by Euphorium Brooklyn
EAU DE PARFUM
Family: Resinous floral
Perfumer: Stephen Dirkes
Notes: Rose, lavender, orchid, hyacinth, linden blossom, lily, iris, orange blossom, violet, orris, jasmine, geranium, palmarosa, petigrain, galbanum, green notes, moss, pink grapefruit, fig, honey, star anise, elemi, black pepper, vetiver, labdanum, benzoin, tolu balsam, ambergris, indole, tonka musk
A colorful bouquet of flowers and honey-tinged greens that are so expertly blended that you may not be able to pinpoint each individual flower. A base of green elemi, sweet benzoin and tolu balsam is grounding, rich and satisfying. Wonderful for those who enjoy florientals but who are looking for one that feels more vibrant, natural and fresh than the heavier, viscous amber and spice fragrances.
About the perfumer, Etienne Chevreuil
Although Etienne loathed the flower fields by daylight, as they represented everything provincial, dirty and laborious he sought to escape from, he would often play his cello for hours on end in the darkest of night. As a young man in the empty lavender fields, he would dream of the life he yearned to lead in the clubs and salons of Praha, New York and Sao Paulo.
At the age of 14, Etienne developed amnesia from a riding accident on his family’s farm. His horse was attacked by a buck at the edge of a wood near the family’s lavender fields and Etienne was thrown from the horse. He received a concision in the fall and suffered from amnesia upon recovering consciousness. As though nerves and synapses had been reconfigured, Etienne also awoke with a new found, heightened sense of smell. He eventually began to embrace the opportunity to reinvent himself both physically and mentally. Etienne became an obsessive personal documentarian and accumulated large archives of totemic “keepsake”/ fetish objects, photography and annotated diaristic journals. Chevreuil harbored a longing for his memories lost and sought to recreate what he could no longer access.
Perfume became a powerful trigger to store and revisit a world he had already lost once. Perhaps first inspired by incense in the cathedrals of the south of France, Etienne was fascinated by the function of scent to assist in transcendental meditation.
Because scent has the ability to deeply connect one to specific memory, Etienne set out to create a perfume which would be the distillation of the loves in his life. From the tender age of 14, Etienne began to obsessively record his love affairs. He also associated each figure in his amorous encounters with a specific flower. He maintained this effort throughout his life in an attempt to compose a perfume that would be arrived at by the sum total of love in his life.
PERFUMER’S INSPIRATION (extended)
As decreed in his “Pétales” manifesto (as penned by his 14 year old hand), on his 50th birthday Etienne offered his “Pétales” perfume as testament, document and celebration of a life well lived. Chevreuil believed that an extensive exploration and iteration of the specific would ultimately accumulate enough diversity and complexity to achieve “Harmonic Density” and illuminate or communicate a universal nature/ universal truth. In this regard, Etienne’s ambition was not to provide a mere record of his diary in scent, he intended to present that which is the very essence of attraction and love.
Chevreuil began to compose fragrances when he started to explore the transcendental and mnemonic aspects of scent and memory. Early on, he began rudimentary experiments that would later evolve into complex, “Tableaux Olfactif” installations of narrative storytelling with scent.
Etienne felt that scent captured memory in a direct and unconscious way, but one could learn to develop an associative conscious scent memory in the way musicians learn “relative” pitch recognition.
Etienne further associates fragrance to music in his theory of “chord” building, “olfactive resonance” and developing the “ensemble” of the perfume. “Some times a string quartet, sometimes it is an orchestra I composing for and my notes are chosen accordingly”. – E. Chevreuil