Reviving the past seems to be one of the strongest trends in 2008. Sniffing the past but not the vintage/discontinued fragrances. Smells that you never smelled before, deeply buried in the time. When GC became a usual tool on the industry chemists/ historians/perfumers started to explore historical artefacts in order to revive dead fragrances. They've never been put on the market but one could have smelled them through special exhibition. It was the case for the sacred Egyptian Kyphi revived in a study conducted by L'Oreal, the sacred Hebrew incense that burned again centuries after Dead Sea manuscripts were hidden or the latest Marie Antoinette fragrance recreated by historian Elisabeth de Feydeau and Francis Kurkdjian. As Scented Salamander reported, David Pybus, author of many books revived through his brand, Scents of time, historical smells. Prastara, an eastern European treasured fragrance is blooming again, reported also by Scented Salamander.
A study conducted by Givaudan and published on Perfumer and Flavorist revived 2 forgotten perfumes, Rallet and Chanel Mademoiselle No1.
With modern techniques you can revive almost all fragrance from the past … either a perfume found in a set of bottles on Titanic, the perfume jar found in Pompei or even a Chinese incense that once embalmed the Forbidden City. But also you can recreate atmospheres because if fashions /tastes might change … plants would remain the same in human history. So we could have the atmosphere of Hanging gardens in Babylon, the breeze of a Thai temple or even Cleopatra's hot nights. The ultimate "archaeological" fragrance would be … to recreate a flower that bloomed thousands of years ago (like in Jurassic Park) and capture its elusive scent.
If this trend sounds great and could provide many ideas … I hope that fragrances put on the market will not be just stories invented by marketing teams … but true research with historians/scientists. Otherwise it's just another lie and a very beautiful dreams that ends in a desperate search for money and publicity.
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Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art