After the gourmand era started by master perfumer Olivier Cresp with Angel for fashion House Thierry Mugler in 1992, L’Artisan Parfumeur is pushing food notes in the perfumery industry to a whole new level with their 2022 vegetable garden inspired collection: Le Potager.
BEHIND LE POTAGER
In hommage to Jean Laporte’s – L’Artisan Parfumeur’s founder – love for botany and experiments, perfumers Alexandra Carlin and Quentin Bisch joined forces to create an olfactive basket of five freshly picked fruits and vegetables.
As a Symrise perfumer, Alexandra Carlin is constantly experimenting and exploring new scents. On the hunt for new ingredients, she mentioned back in 2021 in her interview for website MASCULIN.com, that they were currently trying to find ways in using vegetables in perfumery – somehow teasing Le Potager collection without us knowing. Alexandra Carlin’s notable work include Velvet Tonka (BDK Parfums), Kyoto (Diptyque), and Matcha Meditation (Maison Margiela) among many others – fragrances that resonate with her saying: “raw materials are rich with sense and emotions”.
The second nose behind this collection – and responsible for 4 out of the 5 Le Potager fragrances – is none other than Givaudan perfumer Quentin Bisch. His first experience as a perfumer for Etat Libre d’Orange on La Fin Du Monde eventually lead him to work for Thierry Mugler with gourmand flankers Angel Muse and more recently Angel Nova in both EDP and EDT formulas. Quentin also showed his skills with fruit notes when creating the successful Nomade line for the House of CHLOÉ playing with mirabelle plum and litchi.
Each fragrance from Le Potager collection is in eau de parfum concentration and can be combined with other creations from L’Artisan Parfumeur.
Tonka Blanc is the one fragrance by Alexandra Carlin and is the creamiest and softest perfume out of the whole collection. The cauliflower note is a comforting and sweet skin scent which creaminess evokes a milky suntan lotion. Quoting AU PARFUM.com’s article on the matter: “Alexandra Carlin used a cauliflower tincture resulting from upcycling subproducts of the food industry” making Tonka Blanc “the first perfume on the market that contains a natural vegetable extract”.
IRIS DE GRIS
Iris de Gris by Quentin Bisch was born of the perfumer’s will to recreate that particular soft green scent that emanates when shelling peas and the result could be simply described as that, a freshly picked green pea pod that is being shelled. The scent is both crispy and discreet – raw vegetable notes shaped around galbanum are softened by notes of iris and ambroxan.
Cédrat Céruse directly comes from Quentin Bisch’s childhood memories, a joyful fresh yet spicy fragrance which complements the well recognizable aniseed notes of the fennel essential oil used in the blend. A bold and vegetal scent, quite refreshing and unusual.
Vétiver Écarlate is the citrus cologne by excellence from the whole collection with notes of grapefruit blended with green and slightly sweet notes of tomato leaf. Jessica Mignot in her article for AU PARFUM.com goes as far as comparing this perfume to an Hermès Cologne by Jean-Claude Ellena – which I can understand why. Although Vétiver Écarlate is mainly citrusy, the scent has a smoky twist to it with vetiver notes that make it interesting and give it earthy depth.
Last but not least, Musc Amarante is a somewhat addictive ode to beetroot. Also part of Quentin Bisch’s childhood memories, beetroot is undoubtedly the star of the show and appears in its most simple form. Both earthy and juicy notes are softened by a silky musc. For some reason, the red crispiness, slight tangy and earthy notes reminded me of Hermès’s cologne – again – Eau de Rhubarbe Écarlate by Christine Nagel.
If I could choose only one fragrance from this basket? It would be Musc Amarante as it also has a great longevity – but if I could pick a second favorite: Tonka Blanc for its summer delicate creaminess.
As for a real garden experience, Jean Laporte’s Jardin du Parfumeur in Mézilles welcomes visitors from June 1st to October 3rd.
Each fragrance comes in a 100 ml bottle which retails for 165€.