Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Jean Patou's Parfum Couture Service

Thanks to the most wonderful Catherine, who is in charge of the fabulous Patou's boutique on rue Castiglione, I was shown around on how one can get a Parfum Couture Service.

This is a truly amazing service where you can have the house of Patou create a personal fragrance that is like no other in the world. You own Joy or 1000. The price of this service is 42,000 Euros and the process is as follows:

The first meeting a client has is with the master perfumer, a charming Jean-Michel Duriez, (who created the gorgeous Julye to present to clients the idea of a couture parfum) who has taken the place of the legendary perfumer Jean Kerléo. As part of the first meeting, the client is taken on a discovery tour of Paris in a Limo which is a great way for the perfumer to understand what makes the client tick and get to understand their likes and dislikes. A few places are visited to understand the client and get to know them - the stops could vary from a famous patisserie, a church or temple to a garden. The idea is also to ask about 40 specific questions during that trip which may seem mundane to us (for example, their favourite colour to their best memories) but it does have a significance to the perfumer and his creation process. Then in about 2-4 months, the client is presented with three different fragrances. The client then decides what he or she likes best. If for example the client likes two then a mix is presented and then given to the client to test for a while. Then in a few months while the perfume is being finalised the client then gets to a stage where he or she is totally satisfied with all the facets of the creation.

Then the Patou labs test these perfumes thoroughly to make sure that nothing in the perfume can cause allergies. This is a very important part of the process. The entire process can take anywhere from six months to one year. Then the perfume in given in a giant baccarat cube - which is fascinating with its special system of decanting. Then there is a leather vanity bag in which the client gets a 90 ml of the parfum made again by Baccarat - the shape is similar to Joy perfume and one can get their names engraved in case they forget their names (couldn't help that - from my favourite Jeeves and Wooster where Jeeves disapproves of initials etc.)
That is not all - the client also gets a lovely metal compact with a 15 ml Baccarat crystal spray for that journey away from home.

Well it was a fascinating experience and seeing the wonderful fragrance bar, the Grand Salon, the Petit Salon. In the fragrance bar there are 200 essences lined up and is only one-fifth of the total number of quality essences in the lab. This bar is a replica of the old boutique on rue Saint-Florentin. The colour pink in the decor thoughout is a hommage to Jean Patou's favourite flower rosa centafolia.

The total experience for any client, who gets a perfume created for them, will therefore leave Patou with a unique creation and hopefully never ever get bored. Well I try and not use the word never...

I do hope that they get many clients, because there are many people out there who have the intention of spending this kind of money and time on a perfume that is unique and created only for them. Finally, since I can only dream of such an involved experience to have a perfume created for me, I will not judge those who can afford and only wish that we perfume lovers could have this experience at a much reduced rate - as part of a service to perfume lovers - as we would really appreciate - then again would we enjoy one perfume for long? Hmmm - maybe I need to think about a better conclusion. Off to think a bit more....

For a great post on the perfumer and the Patou boutique please see Luca Turin's blog.

Could you imagine? *swoon*
I would love to do this.
Thanks for the description. Its sheer torment :-)

I would love to do this but can only dream! :)
What is life without a dream....

Hmm, and I think I'm on to Patou. What I think is that they plan to get insanely wealthy clients who go home happy with something unique, while Duriez gets the chance to monkey around with fragrance ideas and precious materials in the lab on someone else's dollar, and Patou gets to smell the results. So the wealthy patron goes home happy, and Duriez runs back to the lab and creates a brand new Patou for all based on good ideas culled while making bespoke fragrances. Although the mainstream fume would not be identical, since he'd working with the idea based on lower cost. (LT said that Duriez had done his time in functional perfumery, making things that smell great at rock bottom budgets.) Plus Patou gets the prestige of being perfumer to the megawealthy, and firms use top-dollar prestige mostly to sell lower price point products. (E.g., few people buy D&G couture, but lots of people buy D&G sunglasses and fragrance.) And everybody wins. Or so I suspect. ;-)

Wonderful post, N. Nice clear photos, too. Seems a cheerful place!
Hi T! It is a very cheerful place and the service (even to people who browse is fantastic).

What you wrote maybe the thought process behind most bespoke perfumeries but the set up here is really great. You feel calm and the environment is the opposite of snobbery - but really chic it is!

Guess if one had that kind of money to spend on themselves - say some of the multi-millionaires - the service is truly special - it is like hiring Patou for a year to get a perfect perfume. They will not be able to use the exact formula but as you mentioned it gives them a lot of time to experiment.
PS T - these clients who go for the couture parfums DO help us with some great perfumes in the end - at least one can hope.

