Monday, 29 June 2020

LA TERRE by Floratropia

One of the battles that the perfume industry faces is having to balance the desire for sustainability against the demands for appearance. Many customers will say that they want less packaging, because they’d prefer a company to fit in with their own environmental concerns, but when confronted with a basic bottle they often feel that a little of the glamour is missing. It’s this challenge that causes problems for many companies, but is actually one where niche brands are managing to gain ground. One of the latest is Paris based Floratropia, and their debut collection of four fragrances takes sustainability to the next level.

When Karine Torrent decided to launch Floratropia it came out of a desire to reconnect with nature and also to respect the environment. A career in product development and brand management meant that she had seen the constant battle between sustainability and appearance, but knew that there had to be a way forward. After working with Guerlain, Yves Rocher, and Puig, Karine became freelance and the time was right to see whether she could succeed where many had failed before her. It was decided to split the product into its two parts, the perfume and the bottle, and to make the customer much more involved.

The task of creating the fragrances was given to Delphine Thierry. A graduate of ISIPCA in Paris, she had originally started her career at IFF before moving to Mane. In 2007 she also took the decision to become freelance and would go on to work with Chantelle, Cloon Keen Atelier, and Lubin. It was decided that Floratropia would be a natural brand and that it would take the elements as its inspiration, but with a clear focus on ingredient sustainability. This obviously restricted what was available to Delphine but, in the finest French traditions, this was seen as a challenge rather than a problem.

Le Feu, L’Eau, La Terre, and Le Ciel were the debut four fragrances but the question was still how to present them to the customer. Again with the environment in mind, the perfumes have been produced in recyclable pouches that can then be used to refill your own screw-top atomiser at home. The beauty of the system is that you can either use one that you already own, and have a connection with, or choose one of Floratropia’s designs. This successfully solves the problem of sustainability and appearance, but what about the fragrances themselves? All four of them are impressive, but one really did stand out.

La Terre, which translates as The Earth, opens with the merest touch of citrus before the herbaceous aroma of absinthe rushes towards you. This wonderfully dry and green quality is given a peppery edge thanks to the angelica, but very quickly the patchouli and vetiver from the depths of the scent come through to give an earthiness that is breathtaking. Delphine then cleverly adds jonquil to give a hint of honey-like sweetness, which also adds to the aromatic quality thanks to notes of tobacco and hay, and finishes the fragrance with the merest hint of moss and violet. La Terre is a raw interpretation of a vetiver-laden earth, and it is beautiful.

La Terre is available from the Floratropia website at floratropia.com priced at €70 for 40ml. It's also available in the 12ml Discovery Set priced at €25. [Samples provided by Karen Torrent]

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