Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gustave Alphonse Fragifert: The ill-fated French Perfumer & his Wellington Fragrances

Gustave Alphonse Fragifert was a brilliant but ill-fated French perfumer who lived from 1880 to 1911 and died under mysterious circumstances in South America. He wrote his formulas for four perfumes in code, which have now resurfaced in New Zealand after 100 years.

Sounds intriguing? This is the fictitious tale of a 12-minute-long performance in Wellington, New Zealand, but the fragrances are real*, each of them representing a season and are both art-directed and composed by Francesco van Eerd. Van Erd is Dutch-born and forestry graduate New Zealender, who has also studied perfumery in Grasse and Britain, and who acts with the aid of performing arts student Robbie van Dijk, in this amusing performance. Based at the Wellington Underground Market, Fragrifert (pronounced frah-gree- fair and I'm sure I'm missing some inside linguistic joke that is perched on Dutch, which I don't know) has been delighting visitors with live performances in a theatrette beside the stall (every half hour from 10.30am until 3.30pm) since the 3rd of September. Sounds like a don't miss if you're around!

*The Fragrifert Scents are:
Ete (=summer) has notes of grapefruit, cedar, prune, white musk, oakmoss, vanilla and ambergris. Lilac (for spring) is built on flowers, one of them being lilac: broom, mimosa, heliotrope, rose and violet, laced with tobacco, patchouli and sandalwood, as well as citruses and liquorice. Automne is a soft oriental with cinnamon, tyberose, vanilla and orchirds, while Hiver (=winter) interprets the cool, yet spicy, wintersweet shrub, adding lily of the valley and cyclamen notes.
Each fragrance at 25% concentration (potent!) is 24.50$ or 80$ for the set of four.

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  1. Anonymous13:30

    I enjoy the witty approach of Fragrifert, and I must say that the perfumes sound most agreeable (especially Lilac and Hiver). Must look into this more closely.

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

  2. It does sound like fun, doesn't it? I would be curious to smell them (and watch the performance) as well!

  3. Sofi13:02

    A really clever and interesting concept!I wish I had the chance to smell them and watch the performance!

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  5. We thank Mary and suggest she contacts us directly for advertising rates.


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