Thursday 13 February 2020

VILLANELLE by Kamila Aubre

There are times when fate can take a bigger hand in the exposure of your company than any amount of carefully placed articles or reviews. You are always at the mercy of the reader engaging with the piece in order for them to learn more about the brand and the fragrances, and by that I mean actually clicking through to the website at the end of the final paragraph. This is completely out of the hands of the writer, or even the company, but sometimes something else can take over. One person that has experienced this first-hand is Kamila Aubre with her wonderfully named perfume entitled Villanelle.

Kamila originally studied Sociology and Political Science before also turning her attentions to photography. The urge to create was already present but it would take the birth of her daughter for it to truly show itself. She started to research and then to create her own organic skincare which eventually launched, under her own name, in 2015. Perfumery had been a subject that Kamila had studied alongside skincare but this would not appear under her own name until 2018. However, in the ever-expanding natural fragrance market, visibility is key and Kamila’s would come from the most unlikely of places.

The range launched with a trio of fragrances that all had literary connections. Sonnet 98, Summer 1928, and Villanelle showed an incredible deftness of touch from a new perfumer and quickly developed a niche following. However, a whirlwind was about to bring a completely new audience to the range. Killing Eve was a television series that focused on a British Intelligence offer who was tasked with tracking down a psychopathic assassin. The latter’s name was Villanelle and, in the programme, she has a perfume named after herself. Fans searched for “La Villanelle” and the results took them to Kamila Aubre.

Kamila’s fragrance actually takes its name from a poetical form that is called a villanelle. This has a history stretching back to Renaissance times, when the structure wasn’t as strict, but which now refers to a French style of verse. With pastoral or rustic subjects often being chosen, Kamila Aubre immediately saw the link with her natural ingredients and chose the dark moment before a spring storm as her inspiration. “Thunder, a blast of wind, damp moss, the first heavy drops of late spring shower, dust rising up into the air, fresh leafage, moist bark, shadowy animals and obscure treasures of earth.”

Villanelle starts with an aromatic crash before it literally feels as though it opens out to reveal itself. A metallic bergamot races towards you with a campherous lavender and almost breaks over you like a wave before revealing a narcotic combination of jasmine and rose. At this point you already have the frankincense pushing up from the base so the floral takes on an evocatively singed quality that plays perfectly with the earthy vetiver. This dryness is offset by a labdanum-touched vanilla, and there’s even a hint of forest-floor fur scampering for cover, so you really are powerless to resist Villanelle.

Villanelle is available from the Kamila Aubre website at priced at €15 for 2ml, €50 for 8.5ml, and €150 for 30ml. [Samples provided by Kamila Aubre]

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