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Including the brand new Havana Vanille…
Is there anything as delightfully feminine as French perfume? I would argue no. It just makes you feel sexy. Give me a bottle and I’m Bridget Bardot, getting ready for a date with my latest lover (even though I’m probably just getting dressed for work). I’d also argue that there’s nothing else that has the ability to transport you like a fine perfume can. Combine these two, and you have L’Artisan Parfumeur, the legendary French Fragrance house that we are taking a look at today. Specifically, their Travel Series; fragrances captured by a perfumer on his travels.
L’Artisan Parfumeur has been meticulously creating fragrances since 1976, though their influences date from centuries before that. That French history is apparent in every bottle. From the beautiful, classic shape of the vessel and gold topper, the sleek black packaging with tasteful pops of color and the fragrance combinations within; “fragrances inspired by nature and familiar scents, found in the sweetest corners of the memory.” The term artisan has been chosen wisely, this is a niche perfumer that has mastered their trade and produces gorgeous pieces of liquid art!
With L’Artisan you can capture a mood (sunshine, delicacy and surprise are just a few search terms on their site) or let yourself be guided by a scent family; like single flowers, precious woods or oriental elixirs. But today, we’re going on a journey…
The theory behind the Travel Series is that every journey leaves a fragrant memory. When a perfumer travels, all of us benefit. Because they bring back with them the essence that encapsulates whatever locale they visit (the vegetation, the landscape and most importantly, the aromas). Lucky for us, the perfumers of L’Artisan have been to some beautiful, exotic places, and thus, this five piece collection was born. We had the unbelievable luxury of trying all 5 fragrances (and our review team will weigh in with their specific thoughts on the scent they received in the comments).
It all started with Bois Farine (Wood Flour). This scent is the only one in the collection of five created by internationally famed perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. Bois Farine was developed after his encounter with a fragrant white tree and its red flower that smells like flour. Thought of as magical, specific to Reunion Island (a region of France), he describes the scent of the flower as “the odors of wood that was dry and milky at the same time”. And that’s exactly what the fragrance captures.
Next came Timbuktu. This, and all fragrances to follow, were developed by Bertrand Duchaufour. A life long traveler of Africa, Timbuktu is inspired by the perfumed rituals of the women of Mali called “wusulan”. This is handed down from Mother to Daughter and it’s purpose is to seduce and keep a loved one. The scent is as mysterious and exotic as it sounds. With lighter notes of green mango and pink pepper berries layered over papyrus wood and patchouli.
Dzongkha followed, a deep, bewildering fragrance inspired by the Kingdom of Bhutan (a region between India and China). It draws influences from odors of stones and incense of the temples, of leather, spicy chai tea and opulent nature. Consider the fact that it falls into the woody, floral and leather scent categories.
And then came Fleur de Liane, named after the the mysterious flower of Panama. Imagine the lush atmosphere of an island and you have Fleur de Liane. Rain and the ocean, young green leaves, the mossy and woody aroma of the sap, and the intoxicating white flowers of the tropical forest. A wet, green scent if there ever was one!
L’Artisan fans rejoice! Because a new fragrance has been added to the series. Havana Vanille will be released any moment now. And it is well worth the wait. I love the scent of vanilla, but have a hard time finding a fragrance that captures it in it’s true form. More often than not, it’s a sickening, fake cupcake sort of smell. That couldn’t be farther from the case here! This Cuba influenced fragrance draws upon freshly picked tobacco leaves, rum aged in wood barrels, well worn leather, clove and spice, mingling with faint flowers and a pure, rich vanilla pod. It’s as sultry as it gets, and absolutely delicious.
Review Team: what are your thoughts? Were you transported to exotic lands by your fragrance from L’Artisan’s Travel Series?