Bois, Oh Bois…

Do I love this kind of thing or what! The levels that the following products appeal upon are many, and alliterative! and summed up in the following: France, Fragrance, Flask.

When I lived in Paris*, I was mightily taken with Roger & Gallet. As a former graphic designer, I am a sucker for a lovely package {TWSS}, and everything about the historic brand speaks to elegance and style. My favourite thing was the soaps that come in the little plastic holder? Perfect for travel! And useful when the soap is done, for containing, uh, paperclips and elastics — elegantly.

Nothing like an elegantly contained paperclip.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the brand, three limited edition fragrance flasks have been created, the design of which was inspired by Napolean Bonaparte’s bespoke {ohh, another excellent word!} Eau de Cologne bottle. You can’t tell from the photo, but the back of the container is flat, which had been designed like that so that NP could slide the bottle into his boot. His horseriding boots, I am sure!

The celebratory line of fragrances has been named Voyage of the Senses, and No. 1 in the  line-up, Eau de Cologne Jean Maire Farina, is the eau that was favoured by the man himself.  I absolutely love that this is available to us today. Oh, and just to keep things interesting, this has another name, Italian Freshness, which appears on the bottle. Pictured in close up is Eau Fraîche Parfumée Bois d’Orange, or, The Magic of Alhambra, and the third and last, No. 3, is the Eau Fraîche Parfumée Fleur D’Osmanthus, aka A Ceremony of Happiness. Whew! I’m too worn out now to list all the ingredients, but there are plenty in each, all blended in that mysteriously alchemical way that parfumiers have of creating a cohesive whole out of disparate parts.

Each of the three comprise a category into which one can fit oneself. They’re all sort of outdoorsy and natural, but No. 1 seems to be lush and exotic, No. 2 obviously citrus-y, and the last… well, it’s green, so it’s perfect for those who like pastoral scents. Seriously, I’ve just spritzed myself with No. 3, and I’ve come over all meadow-y and sunlit. And No. 2 smells orange, but not so orange-y that you’ll feel like a walking fruit bowl. I like it, and I didn’t think I would.

In the memoirs of Mme de Rémusat {circa 1802-1808, love it!} she notes that the Emperor used up to sixty flasks a month. Yeah, well, I can see why: if you’re going for all-day staying power, these are not the fragrances for you. But being able to slip this into your boot means that you can top up as necessary.

Now, I’m not so big on history, and sadly, anything I know about the Napoleanic wars, I’ve learned from romance novels set in the Regency era, the reading of which is the guiltiest pleasure ever. So, clearly not an expert or anything, but nevertheless I had this thing where I was like, ooh, you know, Frenchman lays waste to Europe in the nineteenth century — but let’s just frame this as a testament to the man’s good taste in Eau de cologne, and as celebration of the staying power of a diverse brand.

Me, I’m pleased by the fresh fragrances, the Frenchness, and the flaskiness. And I don’t know why I like the word ‘flask’ so much, I just do.


*For a very short time, many years ago…

One thought on “Bois, Oh Bois…

  1. Pingback: ♥Day: Smelling Good is Its Own Reward « Bright & Beautyfull!

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