SKINCARE BASED ON ART?

For those of you who are still unfamiliar with Diptyque, it was a brand started by three friends with the same artistic mind and creative passion in Paris, way back in 1961. That alone explained why they have such well thought packaging, right down to the fonts. 

Diptyque might be super duper famous for its luxurious scented candles (thanks to Jennifer Lopez who demanded Diptyque candles be placed in her dressing room) but this year, they introduced the latest range of products, skin care.

Named L’Art du Soin for the Face (by the way, they had them for body care as well), the total 5 products is quite a small range for based on the art of infused skincare. Inspired by ‘phytotherapy’, an ancient practice meaning ‘to treat with plants’, every product was formulated with plant and flower infusions for beneficial effects on skin. The range offers to bring out skin’s natural radiance for a complexion glowing with well being. There are 5 items available: Infused Facial Water, Nourishing Cleansing Balm, Radiance Boosting Powder, Multi-Use Exfoliating Clay & Protective Moisturizing Lotion. The main product from this range is Infused Facial Water, enriched with Damask Rose scent. Very multi tasking, as you can use it as a toner, a mask (just soak cotton pads with it) or mixed it with the other products from the range like Multi-Use Exfoliating Clay, Radiance Boosting Powder or Nourishing Cleansing Balm for cleansing purpose. In Jakarta, the price range for this luxurious skincare products, starts from Rp 800.000 – Rp 1.000.000. 

Tested them myself yesterday at The Dharmawangsa Suite, I personally love the textures. All of them, including the most heavy one, Nourishing Cleansing Balm, surprisingly felt very light upon contact with my skin. Mixed with Infused Facial Water, it metamorphosed into cleansing oil texture, which is perfect to remove makeup for dry skin. Radiance Boosting Powder is another favorite of mine. The white clay powder combined with powdered rose, jasmine and neroli petals, not only hydrate my skin. It turns into a creamy lather for face cleansing when mix with water and the black ball sponge provided inside the packaging. This can also be mixed with Infused Facial Water, and the good news is, it may not be rinse if you don’t feel like you have to. Trust me, I’ve tried not to rinse them, and it didn’t feel sticky or itchy. Just wipe the rest of the foam on your face and left it there. 

Coming from the brand that’s well known for their elegant scents, expect the same for this skincare range. And of course, they’ll beautify our bathroom cabinets as well. 

A CHIC TRAVELER’S COMPANION

Seems like my problem about having to carry a big glass perfume bottle for traveling is over. Thanks to Maison Francis Kurkdjian who just launched GLOBE TROTTER.

Yes, you’ve been there also right? You love to smell good while traveling, but you have to think twice to put your favorite perfume bottle (especially the glass ones) inside your hand carry bag due to those traveling regulations & standards. Not too mention, it’s fragile (hello, it made from glass, people!) and heavy with a chance of spilling all over your belongings. Ouch! Worry no more as GLOBE TROTTER come to the beauty rescue. GLOBE TROTTER from Maison Francis Kurkdjian is a savvy travel spray case (currently only available in Zinc color for Indonesia’s market), with a pack of three fragrance refills which sold separately (currently only available in Aqua Universalis Forte). Just slip a vial inside the case and voila! You’re ready to travel with this chic companion. 

Inspired by Francis Kurkdjian’s trip around the world, this special case can store an interchangeable glass vial of his fragrance. Fits perfectly in my hands, perfect for hand carry bag, too. Bonus point: this luxurious fragrance traveling case will securely holds the vial with a magnetic clasp and a chic fine leather pouch

For me, it’s very travel friendly and very good looking (thank God I’m not into girly stuffs). And I just can’t wait for others fragrance refills scents to be available here in Indonesia.

 

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY

Thanks to Living at The Papilion, I was able to meet the person behind the fragrance I’m wearing.

Francis Kurkdjian, Master Perfumer, Co-Founder of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris was here in Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday. And lucky me, I was invited by Living at The Papilion to meet him and had a chat with him & fellow press. Check out my twitter @shintarosvita for my pic side by side with Francis!

Anyway, Francis was here to introduce Maison Francis Kurkdjian new scented range for the body. Five new body creams were added to his collection: Aqua Vitae, Amyris, APOM, Lumiere Noire Femme and OUD. Each was created in perfect harmony with the same name fragrances.

