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L’Artisan Parfumeur spreads the scents of rare Madagascar vanilla, with its new Couleur Vanille perfume

7 min read

Pursuing our series about Niche Perfumes, started with Affinessence and Sillages Paris, we focus here on another alternative perfumer, founded in the 70s, baptized L’Artisan Parfumeur. More than ever, the craftsman spirit of L’Artisan Parfumeur tends to reach the preliminary inspirations of the founder Jean-François Laporte, who created this alternative perfumery house in 1976… In fact, the new Couleur Vanille fragrance, planned for March 2020, wholeheartedly illustrated the colorful nature of the first essences imagined by this visionary perfumer, who changed the codes of the sector, back in the time when the epoch was dominated by big traditional Maisons. We invite you here in a trip to a certain artisanal vision of fragrances… By Alex Plato

At the origin, the founder Jean Laporte, issued of a skilled perfumers‘ family with more than 100 years of expertise, opened his first boutique in 1979, on the rue de Grenelle in Paris. Although operating as an independent perfumer, pretty rare at the time, his perfumery flourished and quickly spread across Europe, where its fragrances seduced many noses. 

Thus he experimented and created original scents with “natural essences”. Indeed, thanks to the success of his first line of fragrances, Jean Laporte found the final name L’Artisan Parfumeur, referring to the craftsman of perfumes, so-called by many fragrances enthusiasts.

As fas as we know, L’Artisan Parfumeur’s classic perfumes kept their same spirit throughout its 40 years history. A certain adhesion proof of the customers to those creations, since those fragrances seem to answer to the needs and the trends of the olfactory market.

Imagined with a personal sense of passion and a kind artisanal touch to guide you in an novel olfactory experience, each fragrance wishes to convey a real creative freedom and artistic flair, as an authentic trademark of its original master perfumer (photo credits: L’Artisan Parfumeur).

As a tribute to the initial philosophy, the fragrances are conceived in a way to lead you to different explorative experiences, highlighting the beauty of nature from all over the world. As craft enthusiasts, each of their master perfumers try to understand, as well as possible, the harmony and structure of their chosen notes, that shift and subtly flow inside their natural fragrances.

Lately, each home flacon somehow reminds an apothecary den, but L’Artisan Parfumeur’s released a new bottle, wearing a dark smoky glass, carrying the brand’s stamped emblem, symbolized by a silent insignia of L’Artisan Parfumeur House, dedicated to the assumed allusions to craftsmanship and a certain genuine authenticity.

This bottle’s signature design is topped by a heavy cap, composed of an iconic heptagonal shape. This detail doesn’t simply act as an ode to some understated modernity but as the brand’s distinctive seal, reaching back into its past and striding forth into its future.

This specific configuration offers like a healing flask, which would surely enhance your daily life, among a wide selection of perfumes, classified in several scent families and then fulfill anyone’s own taste.

First of all, a collection of fresh perfumes… Those sharp fragrances, alive with classic citrus notes such as lemon, lime, bergamot and grapefruit. Uplifting and soothing, these fragrances quench sun soaked skin and keep you refreshed throughout any warm days of summer.

A good example, the Sur L’Herbe original edition, an Eau de Cologne inspired by Edouard Manet‘s famous artwork, The Luncheon on the Grass. A crystalline and solar freshness velvety with musks.

Secondly, the floral fragrances aim to bring back to life a symphony of floral accents: hedges, gardens and armfuls of blossoming buds, all suffused with a lingering whisper of romance.

Followed by the oriental collection, a family of golden, rounded fragrances with exotic notes of amber, incense, oud wood, vanilla, leather and spices. A bunch of fragrances to enchant and conjure up memories of mysterious lands.

One of its masterpieces may certainly be the Al Oudh perfume, issued in 2010, a hypnotic oriental potion, naturally crossed by the smoked vapors of oud wood, tinged with leather, spices and flowers. More to come on our upcoming article about oud based fragrances.

And the fruity collection, following the first home creations when after his training as a chemist, a friend of Jean Laporte asked him if he could create a banana scent to wear with a costume of the same fruit to a gala evening at the Folies Bergères cabaret. By the way, this was quickly followed by grapefruit and vanilla fragrances.

