Friday, September 17, 2010

Perfume fit for a Queen

Jean-Louis Fargeon  (1748-1806), Marie Antoinette's official perfume maker, treated her to numerous perfumes and scents many of which where for her exclusive use.  From perfumed gloves to sweet smelling sachets and toilet waters, the French Queen used this extension of her love of flowers to enhance her daily life.  She truly believed that perfume helped to keep both her body and spirit healthy.

A Scented Palace: The Secret History of Marie Antoinette's Perfumer by Elisabeth de Feydeau recounts the life of Faregon, from the day of his birth to his final escape from the guillotine.  Along the way, we also learn intmate details of Marie Antoinette's life and of the court that surrounded her.  Of particular interest to me is the creation of Parfum du Trianon, a custom scent meant to capture the atmosphere of her beloved Petit Trianon.

It seems that Eleas LeRoux  (Eli Zephaniah) is now following in Fargeon's footsteps.  A medical student, apothecary, and herbalist in the Duché de Coeur (Second Life®) Monsieur LeRoux has just introduced a line of perfumes fittingly called Eau de Coeur ~ Parfums Exotiques.  While there are a number of scents available to the public, I was delighted to commission one especially for myself. 

Here is the description of "Duchesse de Provence":
A unique and lingering floral scent for the duchess herself.
This is a complex and uniquely French distillation 'soliflore', i.e. relying primarily on the scent of a single variety of flower, in this case those of carefully harvested Provençal orchids Ophyrys afpifera and Serapias cordigera. This type of scent is notable for its pure and pronounced fragrance notes. Top and middle notes, the head and heart of the perfume, resemble those of the source flowers, with enduring base notes of essential floral oils and calamus.

Given the rarity of the natural ingredients, large scale production is out of the question.
What a wonderful way to bring a bit of the luxury that Marie Antoinette enjoyed to us in Second Life®!

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