Why body cream? “Body cream is important. Some people just like to wear body creams only. And I think it’s important to have consistency in the range. They’re a favorite in the US and Europe. Very good for the skin as they’re very rich,” said Francis.

Surprise, surprise…In my lazy (OK, super lazy) days when I didn’t even bother to spray any perfumes, I always count on my shower gel and body cream. But what do you expect if you purchased those typical shower gels or body creams from the grocery racks? Scents will be gone once you walked out that door. So, imagine my happiness when my favorite perfume now has a scented body cream. Not just enhancing the perfume, the body cream is nourishing and moisturizing (thanks to Shea Butter extract as one of the main ingredient). And lately (thanks to aging), my skin needs more than just ordinary body lotion which didn’t work well like it had before. So, body cream in thicker texture is my skin savior, especially if I have to spend time indoor with AC on for 24 hours. My favorite? Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae Scented Body Cream. Carrying the same fragrance whose name it bare, (Aqua Vitae) with notes like Lemon from Calibria, Mandarin from Sicily, Tonka bean and Gaiac wood, it’s fresh, light yet sensual like a second skin.

Always remember that layering is a trick to wear the perfume you already have, BETTER! This will extend your favorite Maison Francis Kurkdjian scent throughout your day, especially in our weather.

FACTS ABOUT FRANCIS:

  • He teaches (for five years now) at a perfumery school named ISIPCA Versailles (outside Paris), which he graduated from in 1993.
  • Most of his students are female (considering there are more male perfumers out there).
  • Between 1995 and 2013, he already designed more than 40 fragrances for luxury & fashion brands, such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Lanvin, Dior, YSL and Elie Saab.
  • His average time to produce one fragrance is 18 months (even though he admitted that he’s not a very patient person when it comes to work).
  • He only wears a fragrance that he’s currently working on. Once it was created, he won’t wear it anymore. He confessed that he’s only using Maison Francis Kurkdjian Liquid Detergent to wash his clothes.

 

WHEN THE WEATHER CHANGES

For me, changing fragrances is not just to suit my moods.

I’ve learned my fragrance lessons 101 well throughout my traveling days. Some fragrances (even those with big names) suddenly failed on me when I bought them in colder climates cities, and wore them here in my home town which is hot and humid like all the time. They just smell…well…different. That’s why I started to believe that some fragrances are just best to worn where they produced….

….until this week I was invited to the launch of the latest Diptyque fragrance, named L’Eau Du Trente Quatre in The Papilion Duo, Jakarta, Indonesia. Seems like the good people at Diptyque can read my mind and needs, they created a new version of their original 34 Boulevard Saint Germain (named after their boutique address in Paris/the place where Diptyque was born in 1961).

A greener interpretation, more playful and definitely lighter, Diptyque L’Eau Du Trente Quatre is the perfect fragrance to accommodate warmer climate and suit our forever summery mood. Thanks to the green scent of birch tree leaves, a unique cocktail of bitter orange, verbena, lemon, grapefruit and lavender as top notes. A pinch of nutmeg, juniper berries and cinnamon tree leaves sets the floral heart of Egyptian geranium and tuberose. Last but not least are the base of Virginia cedar, patchouli, a hint of incense, Spain cist and bright musk which balance this genderless fragrance into one unforgettable scent.

Diptyque L’Eau Du Trente Quatre comes in a white cap with the same oval bottle as the 34 Boulevard Saint Germain (which comes in a black cap, by the way). And its’ box represent a more feminine side of the brand, to commemorates the grey and pink fabrics produced at the beginnings of Diptyque with a special Pretorien motif. Currently, they carry two sizes (50ml and 100ml) of Eau De Toilette, but let’s hope they will expand this versatile new scent to solid perfume and home fragrance as well. 

STEP FORWARD IN PERFUMERY

If you choose a cashmere sweater from a high end brand because you think about the quality of the material and the longevity of having & enjoying it, then you’re already a step forward.

