Guest article

Fragrance notes from Paris

Fragrance notes from Paris

I just returned to the States from Paris where I attended Maison&Objet, the prestigious design, home and decorative accessories show. It was Design and Haute Couture Fashion Weeks, so Paris was alive and buzzing, despite the bitter cold. Here, I share a selection of the trends I saw at the exhibition and at the city’s countless parfumeries.

Maison&Objet - essential oil and smart diffusers 

The number of fragrance exhibitors at Maison&Objet has grown considerably over the past years, warranting a new Fragrance sector of the show. The home fragrance, bath and body, men’s grooming / shaving, and even fine fragrance displays reinforced the unquestionable link between home design and fragrance.

I spotted EO diffusers at every turn, from the high-tech Lumière diffuser, connected via a mobile app, to the sculptural Zen’Arôme Aqua, a ceramic ultrasonic unit with soothing, changing light and negative ion emission. New to the show this year was Éverie, a sleek, programmable and portable ‘Parfumeur d’Intérieur.’ Designed as a decorative object , the Éverie system contains sixteen pure perfume compositions in compact capsules which can be used à la carte and recycled.

Maison&Objet - Scandinavian brands continue to shine

On the body care and fine fragrance front, Scandinavian offerings stood out. Swedish Brand L:A Bruket, for example, launched three new perfume oils: Hinoki, Petitgrain, and Myrrh.  Positioned as “mind strengthening aromatherapy,” the perfumes are rich with natural organic sunflower, jojoba, and meadowfoam oils. Hinoki, the citrusy / cypress-like tree, is a fragrance trend I’ve seen emerging in recent months.

A new Danish home fragrance line created by the esteemed taper-maker Ester&Erik caught my eye—and my nose. The candle fragrances are named after kings and queens of Denmark, and the aesthetic of the line represents the wild, Nordic nature of the country. I was drawn to the earthy, fresh, and almost humid-like thread throughout the line, articulated carefully and uniquely with each scent.

Seen and smelled in Paris

The deep, earthy humid trend is translating to fine fragrance as is true with several scents in L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Natura Fabularis Collection. One fragrance, #26 Tenebrae, sounds (and smells) dreamy: In this dark and shadowy forest, nature emanates a mystical and mysterious alchemy, composed of incense, resin and concentrated sap.”

Violet is another theme that’s graduated from sweet and powdery to faceted and fascinating. It’s wrapped in leather, saffron, and earthy carrot root in L’Artisan’s #2 Violaceum, also from the Natura Fabularis Collection.

Atelier Cologne introduced Sous le Toit de Paris, celebrating the iconic La Coupole at the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann Grand Magasin. The fragrance has a French Violet Leaf heart with citrusy bigarade to give a solar effect, and soft, white leather for warmth. Limited in distribution, it is available only at Atelier Cologne Boutiques and Galeries Lafayette.

Finally, the French Parfumerie to notice for story, authenticity, and an ability to transport their guests to another era is L’Officine Universelle Buly. Inspired by esteemed perfumer, distiller, and cosmetician of the Golden Century of Beauty, Jean-Vincent Bully, the company has been reborn as Buly 1803 on The Rue Bonaparte. Filled with exquisite water-based perfumes, luxurious beauty preparations and home scents, Buly 1803 is like a church for a fragrance and history lover like me. Each sales associate is trained in a particular style of calligraphy so parcels can be personalized with flourish. Watch for two Buly Boutiques coming to New York this spring / summer.

Lisa Wilson, owner of fragrance advisory firm Scent&Strategy, develops fragrances for all categories. Her 25+ years of experience include advertising, consumer products marketing, multi-platform strategic fragrance development, and natural fragrances. Her work has won numerous industry awards. 

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