Oh, it doesn't look snobby at all! And in fact, if my hunch about the calculations is correct, I sort of admire the smarts of it. Why, it's almost American. ;)
LOL! Yes it is and let us not make the French hate Patou judging by the way things happened to Vivendi etc. The French dislike capitalists in general.

N, thank you so much for the very informative post & the pictures.

The Jeeves & Wooster stories have long been among my favorites, but just working my way through the Fry & Laurie shows for the first time, and by coincidence just last night watched the one with the monogrammed handkerchiefs...hysterical!!!

Still freaking over that monumental Baccarat cube. That thing is HUGE! I'm afraid Jeeves would not approve of that either. Luckily Jeeves is not looking over my shoulder every day :-)
Dear N, the article is wonderful, and I really enjoyed reading about it. Sounds like a fascinating experience. Duriez' creations have been wonderful so far, and I only hope that more will be available to public (for less than 42K :).

I love the new boutique, especially the combination of mod decor and laidback attitude. I cannot wait to visit again very soon!

Hope that your day is wonderful!
Lovely pictures - those monoclins look like strange transparent candy apples to me. I want that big ol' cube. It looks like it'd be impressivly heavy, too.

For me, the idea of being able to spend that much money on a bespoke fragrance isn't nearly as appealing as the idea of being able to spend that much money learning how to make such specialized things myself.
Thanks R! LOL about Jeeves and Wooster. I grew up reading Wooster's antics and Jeeves' sensibility and sarcasm. ;D
Yes it is exactly that particular episode I was referring to. Jeeves would not appove on spending such enormous amounts on self indulgence either. :)

Well the cube is HUGE and heavy.
The other smaller versions are great too.

PS - R - the smaller bottles not versions of the cube! :)
Dear V, thank you! I really want to get some wealthy clients for them.

I really like the decor.

Hope you have a great day too. :)
Thanks K! That cube is enourmous and heavy too - all crystal! No messing around here.

I agree with you but say you have done all the self improvement part and still are sitting on millions - surely this would not hurt? Perhaps I would use the money for a better cause than self too but we are talking about people who do not have to worry ever types.
PS Dear V - I too hope that there are some brilliant creations soon for us.

Hi there, darling!

One of Vogue's contributing editors (I think it was Plum Sykes) went through the process with Duriez last year and wrote an article on it for Vogue. It was interesting, but I think she went through about three or four stages of testing before she found her "perfect" perfume. And, as I recall, I think she said it ended up smelling like Joy! LOL!

I would love to have this done, but am afraid I would grow tired of my custom fragrance just like I do my mass-produced ones. :):)

Darling R! I believe one can go through several stages and that is why it can take any time from six months to one year.
I must check this article. Was it the US Vogue?

Hope you are well.

Yes, it was about a year or so ago. Sometime in 2004, maybe, maybe early 2005??? Hey, I'm old, my memory is fading!! :):)
No way - you are young and have a fab memory. Will check this.

How perfectly excessive and decadent. I wish...But you now what, I'd rather take that 42,000 and spend them on all the perfumes I ever wanted.
Welcome M!
I agree about taking the 42K but if one could it does sound like a year long treat. :)
Hi N! I secretly wish I could have an "Annie" perfume. It sounds like a wonderful process.
I tried to play at the Susanne Lang counter at Barneys once but I just kept reaching for base notes. I am not a natural perfumer. LOL
Hope you are well and I owe you an email soon.
Hello dear Annie! LOL - about reaching for base notes - they are some of the more interesting ones. :) It is the toughest to create a fab top note.
Hope you are well.

Hey there, you've got a great blog here! I'm thinking of bookmarking your site!

I have a Perfumes site. It pretty much covers Perfumes

related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)
Beautiful photos N!

What a dreamy service. I would love to have my own Joy. When I win the lottery, this is one of the first things I am going to do!
Thanks for sharing this!

Jen dear - that is how I look at this. When I win the lottery I would seriously like to do this.

Blog reading is amazing. So many varied topics... so little time :) As my thanks for letting me read and post, feel free to post your comment over at justsurfingblogs. You might also find something of interest pertaining to international flower delivery by clicking. Again thanks!
Hey, great blog! Keep it up.

I have a Cologne site. It pretty much covers Cologne

related stuff.

Come and have a look if you get time :-)
Hi, I was just surfing around and found your fragrance online page!
Very cool,I like finding all this interesting stuff.
If you are interested, go see my fragrance onlinerelated site which everything is in huge discount.You might find something of interest.
Great site!

Please check out my blog- jewelry

Or your my be interested in my other site- jewelry where you can find jewelry
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?