Officine Universelle Buly 1803 is a French brand named after the famous nineteenth-century perfumer and founder Jean-Vincent Buly, sell a range of traditionally inspired products including fragrance, skincare and beauty. Every products harks back to their historic past, still carrying their original names but are creatively tweaked to suit the modern buyer. I first discovered Officine Universelle Buly whilst pursuing the fragrance hall of renowned department store Le Bon Marche in Paris. Its traditional wooden clad apothecary-inspired backdrop lined with striking bottles immediately ignited my senses. It was certainly eye-catching against the contemporary style of Le Bon Marche, and this mastery of balancing tradition with modernism attracts many of its customers. This is not only evident in the way they present themselves but also in the innovative products they create.
As a fragrance lover, I immediately gravitated towards their intriguing selection of water-based skin scents that Officine Universelle Buly boasts to be the first to create. These unique fragrances are described by Buly as “delicate emulsions with the vibrancy of a perfume” and after experiencing them, I couldn’t agree more. Being a born and bred Scotsman I immediately drifted towards Eau Triple Lichen D’Ecosse (Scottish Lichen). The Scottish influences are described beautifully by Buly themselves; “From the valleys of the Cairngorms to the Northern Highlands, clary sage and galbanum resin mingle with notes of fern, rosemary and caraway seeds. A shadow of rhubarb hides under the green, invigorating smell of moss over granite, kissed by the rain, and comes to warm up next to the open fire with patchouli and Tonka bean accords”.
The packaging exudes a traditional vibe, green and gold in colour with its name elegantly written in calligraphy. The white gloss bottle feels sturdy yet refined as you remove its from its distinguished box. The bottle continues the aesthetic with its apothecary styled vessel, crowned with an impressive pewter toned top and embellished with the most striking gold embossed label. The label stands out impressively against the white glass, intricately adorned with a notable scene that encapsulates the essence of the fragrance it harbours inside. As I gently shook the bottle to revive the water emulsion enclosed and sprayed the delicate mist over my skin, I was extremely surprised by just how appealing the scent is. I’ve previously had bad experiences with water-based fragrances but somehow this one, although delicate, exudes a compelling depth and complexity. Instead of instantly evaporating, it coats the skin in the most refreshing and cooling way, drying to release an array of wonderful notes.
Its green and mineral-like aroma immediately transported me to the north of Scotland, a place that is very dear to my heart, bringing up images of expansive pine trees, rugged mountain peaks and windswept coasts. The initial burst of pure natural aromas are both grounding and comforting, like an instantaneous escape for the mind. For me, it conjures up thoughts of a misty morning woodland walk on a cool autumnal day. Imagine the undergrowth glistening with dew, slowly evaporating as the crisp morning sun filters through the trees. As the earth warms, a woody aroma permeates the air, combing the subtle natural essences of lush green foliage. As the fragrance slowly transforms from a deluge of green notes it begins to combine with nuances of salty air, as if you have stumbled across a secluded beach. This subtle freshness is laced with an undercurrent of warmth and creamy tones, a fluctuation that flirts intently with the senses.
Just as every expertly created fragrance should, the endearing notes of Eau Triple Lichen D’Ecosse take you on a beguiling olfactory journey. I was truly taken aback by how precisely Buly has captured the true essence of the Scottish Highlands and the aromas of its renowned natural beauty. As the heat of the summer ebbs away and autumn makes its presence known, I feel that this is the perfect season to be wearing this enchanting scent. It has unexpected longevity that trails gracefully from the skin, a constant fragrant gift that catches your attention throughout the day. For me it has an instant calming effect that I can’t explain, so on days when the city is too much to bear, a quick spray and I’m back into the tranquil green wilderness that I adore.
Moss, Sage, Tonka bean and galbanum
Blu Blazer Guy Rating:
Fragrances Concentration: Water Based Skin Perfume
130.00€ from Buly 1803
Also available in-store at Selfridges – London.