jeudi 14 juin 2012

The Birth of Séville à l'aube...

When you read these lines, I’ll be attending (and perhaps participating in) the grande pesée of Séville à l’aube, in sufficient quantities to produce a few thousand bottles, with my dear friends of Art et Parfum in Cabris, near Grasse.

The very tricky operation consists in weighing (the meaning of pesée) and adding the different ingredients of the formula to make up the oil (i.e. the mix without alcohol and water). This must be carried out manually, in a specific order, since all materials don’t have the same consistency – some are resins, other powders, oils, etc. – and some must be heated at different temperatures. In other words, it’s complicated. But according to Olivier Maure, the owner of the company founded by Edmond Roudnitska, you can smell the accords taking shape all the way from the garden, and even identify a perfumer’s style by the way they build up. Of course, I can’t say how thrilled I am to be there for the birth of the fragrance I inspired Bertrand Duchaufour to compose!

I know that in Parisian L’Artisan Parfumeur counters and shops, there are already waiting lists for Séville à l’aube (the only people I’ve heard of not loving it are SAs from other brands… ‘nuff said!). I know testers are available in many points of sale, though not sure where in the world – Paris and London, definitely. They’re sometimes tucked under the counter: the ladies tell me they’d be empty by now if they were left out, and that many of the people who test it are quite disgruntled not to be able to buy it straight away! Just so you know, though, if I’m happy that people seem to love the fragrance, it’s in  a purely disinterested fashion, since I am not, repeat, not, making a penny out of it! My part of the deal was getting the story. Anyway, feel free to ask SAs at L’Artisan Parfumeur points of sale for the tester, and report back if it’s already arrived in your city, I’d love to know.

For a lovely report by Angela of Now Smell This on our visit to Art et Parfum, click here and here. For my (much shorter) version, click here. And of course, you can learn all about the genesis of Séville à l'aube, and read a detailed account of my first visit to Art et Parfum, in The Perfume Lover.

And please check out Suzanna's lovely review of Séville à l'aube on Bois de Jasmin,
as well as Armellide's review of The Perfume Lover on Ecosrose, with an astonishingly generous draw of 130 samples! Needless to say, I'm immensely touched and pleased by both.

 Illustration: Odilon Redon's The Birth of Venus.

16 commentaires:

  1. I absolutely CANNOT wait to try it! The question remains: try it BEFORE reading the book? During? Or after? Delicious conundrum in so many ways!
    Congratulations on being part of such a beautiful and inspiring collaborative effort!

  2. Catherine@scentofchoice14 juin 2012 à 09:54

    HI Denyse. I had a quick sniff of Seville a l'aube for the first time this afternoon and have a small sample bottle - the samples have made it to Australia! I haven't even had a chance to think about it properly (we were smelling a whole range of new things) but my first reaction was how green the orange blosson felt -- definitely outside underneath trees.I'm really looking forward to putting it on the skin and enjoying the whole journey which I know is going to be eventful.
    Congratulations. It's not a minor achievement to have been involved
    in the creation of something so special.

  3. At L'Artisan's shop in Milan the kind and generally well informed SA keeps telling me that she has no idea about S- and asking me about how it smells!! We're in backwaters!Can't wait to test it fully, the mouillette you sprayed on at Esxence is almost faded- but the drydown is gorgeous!

  4. Anna-Lyssa, not sure what to answer! Each option seems to have its points... If you smell it after you might be surprised by the difference between your mental image and the result.

  5. Catherine, I think you'll find it evolves quite a lot past those green top notes. It has a very pyramidal construction - or rather, narrative!
    And, yes, I'm insanely proud the project came to such beautiful fruition!

  6. Iodine, it seems incredible that samples have made it all the way to Australia and bypassed Milan! I'll be doing another draw soon, though...

  7. I am impatiently waiting here stateside for the first bottles to reach our shores. This will make a double-header buy from L'Artisan since I just purchased Mandarine.

    Sitting on my counter is the small tester pot, empty now but still, when picked up, able to diffuse a bit of the wonderful scent into the air.

    Brava to you and M. Duchaufour for memory and imagination! (And thanks for linking to my review on BdJ.)

  8. Suzanna, thank *you* for your lovely review. Didn't comment directly since knowing the concerned party is online may make it awkward for some commenters to speak their mind. But I was happy to see that your review prompted many to say they wanted full bottles too, no mean fit for perfume aficionados. When you do get a bottle, you'll know I was sniffing the actual juice as it was being blended!

  9. I've got a new series of lectures coming up in the fall and I've been trying to get a L'Artisan Parfumeur perfume on the list. I just realized that Séville
    a l'aube is the perfect fragrance (!!!) to tie so much together... perfume creation, your blog and your book (afterall, all my lectures are done in libraries... including a special lecture on perfume classification given in October to a couple of hundred librarians and technicians).

    And, I'll make sure the library has acquired the book so that people can read all about it after the lecture. Any chance the French version will be out in the fall?

    Our L'Artisan Parfumeur counter had a tester and I tried it... and I just know that my lecture participants will love it. Romantic beyond words.


    P.S. Still waiting for my copy from gggrrrr!

  10. Normand, the English-language Canadian edition as well as the French version will be out in the first quarter of 2013. As for your copy, CANCEL your Canadian order fer cryin' out loud, and order from Amazon UK! That said, I'm happy the book + fragrance + blog synergy can provide you with material for your lectures: you're right, it works in well with the library setting.

  11. Oh I wish I would be present at a making of a batch of perfume, especially in Grasse. :)
    I wonder if the people working there are always walking around with smiles on their faces (due to teh fact that they work in such a wonderfully fragrant place).

  12. Ines, at Art & Parfum people are definitely walking around with a smile on their faces: they work in the midst of a garden, on beautiful materials, with a wonderful boss, in true team spirit. No kidding, this is the happiest company I've ever seen, and each time I go there I have a magical time.
    The rest of Grasse? Not necessarily. Lots of history, lots of under-the-table and under-the-belt dealings... I hear a lot of gossip!

  13. Dear Denyse,

    It was such an honor and pleasure meeting you when I was with Ines and Jasia in Paris, and I wanted to add my congratulations to this very exciting moment for you. How long did the mixing process take, by the way? It does sound very complex ... did you get to have a hand in it?

    I'm so glad I was able to nab a copy of your book while in France, and now that I'm rested and caught up from the trip, I'm looking forward to cracking it open this weekend!

  14. Dear Suzanne, it was a pleasure meeting you too! Just wish it hadn't been such a frantic time for me... The process took about 3 hours, but many things had been decided/prepared beforehand. I'll be writing about it, but will need to get the write-up cleared first just so I don't unwittingly disclose a trade secret -- many aspects of the process are very specific to the company, for instance, and the sources of the ingredients must remain confidential, although I was told a formula like Séville's would be difficult or even impossible to decipher with gas chromatography. But one doesn't want to make the copycats' jobs even a smidge easier!
    I hope you'll enjoy reading my book.

  15. So exciting - gives me goose bumps just to think about it - huge congratulations! Also, I love knowing that my L'Artisans come from this beautiful, happy place. As always, such beautiful illustrations, too. ~~nozknoz

  16. Nozknoz, not all L'Artisans are blended at Art et Parfum, just the ones composed by Bertrand after he left Symrise, and the things he's been doing for other brands too. Other independent perfumers are part of the "family" and, yes, it's such a beautiful, happy place it's a pleasure to know a perfume comes from there!