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.
Diane, how lovely the scent sounds sublime.
I will never forget the gift from my first boyfriend of Chanel #5 perfume and dusting powder!
Art by Karena
Wonderful! I cannot wait to try it. I've used Diorissimo for years and years, but was slightly disappointed with the new "modern" interpretation of it recently.
As one perfume lover to another...I applaud your favourites Diane. I am also a fan of Serge Lutens fragrances, in particular, 'Fleur d' Oranger' and 'Lys'. I shall look for 'Coup de Foudre' on my travels...xv
I'm smiling happily as I read about your mother and her affection for Mitsouko, my mother loved and weared the very same.
I guess I also became quite fascinated as a very little girl and one day I experimented my way of making a paste of mother's perfume and some powder...the whole neighborhood could smell of Guerlain for days.
I've read your post of Gunnebo, the entire post is so good...I can feel you are well acqainted with my city as well, Stockholm, describing life in the summer.
Today the daylight will only be gone for 2 hours....
My dear friend Vicki Archer from FRENCH ESSENCE noted that she loved several of the floral SERGE LUTENS fragrances...which she finds at the Serge Lutens gallery/Shiseido, at the Palais Royal in France.Vicki has fabulous taste, so I am going to check on them when next in paris.
Pamela--Yes it is true that Diorissimo (which I wore at one time) is changing. I spoke to a perfumer in Paris and he said that many of the leading fragrances would have to change their ingredients because of EU regulations about what they can and cannot put in perfume. It's too bad. Some of the amazing ingredients in the original Chanel No 5 are no long available. Many of the strange and wonderful additions to perfume cannot be found in the wild, or are controlled, or are not permitted. Still there are more perfumes in the world today than there ever have been New ones every day. I am happy--with Coup de Foudre, for example.
Ingela-How lovely to hear from you. I adore Stockholm--and the whole of Sweden--in summer. I will be writing about he city and the archipelago in the future. Yes, Gunnebo...werent the photos fantastic. Sweden is less known in the US--thought Gustavian and country Swedish style is known.I also love the archipelago. Such a dream.
Stay in touch. I love hearing from my Swedish friends.
I must try this, I love the pure fragrance-and the complex. But you could have guessed I have not been able to settle on one scent. Some are mens, complex-Mitsouko, I have worn in honor of my GranMa, who wore it-nothing I have ever noticed is similar. I seem to stick with hermes Merveilles as I dab others about.I adore the rose fragrances and my mother as well. pgt
Chanel No 5! He must have adored you. I am so happy.
Little Augury: I think the old idea of wearing one and only one fragrance--your signature--is out. A more modern way to go about wearing and enjoying fragrance is to wear what you like, when you like, to set a mood, to make you feel great, to seduce, to make others excited and happy.
I used to wear the same fragrance every day...sewuentially...which might be Chanel No 19 or No 22, or one of my Guerlain fragrances. But now...I wear Une Fleur de Cassie in India, and I wear Lys Mediterranee in the south of France. While I am writing at the computer, I like some of the Hermes new scents to give energy--Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, or Un Jardin sur le Nil, or their bitter orange scents (variations). Perfume gives me energy, makes me dream, gives me a lift, spurs me on. I love wearing it when I go out in the evening, too. Carnal Flower by Frederic Malle is a killer scent to wear for a killer evening.
THE LOVELY VICKI ARCHER:
I love your suggestion of Serge Lutens. I usually drop into his ultra-dark boutique in the Palais Royal. There are so many delicious and lovely scents--I can never decide. Is it the iris, or is it the tea-inspired? Is it the floral...so many...or is the his sexy concoctions. I admire him tremendously. So sophisticated and individual and beautiful.
Must be glorious in Provence now...infused with lavender.
My dear, you love Mitsouko? What a refined lady you are! I thought Mitsouko is a kind of scent only the characters from the novels by Penelope Lively or Barbara Pym would wear! But you are the first one I heard who love Mitsouko.
PS. Coup de Foudre sounds utterly divine.
I too have special memories of my mother and my introduction to the ephemeral world of perfume. The day before you wrote this (birthday) she presented me with my favourite scent, Diorissimo with CD's signature Lilly of the Valley, it is not quite the same as when I first started wearing it as a teen. Still lovely.
Thank you for sharing the beauty of heady love.
Dear Super Dilettante-
I am indeed a woman who wears Mitsouko...and only on occasion...such as an evening in Paris, possibly a cool spring evening in jaipur, or I wear it on a plane to enhance the journey. Makes me feel great...intensely alert.
