When it rains it pours, it seems. With my first perfume launch under my belt another design comes out on its heals: Lautrec.
It’s been very exciting being invited to work on numerous special projects this year and Lautrec is the first to be released. Some of these special projects are with blogs (how fun!) and some with museums (super fun! and of course, with more to come) but it does make me very happy indeed to have the first be a celebration of one of my favorite blogs: Ca Fleure Bon. If you are not familiar with this wonderful magazine / blog, you really need to check it out! And, if you click on this link you can be entered to win a limited edition bottle of Lautrec (until 3.25.11).
In January, when speaking to CFB’s E-I-C, Michelyn Camen about the upcoming anniversary of the magazine, I said that I would love to create a ‘holy grail’ perfume for her to commemorate the occasion. She knew that as an artist I take much of my inspiration from painters and visual artists and she knew the I design jewelry so through the conversation a concept was set in my mind: to create a perfume based on an image from one of her favorite artists, Toulouse-Lautrec in a hand embellished bottle with a hand-made necklace to speak to the inspiration and the love of ‘bling’ we know MC has. The Toulouse-Lautrec woman is a pure Parisian, chic and utterly urbane, with a feather boa and in a late 19th Century style. Then there’s the ring to inspire the gem piece: a gorgeous black opal an a setting of diamonds and sapphires. Both are beautiful and evocative; both very luxurious, Parisian, and fabulously vintage. I love all of these elements. It’s going to be good.
For the gem pieces it was easy to come up with a palette: black opals (I found some very unusual ones from Peru that act a bit like ‘aurora borealis – tigers eye’ and the more conventional from Australia with fiery sparkling flecks of colored light), swarovski crystal connectors that look like vintage diamond settings, rock crystals, moonstones, agates, jet, vermeil, and precious metals. Then the palette for the perfume had to be chosen: it had to be sweet and sensuous with luscious fruits in the topnote and a gloriously rich drydown. So here goes: passionfruit and mandarin paired with cognac and sweet absinthe (right out of the Moulin Rouge) to open, a thoroughly French heart bouquet of orange blossom, cassie flower, rose de mai, sambac jasmine, ylang ylang and orris, to rest on a bed of caramel, benzoin, sandalwood, patchouli, tolu balsam, oakmoss, labdanum, vanilla and animalic civet. All the while I was considering Lautrec a fruity-floral-chypre, so popular during the Belle Epoque and before, it turned out to have a real gourmand character. I suppose the use of the caramel and vanilla with benzoin should have been a sign. I know I love it and so does “dedicatee”, MC. And I suspect that Toulouse-Lautrec himself wouldn’t be disappointed to have it as his namesake either.
**AD: Lautrec will be available on my website this weekend in perfume-extrait form in 5 ml antique bottles as well as the 4 other embellished Limited Edition bottles and necklaces. You should email me at email@example.com to see photos of the Limited Edition bottles and necklaces.