Guest Post by Jordan River
The fragrance world lost a cherished luminary in 2013. Perfumer and fragrance visionary Sandrine Videault passed away on July 3rd last year. Today we remember not only her amazing fragrances, but her touching, inspiring words.
Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine by Sandrine Videault for Grandiflora 2013
Sandrine studied perfumery under Edmond Roudnitska. Her final perfume is Magnolia Grandiflora, which she worked on with floral artisan Saskia Havekes. This extraordinary fragrance has been highly anticipated by the fragrance community and was launched this month on Lucky Scent.
Perfumer: Sandrine Videault
Release Date: August 2013
Recommended Retail Price: $185 AUD / $168 EUR
Top citrus, grapefruit, pepper
Heart dry woods, fresh garden accord,
Drydown marine, musk
Many flowers today are bred to be beautiful but not necessarily fragrant. Saskia has sources for particularly fragrant flowers which she artfully combines with beautifully bred ones for a scented atmosphere with visual delights. Photographing nature is also a passion. Grandiflora is the name of Saskia’s atelier in Potts Point.
The story of this fragrance begins millions of years ago, before humans or many other creatures we know today existed. The ancient genus Magnolia appeared before bees did, and pollination occurred thanks to the help of beetles. The tree adapted to the strength of its hardworking pollinators, resulting in the longevity of this beautiful, fragrant tree.
The magnolia is a true sight to behold – tall trees mantled with startling blossoms come to life in the springtime, shrouding surrounding areas in a fragrance known to this earth for more than 20 million years. The magnolia’s timber is heavy and robust, and the flower has continued to bloom and burst with lush fragrance across the ages, yet the flowers fade so fast. To hold magnolia’s fragrance is a kind of magical blessing.
Photo Stolen WikiCommons
Many of us will remember Sandrine through the tropical intensity of Manoumalia. In the Pacific tourists are often charmed by the scent of the local manoi oils which are used for tanning, moisturising skin and hair as well as for bath and massage oil. Manoi oil is coconut oil usually blended with the Tahitian gardenia known as Tiare but also with frangipani, ylang ylang and vanilla, in an enfleurage type process. Coconut oil is the carrier fat for the scent. Unfortunately when these oils leave the tropics the scent changes to ‘off’ or more precisely, indolic at the unpleasant end of the spectrum. The amazingness of Manoumalia is how Sandrine captured the heady lush scent of The Perfume Tree (Fragrea), Tiare, Ylang Ylang, Amber, Vetiver and Sandalwood within a perfume that could then be enjoyed anywhere in the world like an instant tropical holiday. Truly an expression of the art of perfumery.
Her other notable works – Ambre Indien by Esteban, Violeta by Les Néréides, and the recreation of the ancient Egyptian Kyphi live on in the hearts and minds of those of us grieving her passing.
Sandrine lived in New Caledonia and loved working in her creative laboratory in Noumea. In an interview with Perfumes, Trends and Inspirations, she said:
“Avoir son lieu de création près de Dame Nature est un cadeau”
(“Having a place of creation near Mother Nature is a gift”)
In an interview with Perfume Shrine, she said living in New Caledonia connected her with her roots.
“I feel more beaming or blooming and I am more serene. If something is wrong inside of you then you won’t create with harmony. You can not cheat with perfume authoring. States of mind come to light in perfume authoring. Bad moods are forbidden. Moreover, New Caledonia with its nature and ethnic groups is a mine of inspiration for me.”
Sandrine was both a perfume visionary and a woman wise beyond her years. She will be remembered for the scents she created and the words she left behind. May we now cherish the gifts she has left behind, and learn from the lessons she sought to teach.
“The most important lesson…..that we know nothing! So many things left to learn, to discover, to live.”
Farewell Sandrine, you will be missed.
Grain de Musc – Two Magnolias will blossom in January 2014 at Grandiflora