If someone had told me last year when I began this blog that I would one day see an article published I probably would have cracked up laughing. So you can only imagine how absolutely thrilled I am to have been able to contribute to ODOU Issue Four.
On Wednesday 6th May, I was invited to a very special afternoon at Bloom Perfumery’s new space in Covent Garden where Carlos Huber, Creative Director of Arquiste Parfumeur, spoke to The Perfume Society’s Josephine Fairley, Amanda Carr from The Women’s Room, and myself about the four floral fragrances in the Arquiste collection.
I’ll get into that and all things Arquiste, including what we can expect in Fall 2015, in a minute though. There’s something I need to get off my chest first.
I first became aware of Alphonsine Plessis, who later became Marie Duplessis, one of the most famous courtesans, or demi-mondaines, of 19th century Paris during the reign of Napoleon III (1852 – 1870) while reading Virginia Rounding’s fantastic Grandes Horizontales, which details the lives of four of the most celebrated courtesans of 19th century France. Through her relationship with Alexandre Dumas, fils, who was one of Marie’s amant de coeurs (a lover of the non-paying variety), Marie Duplessis became immortalized as Marguerite Gautier in Dumas’ La Dame aux Camélias and then later as Violetta Valéry in Giuseppe Verdi’sLa Traviata, which I decided to listen to for the very first time ever whilst writing this review, and it is absolute stunning.
I had received samples Jardins d’Ecrivains Gigi (also gorgeous) and La Dame aux Camélias from Bloom Perfumery in Spitalfields some time ago, and only just happened to have an “oh hello” moment with the La Dame aux Camélias sample a couple of days ago when I was tidying a drawer so I decided to have a moment with this beautiful fragrance and to explore La Dame aux Camélias.