Matiere Premiere is a collection of fragrances released in 2019 by esteemed perfumer Aurelien Guichard. Matiere Premiere, or ‘Raw Materials’ to you and I was born in the fragrance capital Grasse in France. Aurelien was immersed in the world of perfumery from a young age as his grandparents grew a selection of flowers used by major perfumers around the globe. He then immersed himself further into his passion by training at Givaudan, an acclaimed school of perfumery which opened its doors in 1946. Aurelien went on to create many fragrances for several luxury brands around the world before creating his own house in 2019.
As the name suggests, Matiere Premiere is a line of nine genderless fragrances that have been produced using the finest ingredients that nature has to offer. These natural raw materials have been expertly combined to create an exceptional range of scents, all of which have no synthetic colouring agents. The presentation of each bottle is both simplistic and contemporary, allowing you to view these stunning natural hues in all their glory. After visiting their headquarters in Paris last year and experiencing their rose harvest in Grasse a few months ago, I’ve gained a fantastic bond and unique insight into this remarkable fragrance house.
Their most recent launch has wowed the industry and captivated fragrance enthusiasts from around the world. French Flower which was released in 2022 is an exceptionally crafted floral scent that revolves around the stunning perennial plant, Tuberose. Similar to his Centifolia Roses, Aurelien grows his very own organic Tuberose on his family’s farm, which continues to ensure that the very best ingredients go into making the perfume. On my recent visit, I was able to witness the Tuberose being planted by hand which are then attentively nurtured until harvest in late August. In the past I have often strayed away from similar scents, finding them too heady due to the inclusion of Ylang Ylang which is often combined with other florals in re-creating the smell of Tuberose. Matiere Premiere however, prides itself in this fragrance being entirely constructed using only Tuberose from Grasse, so you really get a true sense of this magnificent flower.
French Flower takes its inspiration from a Tuberose field at night, where the flower unleashes its seductive aroma after soaking up the day’s sunshine. On the initial spray, you are greeted with the most uplifting scent of pear, something which I didn’t expect at all. Its aroma generates images of biting into its speckled skin, exposing its white flesh whilst trickles of sweet cloudy juices run down my hand. It brings a crisp and refreshing start to the fragrance, almost emulating that cooler evening air as the warmth of the day begins to dissipate. Subtle fluctuations of Chinese Tea Leaves whisper in the background which to me when combined with the pear reveals hints of green foliage and dewy flower stems. As the sun dips beneath the horizon, I imagine a soft breeze rippling through the undergrowth as it encourages swirls of delicate sweetness to cascade in the air.
It isn’t long of course before the leading character begins to unfurl its white petals and release its alluring aroma. Undulating strengths of Tuberose beguile the senses, allowing you to experience the flower as if it is both near and far. Aurelien has achieved this by using Absolute Tuberose and reviving the traditional method of Enfleurage. In simple terms, Enfleurage involves fresh flowers being placed into wooden framed plates of wax. The wax absorbs the fragrance resulting in a intoxicating pomade which is then distilled to release its fragrant nectar. It’s this combination of absolute and enfleurage Tuberose that gives French Flower its carnal multi-faceted redolence. This creamy and sensual fragrance could perhaps have leaned towards the heavy side, however, it’s beautifully lifted with an energetic injection of Nigerian Ginger. Considered among the best in the world due to its pungency and high oil content, this ginger brings a fresh feistiness and luminosity without overshadowing the main accord of the scent.
One thing that I really admire about Aurelien is his creations are like a scented puzzle, he always manages to find the exact pieces needed in order to complete an undeniable olfactory masterpiece. Long thought of as a feminine floral, French Flower unshackles that tradition bringing Tuberose into a new light. I barely had this fragrance on my skin for ten minutes and I was already infatuated, which in my experience is what happens when I try most of the Matiere Premiere range. With its high-quality ingredients, this has impressive longevity, filling the air with nose-twitching nuances that will be sure to turn many heads. There is a tale in Provence that young lovers who are not married yet are forbidden to walk Tuberose fields at night because the smell is so sensual and intoxicating. Matiere Premiere has given you permission to walk those fields but whatever happens after that is at your discretion.
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