July 13, 2008

Bertrand Duchaufour

I recall once when Bertrand Duchaufour came to a  branch of L'Artisan in NYC to talk about a new perfume, yet to be released.  For the time being,  not to be specifically described, but suffice it to say it is a continuation of the idea of perfume as the scent essence of an exotic and distinctive place, continuing in the mode of Timbuktu and Dzongha.

If being a self actualized person means you are someone who is able to effectively act to bring your personal creativity, talent and vision into the real world, then Duchaufour makes a good example, especially since he has found in L'Artisan a partner that supports the independent scope of his creativity.

In many ways Duchaufour leads an ideal life, as he revealed through his discussion of the process he employs to gather references and refine his concepts. He works by developing his ideas through travel and immersion in exotic places that are distinctively and beautifully aromatic. Once there he gathers raw materials, researches, makes notes, photographs, sketches, and even writes poetry. In this way he captures and then refines samples of the physical reality that he translates into scent accords he will then use to build a perfume portrait of a place. He showed us a sample notebook of such personal references he used as an aid in creating Dzongha. L'Artisan provides the resources and the venue for the results of this sensory narrative.

Interestingly, he spoke of coming to his interest in perfume as a late teenager, via his first girlfriends. They exposed him to and educated him about perfume and inspired his pursuit of a career in the field. He grew to become someone who is doing some of the most evocative and compelling creative work in this medium, combining a conceptual approach with an intense involvement in physical materiality.

Thank you to the two Karens of Sniffapalooza for the invitation to this very special L'Artisan event!

9 comments:

Alice said...

Your site is an oasis of calm. Great job.

Lucy said...

Thanks Alice, I do use the site that way, it's my vacation/fantasy island...

Abigail said...

I wish I could have made it to that event. Sounds fascinating. And Timbuktu is a gem. I agree with the above comment, your blog is an oasis...:-)

Lucy said...

Abigail, you are so kind. Kiss the two pugs for me!
There seem to be so many pugs in my neighborhood lately, it's a club with many members. You and Brian are doing such interesting things at your site these days, I always look forward to what you two are up to.

brian said...

Thanks for relaying this visit for those of us who couldn't be there (sigh)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucy,
I've read a few mentions of the L'Artisan event. I apologize for being so late to comment on your post, but I'm curious: did Duchaufour actually have a tester of his new perfume there? Were you told you couldn't say the name or describe the notes? It seems odd to me that he would do this event to promote an upcoming release, but not want the attendees to discuss the new perfume (and whet the appetite of perfumistas to buy it as soon as it's launched)!

Sniffapaloozamagazine.com just posted today a "review" (although actually an article, not a review) of Fleur de Liane, that doesn't reveal if the author has actually smelled it. It appears to me that she describes the "four accords" based on her interview.

Of course, maybe just meeting this well-known perfumer was enough to make it an interesting event, but I'm a little confused about the promotional aspect.

Enjoying your blog, including your more recent post on Symrise and Russia!

GGS

Lucy said...

Hi GGS --

Yes, there were samples (on scent strips, which as you know fade pretty fast) of the
Fleur de Liane available at the event. They asked that it not be written about yet, because, I believe, it was implied that it was not completely set that this was going to be the final form of the perfume. Said to be released in October, I also think they had some concern about knock-offs before even launching.

I think they were not exactly focus grouping it, but more seeking feedback, opinion and enthusiasm. I was really struck by it, very very green and exactly what I was in the mood for that very humid and hot day. Refreshing and uplifting, though I didn't get to try it on myself.

Thank you for your insightful comment, and letting me know about the review. I will certainly be reading that next.

Personally I am not so interested in writing reviews. For me it's more about sharing personal enthusiasms and the enjoyment of discoveries and favorites, and also my interest in the cultural, social/historical aspects of scent beauty. Appreciating the richness of the materials and talents involved. It's really been an enhancement and a joy since I became more focused on the world of scents.

GGS said...

I know what you mean. It's interesting though when you describe a scent and your reaction to it, whether or not you choose to express a positive or negative opinion about it.
We have Luca and Tanya for that right ;)

It will be fun to try the new L'Artisan. Green is appealing to me right now, with the summer heat!

Cris Rosa Negra said...

Cristiane Gonçalves (Cris Rosa Negra)
Fine Fragrance & Niche Perfume Writer
Brazil
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