Welcome to the new home of soon-to-launch Louis Vuitton perfumes, plus sibling Parfums Christian Dior (Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior are both owned by LVMH): a restored seventeenth century perfumery in Grasse, France, with the enchanted name “Les Fontaines Parfumees”, or “The Perfumed Fountains.” It joins the previous purchase and restoration by Parfums Christian Dior of the Chateau de la Colle Noire, twelve miles away in Callian and former home of the legendary designer Christian Dior himself.
Well. I would love to visit either of these beautiful sites but I have a feeling they will be off-limits to regular tourists, saving themselves for fabulous soirees like this year’s Dior dinner. Luckily, the Chateau de la Colle Noire has already inspired a new Dior fragrance, launched earlier this year: La Colle Noire. I was able to test it at one of the niche fragrance boutiques now at Heathrow airport.
Kafkaesque has an extensive review of it here, which I can’t hope to approach in detail, especially on the basis of a single spray in an airport terminal. I will say that like her, I found it to be a remarkably pretty, natural rose-based scent with undisputed polish and elegance. Unlike her, I really do love rose fragrances, and if La Colle Noire were not so expensive, I would certainly put it on my to-buy list. Instead, I will have to dream of chateaux in Provence, gardens filled with Rose de Mai, and fabulous Vogue dinner parties.
Photo: Rebecca Marshall for The New York Times.
You may be thinking, “yes, yes, I know, you just got back from a trip so you’re using ‘roads’ as some kind of travel metaphor.” Nope. ROADS is, in its own words, “a contemporary and highly creative lifestyle brand based in Dublin, Ireland.” I was able to buy a discovery set of ROADS’ fragrances in the lovely fragrance department of Dublin’s Brown Thomas department store on Grafton Street. I had visited Dublin’s only specialized stand-alone perfumery dedicated to niche fragrances, Parfumarija, where I bought an Ormonde Jayne discovery set. (By the way, Parfumarija is well worth a visit). The delightful sales assistant, when I asked if she stocked any fragrances that are specifically Irish, suggested that I might like some of ROADS’ fragrances and thought I might find them there. Continue reading
I recently returned from a trip to the UK with a mind overflowing with lovely memories and bags overflowing with lovely souvenirs: mostly books, because that’s how I roll, but also quite a few niche fragrances that are hard or impossible to find in the U.S. I bought some great ones in the lovely fragrance department of Brown Thomas, a department store in Dublin, but I still wanted something actually made in Ireland. Dublin Airport to the rescue! While browsing in the House of Ireland boutique for some last-minute gifts for friends and family, I found some scents by Fragrances of Ireland, which are made in County Wicklow. Which one to choose? I tested Connemara and Innisfree and bought the latter. Continue reading
I’ve returned from a trip to the UK that included a visit to the year-old duty free boutiques in Heathrow’s Terminals 4 and 5 dedicated to niche and high-end designer fragrances, as well as a stop at a beautiful independent perfumery in Dublin and an unexpected bargain at a VERY well-appointed fragrance department of a department store I had never heard of before. And, of course, many visits to fragrant gardens with more roses than I have seen since … well, since I visited the UK last summer.
I’ll be posting this week and in August about my finds and encounters, including some wonderful discovery sets and samples of unfamiliar or new niche fragrances, so please join me on a vicarious journey of fragrant discovery!
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I have a new love: Fentimans Rose Lemonade. It is pale pink, fizzy, sweet, and scented like roses. It is “botanically brewed” lemonade with the addition of rose extract, which provides a soft floral fragrance and taste. What a perfect summer drink to sip while the summer roses are in bloom!
Update: now that I’m back home and have found a local supplier of Fentimans Rose Lemonade, I have concocted a summer cocktail based on it: Old Herbaceous’ Rose Cocktail. Enjoy!