Postcards From My Collection Part 3: L’Artisan Parfumeur, Penhaligon’s and Some Dude Named Bertrand Duchaufour

Group Shot
One Half of The Collection

The aim of the Postcards From Collection series is to take you on a guided tour through the weird, and sometimes wonderful bunch of glass, plastic and smelly water that is my perfume collection. I see it as a way to give you full disclosure on exactly which bottles I deem worthy enough to grace my bathroom shelf (I know, not the ideal storage place) and perhaps give you an insight into my scented history.

In Part 1 we looked at the most precious things in my collection, those that are both big & small, and in Part 2  we took a trip to my favourite holiday destination – Planet Mugler. On both occasions I have shown you some of my absolute favourite things and as the series moves on we will hopefully have covered everything I own, we may even delve into the purgatory drawer (maybe).

This week we are having a mosey around two brands linked together by one special guy – some dude called Bertrand Duchaufour. I don’t know if you’ve heard of him (just kidding, I know you have), he’s this amazing perfumer who does a lot of spectacular things for the two brands we shall be investigating today; L’Artisan Parfumeur and Penhaligon’s.

So sit back and relax as we cruise through Havana, sit under a tree with a black-clad lothario in Seville, cross the Bosphorus chewing on Turkish Delight, go to the circus and chat up a filthy milkmaid in the English countryside…

Bertrand's L'Artisan Babies
Bertrand’s L’Artisan Babies (from L to R); Séville à L’Aube, Al Oudh, Nuit de Tubéreuse, Havana Vanille and Taversée du Bosphore

My recent revelation of love for L’Artisan Parfumeur and Bertrand Duchaufour’s creations sort of crept up on me when I wasn’t looking. First I had one bottle, then two, then before I knew it I had five. I don’t know exactly what it is about each that I love, perhaps it’s because they are all unique interpretations of more familiar genres, or maybe I just like them because they smell amazing.

Both Séville à L’Aube and Al Oudh are the latest additions to the Bertrand section of my L’Artisan collection and I love them both for being unusual yet awesome takes on their respective genres. They also show Bertrand Duchaufour at his best – just when you think he can’t have another success these two little beauties come along.

I acquired my bottle of Nuit de Tubéreuse because I was sick and tired of not being able to understand this weird little tuberose that kept sending my nose running after it, trying to find out what makes it tick. Having run my sample dry I picked up a partial bottle on a fragrance board and it is probably one of my better decisions. Since having it I have learned that it is one of the all time best tuberoses. No mean feat considering the competition!

Havana Vanille (now known as Vanille Absolument) and Traversée du Bosphore have two things in common. Firstly; they were the first two L’Artisans I owned and secondly; they both completed my search for the ‘perfect’ example of a particular type of scent. For years I have been searching for the perfect vanilla and perfect turkish delight scents, luckily I have found them in these two addictive fragrances.

The Non-Bertrand L’Artisan; Dzing!

Dzing! had been a lemming of mine before I finally took the plunge and bought a bottle. I’ve always struggled with leather and this weird circus-leather had always interested me, but it  took an entire evening of being immersed in the world of leather fragrances for me to really appreciate just how unusual and wonderful Dzing! is.

Olivia Giacobetti and L’Artisan concoted Dzing! in 1999 and I’m not quite sure what they were ‘on’ when they were making it that made them think that leather, elephant dung, cardboard, sawdust and candy floss would be a good idea, but I’m ever so glad that they were brave enough not only to bottle this stuff and sell it, but to keep it going for so long.

Review to come soon…

From Penhaligon’s and Bertrand; Amaranthine

I first tried Amaranthine back in 2008 at a sneak preview on a Basenotes day trip to London. Well, of course I fell for it hook, line & sinker and unfortunately for me (and others there) we had to wait a few agonising months before it was released and we could purchase it (definitely a “shut up and take my money” moment). Gosh those months were hard.

Amaranthine was an important fragrance for Penhaligon’s, it was very much the game changer that saw a shift in the house from offering more traditional, nay old fashioned fragrances, to more contemporary and forward thinking compositions. They describe it as a “corrupted floral” and that’s a perfect description; I see it as the good girl gone bad, the pretty white floral who has met that rogue boy (or boys) and is having a whale of a (filthy) time.

I need to review this one too!


Images my own, apols for the awful quality!