What a week it was: too cold on several days to walk the dog or do my evening walk. Layers, heat on, still chilled. Would hunker under the duvet and a blanket and shiver for 5 minutes until I managed to warm up enough to fall asleep. Caught cold (the first lurgy since 2020). Discovered black mould growing on a number of windows which had to be thoroughly cleaned.
But come this past Saturday, after two weeks of freezing, it got milder. Got the dog out for a proper walk (which exhausted him – see pic). Then, got warmer and started raining. Like really raining.
So, we’re on flood alert now.
Anyway, I had been using winter candles but on Saturday switched to a small l’Artisan candle called Parfum de Feuilles which smells of fresh green leaves, a bit of tomato and something floral. It’s discontinued, and I think I bought it 10 or 12 years ago, but it’s definitely a scent for warmer weather, so doesn’t get a lot of burn and thus is still half there.
It set me off thinking of all the things l’Artisan I’ve loved over the years – and the fact that decades ago l’Artisan was one of my first forays into niche.
My first real l’Artisan love was Mure et Musc which I wore exclusively for at least a couple of years in the 1980s. It was launched in 1978, with notes of basil, lemon, orange, blackberry and other berries, musk and oakmoss. It was a gentle musk, close to skin scent on me and garnered a lot of compliments.
I tried over time to wear other l’Artisans but that didn’t work well. Only Jour de Fete (feast day) made it into rotation. A lovely, sweet dessert thing, the notes include icing sugar, almond flour, wheat and honey. I felt delicious wearing it. Another one that got a lot of love from others.
The only l’Artisans I currently own are Mechant Loup and Nuit de Tubereuse, both Bertrand Duchaufour fragrances. Big Bad Wolf included pepper, star anise, licorice, sandalwood, honey, hazelnut, myrrh, tonka bean and cedar. It was marketed as a masculine and smelled mouth-watering. To the extent I once smelled it on someone on London’s Tube and actually tried to find them in a heaving carriage (no dice). Tubereuse (notes: a lot of things including tuberose). I wear this maybe once a year, I think.
The version I have of Mechant Loup does not hold a candle to the original, but I enjoy smelling it out of the bottle every once in a while.
Someone once gifted me a Traversee du Bosphore candle (another Duchaufour fragrance) which was a great rendition of Turkish Delight, a sweet I very much enjoy. Notes include tobacco, apple, tulip, saffron, leather, Turkish Delight and musk. Loved that and it’s now long gone.
So, back to my Parfum de Feuilles candle. It made a wonderful antidote to our recent awful weather: fresh, green, luscious.
When I first discovered l’Artisan I would travel uptown in NYC to the Madison Avenue jewel-box shop in the east 70s. It was a great place and the staff were wonderful.
Sadly, that, along with a lot of other standalone l’Artisan shops, closed when niche exploded and everyone and their mother was starting a perfume brand.
Now, l’Artisan, as far as I can tell, is online and much diminished regarding its stock.
But it’s a brand I definitely have a soft spot for.
So, what about you? Any l’Artisan loves? Anything discontinued you still hanker after?
Pics are mine