Lately, this series was completed by the arrival of the exotic Bana Banana creation, also inspired by an ambered banana flavor… A proper baroque composition, symbolized by a rare and generous wedding of a jasmine garland and a bouquet of candied bananas.

The woody collection includes a family of fragrances that explores the enigmatic and sensitive universe of woods, like deeper in some random forest. Rich, earthy and sensual, the woody family invites you on a journey full of bewitching and unexpected scents.

For example, the perfumery, for the transition to the year 2000, thanks to the brilliant work of the French perfumer Olivia Giacobetti created Passage d’Enfer to pay homage to this cobbled Paris street, with some lily and white musk moods, where L’Artisan Parfumeur had its headquarters during the 1970s, and also Fou D’Absinthe,  a woody frosted absinthe ignited on contact with spices, balms, pine needles and patchouli.

Alongside this Classic Collection, two other ones, named Les Paysages and La Botanique, continue to enrich the imagination refinement of a house that make perfume dreams come true.

Indeed, inspired by the diversity of French regions, Les Paysages collection, launched in 2016, covers their singular personalities, through their most iconic scents.
For instance, Bucoliques de Provence, a limited edition fragrance, predicts the beginning of a new collection inspired by the treasures from those different regions of France. This perfume pays homage to the history of the perfumery capital, Grasse in Provence. A regional speciality, particularly identifiable thanks to its distinctive lavender fields, embalming the windy currents since the 17th century and deeply linked to the historic production of leather. In order to revive this bucolic atmosphere, L’Artisan Parfumeur has thus combined lavender and leather with some iris and spices, resulting to a soft and faceted scent. Furthermore, this Bucoliques de Provence edition offers to your senses, a fresh breeze to your mind.

On the other hand, inspired by the charm of this previous collection, another composition was heading into the West side of France this time, cradled by winds and tides… Un Air de Bretagne, reveals this rocked spirit of Brittany, through surveyed landscapes and its raging waves, materialized by the perfumer Juliette Karagueuzoglou who decided to develop this perfume around a fresh and salty marine accord…

Providing a new exotic breath to this Classic Collection, the perfumer Aliénor Massenet accomplished to resurrect one of the initial inspirations of the founder Jean Laporte, notably in terms of faraway odours… 

As a matter of fact, mostly based on the vanilla scent, the brand new Couleur Vanille fragrance, soon available from the March 1st 2020 as a spring surprise, would take you somewhere to the Tropics and even beyond… From that point of view, L’Artisan Parfumeur succeeded to reconstitute a place, within this Eau de Parfum, where the weather is constantly cool and the Sun is shining, refreshed by gourmet head notes, composed of freesia, bergamot and salt flower, and balanced with cashmere wood, benzoin and tolu balm, a extract from a small tree, usually cultivated for its antiseptic and expectorant virtues. A true hop back in time with some manifest references to the colonial period, and its protruding woodworking work in the furniture and house construction sectors (photo credits : Mollie Bosworth).

“The images were just beginning to take shape and I felt a vanilla pod, simply dressed in bergamot, immortal flower, benzoin and tolu balm, on which would pass a salty and iodized breeze, light as a caress.
The whole story was already there… ” admits the creator Aliénor Massenet.

This realization would have been possible thanks to a concentrate of this only orchid able of producing any edible fruit, in other words the Vanilla planifolia. This long liana grows on the Madagascar mainlands, considered in a way as a 8th green continent. This olfactory vegetal species is a national pride there, among a range of 3000 other varieties, identify as one of the oldest ecosystems in the entire world.

What makes this essence so precious, depends on its flower traditionally fertilized by human hands, in order to give birth to these miraculous green pods that we lock up for several weeks to make them “sweat” and brown (photo credits: PetalSalad Art).
This miracle takes place in the northeast region of the island where has been developed a fair trade program allowing 4000 farmers make a living from their culture and educate their children.
After those jewels being checked by hand over fifty times, this brown pod concentrates then the delicious nectar that the perfumer covets, consequently a kaleidoscope made of woody, spicy, leathery and smoky aromas. A pioneering mix, wearing the vanilla color, still preserved in the emblematic smoked flacon, worth to try once in a lifetime!

Recommended price (for 100ml): 135 euros

More information on the official website

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