Madalina Stoica-Blanchard and Julien Blanchard
The perfume collection of Jul et Mad is a testament to and history of the love between its two founders, Julien Blanchard and Madalina Stoica-Blanchard. When I met them in Milan at Esxence, I was immediately taken with their charm, openness, and evident love for each other. Each new addition to the series reflects a segment of their life journey and the love they share, and their latest, Aqua Sextius, composed by Cécile Zarokian, celebrates the town of their marriage, their second home, and many happy vacations in Aix-en-Provence. Aqua Sextius is the original name of Aix-en-Provence, founded by Roman consul Gaius Sextius in the 2nd century B.C. The town is famous for its many fountains, thermal baths, and easy lifestyle, and is the birthplace of painter Paul Cezanne.
Bathers by Paul Cézanne
Aqua Sextius is a bright, herbal concoction that imparts a feeling of an almost wild cleanliness, like you have bathed in a bubbling mineral spring and then laid out on fresh grass in the sun, naked and warm, to dry off. It is clean and lightly soapy, but the soap was handmade with wild herbs, citrus zest, and eucalyptus, leaving a lingering haze of greenery on the skin. As the sun bakes the lawn, warmer aspects of earth rise, and scents from the surrounding fig trees and flower gardens are guided to your nose by gentle breezes. You doze, and dream, of the Romans who had bathed in these waters and rested under the same sun.
Near Aix-en-Provence by Paul Cézanne
The more I wear Aqua Sextius, the more I like it. It is a lovely, summery scent, but really complex. It doesn’t really fit into a specific category, because it does have fresh citrus notes like a cologne, and summery florals, but then the fig, woods, and salty notes show their faces and it all becomes a most beguiling puzzle. A distinctive characteristic of all the Jul et Mad fragrances is the fact that they are all parfum extraits only, which make them very personal scents. One would think that Aqua Sextius should be applied lavishly, but no. I was captivated for many hours with just a few small, well-placed sprays.
Notes: Bergamot, lemon, orange, grapefruit, green notes, Mint/eucalyptus, marine notes, mimosa, white flower, fig, labdanum, ambergris, cedarwood, gaiac wood, oak moss, musk
A true-life romance played out in perfume is a wonderful concept; that it is executed with such attention to detail and care is a bonus. The motto of Jul et Mad is “Parfum sans compromise”, and that devotion shows. I look forward to the next chapter in the story of Julien and Madalina, as well as the accompanying fragrance.
My Nomad Travel spray was provided by Jul et Mad. Aqua Sextius will be available online and on counters in May of 2014.
Tama Blough, Managing Editor
We have a 7 ml Nomad travel spray of Aqua Sextius for one lucky reader in the US. Leave a comment about what appeals to you about this perfume and that you live in the US. Draw closes April 20, 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.