November 3, 2006

Molinard - Habanita and Nirmala

Developing a taste for fine French or haute couture niche perfumes is like developing a taste for fine wines, and needing new ones everyday is like buying or getting someone else to crack open that $200 a bottle stuff on a daily basis. Great in a dream world kind of way, which can feel very necessary at times.

The main thing other than the pleasurable fragrance and the development of olfactory part of the consciousness, is the way it makes you feel like you are traveling to or are already in a very beautiful place, probably far away from where you may be now (fighting the crowds in the subway, traffic, boiling under florescent lights, etc.)

 My past couple of weeks of a certain immersion level, and all the samples I have left from the Sniffa, will be hits of that world over the next weeks, which will remind me of the parallel experiences going on elsewhere. Such as the life of the South of France, or the tropical islands fragranced with orchids exuding vanilla, or among the aromatic woods and grasses from the Far East, or the resins and balsams, memories of what used to be the beautiful ancient civilizations of the Middle East.

Currently I am mentally and sensually inhabiting the world created by Molinard through Habanita, alternating with Nirmala. It seems that Habanita has been rediscovered by the young, recognized to be a classic since it was created in 1921 and still seen as relevant and alluring today. They are both very good for my chemistry; Habanita has an air of old Havana (or what one would imagine an ideal old Havana to be) a soft dry powder, clean but married to the essence of a very fine cigar, mellowed with a dried fruit tone, and very lasting. Nirmala is far more European, floral and melon, the esscense of 50s feminine glamour girl, and for me works the way Angel (so oft compared to) is supposed to for everyone else (terrible on me).

As it happens, Molinard along with two other old houses, Fragonard and Galimard, open their doors to the public for tours and seminars on perfume making. This would make a great destination when visiting the South of France (see this link for on visiting Molinard, and this one for the city and its perfumers in general from the French Tourist Board).

Above, sunny villas in Grasse.

Copyright 2006 Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved. 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know you should open up a shop. If you don't have one already. I don't get around to reading the blogs very often these days, but when I do I always enjoy what you have to say.
Peace, Z

Lucy said...

Thanks for the encouragement, zz -- I am looking into ideas and means for that possibility...
Best,
L

chaya ruchama said...

I spent a great deal of time, years ago, nosing around those parfumeries/museums.
[This was before the south of France was such a tony place]

I think that it was one of the few places where I truly felt that I had 'come home'...

You and I feel similarly about Habanita.
Thanks for the lovely post...

Lucy said...

Chaya - you sometimes reveal very tantalizing and interesting details about your life and times, it whets the curiousity - I remember you mentioned your glove collection and your vintage perfume collection too. One day I hope you tell all...or at least more...