International Women’s Month: Olivia Giacobetti

Welcome to International Women’s Month! Scents of Self will be celebrating with tributes to the female pioneers of perfumery all month long. First up: Olivia Giacobetti!

I want to keep Olivia Giacobetti in my basement. Wait, let me try that again: I want to keep Olivia Giacobetti in my basement so that she can make me an endless supply of her brilliant fragrances. (Olivia, where are you going? Come back! I don’t even have a basement! OLIVIA I WILL TREAT YOU HUMANELY.)

A Giacobetti fragrance is instantly recognizable. She favors light, graceful strokes of bold notes, like a watercolor painting with bright colors. But it’s not just her talent that makes me want to keep Olivia in my basement (or the attic! Like Jane Eyre!) I also admire her unorthodox path as a perfumer.

Giacobetti is one of the very few perfumers who works outside of the perfume industry’s traditional fragrance firm system, and inarguably one of the most successful. She created her own company, Iskia, at age 24, after beginning her career at Annick Goutal at age 16. After 13 years of creating fragrances for the likes of Hermès, Diptyque, and Byredo, Giacobetti launched her own line, IUNX. Despite a challenging beginning (the original IUNX boutique closed in 2006), IUNX triumphantly reopened at the iconic Hotel Costes in 2008. Respect, Oli-G.

Choosing a Top 5 for my very favorite perfumer was so impossible that it almost immediately became a Top 7 list!

7 Olivia Giacobetti Fragrances Every Human Needs To Smell

L’Artisan Parfumeur Dzing!

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L’Artisan’s tribute to the circus has Giacobetti playing lion tamer, softening this wild creature of leather and sawdust until it purrs.

Diptyque Philosykos

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No discussion of fig fragrances is complete without a mention of the gorgeously green Philosykos.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Safran Troublant

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My #1. Saffron, sandalwood, unearthly beauty.

Frederic Malle En Passant

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Tender, dew-soaked lilacs. Probably my favorite floral.

Lubin Idole

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First name greatest, last name ever. Rum, saffron, and a souk’s worth of spices. I would trade an alarming number of organs for a bottle of the now-discontinued eau de toilette.

Honoré des Prés I Love Les Carottes

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The carrot fragrance you never knew you needed! A very clever olfactory magic trick; crisp, rooty iris smells like carrots from a certain angle.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Jour de Fete

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Cruelly discontinued. MAJOR party foul. Jour de Fete was the loveliest candied almond fragrance around.

In conclusion, the Giacobetti-Weinberg wedding will take place in June, our cat will be the ring-bearer, and you are all invited.

What’s your favorite Giacobetti fragrance? Did I miss any must-sniffs?

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. All fragrances featured in the post were purchased at full price by me, to my horror. 

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Jour de Fete

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Jour de Fete is a typical heliotrope fragrance, a luminously sweet almond scent with an unmistakable Play-Doh vibe. Like many of Olivia Giacobetti’s creations for L’Artisan, Jour de Fete is terribly pretty and just the right amount of strange. Like virtually all of Olivia Giacobetti’s creations for L’Artisan, the lasting power and projection are dreadful. I missed Jour de Fete the first time around, so unfortunately I don’t know how this re-release compares to the original in either smell or tenacity.

Why you should buy Jour de Fete: Even though there are similar heliotrope fragrances (Etro Heliotrope and Frederic Malle L’Eau de Hiver come to mind), Jour de Fete is actually the best-priced option at $100 for 100 ml.

Why you should not buy Jour de Fete: It’s limited edition. Boooooo!

I’ll probably buy it. I wish I knew how to quit you, L’Artisan.

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two

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My policy has always been that I don’t review discontinued perfumes. It’s just cruel, right? But while Tea for Two is very much discontinued, it does occasionally pop up on eBay or in those huge sales L’Artisan does about twice a year. It always sells out within minutes, so if you ever do happen across a bottle, I want you to be prepared!

Tea for Two is supposed to evoke Lapsang Souchong, that bafflingly smoky tea, but it’s much softer than its inspiration. This really is a delightfully strange fragrance. It juxtaposes the traditional chai spices (cinnamon, cardamom- the notes list ginger, but I don’t smell it) with this funny leathered paper note, almost like cardboard. Over time, Tea for Two becomes sweeter and more honeyed. I like Tea for Two best at the end, when it is delicious and comforting but still just a bit odd.

I always wonder what I would think of Tea for Two if I had tried it before Dzing!. I think that I would have thought it unique and marvelous. Chai tea and cardboard! But for better or for worse, I tried Dzing! first, and now I can’t help but perceive Tea for Two as Dzing! overlaid with cinnamon. Between the two, I think I prefer Dzing!, but both are unusual and enchanting fragrances, and I can absolutely see myself eventually deciding that I really need both.

What do you think of Tea for Two? Did you manage to snag a bottle before it was discontinued?