Monday 24 April 2023

ÉGLANTIER by Nancy Meiland

A bottle of Églantier perfume by Nancy Meiland Parfums
When it comes to perfumers and fragrances most of us will be forever chasing our tails trying to keep up with the latest releases and newest creators. They come and they go, but many of them also remain slightly under the scented radar. This devilish hint of exclusivity is always exciting when it’s found, and even more exciting when it’s worn, but the discovery is often by chance. That’s what happened on a cold February evening when I was out to dinner with friends. One of them leaned in and I was captivated by their perfume. I had to ask what it was, and the answer was Églantier by Nancy Meiland Parfums.

France was always seen as the home of perfume, with Grasse being its spiritual birthplace, but in recent years that net has widened to include nearly every country in the world. These self-taught, and trained perfumers, are the heart of the niche fragrance industry because they have the freedom to create outside of the high street trends and fashions. One such perfumer is Sussex based Nancy Meiland. Originally an actress, before becoming assistant to renowned perfumer Anastasia Brozler and eventually a perfumer in her own right, Nancy is one of the British band of noses that are making worldwide waves.

When Nancy Meiland launched her debut fragrances in 2014 they were named the Paper Leaf collection. Aquilaria, Rosier and Illuminé were the first three releases and set the company’s blueprint for exceptional ingredients merging seamlessly with contemporary expectations and drawing on personal experiences. These were added to in 2017 by Églantier, which we’ll come back to, Sous Bois in 2019 and finally Fiori in 2021. This collection of six scents formed the perfect fragrance wardrobe and were loved by both men and by women, but it was Églantier that became my introduction to Nancy Meiland Parfums.

A bottle of Églantier perfume by Nancy Meiland Parfums
was inspired by a visit to Denmark, and in particular Grenen in Skagen. Nancy became fascinated by the contrast between the gentle lapping waters and buffeting waves where the two seas met, and wondered whether these extremes could be captured in scent. She said that she wanted to conjure “the sometimes wild, dramatic mood of the sea as well as the warm, soothing, magical aspect”, and the challenge was to do this without the usual dose of aquatic notes. Could she create the grandeur and theatricality using floral and aromatic nuances instead? I admit that I may be six years late, but it was well worth the wait.

Églantier opens from the heart with a bold and exciting blend of tuberose and orange blossom, that crashes wavelike into the senses, before being joined by the watery pairing of vibrant neroli and a touch of sherbety cedrat. There’s also a whiskeyed ambrette present from the beginning, which helps to keep this in unisex territory, before a green cardamom and mint hints at the reflection off shifting waters. The development pulls in a feeling of the Grenen surroundings with the nuanced combination of earthy patchouli meeting lavender-infused sandalwood and, for a final dose of contentment, the merest touch of sweetened labdanum. Églantier really is the perfect way to dip your toes into the Nancy Meiland collection.

Églantier is available from the Nancy Meiland Parfums website at priced at £145 for 100ml, £95 for 50ml and £4.95 for a 2ml sample. The scent is also available as a candle. [Sample provided by Nancy Meiland]

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