A Scented Service

Mimi ON Mar 25, 2011 AT 12:24 pm

34 boulevard Saint Germain

34 boulevard Saint Germain

Katie Service is our very own, brand spanking new, in-house perfume guru. She likes the smelly stuff so much that we’ve decided to recruit her to shed some light on some of the nicest fragrances around each week. Keep an eye out for more of her eloquent reviews in the future, but if you like what you see, you’ll find more of it on her blog, The Beauty Button.

By Katie Service

Diptyque 34 Rue Saint Germain

If you could capture any one smell, what would it be?  Fresh bread? The pages of a new book? Mulled wine?  Pinning down my favourite scent and having it bottled, on tap whenever I want, has always been a bit of a personal dream.  Imagine the luxury of being able to smell the scent that you crave, the scent that sky rockets your endorphins and takes you back to that “happy place” wherever and whenever you want it.  I am beginning to sound a bit like some sort of addict so I’m going to change tact… Please bear with me.

Perfumers have long tried to capture certain atmospheres that trigger certain memories in their perfumes.  Some have even tried to create a melange of notes that transport you to a memory of a place that you’ve never even been to before. Woody spices whisk us off to the orient and fresh citrus bergamots would have us believe we are relaxing in the Tuscan hillside. The simple notes of the Garden Rose can make you come over all patriotic whereas the exotic Damascus Rose will transport your nose somewhere further afield. Tiny adjustments in fragrance construction can make enormous differences to the direction in which your imagination is pointed. I digress, again.

Roman Kaiser

Roman Kaiser

Diptyque, the connoisseurs of fragrance addiction, have teamed up with perfumer Roman Kaiser, who is less formally known as the “fragrance thief”. Kaiser is a pioneer of headspace technology which captures the scent in the air around an ingredient without actually macerating the object in solvents thus leaving the plant, fruit or spice intact. Diptyque challenged Kaiser to create a unique perfume that captures the essence of their oldest store in Paris. Thus 34 Boulevard Saint Germain was found its new existence in a bottle.

How do you choose which notes to use from an entire perfume shop?  I can only imagine how enormous the initial ingredients list must have been before it was whittled down to a mere 40 raw ingredients. The final fragrance contains notes from some of Diptyque’s finest: fresh and tart blackcurrant and green leaves from Philosykos, warming rose pepper and spices from L’Eau, heady tuberose and iris from Do Son and all weighed down with a balmy base of resins and woods that remind us of the cabinets and benches in the Parisian shop itself.

Diptyque’s 34 Rue Saint Germain has a complex signature indeed (it is perhaps not a scent for a perfume purest) but for those of you who, like me, enjoy being whisked off on a journey by their scent, it’s a winner.   After all, there is nothing more wonderful than Paris in the Spring.

£60 for 50ml, www.spacenk.co.uk

For more perfume reviews from Katie, head over to The Beauty Button…

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