top of page

Revival of olfactory beauty - Parfums Volnay, France

Dear readers, after attending an evening lecture recently about French high jewelry making and the art of French savoir-faire, it suddenly evokes me something about the beauty of French know-how for the festive season. Just when we are getting our finest tailoring outfit and accessories ready, a splash of elegant fragrance is just as necessary as the thoughtful assemble that you put together, or be more specific, a splash of French elegant fragrance for a festive gentleman, with a little bit of Belle L’Epoque nostalgia, and the artistry about French perfume savoir-faire, what about that? If you have that in mind as well, then please join me to discover the world of a reputed French perfume house, Parfums Volnay.

Founded in 1919 by Germain Madeline Duval, who is a model for French haute couture house, Lanvin, she enjoy spending her time travelling; a beautiful, rebellious, and adventurous woman then met the love of her life, which is her second husband, René Duval, this encounter then later became the love story of the couple, and eventually, the birth of Parfums Volnay. Inspired by the revolution of Art Nouveau, the perfume by Parfums Volnay has become a sensation, adored by elegant and beautiful people and fragrance connoisseurs who homages to French chic and elegance, the name of the perfume house not only reputed in France, but also abroad in some of the key fashion capitals from London to New York, and from Milan to Sydney and even Montreal as well.

I first come across this perfume house by it’s beautiful vintage fragrance bottle design, the iconic round flacon designed back in 1920 during the Art Deco period, which Germaine has a very discreet requirement on interpreting her vision, she called upon some of the famous and exceptional crystal engravers, to create the flacon for her fragrance; the artfully ornated, semi-transparent bottle in floral pattern and the cone-shaped cap, which looks sumptuous and artistic, in fact, Germaine wanted to make her fragrance exceptional, extremely refined, even more valuable than the liquid they contained, to me, this unapologetic approach on creating something exquisite, luxurious and outstandingly beautiful is truly admirable (one needs to have such conviction, persistence and strong-will to execute for sure), while fast-forward to our time in the modern 21st century, the artistic elements from the past still being preserve but interpreted in a much contemporary way, the ‘bramble’ pattern, has been reworked, and the new version of the round flacon has changed to clear transparent, with Art Deco inspired floral carved pattern which pretty much reflects the heritage but quintessentially chic, adding the black fragrance cap which makes it a relatively ideal piece of decoration on one’s dressing table or bathroom.

Of course, the perfume juice itself is the most important element, my first pick from the collection, is the lightness and freshness from their ‘Brume d’Hiver’, a harmonious mix of gentle masculinity and romanticism, opens with the Italian Bergamot and Juniper berries, then evolves into a pleasant floral notes including Bulgarian rose and jasmine, the dénouement, a sensual and warm touch from the woody accord, which keep seduces me to sniff it again and again, seems like it’s the Musk powder, or the combination of Violet and Oud Wood, it’s something rather nostalgic yet in a very elegant and refreshing way, especially for the winter season that one’s would like something that smells fresh and clean.

Meanwhile, the ‘Ambre de Siam’ is also noteworthy for winter, an exotic flair from Asia thanks to the elegant use of the woody and amber accord, which takes ones back to the Thai-inspired myth. A substantial fragrance opens with the tingling of ginger and Bergamot, then, soothes by a touch of Zen element, green tea, it then takes the wearer to experience the Asian mythical chic with something woody, a combination fragrant from the Incense, Sandalwood, Cedar and Amber Wood. While after the mythical haze passes, it turns into something grandiose with a gentle touch of warmth, perhaps it’s the White Musk and Patchouli, or the mix of Cashmere and Vanilla, either way, this fragrance has something dreamy and warm, which makes it pretty suitable for winter season especially for someone is having certain oriental fantasy (or craving over oriental herbs and incense).

Feeling nostalgia is not usually means old-fashion, if one can pick out the core elements and its elegance with some wit, it could be something that makes your winter holiday much magical and stylish; have a splash of French elegant!

Image courtesy of Parfums Volnay, France

bottom of page