Marc-Antoine Barrois is a distinguished French Couturier who’s creative passion stemmed from his families extensive textile background. The world of Couture ran through his veins and as soon as he was able to do so, he sought out ways to develop his skills further through various avenues. Whilst delving into the world of cutting and sewing, he also built up extensive knowledge during his studies in textile engineering. The amalgamation of passion, dedication and enthusiasm culminated in 2006 where he created his initial collection. This opened up many opportunities including joining the renowned Dominique Sirop Fashion house in Paris, collaborating with Jean-Paul Gautier at Hermes and creating his own Maison de Couture for Men in 2009.
It wasn’t until 2015 that his world of couture collided with scent, when a meeting between Marc-Antoine and perfumer Quentin Bisch ignited an idea to create the Maison’s first ever fragrance. Inspired by childhood memories of family walks, cosy fire-lit homes and the love for beautiful materials, B683 was born. Released in 2016, this contemporary classic was named after the asteroid from the Little Prince by French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery and the birth date of the couturier who made it. B683 is ultimately an invitation from Marc-Antoine to delve into his creative world and experience it in all its facets.
Arriving in a matt blue box I could not wait to open my first bottle of B683 and it certainly did not disappoint. The bottle exudes an elegant, refined and classic look, which coming from Paris, I couldn’t imagine anything less. Its slick masculine shape is embellished with gold which adds a little slice of refinement and a glimpse of what you can expect from the fragrance inside. The vessel is filled with a stunning amber coloured elixir which exudes the same sophisticated hue of a fine cognac.
The initial spray of B683 opens with a stunning concoction of warm and spicy notes. A sharp sprinkling of black pepper is the first to make its presence known, as if it had been freshly crushed, releasing its fresh, uplifting and woody scent. The warming addition of saffron brings an enveloping musky sweetness to the mix and along with the chilli and nutmeg it really provides an impressive and dynamic opening.
It isn’t long until you delve into the sumptuous heart, starting with violet leaf which emits a burst of green energy. Although this not mentioned in the ingredients, I personally get a hint of the violet flower which is simply breathtaking and takes the fragrance on an intriguing and interesting path. The musk and amber add another warm, deep and woody dimension that along with the vanilla tincture exude a rich honey like tone providing a hint of sweetness that doesn’t overtake the senses.
The dry down is where you really take in that sweet and smooth leather note which is said to represent ‘an elegant attache case’. In my experience, leather can sometimes overtake a fragrance but somehow the perfumer has managed to harness its notes without it being overwhelming. Along with the earthy notes of patchouli, the sweet woodiness of santal wood and the bark-like qualities of oak moss, it all really blends together to provide a pleasant and long lasting culmination.
The combination of remarkable notes used in B683 intermingles to create an alluring smokey, leathery, woody scent that captivated me from the minute I sprayed it onto the skin. It has an impressive projection without being overwhelming and I was very impressed that it lasted well throughout the day. As a frequent visitor to Paris, I feel this fragrance embodies what this city is all about; stylish, elegant and distinguished. Its a fragrance that is luxurious without being pretentious and it is classic without being old-fashioned. It is almost as if the fragrance has been designed like a piece of clothing by Marc-Antoine, the minute you wear it, you feel and sense the high quality and thoughtful inspiration behind it.
Fragrance Concentration: Eau de Parfum
Price: £150 for 100ml
Perfumer: Quentin Bisch