Parfums Lubin has been a rekindled fragrance brand, after the old house was brought into new ownership some years ago, when the niche market first boomed around the mid 2000s. Engaging Olivia Giacobetti was the first step, issuing and re-issuing fragrances was the second, crucial one; from the legendary Gin Fizz and Idole to the modern Vetiver, as well as the recent crop of releases Bluff, Figaro, Itasca, Inedite. The latest Lubin fragrance release, named Black Jade, is based on Marie Antoinette's signature scent, created by royal nose Jean-Louis Fargeon and inspired by the doomed queen's beloved Trianon gardens in Versailles.
Lubin is no stranger to French history: Pierre François Lubin founded the company in 1798 when he began supplying scented ribbons, rice powderballs and masks to "Les Merveilleuses," socially exulted women who frequented Thermidorian drawing rooms of Napoleonic France; and the "Incroyables," members of the subculture that mixed fashion and propaganda which emerged following the terror that was the immediate aftermath of the French Revolution of 1789.
The 2011 edition of Lubin Black Jade has been launched by fragrance company Aedes de Venustas, the well-known niche perfumery which holds a special place in the heart of New York perfumistas. In addition to the original focus on rose, jasmine and bergamot, perfumer Thomas Fontaine infused Lubin's Black Jade 2011 version with galbanum, cardamom, incense, cinnamon, Indian sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, tonka bean, and amber notes. It belongs to the chypre floral family of fragrances.
This is not the first attempt to recreate Marie Antoinette's scent however: Le Château de Versailles had hired Francis Kurkdjian to create the orange blossom-based M.A. Sillage de la Reine and L'Artisan Parfumeur was inspired for the jasmine-rich La Haie Fleurie du Hameau, composed by renowned perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena , by the French queen's fated passion for beauty and flowers.