L'Occitane en Provence have two main news to share at the beginning of 2013: the launch of a new perfume collection of 4 scents, from May 2013 entitled La Collection de Grasse; the hiring of an in-house perfumer, Karine Dubreuil...
So far the mid-market house have had recourse to "freelance" perfumers, like most of the fragrance brands. Labels that entrust their olfactory identity to a main resident nose are (still) few and far between. Guerlain, Hermès, Chanel are usually the big houses that put stock in working with a permanent perfumer, or two like Jacques Polge and Christopher Sheldrake at Chanel. Thierry Wasser is holding the reins at Guerlain. Jean-Claude Ellena is at the helm of fragrances at Hermès. Dior is in principle under the aegis of François Demachy but in reality appears to work more like a studio of perfumers.
Picture via Golden Backstage
Karine Dubreuil hails from Grasse, the capital city of raw perfumery materials and secular fragrance composition in the south of France. She's composed fragrances such as Eclat d'Arpège by Lanvin, Leiber by Leiber, Jasmin by L'Occitane (with Jean-François Laporte), Citric Metal Kamasutra, Eclat d'Orient by Isabel Derroisné, Envy Me by Gucci, and more.
The perfumer is paying homage to her hometown with 4 new perfumes featuring 4 pairings of perfumery ingredients. They are called Jasmin & Bergamote, Magnolia & Mûre, Vanille & Narcisse, Thé Vert & Bigarade.
Jasmine & Bergamote features jasmine absolutes from Grasse and Egypt together with bergamot essential oil from Italy. It opens on mandarin orange and bergamot, with a heart of jasmine and lemon leaves, and a base of sandalwood and cedar wood.
Magnolia & Mûre is a fruity chypre with notes of bergamot, blackberry, magnolia, rose and patchouli.
Vanille & Narcisse is a warm oriental perfume with blackcurrant, bergamot, then a heart of narcissus and gardenia, and finally a base of vanilla and tonka bean.
Thé Vert & Bigarade is an aromatic citrus blending bitter orange with a heart of green tea and a base of cedar wood, thyme and musk.