July 24, 2016
Olivia Larson, Natural Perfumer for La Fleur de Livvy (courtesy of Olivia Larson)
There is sometimes a mythology which holds the belief that natural perfumers should be held to the standards of synthetic perfumery, and while this may be asking an apple to taste like a cherry (some genetic researchers would be happy to oblige), I find myself asking the loaded gun/petty war of sillage and longevity- it is no small détente to be found within dream-like aesthetic of LaFleur by Livvy created by Olivia Larson. Based in Colorado, the award winning perfumer creates what I refer to as 'watercolor perfumes'; being the first aromas to ever invoke a specific medium and by the way she takes raw materials and transforms them into ethereal versions of themselves. This is not to say her work is in any way muddy or ambiguous; to the contrary, the notes are clearly definable but has something more than photorealism could offer: poetry. There is a profundity now found in the first lesson of perfume: “dilution is everything.”
Vietnamese French Artist Le Pho Girl with a Green Scarf 1982
Olivia's perspective offers for a subtlety not always neither found nor appreciated although LaFleur is among the most accessible natural perfumes, with familiar structures and non-intrusive, xenophobic botanicals. Familiar albeit difficult, earthy base notes are rendered tame, clean and clear. Even without the double barrels of shotgun sillage and longevity- there is a skin stained air which remains in dignified, if not surprisingly tenacious ways. This is the kind of wear people would comment on how “you” smell rather than how your “perfume” smells. This is how perfume transforms you rather than scents you.
La Fleuriste Le Pho 1967
Parisian Affair opens with a moment of blossom laden air, almost as if the composition were blushing with secrets it has inspired. Pine and cognac co-mingling with champaka and lilac give vanilla a tendency for both genders being present and complete than unisex or androgynous.
Le Pho, Le Rideau Mauve
Affairs are conducted in Olivia's well heeled style, sans vulgarity and public display. Upon proximity to flesh, it is obvious there is a potential tinderbox of floral carnality waiting just beneath the almost masochistic preservation of reserve and poise. Notes: vanilla, lilac, champaka, pine, cognac (“1 portion love, 2 portions desire”)
Le Pho Floral Arrangement
White Lotus opens with at-once-ness of encountering a lotus and encompassing biosphere of scent- paradoxically astringent and aquatic, earthy and ethereal. Added to skin, this watercolor stain becomes the exalted clean of La Fleur's signature touch with tonka begins and a baptismal of the wearer begins- washing away the indelicacies of more gregarious aroma options for something closer to oneself.
Le Pho Woman in a Garden
Cognac here is more about soothing grass edges of vetiver and quite possibly what makes this exalted musk a bit more human, a glorious addiction to beauty; something closer to the scent of ourselves. Notes: white lotus, vetiver, tonka bean, Hennessey cognac
Le Jardin Fleuri Le Pho
Although LaFleur by Livvy is “…about a woman's journey in life”, I would consider this the life of Olivia herself and I imagine it to be an epic tale- the perfumes she creates may be considered floral and soft- this in no way should preclude a gentleman from enjoying a more subtle form of attraction. There is great strength in power which is dormant, and wisdom when one knows how to subdue and direct the energy which lies in the raw form of things.
–Einsof, Natural Perfume Editor
*disclosure: my sample was provided by LaFleur by Livvy for review.
Woman Reading a Letter Le Pho
Art Direction: Michelyn Camen. I chose the art of Vietnamese/French post impressionist Le Pho(1907-2001), born in Vietnam and graduated from Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. He is famous for his poetic paintngs of women and flowers, sensitive and subtle.
Thanks to Livvy Larson of La Fleur by Livvy we have a draw for a registered reader in the USA and Canada. There will be two winners, so there is a reader’s choice of 5ml of Parisian Affair or White Lotus. To be eligible please leave a comment with what you enjoyed about Einsof’s review, and your choice of perfume and why. Draw closes 7/27/2016
We announce the winners on our site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume