Sylvaine Delacourte, long the Director of Fragrance Evaluation and Development at Guerlain,* has launched her own eponymous brand with The Musk Collection, a series of five fragrances (Dovana, Florentina, Helicriss, Lilylang and Smeraldo) based on white musk.
Starting with white musk bases, those precious, mysterious, secretive raw materials, this first collection of five perfumes will take you on a journey to discover 5 very different fragrance portraits.
Dovana ~ "Dovana means present in Lithuanian, this perfume has a cheerful, free character. The spontaneity of mandarin is highlighted by the majesty of ambrette and iris. A bouquet of delicate flowers, rose, neroli and heliotrope combine creating a kind of playfulness. Vanilla and sandalwood give this fragrance a gentle touch. I wanted to be able to smell the fragrance of my childhood soap within this perfume, the colour white describes it well, white being a symbol of purity and freshness."
Florentina ~ "To create Florentina, I was guided by the colour blue, a symbol of softness and tenderness. Florentina brings together all of my favourite fetish raw materials. Firstly almond, for it's rich yet fresh side, then irises from Florence, a majestic powdery flower and heliotrope another powdery flower with hints of vanilla, the whole thing punctuated with white musk and finally carnations which reveal themselves in this fragrance as spiced notes. The root of the vetiver from Haiti gives a woody vibe to this melody in blue. With Florentina I wanted to create an endearing feeling, extremely tender but also a sudden aroma of my childhood talcum powder."
Helicriss ~ "Helicriss, a hero borrowing the botanical name for the immortellle flower, 'Helichryse', has a very classy side, full of strength and charisma. It begins with a citrus tonic of grapefruit and lemon and then come the aromatic notes of cedar leaves and rosemary and sage as momentum gathers. Contrasted with a bouquet of spices and by the immortelle, in its wake comes an intense musk, magnified by the combination of frankincense/benzoin. The serious tone is embodied by patchouli and foam. If Helicriss were a colour it would be grey. A memory of my holidays in Corsica, it makes me think of the very distinctive fragrance of the scrub lands, a warm and welcoming scent."
Lilylang ~ "Lilylang has a glowing character which doesn't hide its more cosy musky, rebel side. If Lilylang were a colour it would be yellow. This garland of sunny flowers is strengthened by one of the most majestic flowers in perfume making, jasmine, which adds a radiant, sensual touch. I also wanted to lighten this with a happy hint of exotic lime, and with the freshness of baie rose from Madagascar. It reminds me of my holidays on the island of La Reunion where I discovered ylang-ylang, the perfect sunny flower. I wanted a fragrance which was a blend of skin and sand, heated by the sun."
Smeraldo ~ "Smeraldo, which means emerald in Italian has a spontaneous character. If Smeraldo were a colour it would be green. The Musky heart of Smeraldo is enlivened with the freshness of green plants. There are citrus peaks with the introduction of intriguing yuzu, it alternates between striking green notes from angelica root and resin green notes from the mastic tree. The base notes are vibrant and dynamic, embodied by the vetiver roots from Haiti. I wanted to create a perfume that was both detoxifying and purifying, like the fresh air in the morning, so I created a shock between two worlds: the liveliness which comes from the freshness of plants and the softness which comes from the musk."
Sylvaine Delacourte Dovana, Florentina, Helicriss, Lilylang and Smeraldo are available in 100 ml, £115 each.
* According to Monsieur Guerlain, she will now work for Guerlain as a consultant.