Revisit the Belle Époque beauty through scent – Detaille Paris
Dear readers, one of the prominent fragrance expo in Milan, Exsence, was just over, although I cannot be there physically as much as I wish to, it’s a great place for fragrance enthusiasts and the industry traders to visit, either to scout for a new unique fragrance for yourself (or for business if you are running a perfume shop) or just to meet some new like-minded fragrance people, no doubt that it’s an event that can’t be miss. Speaking of fragrance, since I couldn’t attend Exsence this time, it didn’t discourage me over my passion and love of fragrance, in fact, I’d like to celebrate the momentum after this significant fragrance expo, and share one of my latest fragrance-find that intrigues me. About a month ago I bought myself a special gift from a historic Parisian fragrance house, Detaille Paris, as I simply want to celebrate my first pay cheque after getting on a new job, and overcame the challenging times and chaos in the past few months; I’ve been thinking of getting something in a good budget without going overboard, inherently, getting a bottle of fragrance from an unique fragrance house has become something I would like to treat myself. It’s rather ironic that I didn’t aware of this historic Parisian fragrance brand while having been to Paris a couple of times in the past few years, well, yes it’s a good question, I guess the only explanation is it doesn’t really come to my radar until a couple of months ago when I came across this understated name from a book, and apparently, unlike any other mainstream and commercial fragrance brands, Detaille Paris takes pride of their profound heritage of High French perfume making, their savoir-faire, with over a century’s expertise, without bombard with any loud and mass-market advertisements, they simply attract those who loves their heritage, their philosophy and of course, their qualitative fragrance that being passed from generation to generation.
With over a century of history, Maison Detaille was founded by glamorous Countess of Presle, who was a beautiful socialite and surrounded by elite, royalties and aristocrats in the Parisian high society, in 1905, the artistic and joyous Belle Époque period; having a deep influence and cultivation in both art and history, thanks to her husband, Charles Detaille (who was the brother of the French painter Edouard Detaille), the glamorous Countess is also passionate in travels and aristocratic hobbies, including motor sport, her first beauty product – Baume Automobile, was derived from one of her driving experience, and the baume later became very successful, and adored by her elite social circle and prestigious clients; her luxury perfume was developed after the relocation to the boutique’s current address (10 Rue Saint Lazare, Paris), and keeping her tradition of the Haute Parfumerie Française, the fragrance by Maison Detaille Paris is literally a rare olfactory gem that represents Parisian traditional beauty and elegance, a classy seduction to both discerning men and women who loves quintessential Parisian high perfumery fragrance.
To truly experience the house style of Detaille Paris, one should not miss out their signature fragrance ‘1905’, despite it’s namely for ladies, what I find it so appealing is the beauty of its nostalgic floral notes, the sharp Jasmine, Ylang Ylang and Galbanum, adding the woody notes such as Indian Sandalwood, Vetiver and Oakmoss, the nostalgic, elegant and audacious femininity of the Fin de siècle Paris, which makes it stands out from the fragrance that are popular by nowaday’s ugly-fashion-dominated ‘nouveau riche’ and millennial style; I’ve been frequently smelling such ‘modern scent’ either in some upscale shopping malls or even on the street, the balsamic, musky and heavy vetiver (or sometimes Vanilla) mixed with citrus kind of scent. For Detaille Paris’ ‘1905’, it definitely takes me back to a boudoir of a wealthy and glamorous Parisian lady’s in the arty and joyous Belle Époque period, and I can feel the aura of her classical beauty and strong-will through this fragrance, and I possibly think that some of the gentlemen can wear this well too (Beau Brummell approved)!
Of course, I didn’t forget about our modern gent readers; for gentlemen, Detaille Paris has a collection which used the classic gentlemen’s sport and hobbies as the name for their fragrance, the one that I have picked this time is their ‘Escrimeur’ (in English means ‘fencing’), by looking at just the bottle itself is appealing enough (even it looks more of an Art Deco design to me), this fresh and citrus dominant fragrance instantly reminds me of the classic Monsieur D’s legendary ‘Eau Sauvage’ for some reason, the freshness of the Lemon and Bergamot, and the masculine combination of Vetiver, Cedar, White musk and Oakmoss, it keeps reminding me of the classic Frenchman style in the early 1950s to 1960s for some reason, they are neat, well-dressed in classy suit with their hat sometimes, I also had a picture of the young Alain Delon in my head for some reason when I smelled this fragrance.
Both ‘1905’ are ‘Escrimeur’ are not new, but to me, the good thing about that is, the nostalgia flair of these 2 fragrances are certainly serving a great flashback to the elegant fashion era of Paris back in decades ago, letting us to revisit the quintessential Parisian glamour and l’art de vivre, and experience what exactly the French ‘à la mode’ means.
I do wish if the Countess is still with us today, and having her to guide us through not only her fragrance house and creation, but the secret of what the quintessential Parisian style is, starting with a splash of nostalgic beauty and allure.