a word later, I remember it is commercialized in Québec.

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  7. Amy, awww... Well (spoiler alert), I'll tell you no one dies at the end!

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  8. Sounds wonderful! Thank you for the story and the smells. Today is another dull, rainy day, but I'm imagining the perfumes of lily of the valley and lemontree leaves.

    Have a safe trip, D!

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  9. Mimi Gardenia3 mai 2012 à 17:33

    Thank you for this lovely piece . It must have been a magical sort of day . I loved the picture of the original Diorissimo bottle.
    I am going through a fab Diorissimo phase - but only in the new formulation , I am afraid. I love Diorissimo so much and remember the vintage wistfully. I refuse to hunt down vintage anymore and will go with the change. I bought the EDP by Francois Demarchy blind online from Saks and I look forward to trying his version of Diorissimo .

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  10. Ce commentaire a été supprimé par son auteur.

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  11. Victoria, I'm glad I provided a bit of dream on a rainy day! Just remembered the name of the little blue flowers that smell like honey diluted in weak tea: ceanothus!

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  12. Mimi, I totally understand what you mean: I've pretty much given up hunting vintages. However, if I were to recommend a current version of Diorissimo I'd go for the eau de toilette, which is rhe original. I find there's something badly wrong about a brand appropriating the form of a fragrance it didn't create, like LVMH has done with Dior Homme, Miss Dior ex-Chérie, Fahrenheit or Kenzo Flower. Same with Diorissimo edp. When I did a blind test of the two versions, I could immediaty tell which one wasn't a Roudnitska: the one that had lots of musk (which he loathed) and an added dose of indoles. That's not to say it's a bad fragrance, mind you! It's the way LVMH is behaving that's objectionable: taking advantage of a system based on gentlemen's agreements to appropriate formulas they didn't develop.
    Sorry for the rant, but since the facts aren't necessarily widely known this was an opportunity to point them out!

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  13. What a day that must have been... from another world! And thanks for the comment about today's Diorissimo edt. I never know which concentration to go with... particularly with these iconic scents. Just got an automated email from Amazon.ca saying that your book is still on order for me... waiting. BTW, that was one of the most inspiring posts I've read from anyone in a long time.

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  14. Normand, thanks for finding the post inspiring! Then it reflected what Angie and I felt. Sorry to hear about Amazon. I bet if you cancel and go through Amazon UK you'll get it more quickly! Unless the Canadian post got confused and thinks the parcel is perfume in which case it's been shoved into the Hazmat bin...

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  15. Truly magical! All of this! And it comes through so clearly in this tender post. Thank you, D.

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  16. You have the most magical life-thank you for sharing with us!

    It's so cold here-but I like cold north atlantic sea air. It's fragrant and bracing. I bought L'eau de L'artisan for the slightly mineral, north altantic seaweed note in the middle phase. Thank you for describing the different versions of Diorissimo. i have the older EDT, and it's lovely. No musc, to my nose.
    Carole

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  17. Alyssa, this was such a privileged moment... I'm happy to share!

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  18. Carole, I felt I was standing in for all the perfume lovers who'd dream of being there, and I was glad to open that door for Angela so that she could also share her story, with her usual talent.
    And, no, the edt wouldn't have any musk!

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  19. Do you happen to know where/how one can find the native american scents in Québec? They sound intriguing.

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  20. Tara, no idea... I think there's just the one, called Miwahimoon, a Cree word. Michel, it must be said, worked on the notes from an aesthetic point of view as well.

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  21. Google reveals that there is a First Nations Perfume Invocation wellness spray - Miwahïmoon by Blue Eagle - sweetgrass spray on a website called Song of Stones. The description doesn't mention Michel, but it does say it was "made using French perfumery methods that ensure high quality and well rounded, homogenous fragrances," as well as "following ancestral 1st nation’s methods that significantly enhance the effect of the ingredients."

    Perhaps I will e-mail them to find out. ~~nozknoz

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  22. Nozknoz, that's what I answered Tara in the comment above after retrieving my samples from my suitcase. I haven't yet tried them out though...

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  23. Mimi Gardenia4 mai 2012 à 17:27

    Denyse - I totally understand what you are saying. Actually I am completely in love with the EDT even more so than the new parfum extrait which though I smell 'Diorissimo' in it, I also smell the reformulation ! The EDT is rather weak but when you spray enough- you get the real sense of what Diorissimo was/ is.
    I do wonder about the EDP - I hope to get it through the mail very soon . I am quite bad to order blind but I simply must know what Francois Demachy's version is like.
    I love your blog very much .

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  24. Mimi Gardenia Again4 mai 2012 à 17:29

    PS
    I am with you on your thoughts re. LVMH and Dior etc. Rant away . :)

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  25. Mimi, thank you! The IFRA-imposed changes on Diorissimo are very sad, but I know every possible effort is made for the part of the formula of the edt blended at Art et Parfum: these are people who've lived most of their lives with it.

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