Monday 25 May 2020

MUGUET 56 by Daniel Pescio

As soon as we mention florals in the same sentence as perfume our minds instinctively turn to feminine fragrances. We have been brought up to believe that flowers are for girls and woods are for men, in the same way as choosing pink and blue, but thankfully things are changing. A willingness to challenge stereotypes has seen many men reaching for florals. Sometimes it’s to disarm but mainly it’s simply a love of this style of fragrance. One perfumer that has an incredible skill and creating florals is Daniel Pescio, and this is perfectly displayed in his beautifully constructed lily of the valley perfume, Muguet 56.

Daniel Pescio was born in Brazil and trained at ISIPCA, the world famous perfumery institute that’s located in Versailles. It followed a successful career in the cinema industry, and this may explain his ability to be both focused and expansive in his creations. After graduating he worked with many private clients, and created the intoxicating Fleur Cannibale, before finally receiving the public recognition that he deserved with Zoologist’s Chameleon in 2019. This innovative take on ylang ylang perfectly straddled the line between “commercial” and “niche, and showed him to be a master of florals. However, this was first evident four years earlier.

“I would far rather have two or three lilies of the valley gathered for me by a person I like, than the most expensive bouquet that could be bought!” Taken from Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters, this is arguably the most famous quote about muguet, aka lily of the valley. The scent of these flowers is impossible to extract directly from the plant and so it has to be recreated by the perfumer. You would think that this is a pretty straightforward process, but the balance between a realistic interpretation and an artistic one can often see the end result missing the mark.

When Daniel began working on what would eventually become Muguet 56, he wanted to create a fragrance that payed homage to those classic lily of the valley scents that had gone before. He took inspiration from Diorissimo, Edmond Roudnitska’s lifelike recreation, and even pulled in a little of Jacques Guerlain’s 1908 Muguet, with its more impressionistic approach. He told me that he wanted to create a freshly picked, dew covered lily of the valley, but with a crisp green edge. Muguet 56 was released in 2015 but, because it’s only available by request, has remained the floral lovers secret... until now.

Muguet 56 opens with a citrus touched hit of galbanum, so immediately you have that incredible green quality that is associated with lily of the valley, and this hesperidic sparkle also hints at that morning dewiness. As the floral heart appears you get rose and jasmine coming through but, because these wrap themselves around the synthetic muguet note, the result is exquisitely decadent. That galbanum opening really keeps the floral arrestingly bright and true to the scent of lily of the valley, which is a major achievement, and the merest touch of musky sandalwood and ylang in the base give a delicate weightiness that doesn’t dominate.

Muguet 56 is available by contacting Daniel Pescio through his Facebook page at danielpescioperfumer. [Sample provided by Daniel Pescio]

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