Monday, 4 May 2020

MONSIEUR DE PROVENCE by Prestige de Menton

You’ve probably heard the saying “all that glitters is not gold,” and it’s definitely one that can be applied to the fragrance industry. Jewel encrusted bottles that look more like an ornament than a perfume seem to be a must-have fashion accessory, but the contents can often be questionable. Looking at this from the other direction, “don’t judge a book by its cover” should also be applied to the simple way that some companies present their fragrances. One example of this is the enduring Monsieur de Provence by Prestige de Menton. It may be understated to look at but the perfume is a fantastic survivor of a bygone age.

Menton in the south of France is the citrus capital of the world, and it was here that perfumer Louis Berneux decided to found Prestige de Menton. He was looking for a quieter life, after years of being based in Paris, and the idea of living in an area that combined the uplifting hesperidic notes of lemon with the salty Provençal air was too good to resist. So, in 1947, he opened Prestige de Menton and created what many still regard as “the scent of the south.” His Eau de Menton is still just as loved over seventy years later.

Louis Berneux eventually sold the company in the 1970s to the Leroux family and, under the control of Philippe Leroux, it would go on to launch over thirty fragrances. Some of these continued with the citrus theme whilst others opted for more floral and fougere styles. What was constant however was the simple presentation. The perfumes literally spoke for themselves and their loyal followers were happy with a more functional rather than fantastical bottle. When Julien Foucher bought Prestige de Menton in 2017 he was faced with a difficult decision, how could he modernise without upsetting the die-hard fans?

His answer was to take a carefully curated selection of the hesperidic scents and group them under the banner of the original Eau de Menton. Whilst the fragrances remained the same, the design and packaging were all updated to appeal to a modern audience. However, in a smart move, he kept all of the other perfumes in production and in their original bottles and boxes. With a resurgence of interest in these classic fragrance styles, this means that there is a whole collection waiting to be discovered by those not swayed by packaging. One such fragrance is the glorious fougere that is Monsieur de Provence.

The fragrance opens brightly with a wonderful hit of bergamot and lemon before the gloriously Provençal scent of lavender starts to come through. It’s interesting that at this point you start to get the aroma of dry earthy moss appearing, but we soon bounce back to the heart with evocative touches of geranium and clove. The aromatic quality of the scent is continued with whispers of thyme before a combination of patchouli and sandalwood start to warm on the skin. A final wash of tonka bean adds a sweetness to the fragrance and there’s no doubt that this is the scent of Provençal elegance.

Monsieur de Provence is available from the Prestige de Menton website at prestigedementon.com priced at €17 for 50ml, €22 for 100ml and €29 for 200ml.

5 comments:

  1. Good morning Stephan. Yet again, you tempt me with these amazing fragrances. I'm pretty sure by now, that we both appreciate the same kind of scent. This is another one that I feel that I must try. It sounds perfect, plus, it has the magical Lavender.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Barry, I think that this is definitly one that you would like. Best, Stephan

      Delete
  2. I join Barry's comment - if I may :) - Just found this place and the writing is so rich! Amazing job, bookmarked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Rue, thank you for your kind comment and I'm glad that you're enjoying the website. Best, Stephan

      Delete
    2. My pleasure to have you joining my comment Rue.

      Delete