I love it...it is so rare and signicantly different from any other scent.
I love to wear perfume in bed, to sleep...DelRae's Mythique, or Une Fleur de Cassie, or the new version of Caleche. Sweet dreams.
Love your comment about Diorissimo. It was one of the first 'young' scents...as the original classics were getting dated and then Diorissimo was introduced. It was a beauty. I think it has been tinkered with.
I think the key is to enjoy perfumes in the moment. I think perhaps that is what a scent is...
I don't fuss with the thought 'wear one fragrance as your signature' as we all have fleeting memories and it is better to make an impact or create a thrill now...sense memory being evanescent.
I love really well-designed and complex classic scents--by specific perfumers with impeccable taste, who understand the history and allusive elements of scent, like Jean-Claude Ellena (he creates for Hermes) and the team of designers at Frederic Malle, all brilliant.
Tastes change, times change. Go for classics, but wear them in a modern way...lighter and spritzier. Wear certain scents depending on the weather (Un Jardin sur le Nil or Un Jardin Apres le Mousson, both by Hermes, are lovely summer scents for traveling or summer evening parties). Oh, perfume...I love it.
I am a natural perfumer from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I create perfumes from only hydro-distilled plants... All perfumes before the turn of the century where from essential oils..
Most oils are steam distilled which are fine, but I believe the old hydro-distilled oils are the oils made in a very refined manner.. I use these oils also as healing elements with clients before surgery.. With amazing results..
The soul of the plant is intact so it can resonate with your soul on a deep level and transformation on a core level happens.. I then make solid perfumes from these single notes... They come in a lovely Limoges from Rochard, France... The base of the solid perfume in propolis, beeswax and vitamin E...
My newest perfume is called: Honeybee and me..
Iris root, (the most expensive oil on the market) White Ginger Lilly, Neroli, and Melissa..
Remember all the oils go beyond the standard for organic and sustainable...
I love beauty!!!!
I recently discovered your blog through the Skirted Roundtable discussion. Your insights are much appreciated. Sharing your experiences with us is fascinating to listen to.
Have you ever visited Lucky Scent online (http://www.luckyscent.com/) or their LA shop, the Scent Bar (http://www.luckyscent.com/scentbar/)? They are my fix for the latest scents released. I, too, am addicted to perfumes and, yes, I wouldn't dream of going to bed without a spritz (no pun intended, lol).
I look forward to perusing your blog more.
Hi Melissa and Ann-
I LOVE LOVE LOVE perfume..and believe it is an essential in life, like fine Bonne Bouche chocolate, superb shoes (hello, Manolo and Christian)...and travel.
Perfume, of course, accompanies all the best things in life.
Melissa--'natural' perfumes. The vote is still being counted. I have heard passionate points in favorite of natural ingredients and I admire them, and I also have heard equally intelligent and important points that note that fragrance is atoms and that lab-produced scents are more stable, last longer, and can be more complex and elegant.
My only criterion: does it smell wonderful and is it bliss and elevating and transporting! I love simple...honey, honeysuckle, jasmine...and I adore and admire complex ...Mitsouko, Dans Tes Bras, Mythique.
I know men who wear 'women's' perfumes (hello, David and Nelson) superbly, and I have women friends who wear men's colognes (French women do). It's personal...a trip, light-hearted or serious, and always a pleasure.
Happy to hear your comments Melissa...most valid and wonderful.
Ann--will check out your Lucky Scent lead. Thank you so much.
very best, DIANE
I sometimes purchase a scent, only to find out that while I like it, I just cannot wear it.
I've never admitted this publicly before, but I use those bottles as powder room spritzes rather than buying them at the grocery store. The bathroom smells great without that fake scent that can be nauseating.
Wonderful introduction! I adore perfume -- and am currently stuck on the new Balenciaga perfurme. I may have to branch out!!
I love perfumes, and don't have a certain signature scent. I like to try a lot of different ones. I have gone from Serge Luten to Frederic Malle. I didn't think any fragrance could be better than FM. I received a sample of Delrae Emotionelle in a Barneys gift bag. I was hooked, and started trying to get samples of the other fragrances. I couldn't believe how wonderful they were. I think Amoruse is my favorite but the new Coup de Foudre is amazing. I am just hoping they will come out with a body cream to match.
I agree that she is fabulous and her fragrances are feminine and personal and lovely.Anyway,keep posting guys!
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