Nose Nicolas de Barry, whose perfume, George Sand, I reviewed yesterday, is also the owner of a castle, the Château de Frileuse and a developer of perfume tourism, a rather popular business trend in France. If you feel like spending some time in "douce France", learning the art of perfumery while resting and enjoying yourself in the Loire Valley, one of the historical regions of France, then head for the Château de Frileuse...
Neighboring castles include magnificent, famous Renaissance Châteaux like Chambord and Chenonceau whose histories are linked to Catherine of Medicis, an illustrious perfumista. The queen's personal perfumer, René le Florentin, is reported to have visited the château de Frileuse and to have described its wine cellar that resembles the den of an alchemist and in which the perfume studio is now located.
Two people can be hosted for two nights, including perfume workshops, meals, wines, a visit, and a bottle of eau de cologne for 380 Euros each. 1-day specialized training courses for professionals are also available upon request. You could also decide to splurge on a "personal" scent for 5000 Euros. (all details are available on their website, in English)
Nicolas de Barry is a man of many talents and, apart from being a perfumer, is also a Ph.D. in sociology and a writer. De Barry is well known, in particular, in his capacity as General Secretary of the prestigious François Coty Prize, a lifetime achievement award for perfumers. Francis Kurkdjian, for example, notwithstanding his relative youth, received that much sought after prize.
A number of perfumes can be ordered from the château. Their catalogue proposes George Sand, of course, for 65 Euros (a steal compared with the $145 US retail price). Other products include perfumes from the "Nicolas de Barry, Parfumeur" line. It includes ten eaux de parfums that appear to be based on a single dominant theme, such as jasmine, vetiver or immortelle (55 Euros). Last, but not least, there is an intriguing annual eau de cologne called La Surprise du Nez (The Surprise of the Nose). It is a cologne based on fresh, new annual harvests and imports of raw materials that differ each year (40 Euros).
Here's the program for the Frileuse perfume workshop. If you so wish to do, you can also ride on a hot air balloon by paying a supplement so that the fun be more complete!
|Friday evening:||Arrival. Free dinner.|
|Saturday:||9h. Breakfast with the trainees and Nicolas de Barry |
10-12h. Workshop: Introduction to fragrances; how is a perfume composed?
12h30. Lunch at the chateau
15-16h. Visit and olfactive wine tasting in a winery, or a visit to the "Festival International des Jardins" at Château de Chaumont.
17-18h. Workshop: Creation of bath salts, with essential oils.
20h. Dinner with scented dishes in the Château de Frileuse
|Sunday:||option: Champagne Balloon flight: Take off from your château at dawn, with a bilingual pilot, for about an hour's flight, over the surrounding countryside. Traditional "toast des aéronautes" & flight certificate at the landing. |
or: morning olfactive walk at your leisure, in the forest & grounds of the Château.
14-17h. Creativity workshop : each trainee creates his own Eau de Cologne with help of Nicolas de Barry to take home as a souvenir.