Monday, 26 August 2019

SANTAL VOLCANIQUE by Maison Crivelli

In the world of retail there are certain “buzz words” at the moment that every new company attempts to throw into all of their communication. “Sustainability, authenticity, and traceability” are important concerns for customers and so it’s not surprising that they are trumpeted as loudly as possible. Now, not all of the companies are quite as transparent as they claim to be but one brand that is flying the flag for honesty in perfumery is Maison Crivelli. With an ethos and philosophy born out of the founder’s personal experience, this is most definitely a fragrance collection with an eye on the future.

When Thibaud Crivelli decided to launch his own company it was following a successful eight-year career with LVMH. With stints at Givenchy, Dior, and finally Guerlain, he felt that the time was right to explore his own inspirations and to translate them into scent. He surrounded himself with some of the finest perfumers and, together, his “innovative explorations” were brought to life. He wanted his fragrances to be a journey through scent and encouraged us to “take a moment” in our discovery of the perfumes. Life moves so fast and sometimes we need to take a breath.

Thibaud was born in Paris and split his childhood between the creativity of the city and the calmness of Provence. This early experience of different landscapes, coupled with a family tradition for travel, fuelled his desire to explore further than his native France and it was a journey that would result in Maison Crivelli. It was whilst he was abroad that he learned about the importance of sustainability and traceability in fragrance, not just for the customer but also for the communities that depended upon it for their existence. The question was, could he transfer these ideas into a commercial company?

His initial collection of four scents launched in 2018 and was joined by a fifth the following year. The series comprises the smoky Bois Datch by Dorothée Piot, a coffee touched Santal Volcanique by Richard Ibanez, the icy Fleur Diamantine by Bertrand Duchafour, an almost aquatic Rose SaltifOlia by Stéphanie Bakouche, and the crisply aromatic Absinthe Boréale by Nathalie Feisthauer. They're all available to discover in the Expériences Olfactives set, which is one of the most beautiful presentations I have ever seen, but my favourite has to be the exquisite Santal Volcanique by Richard Ibanez.

It opens with the most incredible rush of bergamot and cardamom to give the “burning adrenaline” quality that is mentioned in the description. It’s interesting that the next aroma that comes into play is a wonderfully dry cedarwood, pushing up from the base, and this helps to introduce a ginger-touched coffee note. It’s like smelling the used beans, that hot earthiness, with the steam providing a slightly aquatic quality to the scent. When the sandalwood of the title arrives it is kept crisp by the existing aromas and, whilst it does get smoother over time, it remains gloriously dry.

Santal Volcanique is available from the Maison Crivelli website at maisoncrivelli.com priced at €80 for 30ml and €180 for 100ml. The Expériences Olfactives discovery set is €24 and is redeemable against a future purchase. [Samples provided by Thibaud Crivelli]

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