[Ed. note: if you missed it, see part 1 of Cabris and Art et Parfum]
The first niche perfume I bought — the fragrance that plunged me head-first into perfumania — was Frédéric Malle Noir Epices.1 Meeting Noir Epice’s creator, Michel Roudnitska, brought my love of fragrance full circle.
Besides the Art et Parfum lab and office, the other white stucco building at Sainte Blanche is Michel Roudnitska and his wife’s home. Just beyond the house is a T-shaped pool with a long stem where his father, Edmond, swam laps. Closer to the house meanders a shady Japanese-style garden Michel Roudnitska laid out, complete with a tiny bridge and statues of what look to my untrained eye like Thai goddesses. Up the hill a stone’s throw is the monument where Edmond and Thérèse Roudnitska’s ashes are interred.2
I kept a steady watch on the house while Olivier Maure, Art et Parfum’s director, went to fetch Roudnitska. I’ve never had the chance to meet in the flesh someone about whom I’ve read so much and whose fragrances I’ve worn…