sábado, abril 13

Flowers of yesteryear for innovative perfumes

Contrary to a society governed by the ephemeral, perfume brands draw a little eternity from the traditional herbarium. Cultivating a few flowers forgotten in the bottles is perhaps refusing this tyranny of novelty which wants one perfume to chase the other without even waiting for the end of the season. L’Occitane en Provence goes back in time in search of buried botanical heritage.

At the request of the brand, Anne-Sophie Bouville, doctoral student at the Nice Institute of Chemistry, looked through some works on the history of perfumery to unearth eight hundred fragrant plants that had fallen into disuse. Sweet clover, hawthorn and slip open the ball of petals, inaugurating this collection entitled Unforgettable Flowers. For each of them, the challenge consisted of identifying the extraction method which allows the slightest nuance to be expressed. What is completely new in L’Occitane’s project is to have gone a step further by relaunching production sectors and supporting its partners to cultivate these rarities in a responsible and sustainable manner.

By selecting slip (also called tansy), a small flower with medicinal tones reminiscent of rosemary, Fabrice Pellegrin’s nose sought other colors than those offered by jasmine and tuberose that he loves so much. . . “This powerful yellow flower, which we come across on the paths of the South without really noticing its olfactory signature, exudes its charming scent as soon as we touch it. I wanted to pay tribute to him. » The Grasse perfumer is not at his first attempt: he had already drawn from the centuries-old herbarium the absinthe flower with its honeyed aroma which he slipped into the formula of Bel Absinthe, Roos & Roos.

Hyssop, with camphorous and herbaceous scents

A tribute to biodiversity, these unmannered beauties adapt wonderfully to the contemporary molecules that maries are confronted with. In this anthology of forgotten flowers, there are, among others, the carnation, the cassia or the sweet pea. Perfumery even succeeds in introducing flowers that can no longer be found at the florist. Who had already heard of hyssop, with its aromatic camphor and herbaceous scents, before Chloé slipped this old-fashioned flower into the heart of a perfume from the Atelier des fleurs collection?

The slip.

Specialist in natural extracts, the Robertet company is the only one to offer an extract of hedychium (butterfly lily), an exotic flower with inflections of gardenia and ginger found at the heart of the La Terre perfume, from the Floratropia brand. The paradox is that these old-fashioned flowers represent a fascinating source of innovation for perfumery.

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It’s a bit as if Nick Knight, the British photographer who brought abandoned flowers back to life in the archives of the Natural History Museum in London, had dabbled in perfumery. The target targeted by brands, by diving into a sometimes distant past, is not what we think. “These vintage flowers have a novelty character and even a very exclusive side for new generations,” adds Stéphane Demaison, head of the Coty group’s olfactory unit. Perfumery, which was born from the power of flowers, could well be saved from boredom by them.