April 20 2014

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1030 posts tagged "Fragrance"

Patou Returns to Its Roots



The house of Jean Patou was founded exactly one century ago, and despite the vagaries of history, fashion, and ownership, this month the brand is celebrating a return to the place it all started: rue Saint Florentin, just off the Place de la Concorde. At its height, the Patou family owned three adjacent buildings, at numbers 7, 9, and 11, and counted one thousand employees in its fashion and fragrance businesses.

The couture salons—which were previously directed by Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, and, lastly, Christian Lacroix—shuttered in 2001. But the fragrance business lived on, most notably with Joy, that heady Grasse rose- and jasmine-based juice renowned as the costliest perfume in the world. “When I looked at the original formula, I was stunned,” observes perfumer Thomas Fontaine. “It’s maybe sixty times more expensive than most perfumes.” One ounce of Joy takes 10,600 jasmine flowers and twenty-eight dozen roses, so it’s no wonder a 15-millilter bottle of Joy goes for a steep 300 euros.

Meanwhile, Fontaine has been quietly delving back into the house’s fragrance catalog of forty-odd scents. Three heritage juices—Eau de Patou, Chaldée, and Patou Pour Homme—were rereleased last September. This fall, Patou’s very first fragrances, a trio from 1925, will be back on-counter: the fruity chypre Que Sais-Je?, the green floral Deux Amours (formerly known as Amour Amour), and the gardenia-based Adieu Sagesse. (These, Fontaine notes, were formulated for brunettes, blonds, and redheads, respectively). And Fontaine has rejuvenated the 84-year-old Joy for a new generation, thanks to powdery iris notes, amber, and an amber-woody base (cedar, sandalwood, and rosewood). In other words, Joy Forever hangs onto the original idea but takes its headiness down a few notches.

There are still finishing touches to come on this bright new boutique. Some Patou family furniture will be brought in this week, for example. But already, the angular Art Deco aesthetic of the house’s heyday is well in evidence, along with the occasional heritage items. And it’s a fair bet that this is only the beginning.

9 rue Saint Florentin, 75001 Paris;


Photo: Espace

Annick Goutal Opens an American Outpost



French perfume house Annick Goutal has already established itself as a valuable player in the luxury fragrance market throughout U.S. department stores. And now it’s hiking up its presence across the pond with the opening of its first-ever stand-alone American boutique. With twelve brick-and-mortar shops in Europe, this original New York space marks a milestone in the brand’s storied 33-year-old history.

“It was one of my mother’s dreams to have a shop in New York, so after all this time I’m very happy to have it,” said Camille Goutal, daughter of Annick, who grabbed the reins of the perfumery after her mother’s passing in 1999. Opening next door to Magnolia Bakery in the West Village makes this location a literal feast for the senses. “This area was my first choice,” revealed Goutal. “I wanted a scene that was trendy, and this neighborhood looks a bit like France in a way, with the small buildings and nice shopping.”

Inside, one-of-a-kind furnishings reflect the contemporary spirit of the Big Apple, while still preserving the brand’s romantic Parisian roots. “It’s a unique design, but everything comes from France,” she affirmed. Decor highlights include a floating, sculptural steel table and a gold butterfly-emblazoned moucharabieh screened wall. “The butterfly is the symbol of the brand, so it was important to have [that screen] specially made for us,” explained Goutal. The pretty papillon motif can also be found in carved decorations that form the backdrop of the fragrance displays.

As for future plans, Goutal says she anticipates Annick Goutal’s continued expansion throughout NYC but isn’t interested in world domination anytime soon. “Maybe we’ll open a second [spot] on the Upper East Side one day to appeal to our more classical clients, since this store caters to the very trendy ones,” she suggested. “But there’s no timeline on that. We prefer to take our time and go step by step.” Similar to the life cycle of a butterfly, the brand’s mascot, all beautiful things take time.

397 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10014, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.;

Doutzen Kroes: Calvin Klein’s Freshest Face



In addition to resurrecting campaigns (like Christy Turlington and Mark Vanderloo’s 1995 ad for Calvin Klein Eternity), the brand is simultaneously signing up new talent. Doutzen Kroes announced her new appointment as the face of Reveal Calvin Klein (out in September), via Instagram, just hours ago. The model and mommy-to-be appears to be powering through her pregnancy—silver stilettos and all. The question that remains: Will the Dutch super’s photo stand the test of time like Turlington’s?

So Much Better Than a Mother’s Day Bouquet: Rodin’s Newest Scent



Skincare oil maven Linda Rodin proved her fragrance chops back in 2012, when she released Rodin Olio Lusso, a heady, jasmine-laden number created alongside Brooklyn favorites D.S. & Durga. Now the silver-haired style star (who recently posed for The Row’s Pre-Fall lookbook) aims to do it again with a second scent, Bis. An homage to Rodin’s mother, it’s a blend of another era, and shares plenty of DNA with classic, “big” floral perfumes of the mid-20th century. Bis is unapologetically feminine but decidedly comforting and unfussy—a pared-back answer to its predecessors. Sparkling bergamot and lemon top notes give way to a slightly powdery, delicate heart of orris, jasmine, rose de mai, and green violets, before dissolving into a sheer, cashmere-like base of ambergris, white musk, and creamy tonka. While Rodin may have had Mom in mind, I was hard-pressed not to think of Grace Kelly (cliché though it may be), recumbent on some exotic shore. And that’s no sophomore slump.

Available in May, Rodin Bis, $290;

Earth Tu Face’s Sarah Buscho on the Allure of Jasmine


osahadi-jasmineThe pro: Sarah Buscho, herbalist and cofounder of Earth Tu Face

The product: “I’ve been obsessed with jasmine for as long as I can remember. They grow all over California, and although they bloom most of the year, the highest concentration of the flowers grace vines during summer. Their smell reminds me of warm evenings, vacation days full of freedom, and times running barefoot in my dad’s garden. I could put my face in the flower clumps and breathe in deeply for hours. As strong as their scent is, it is elusive and difficult to capture in perfume form. I tried every jasmine fragrance I could find growing up, but none captured the true spirit of the [bloom's] powerful perfume. This is how I discovered essential oils. Jasmine essential oil came closer to the hypnotic smell I craved. My favorite was Oshadhi’s Jasmine Sambac Absolute. I would add a few drops to a bottle of water and use it as a face and body spray for a heavenly experience. To this day I have an Arabian jasmine plant in my bedroom and a common jasmine [Jasminum officinale] growing on my porch. I will never tire of their uplifting and euphoric scent.”