Thursday 27 August 2020

JASPÉ by Teo Cabanel

The thought of owning your own perfume company, or creating your own collection of scents, is something that goes through the mind of every fragrance fan at one time or another. It usually subsides as quickly as it appears, but sometimes forces outside of your own control make the decision for you. Imagine finding out that you are going to be given a perfume company and that its future rests solely on your shoulders. The pressure would be incredible. Well, that’s exactly what happened to Caroline Ilacqua when she inherited Teo Cabanel. With a collection of eleven scents now available, it's time to discover Jaspé.

Teo Cabanel was founded in 1893 by Théodore Cabanel and his wife Méloé. Originally a French doctor and chemist, he would go on to create an astonishing catalogue of over one hundred and fifty perfume formulas during a thirty year period. A move to Paris in 1908 saw his success and reputation continue to grow, but it was under the stewardship of his daughter Edmonde that the company would really flourish. The Teo Cabanel fragrances became synonymous with style and, as such, it was no surprise that the Duchess of Windsor became a frequent visitor. Her fragrance, Julia, is one of the scents that is still available today.

When Edmonde Cabanel died in 2000 she had no direct heirs and so the company was gifted to her goddaughter, Caroline Ilacqua. Production had ceased many years previously, although there was still stock available for personal requests, and so Caroline took the opportunity to revamp the whole brand ready for a new audience. However, she was determined to remain faithful to the original values and maintain the legacy that had begun over one hundred years earlier. In taking over from her godmother, she describes herself as the latest in a long line of “inspiring, attentive, independent, and passionate women.”

She enlisted the help of perfumer Jean-François Latty to rework two existing fragrances for the relaunch. Still best known for creating Givenchy’s III and Jazz for Yves Saint Laurent, he was tasked with sympathetically modernising Julia and Oha. Eventually launched in 2005, they would be joined by Alahine in 2007 and then a further eight fragrances, which started to veer into more original territory. One of these was the fantastic Jaspé in 2016. Described as “the perfect balance between elegance and freshness,” it takes the Fontainebleau forest as its inspiration and truly does convey “the rhythm of the wind.”

Jaspé opens with the beautiful pairing of grapefruit and a wonderfully measured aquatic note. It instantly gives you that outdoor freshness and seamlessly introduces the aromatic lavender and geranium that follows. There’s also a cardamom and clove adding a dry heat to the fragrance and, just in the background, a touch of sun-dappled rose. You almost get a late appearance of galbanum before the aromatic opening gives way to an earthy vetiver and a whisper of patchouli. This dry, green quality is given an added elegance thanks to a cedarwood and cypress note, and the whole fragrance is rounded off with the delicacy of sandalwood. Whether you’re smart or casual, Jaspé is elegant, timeless, and irresistible.

Jaspé is available from the Teo Cabanel website at priced at €155 for 100ml. It’s also available as part of the Discovery Set which is priced at €25. [Sample provided by Teo Cabanel]

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