October 3, 2012
In the Restaurant by Charles Hoffbauer (1907)
For the guys who love perfume I think many of us look back at fin de siècle 19th Century society and would love to have been identified as a Dandy. These men of modest means were accepted into the milieu of their social betters solely because of their style and their erudition. The Dandy was the trend-setter of his day and he often was scented with different perfumes. Carlos Huber the creative director/ architect behind Arquiste Perfumeur dips back to this time and as he has done with every fragrance also identified a unique historical place. Here is the trip he wants us to take with his newest creation Boutonniere No. 7:
“May 1899 in the Foyer of the Opera-Comique in Paris: During the Opera’s intermission, a group of seven young men gather at the Grand Foyer in search of new flirtations. Women of all sorts are lured in by the crisp, green scent of the men’s gardenia boutonnieres, enlivened with the bergamot and lavender colognes they wear. As they draw closer, the “Opera Flower” exudes its elegant masculinity, the last breath of a bloom sacrificed on a black-tie lapel.”
Mr. Huber asked perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux to take this idea of the gardenia boutonniere and turn it into a fragrance. This latter half of 2012 has seen many wonderful gardenia fragrances make their debut but Boutonniere No.7 has outdone all of them. The perfumes Mr. Flores-Roux has had a hand in in the last part of 2012 have shown his skill with a floral note here and there but Boutonniere No. 7 has also outshone all of his other very good creations for 2012. So often a description like the one above does the fragrance it describes no favors, this time it almost perfectly describes Boutonniere No. 7. This is a fresh gardenia in a formal men’s lapel, the lavender tonic is also present along with the accord of fresh-pressed linen. Boutonniere No. 7 is a Dandy in bottle.
A Dandy by Georges Jacques Gatine (1797)
A bit of citrus and bergamot combine with lavender to create the classic cologne opening and it captures exactly what a Dandy might be wearing in 1899 in the early days of modern perfumery. As you grasp the lapel to bring the fresh cut gardenia closer to your nose it splices itself into that cologne triptych like it has always belonged. Mr. Flores-Roux uses two different sources of gardenia to completely capture the heady floral and the sharp intense green qualities characteristic of this white flower. By using a base of genet, vetiver, and oak moss the final stages remind me of a freshly ironed suit and the slightly sharp quality of the starched shirt that goes with it.
Boutonniere No. 7 has excellent longevity and above average sillage. When you wear this you will entice your own opera lovers closer for a better sniff.
I don’t know why it seems different perfumers all seize on a specific note at around the same time but the number of very good gardenia fragrances I’ve been enjoying lately makes me extremely happy. Mr. Huber and Mr. Flores-Roux have combined to take that gardenia note and make it feel like it is appropriate to 1899 and 2012. I think Boutonniere No.7 is one of the best fragrances I’ve tried this fall and it is a perfect foil to my other favorite Arquiste, Anima Dulcis. So let Mr. Huber take you for a ride in his perfume-powered DeLorean and just make sure Mr. Flores-Roux is at the wheel for a journey you will not forget.
Disclosure: This review was based on a preview sample provided by Arquiste Parfumeur.
Thanks to Carlos Huber and Arquiste Parfumeur we have three 5mL samples to giveaway to three lucky winners. To be eligible leave a comment on your favorite Arquiste Parfumeur fragrance or a time period you would like Mr. Huber to interpret next. Draw closes October 7, 2012.
We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.
-Mark Behnke, Managing Editor