Thursday 27 July 2017


There are times when, because I wear something so often, I assume I must have written about it. That's why it was such a surprise when I realised that Monoï Eau des Vahinés by Yves Rocher was absent from my list of Perfume Reviews. It was one of the first Yves Rocher fragrances that I remember smelling and I was surprised at just how well they had achieved the balance between summer sunshine and exotic sweetness. Yves Rocher are everywhere in France but in the UK they just exist as a mail order company. So, let me introduce you to sandy beaches, delicious florals and a scent that screams summer.

Yves Rocher was born in the French village of La Gacilly, Morbihan in 1930. It was here that he created the first product that would eventually lead to the formation of a multi billion pound business that was named after him, Yves Rocher. Working from an attic room in his family home, Yves started to sell his first "lesser celandine" cream by mail order and it was this approach that truly made him a household name. Without the overheads of a store he was able to invest in the company and so secure his family-run business.

Yves decided to remain in his hometown of La Gacilly and went on to build the entire manufacturing, research and distribution centre for the company in the place he was born. His investment helped to secure the future of the area and the company is still the major employer in the region. In 1968 the first store finally opened in Paris but he never lost sight of his "mail order" roots, and this is how the UK were introduced to his creations. No one can have escaped Ming Shu in the nineties, the fragrance was everywhere!

In 1992 Yves Rocher retired from the company and handed over control to his son, Didier, but his unfortunate death in 1994 brought Yves back to the company. In 2007 he named his grandson, Bris, as the new successor and under his guidance the company has continued to grow. Yves Rocher died on 26th December 2009 but his legacy definitely lives on. He is surely most famous for saying about animal testing, "if you have to test your products of animals, you don't know what you're doing." So, let's look at Monoï Eau des Vahinés.

In 2012 Yves Rocher were looking to expand their summer collection and turned to Givaudan's Nathalie Gracia-Cetto. She said at the time that she wanted "the sweet fragrance of island flowers, inspired by my holidays and those of my friends." Straight away you are hit with the dominant tiare flower, which then blends with the lily and a subtle powdery note of tuberose. A tantalising frangipani gives you banana and coconut nuances before a sunshine-smooth vanilla pulls everything together. You are put in mind of Guerlain's Terracotta Le Parfum, Patou's Chaldée, Lauder's Bronze Goddess ... it truly is the scent of summer.

Monoï Eau des Vahinés is available from or their French boutiques and is priced at €30 for 100ml.

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