Maison Lancôme: A Journey to the Source of the Finest Ingredients

To celebrate the release of the new Maison Lancôme fragrance collection, I thought I would take you all on a little journey. In fact, that’s what I love about perfume. It’s not just an olfactory experience, but almost a way of being transported to taste and feel a place too. This was my experience recently at the Lancôme Institute on the Rue Faubourg Saint Honoré, when I stopped in to smell the Maison Lancôme fragrances for myself.

Paris Rendezvous

I reached first for Lavendes Trianon. Its name caught my eye because lavender is one of my favorite scents since I was a little girl, and also happens to come from one of my favorite places in France and the entire world — Provence . But my journey with this fragrance was not just through its scent. In fact, just a few days later, I knew I would be returning to the region for a little trip with my family. The fine lavender that is the base for Lavandes Trianon is as precious as this place that it grows. Provence is covered with fields of lavender in spring and summer, the scent of which is carried by the famous Mistral breeze throughout its villages and landscapes. In late summer once fully grown they are cut, and we arrived just in time last week to get some bundles from the 2016 crop harvest by the monks at the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque

Fine lavender, unlike ordinary lavender, can only be grown above 1000 meters, which is why you will find much of it on the Plateau de Valensole . My first visit years ago took my breath away, the hills blanketed in purple as far as the eye could see. It takes no less than an entire hectare of these fine lavender fields to make just ten liters of essential lavender oil, obtained through a process of distillation. Lavender has such a fresh and light smell, somehow floral and herbal all at once. I love how it has been blended with hints of vanilla for my gourmand (indulgent) side into a fragrance that will always lift my spirit the way Provence itself does. When I returned to there last week, I took my Lavandes Trianon along with me, almost like a little pilgrimage home to its very source.

I tell you about this place and this lavender not just because they are majestic, but to show you how truly precious each ingredient selected for this range of scents are. They are the story of France, and this is just one chapter of the many notes thoughtfully sourced and artfully blended in the French capital for the Maison Lancôme fragrances by some of the greatest contemporary perfumers of our day. The best ingredients combined with an artful blending is why they are called Grand Cru Fragrances , just as you would refer to the finest wines.

These beautiful blends are bottled into precious glass and gold flacons designed by artists Alex & Marine, a fitting capsule for the masterpieces they are. Through them we can see just how the abundance of France inspired Lancôme founder, Armand Petitjean, to start a fragrance house so many years ago, and the Maison Lancôme collection certainly carries on that dream.

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