Are you also ready to take a step forward in your choice of perfume? Now, you can experience something entirely different and totally unexpected out of the Oud Mood collection from Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Especially for the Indonesia’s launch of these unique perfumes, Marc Chaya, President &co-founder of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris kindly shared with me and fellow press about the goods of Oud.
Oud is a very powerful scent, used by people in the middle east,” explain Marc. He later explained that most perfumers mixed Oud with incense to make it more acceptable. “It’s not a DNA of French perfumery. French school of perfumery is all about floral.” Even though Francis Kurkdjian himself did resistant about adding Oud to his perfumer palette at the first place, this raw material become OUD, the embryo for Oud Mood collection in February 2012, after Marc convinced him.
The Oud that we’re using, come from Laos when they’re growing naturally like a fungus. They’re like a disease which formed white resins around trees. Oud is the second most expensive essential oil in the world after Iris. It cost us US$65.000 per kilo, and we need 5 tons to make 1 liter of essential oil.”
Just like its’ predecessor, the trio in Oud Mood Collection are not all about Oud. We will only feel a fraction of Oud which wrapped with other interesting scents. “Rough and brutal Oud, wrapped up with the softness of rare and soft fabrics,” said Marc about the Silk Mood, Velvet Mood & Cashmere Mood, three extraits de parfum from Oud Mood Collection. No ordinary perfumes indeed, as they’re concentrated with 30% pure essential oil (that’s 10% more than ordinary Eau De Parfum).
Smooth as silk, Silk Mood is the lightest and the most feminine of them all. Created in Francis’ mind as a genderless perfume, this perfume extract wrapped up Oud with Bulgarian Rose, Blue Chamomile from Morocco and Papyrus. Expect to scent a very Oud scent became airy like a caressed rose petals on our skin.
Luxurious like cashmere, Cashmere Mood is definitely not for the faint of heart. Imagine walking inside an all leather store, as it’s very leathery, thanks to Moroccan Labdanum, Benzoin from Laos and Vanilla which enhanced the Oud. I imagine a very sophisticated man (with a nice leather shoes) owned this.
Mysterious like velvet, Velvet Mood is the purest and closest interpretation of OUD, the predecessor, released with cinnamon from Ceylon, saffron and exotic Copahu Balm from Brazil. It goes dark yet give those majestic and royal sense.
After attending the exclusive launch of Oud Mood in The Library at The Dharmawangsa Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia, I really believe that Oud is not for those commercial (read: mass market) type. For those who embrace life and of course, Oud fanatics, Oud Silk Mood, Oud Cashmere Mood & Oud Velvet Mood will be a permanent collection. Available in 70ml Extrait de Parfum (price TBA in Indonesia), it’s a perfect way to enjoy your fine life just like the cashmere parable mentioned above.

 

PERFECT PAIR

This is a serious question: if you’re wearing a fragrance, do you really know who is the real master behind the fragrance? The real genius who created it from scratch based on their own inspiration or others? 

Perfumers used to be behind the curtain, because the fragrance industry is more driven by the fashion houses. But lately, there are more recognition from the industry for the perfumers,” said Marc Chaya, President &co-founder of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris, when he visited Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday. We’re lucky to have Francis’ creations for Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s fragrance collection in Jakarta, as they selected their retailers very carefully. Over 150 premium retailers around the world carry their collection, to name a few: Bergdorf Goodman, Harvey Nichols, Neiman Marcus, Isetan and Joyce. 

Marc who met Francis about 5 years ago, was in Jakarta to launch the latest fragrance from the luxury fragrance house. This time, they come in pair, Amyris. The inspiration behind the name? “It’s a very beautiful name. In French, Amyris comes from the word Ame (means: soul) and Iris. Amyris is an essential oil that grows from a beautiful little tree in Jamaica which have orange powdery scent.”

“Amyris is a definition of effortless sophistication. Amyris can be a fragrance for hard working women, either working as a career woman or simply raising children, who still wants to have fun by the end of the day but have no time to get ready. The idea is just to wear the fragrance and you can feel extra sophisticated in an instant,” he later explained.

In this case, sophistication really didn’t come cheap, as Iris from Florence (used as one of the ingredients) counts as one of the most expensive essential oil in the fragrance industry. “There are only five flowers in the world that can be extracted to essential oil. And Iris is one of them. It’s more expensive than gold. One liter of essential oil cost 110 thousand Euros. And to produce one liter of essential oil, we need 10.000 kg of flowers. Yes, Iris is one of the beautiful and rare flower in the fragrance industry,” Marc added. 

