I spent a beautiful day recently at Domaine d’Olivine in Peymeinade near Grasse to meet Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger and explore their range of perfumes. There was a great crowd of people from all over the world who were either distributors, retailers, journalists, bloggers, vloggers or involved with the brand in some way. Not only were the gardens gorgeous and the perfumes sublime, but it was also a great way to meet perfume lovers.
The outdoors setting amongst the flowers, grass and trees was simply divine. The day was replete with sunshine and could not have been more perfect. While we were treated to a violin and guitar duo, Emanuel Martini the perfume DJ scented the air so we could breathe in the magnificent Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger scents. We smelled and picked Rose Centifolia. This is the sweet smelling fruity rose with its irresistibly beguiling scent for which Grasse is renowned. We also made rose sugar with the petals we’d picked that I can’t wait to use in my kitchen.
Virginie and Antoine Roux created Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger in 1998. It now houses a range of perfumes and home fragrance. The family is firmly connected to the history of the region, as Antoine’s grandfather Victor Roux was the flower commissioner to the perfume factories and this tradition continued with Antoine’s father Jean Roux. The Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger creations ensure that the family stays linked to the area. Today, the flowers and trees that are cultivated in the Grasse region are the inspiration for the perfumes in the collection.
It is the blossoms and fruit of the Bitter Orange tree that lie at the heart of their first perfume range, created in 2010 – the Neroli Blanc Collection. Neroli Blanc, Neroli Blanc Intense and Neroli Blanc L’Eau de Cologne comprise the collection.
In 2013, a second range was introduced – Collection les Inédites, consisting of Figue Fruitée, Jasmine Rêvé, Tubéreuse Rosée, Bergamote Boisée and Lavande Ombrée, Rose Irisée and Violette Sacrée were added to the collection in 2014.
The perfumer of the house, Jean-Claude Gigodot spoke about the creation of the scents. He has had a long and distinguished perfume career and was the original perfumer for L’Artisan Parfumeur’s iconic Boule de Ambre and has recently worked on the new Boule de Provence scent. Another of his contemporary creations is 46°N 08°E a natural blend featuring Swiss pine from the Richard Luscher Britos Natural Terroir range.
In the photos below : Pelle Suringa (Geureland on YouTube), Virginie La Roux, Emanuel Martini the Perfume DJ, and Serguey Borisov from Fragrantica in the bottom left photo along with Pelle and myself).
Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger released two new perfumes at Esxence this year. Eau de Madeleine and Neroli Oud are both gorgeous fragrances that make me want to sniff my wrist again and again.
Eau de Madeleine
Eau de Madeleine is part of Les Inédits Collection. It’s bottled not in the standard white flacon but in a beautiful black, that feels solid to the touch. Family ties are enhanced with this perfume as Virginie’s grandmother is the inspiration. The name of the perfume also makes reference to the French expression ‘La madeleine de Proust’ that recalls involuntary triggers to past memories.
The central theme of this perfume is incense and it is omnipresent throughout. Its presentation is not dour or overwhelming as is often the case. Here it is characterised by a delicate softness, a lightness and is sweetened by rose. Yet it has a soft, smoky quality too. It’s not peppery at all but there’s a hint of something camphorous lurking in the shadows. I can almost visualise waves of hazy washes of colour swirling around me as if incense is puffing out shapes into the air. Eau de Madeleine for me evokes a sense of calm and is an introspective perfume. The base is divine as the perfume winds down with a smooth blend of vanilla, leather and sandalwood. Eau de Madeleine is not a forceful perfume but it does have presence. It may reference older times yet Eau de Madeleine is a modern articulation with a striking meditative calm.
Neroli Oud is a new addition to the Neroli Blanc Collection. On first appearances this may seem like an unusual incorporation to the range, however Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger have succeeded to integrate this material by using it to highlight the brilliance of the orange blossom, rather than overpowering it.
Neroli Oud is an interesting perfume of contrasts, marrying light bright orange blossom with the darker shades of oud. It’s as if there is a dance ensuing between the florals (there’s jasmine and rose as well as orange blossom) and the oud. The florals temper the oud, while the oud warms the florals. It’s a delightful dance that keeps you on your toes wondering about the next move. Rest assured that this is a subdued take on oud and not a medicinal barnyard romp. If you’re not typically tempted by perfumes that have ‘oud’ in their title, then rein in the prejudices and open your mind for Neroli Oud. It is a surprising perfume that allures and beckons with a golden glow.
Eau de Madeleine retails for 129 Euro and Neroli Oud for 119 Euro. If you would like more information about the perfumes click through to Au Pays de La Fleur d’Oranger
Disclosure : Samples received on the day from Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger. A version of this article written by Megan In Sainte Maxime has previously appeared on CaFleureBon.
Notes : All photos mine except for Neroli Oud from Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger.