I’m not usually one for a themed fragrance, be it either the perfume or candle variety. Cocktail-inspired, food-scented, smells like a cartoon character – whatever, they’re a nose too far into the world of gimmickry for me. The newly-arrived-from-France brand Jardins D’Ecrivains, however, has made me rethink my philosophy.
Created by Anaïs Biguine just over a year ago, the range of perfumes, bathing treats and candles combines two of the founder’s great passions: literature and gardens. Not as strange a concept as it sounds, many of our greatest novelists, poets, playwrights and philosophers are inextricably linked with a location, which in turn has its own unique aroma. For example, the Le Jardin D’Hugo candle – her first creation – is based around Guernsey, Victor Hugo’s island of self-imposed exile where he penned Les Misérables and drank in the bewitching bergamot, iris and hyacinth air, recreated here. Or there’s Le Jardin De Colette: reminiscent of the bright, sparkling warmth of the writer’s St Tropez home thanks to notes of fig, jasmine and pine.
Following a similar blueprint are the fragrances, each themed around a particular literary figure. The unisex George eau de parfum was inspired by novelist George Sands who herself had a penchant for a cigar and a man’s suit. It follows then that the notes of this sexy, warm scent include tobacco, coffee, myrrh and white musk. Elsewhere you can be whisked away to Casanova’s Venice, Tolstoy’s Yasnaya Polyana and Kipling’s Bombay. Or soak yourself in one of three bath ungents formulated with the Victorian era of Edith Wharton’s The Age Of Innocence in mind.
Beautiful (simple apothecary-style packaging), inspiring (stock up on those classics) and evocative (everything smells so good), Jardins D’Ecrivains is a clever idea that encourages two things most of us can be passionate about. And if you need any more convincing, take a cue from Hugo himself who said, “You see, perfume awakens thought.”
The Jardins D’Ecrivains range is available to buy online at The Conran Shop.