Amyris from Jamaica and Iris from Florence, Californian Orange, Vetiver from Haiti and Amber, created a floral, woody and luminous scent for Amyris Femme. Meanwhile, Amyris Homme retain its luminosity by combining Amyris and Iris with Rosemary from Morocco, Mandarin from Sicily, Tonka Beans from Brazil and sandalwood. Unlike the previous Aqua Universalis that can be share and considered a genderless fragrance, I wonder why divide them into two genders? Marc gave me and some media friends an explanation, “Lot’s of women love to use men’s fragrance. Like you can wear a man’s shirt and look sexy in it. But, the other way around, I don’t think so.”

Being one who doesn’t go with the flow and never in life using a man’s fragrance, or either using my other half’s shirt to look sexy or appear sensual, I’ll stick to Amyris Femme, thank you. Do I like it? No, I love it! It’s ultra feminine and it comes in Eau De Parfum which will stay forever if you spray it on your hair. It melts really well with my skin in this crazy hot climate and yes, it makes me feel expensive. As for Amyris Homme, I can feel the freshness of green notes with just a touch of masculinity, which left me questioning myself, should I begin my experience with a men’s fragrance? 

Roses are red, Rose Kashmirie is ….

the latest fragrance from Les Parfums De Rosine Paris. To find out more about this niche brand and its’ latest venture, I chatted with Marie-Hélène Rogeon when she visited Jakarta yesterday.

Chatted with me and media friends, the ever kind Marie dressed head to toe in Issey Miyake’s famous pleats that evening. “I love it. It’s so comfortable. And it’s so addictive, I must warn you. Once you wear it, you want more,” she smiled kindly. Addictive, just like all her fragrances creations for Les Parfums De Rosine.

Born into a family of perfumer, her grand grand father created Eau de Cologne for the Emperor Napoleon III and special wax for his majesty’s moustaches. Her passion for fragrances created original and wonderful compositions made from natural essences, mostly roses. “Roses has different colors and smell from one another. Some might smell fresh, some fruity like raspberries or blackcurrant scent. And roses are the easiest to mix with other ingredients. It’s the only flower that can be extracted into rose oil and rose absolue.” She explained further that rose oil will be used for top notes because of its’ very long lasting power. Meanwhile, rose absolue will be used for middle and base notes.

Les Parfums De Rosine only uses roses from Bulgaria, Turkey and Morocco. “Best in term of smell. For top notes, roses from Bulgaria is best. For one kilo of oil, we need 1000 kg of rose petals. We use only the petals which are harvested early in the morning to retain their freshness.” For Marie, creating fragrances is like creating music. “It’s not like I’m going to the lab and create the formula. It’s more like writing music composition.”

For her latest creation with fragrance designer François Robert (which have been working together with her for the last ten years), she was inspired by Bollywood. “It’s not something usual in France to watch Bollywood movies, but when I saw it, I felt the joy and colorful life. It’s like rose petals are flying everywhere in the Bollywood movies,” she laughed. And it didn’t take long for her and François to create Rose Kashmirie. “He lived in India before, so it was a fast process for me and him to create it. And he’s a traditional perfumer, so he knew instantly what I wanted in the first place,” she added.

Rose Kashmirie is a marriage between floral and spicy notes. This new oriental rose is beautifully balance with an astonishing accord of Bulgaria rose oil and red saffron from Cashmere. To magnify its’ scent, more scents were added like Chinese Peonies, Absolue rose of Damascus, Vanilla, Indian Vetyver Roots and Sandalwood. “Personally, sandalwood are my second ingredients that I love beside roses. It gives power and the touch of elegance to every fragrances,” Marie admitted.

Like other fragrances from Les Parfums De Rosine, it’s beautifully adorned with tassle. But this one, as unique as the scent itself, the tassle is very colorful with colors identified in most Bollywood movies such as yellow, green, and pink. For myself, this oriental categorized fragrance is warm and mysterious. When Marie passed around the saffron stuffed inside a tiny bottle and a rose oil bottle to be smell together, it’s so extraordinary how the two ingredients created a unique scent I’ve never smelled before. It’s going to be a night fragrance for myself, because of its’ sensuousness. When I asked Marie what kind of women that she sees using this fragrance, she answered: “Those who are sophisticated yet joyful towards life.” 

Rose Kashmirie by Les Parfums De Rosine will be released this October.