September 16, 2014
Frapin Perfumes Photo: Frapin
Frapin is a fascinating fragrance House, existing alongside its prestigious cognac namesake and progenitor, established in 1270 at the Chateau de Fontpinot in the heart of the Grande Champagne region of France. Arguably now, the perfumes are becoming as well known among the cognoscenti as the tawny, ambered cognacs.
David Frossard Creative Director of Frapin Perfumes
This is due to Creative Director David Frossard who has been carefully re-orchestrating Frapin’s perfumery business since the noughties. His work began after the family launched 1270 in 2002, their parfum des origines, the scent of their roots or soil if you like. Created by Beatrice Cointreau, the great granddaughter of founder Pierre Frapin, 1270 celebrated the Folle Blanche grape and the obsessive stages of the cognac’s history. Built around a duet of vine flowers and the dry green licquorice tones of immortelle, 1270 mixed candied orange, nuts, prunes, cocoa, tonka and coffee over a base of honey, vanilla and woods. It was made in limited quantities and suffered I think from a lack of PR and effective distribution. This was when David Frossard (of Different Latitiudes) entered the Frapin story, working to re-invigorate and modernise the perfume side of the business while maintaining the heritage of the cognac house. He saw an opportunity to create a body of luxury scents that would put Frapin firmly on the haute Parfumerie map and match in quality and distinction their treasured Napoleon, Cigar, VIP, Champagne and Millesime cognacs.
Photo: The Silver Fox
Starting with Carvalle Epicée, David and his collaborators set about formulating a body of unique and textured work for Frapin. Standouts for me include the boozy voluptuous 1697 by Bertrand Duchaufour, a celebration of the year that Louis IX bestowed upon the Frapin family the status of nobility and a coat of arms. The other is Speakeasy, made Marc-Antoine Cortichiatto (better known for his astonishing body of work for Parfums D”Empire), inspired by the coded signals, passwords and perils of drinking during Prohibition. The odd opening mojito accord of Speakeasy is challenged by a tobacco-damp, lip-wet mood, a smoky come-hither tease enhanced by immortelle, liatrix (deer tongue) and tonka bean. Fabulous stuff.
There is a ritual of three red roses and a flask of cognac being placed reverentially on Poe’s grave on the anniversary of his death. This was the olfactory spark for Nevermore, the latest fragrance from Frapin, a haunted insomniac rose, created by a young perfumer, Anne Sophie Behaghel. The title of the scent comes from The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe’s poem of paranoia and menace, published in 1845. Considered one of Poe’s masterpieces, The Raven is a morbid narration of love, loss and studied madness.
Edgar Allen Poe Lenore Gustave Doré's illustration for 'The Raven'
In the poem, a raven penetrates the room of a distraught young lover agonising over the loss of his great love Lenore. The inscrutable bird perches on a bust of Pallas Athena over the door, watching the man who is initially intrigued by this most intense of interlopers. Asked a series of questions, the raven will answer only ‘Nevermore..’ that eventually drives the young grief-stricken man to the edge of despair. Asking if he will be united with Lenore after death, the answer is of course…’Nevermore’.
The raven augurs death and the end of days, but speaks an icy truth. The rose of love is darkened by eternal love and obsessive desire. It is the most wonderful inspiration for a scent. Nevermore is this obsessive morbid darkness, distilled through two potent roses, (Centifolia and Damask), one cold and glassy, the other swooning and capricious. Strong woody rose accords can often smell frivolous or petrolic in but there is a fermented smokiness to the duo in Nevermore, which is exploited by the tides of amber washing in and over the composition. I get inhalations of a cellar-like dampness and wine-stained books as it begins to settle. Atlas cedar hints to me of the crepuscular study, fraught with supernatural emotion as the young lover tries to determine the true nature of his pitch-black visitor. The unsettling verdancy of Florazone and aldehydes in the top is the creep of dark garden fluttering into the room on raven wing.
Gustave Doré's illustration for 'The Raven'
The Fox loves this perfume, it’s morbid, clinging ghost and bruised smouldering heart. Take the time to sample Frapin; there are some seriously sensual pleasures glowing in the scented cellars.
–Editor, The Silver Fox, Editor of The Silver Fox
Art Direction: Michelyn Camen , Editor in Chief
Photo: The Silver Fox
We have a press sample of 2ml of Frapin NeverMore for one USA reader or for a Eu reader (Thanks to Frapin’s UK Distributor). Frapin Nevermore is available at Bloom Perfumery in London and Liquides in Marais,Paris. To be eligible, please indicate where you live ,what you found fascinating about The Fox’s review of Nevermore and if you have a favorite Edgar Allen Poe poem or story your comment will count twice, (because we love literature). Draw closes 9/19/2014
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