In September 1864, exactly 150 years ago, the Mary Celestia, a Civil War Blockade Runner sailing to Charleston, South Carolina, sank off the south shore of Bermuda.
Lili Bermuda Perfumery have partnered with Drom Fragrances to reconstitute a 150 year-old perfume recovered from a shipwreck by marine archeologists in 2011...
It has been baptized Mary Celestia after the ship it was found in along with other fragrances belonging to the houses of Piesse and Lubin, London. The aim of the project was to imagine being in the perfume lab of renowned Victorian perfumer G.W. Septimus Piesse while getting to know the formula of a fragrance which when smelled for the first time by contemporary perfumer Jean-Claude Delville of Drom held a few surprises. He said,
In perfumery, opportunities like this don't come along too often. Opening the bottles was like going back in time 150 years. I was shocked at how fresh and floral it was and the amount of citrus in it. We analyzed and captured the unique spirit of the original fragrance and thus re-created a lost treasure.
The new composition which is faithful in spirit to the original - and we know perfumers can copy very well just like they are used to weaving threads of former fragrances into newer compositions - is a floral amber with a marked hesperidic facet.
Eaux de Cologne have always been popular, so one might think of that family of fragrances to better understand how freshness in perfumes was experienced.
Mary Celestia is a fresh fragrance with top notes of sparkling grapefruit and zesty citrus. The heart is floral with rose and orange blossom while the base rests on rosewood and warm amber.
It has been relaunched so to speak as a limited edition of 1,864 copies to replicate its year of birth. The outer packaging is made of Bermuda cedarwood.
"Part of the sale proceeds will go to a new foundation to preserve and promote Bermuda's shipwreck heritage."