Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Francoise Caron: A Woman for All Seasons

"Françoise Caron's long line of perfume creations reads like a diverse and stylish list of artistic accomplishment, with nary a misstep, yet always with the harmonious feel one gets upon wandering amidst a Greco-Roman glyptotheque: From one of the most enduring classics of modern perfumery, beloved by anyone who comes into contact with it, L’Eau d’Orange Verte for Hermès, to niche offerings such as three Eaux de Cologne and four candles for Astier de Villate, all through the formula for the signature scent of the Angel body line (Thus befittingly augmenting her brother’s, Olivier Cresp’s, oeuvre, since it was he who composed the original Angel scent).

L’Eau d’Orange Verte began its career on the bathroom shelves of dandies and chic bourgeois girls as well as traditional men who just wanted to smell good, with another name: It was issued as Eau de Cologne d’ Hermès in 1979 (the name was changed in 1997) after a brief was issued to perfume-producing companies in which Jean Claude Ellena, current in-house perfumer at Hermès, had also submitted an entry. Triumph ensued very soon: This was seriously good cologne; tangy, bright, and happy-smelling, projecting at a cool radius to everything it touched, remaining timeless and effortless to this day. Its panoply of classical arms is its success: the traditional Eau de Cologne weapon, the sour tang of bitter orange, cutting through heat like a scimitar; the herbal-green accord rustic and Arcadia-evoking...

“An eau de cologne needs to be simple, with top notes that aren’t heavy, that don’t purport to stay on long; yet simplicity doesn’t mean absence of personality either” she notes, upon the 30th anniversary of the fragrance’s launch. “It also needs to be cooling”, its alcohol content a major constituent of the refreshing feeling it produces upon evaporation.
The effect is reinforced through the secret inclusion of a little mint and that ace in the sleeve, blackcurrant buds, offering a fruity touch with a catty whiff. Françoise is still profoundly touched whenever she encounters her creation amidst the hotel toiletries offered at some of the world’s choicest hotels..."

This is only part of a longer perfumer's portrait article on Françoise Caron which appeared on Fragrantica. Click this direct link to access it.


  1. LOVE Orange Vert. And yet, I don't have any. Must remedy that...

  2. Francoise Caron sounds incredibly interesting. Really good to find out about the perfumers.

  3. SS,

    it sneaks up on you, doesn't it. Wonder why do we sometimes not buy things we love? Is it negligence, is it the security they will always be there, what?

  4. MPL,

    thanks for stopping by! Indeed there was no complete profile on her on the Net, so someone had to do it I guess. Glad you liked it, I find her very interesting indeed.

  5. Hi Helg,
    Wow ! great article about this reticent but masterful perfumer extraordinaire Francoisre Caron.

    She has the Midas touch. All of her creations are inspired , simple exquisite creations!
    I think Eau' Orange Verte - my favorite scent --- period.
    I discovered it during my honeymoon at Loewe's Monte Carlo.
    To this day - it embodies the essence of the South Of France
    with it's frsh green, musky scent topped off with that invigorating mint. Ahhh.
    Ombre Rose - is classically feminine and seductive.. Iris Nobile, Michelle. I could go on.
    What a talent she is. What a gift to us all.
    She understands the interplay between the sexes ,
    Excellent article. Merci

  6. M,

    what a beautiful recollection, it must have been quite a memorable time due to both circumstance and setting...thanks for sharing with us!

    Yup, she does seem to have a golden touch, she has created many wonderful, cult things. It's amazing to think she won the brief for Ed'OV with her very first formal submission (as far as we know).

  7. Along with Acqua di Parma Colonia this one is my favourite cologne. Don't even want to try the others because those 2 are already so perfect :)

  8. V,

    they certainly have something of the touch of genius about them. Simple but brilliant. I always thought that the real difficulty lies in making something that is less byzantine-constructed but is vibrating whichever way you smell it. Not many perfumers succeed so perfectly.

    Iris Nobile is more of a cologne type than a traditional grief-struck, raw potatoes iris, give it a try one of these days.


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