I’ve been in love with perfume since I was tall enough to tiptoe up to my mother’s dressing table to reach her many glittering perfume bottles on a polished antique silver tray. (Woops, I spilled Shalimar…).
My mother loved Guerlain’s Mitsouko and L’Heure Bleu. In the evening, begowned and bejeweled, she would tip the bottle over, then apply the glass stopper just behind her ears, on the pulse point inside her left wrist, and to her poitrine. So lovely.
I was fascinated as she and my father swanned out to a party, the ballet, a recital, and a dinner, Mitsouko trailing in her afterglow.
My father loved to give her perfume, spontaneously, and I remember testing Worth’s Je Reviens and her mysterious and wonderful Caron scents, including Fleurs de Rocaille and Bellodgia. I recall them all vividly. Swoon. The crystal bottles were beautifully crafted, often with ribbons and gold embellishments. A dream.
I still adore all the classic Guerlain scents (especially Vol de Nuit and Mitsouko) but when I’m looking for classic-with-a-racy-edge French perfumes, I look for Les Editions de Frederic Malle, especially Dans Tes Bras, Une Fleur de Cassie, Lys Mediteranee, and Carnal Flower.
But now there is another star in the fragrance firmament. DelRae Roth.
I’ve written about DelRae Roth and her poetic and superbly original approach to fragrance. She is fabulous and her fragrances are feminine and personal and lovely. You’ll recall that I wrote earlier this year about her new perfume, Mythique, which is divine.
Now this glamorous perfume designer, who lives in San Francisco, has launched her newest creation, Coup de Foudre. It means ‘love at first sight’...or in this case, love at first sniff.
“My dream and written goal with Coup de Foudre was to create the ultimate expression of the rose, as you fine it in the garden, tender, complex, natural and fresh and direct,” said DelRae. “I love fresh roses in the field—as they are deep, slightly fruity, luscious, and completely intoxicating.”
DelRae said she was particularly interested in her own version of a rose scent—one that was youthful, modern, classic, romantic and sensual.
I love this interpretation.
Coup de Foudre does smell like a French Rose de Mai in the South of France early in the morning. It’s vibrant, not too sweet, airy, and with a fizzy burst of bergamot, pink grapefruit (so modern), and jasmine absolute, as well as notes of magnolia, white moss, and vetyver, among the complex and intoxicating cocktail.
“The rose oil was processed in a modern new way so I was working with raw material of astounding beauty,” noted DelRae, who worked with master perfumer Yann Vasnier on this project. “I wanted the perfume to recreate the experience of inhaling rose perfume from your favorite French roses, the classic varieties. It’s heady and personal and memorable. A wonderful experience.
Bravo to DelRae!
Parfums DelRae Coup de Foudre is available at Barney’s New York stores around the country—and if you are in San Francisco or Los Angeles, call ahead to see if DelRae might be making a personal appearance. She also offers rich and deeply scented body creams.
You might be lucky to test this new scent with the creator herself.
You’ll also want to test her other spectacular fragrances, including Mythique (love this, very iris) and Debut (lily of the valley) and the mysterious Amoureuse and Bois de Paradis. Or to order the scents direct: www.parfumsdelrae.com
Portrait: Susan Chainey
Coup de Foudre: Caroline Ducato
DelRae's flat: Mark Seelen
Used with express permission.