Friday, January 05, 2007

Better-Know-A-Niche Perfumery: Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

The second stop on my Parisian perfume tour was Maître Parfumeur et Gantier (MPG), located conveniently next to Parfums de Nicolai at 84 Rue de Grenelle, 75007. This classical parfumerie was founded in 1989 by perfumer Jean-François Laporte. Since 1997, Jean-Paul Millet Lage has headed the company.

Based on the High French Perfumery concept of the 17th century, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier literally translates as "Master Perfumer and Glovemaker." This is in reference to the historical link between glove-making and perfumery created by the fashion for perfumed gloves in France during the 1600s. (For a terrific description of the connection between glove-making, perfumery, and Grasse, please see Grasse's Museum website).

MPG is a parfumerie using very rare and fine ingredients to create luxurious perfumes. It has a variety of women's fragrances, men's fragrances, and home fragrances. The women's collection consists of four lines: The Divine Flowers; The Light Symphonies; The Mystery Accords; and The Invitation of the Journey.

After sampling several eaux de toilette at MPG, my favorite fragrance was Freezia d'Or ("Gold Freesia"), in the Mystery Accords line. It contains freesia, tuberose, neroli, jasmine, ylang ylang, iris and sandalwood. It is an absolutely delicious, freesia-y scent lightened by the refreshing lift of neroli. I had every intention of buying a small bottle, but it was not to be.

"Why not?" you may be tempted to ask. Well, since this stop was very early in my Parisian fragrance journey, and I did not want to be overloaded with shopping bags, I blithely assumed (wrongly, as it turns out), that I would be able to pick up a bottle of Freezia d'Or at the department store near my hotel. "Au Printemps" is one of the grand old department stores in the 9th arrondissement. It contains an extensive collection of hard-to-find perfumes, including Maître Parfumeur et Gantier. However, it is only a partial line. It does not carry "Freezia d'Or." Word to the wise....

Fortunately, "Freezia d'Or" is available online at aedes and beautycafe (cost: $105/3.3 ounces ).

The sales associate at MPG, Catherine, was very charming and helpful. She asserted that if one is wearing a fragrance that is suitable to one's chemistry, that one should not be able to smell the scent on oneself after application. In other words, if you can smell your perfume after you put it on (given a dry-down period, I assume), it might not be right for you. Others, she continued, should be able to smell it, however, and be pleased by it. What are your thoughts on this?

If you'd like to see my previous review of MPG Eau de Camelia Chinois, please visit here.

Next stop: Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

photo credit: Christine Pierce


giselle R. said...

This sounded like an interesting shop. I have no plans to go to Paris this year. Drat!

As far as not smelling the perfume on yourself, that is a puzzler to me... but ...Maybe she meant, well this happens to me, I put on a perfume I love, (like Habanita or L'Heure Bleue for example) and I just sort of forget about it after the topnotes drift away. Then every hour or so, I get a wonderful but very slight whiff, so it isn't as tho it is standing up on my skin screaming to be noticed, but it is just there. And other people do notice it, because they ask about it.
Lately I have been applying more with new things,
I have a very bad (new) habit of putting scent on the back of my hand and sniffing away -- like a demented dork. (something I read either Burr or Turin do.) I don't do this with my old faves, tho...I just apply & forget.

christine said...

I, too, apply fragrances to the back of my hands when I'm trying them out. I looked like a crazy lady in Paris, walking and sniffing one hand and then the other and concentrating and sniffing again! Sometimes I had 4 fragrances on at once (back of both hands, back of both forearms) -- probably a "no-no" on so many levels, but given my time constraints, there was just no other way...!