9 luglio 2010

The new Frapin scent: Les Ailes du Desir (1)

A few weeks ago Stefania and Massimo of Nobile 1942 who, in addition to the fragrances they make also distribute in Italy other brands, invited me to join them to the Fontpinot castle in the Grande Champagne region of France, for the presentation of the new Frapin scent (Frapin produces an extremely valuable Cognac since 1270: here their site, I spoke about them many times, f.e. here). The idea of a day at the castle visiting vineyards, tasting precious wines and fragrances already won me over, then Stefania, who knows my tastes, added the key factor: "Look, you have to come: I’m sure you’ll like the scent a lot, and the composer... I know that you greatly appreciate his previous works, and you’ll have the chance to spend some time with him".
There was no need to add more, I decided to trust Stefania and so we arranged to leave on Sunday to be at the castle on Monday. With us there was also Antonio, owner of Boudoir36 a very chic niche perfumery store in Catania (blog here).

During the trip we only talked perfume, and I must say that ten hours went by quite fast.
Arrived in the in the Grande Champagne, I was seduced by one of the most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen: vineyards, forests, soft green hills, honeysuckle and trees flowering and filling the air with exquisite smells. If you are born here, you cannot but give due importance to taste and smell...
At the  Castle we were welcomed by Monsieur Cointreau, Frapin's CEO. Then David Frossard of Differentes Latitudes explained Frapin’s strategy for the near future, and left the floor to the composer to present the new scent. I risked a heart attack, because I’d have never expected to meet Bertrand Duchaufour! Had I known it, maybe I’d have prepared a little bit, and maybe I wouldn’t have jumped on him shouting how I appreciate his work. In any case he was very polite, kind of that kindness which doesn’t find at ease under the spotlight, but gets excited when he sees that others are thrilled by his work. He even blushed when I told him how much I love his works for L'Artisan Parfumeur, Eau d'Italie, Comme des Garcons, Amouage (Timbuktu, Dzonghka, Al Oudh, Paestum Rose, Bois d'Ombrie, Baume du Doge, Avignon, Tokyo, Jubilation XXV are my favorites) and to add to the list, the one he’s just created for Frapin: Les Ailes du Dèsir, of which I’ll talk more in the next post.

In short, besides being completely unassuming, he’s very passionate about what he does; he endured a thousand questions - also quite technical, because Antonio has studied raw materials much better than me and  truly "knows it" - to which he answered with enthusiasm and passion, trying to explain how he works and what he likes.
We were even invited to visit him in his atelier in Paris (and we'll go, for sure).
Here you have a picture: from left to right, Antonio, Bertrand, me and Stefania (if we look happy is because, well, the mood was extremely relaxed and warm).

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