Renowned French perfumer Pierre Bourdon, who retired in 2007-2008, has created a new perfume label under his own name comprising an inaugural collection of 5: Le Grand Tour, La Route des Epices, La Fin d'Un Eté, La Dame en Rose and Sous les Magnolias...
La Dame en Rose
"This beautifully femine La Dame En Rose eau de parfum is inspired by the French poet Marcel Proust.
Featuring a soft fragrant blend of raspberry top notes, rose and violet at the heart and a leathery cedarwood, musk and vanilla base note, it it is the perfect day to night scent."
Not much is given out about by the names and fragrance notes which are classic in style but the interest of the new library rests on the high reputation of the perfumer, the creator of household-name perfumes such as Davidoff Cool Water or YSL Kouros and slightly more confidentially, Shiseido & Serge Lutens Féminité du Bois (with Christopher Sheldrake.)
Le Grand Tour
"Le Grand Tour is a fresh and uplifting masculine eau de parfum, designed to evoke memories of travelling.
With top notes of melon, geranium and basil, heart notes of soft fig, green tea and base notes of patchouli, sandalwood and tonka bean, it has just the right balance of brightness and warmth."
One salient trait you can gather from the brand copy is that the perfumes are very much oriented towards the wearer rather than being a refuge for all the pent-up creativity that the perfumer might not have had time to liberate when he worked for other labels. Bourdon has managed to be both a mainstream perfumer and one regularly engaged in more confidential projects with so-called "niche" houses such as Worth, Frédéric Malle or Romea d'Amor.
Le Grand Tour
"A timeless, rich masculine scent, inspired by old trade routes where in ancient times spices were carried to Europe.
With top notes of refreshing geranium, heart notes of warming cinnamon, clove and orange blossom, and deep base notes of patchouli, incense and myrrh, it leaves a a charming and intense scent on the skin."
The collection is inspired by historical thematics ranging from the medieval ages with La Route des Epices to a focus on the 19th century with La Dame en Rose - an homage to Proust - or Le Grand Tour, that obligatory circuit traveling in Europe for the scions of well-bred families in the century which saw the railways impart a new sense of rapidity and geographic scope to human curiosity.
La Fin d'Un Eté
"La Fin D'un Été is an opulent and fruity eau de parfum, designed to encapsulate the warm scent of a late summer day.
With light top notes of bergamot and ginger, heart notes of jasmine and watermelon, and warming base notes of musk, amber and patchouli, it is the perfect day time fragrance."
There is a general sense of timelessness, classicism and Proustian relationship to time which a fragrance named La Fin d'Un Eté, The End of a Summer can perhaps convey most clearly.
Sous Les Magnolias
"A beautiful sweet and creamy eau de parfum, perfect for light summer days.
Made from 60% magnolia essence, it has a luxuriously sensual and romantic feel, with a bergamot top note, magnolia, rose and peach at the heart and cedarwood, musk and vanilla as base notes."
Nostalgia is the hallmark of this quintet of eaux de parfum, aiming to help you think of other times and other places while letting a perfume evaporate on skin. A scent like Sous Les Magnolias is almost like a thowback scent to the era of romantic soliflores.
What we can expect from this presentation is a collection marked by experience, technicity and subtle originality - and hopefully quality. It can be a challenge for independent labels to have access to some of the best perfumery ingredients - or the means to buy them - a fact which has been experienced by this perfume critic with a few niche labels developed by perfumers which in the beginnings seemed to not have the same level of access as when they worked with major houses.