Monday 21 August 2023

GARRIGUE by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

A bottle of Garrigue perfume by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier
There are few things as instantly pleasurable as being confronted with a little piece of French history, especially when it doesn’t come with an auctioneer’s price tag. The act of holding something that harks back to a simpler time, a pre-social media time, is sometimes the much-needed reset that we all crave. Now, achieving this through genuine antiques can be costly, but that’s where companies that use traditional crafts as their inspiration can thrive. Maître Parfumeur et Gantier is one such company, and their grasp of timeless French tradition goes “hand in glove” with what a modern audience is searching for.

Maître Parfumeur et Gantier was founded in 1988 by Jean-François Laporte, and he is recognised as being a leading figure in the movement to bring niche perfume to a wider audience. His love of fragrance stretched back to childhood, and so it’s no surprise that it would play a major part in his career. Beginning with launching the company that would later be called Sisley in 1972 and then founding L’Artisan Parfumer in 1976, he always insisted on using the finest ingredients, and this is where his reputation was established. However, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier is surely his crowning moment.

One of the hardest things to do when starting any company is to find an initial inspiration that has the ability to both endure and evolve. When Jean-François started Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, he was fascinated with the French haute parfumerie tradition of scenting luxury leather gloves with exceptional oils. This had been a successful industry, indeed Guerlain briefly revised the idea in 2014, but it also embodied an elegance and a heritage that Jean-François wanted to communicate in his fragrances. Using traditional recipes as a starting point, he created a collection that was both evocative and contemporary.

The box for the Garrigue perfume by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier
is one of the fragrances that Maître Parfumeur et Gantier launched in its debut collection back in 1988, and it’s still a fantastic perfume thirty-five years later. The inspiration for this fragrance was “a footpath through the hills of Provence”, and this gave Jean-François a wide array of scents that he could draw on. If you’ve ever walked some of those ancient routes, you’ll have experienced the very real feeling of following in the footsteps of those that have gone before. A lot of these aren’t even paved, they’re dusty tracks surrounded by Mediterranean plants, but there’s often a sight of the ocean in the distance.

Garrigue opens with a massive hit of piercing bergamot and juniper, so you’re instantly in the mindset of bright sunlight and trails surrounded by warmed trees, but very quickly they’re joined by the ground-level aromatics. A smooth lavender and radiating rosemary appear, with their campherous edges, along with a touch of sage that almost has a purple hue to it. It really feels like you’re brushing your hand through the bushes, and there’s even an olive-like note as a reference to the fruiting landscape. It’s also at this point that an aquatic note shows itself, hinting that the cooling ocean isn’t too far away. The development of the perfume sees the pathway highlighted more thanks to an expansive musk and a hint of dry vetiver, but the final kick of sandalwood and sweetened labdanum conjure warmed skin and total contentment.

Garrigue is available from the Maître Parfumeur et Gantier website at, and also from the Fiole website at, priced at £160 for 120ml. [Photography bottle was borrowed]

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