D’Orsay launches fresh scents, as CEO Amélie Huynh debuts restaurant in Toulouse Lautrec’s chateau
It’s been a busy week for Amélie Huynh, the CEO of D’Orsay, the inventive French perfume marque, who just launched a series of new scents and interior fragrances in Paris.
Almost in the same breathe, the dynamic Huynh was also in Bordeaux this week, to open a brand new restaurant in Henri de Toulouse Lautrec’s former chateau, part of her expanding fine luxury fiefdom.
But first in Paris, Huynh unveiled two scents and five scented candles by three noted noses for D’Orsay. That house’s roots go back almost two centuries to Count Alfred D’Orsay, an aesthetic aristocrat and talented painter, who created his first genderless scent to help hide a forbidden affair. The object of his passion – Marguerite, Countess Blessington, the Anglo-Irish femme fatale, whose residence with the French nobleman at Gore House was to be the greatest salon of literary and artistic London of the 1840s.
A member of the Garde du Corps of Louis XVIII; close friend of Lord Byron and pal of Benjamin Disraeli, who asked him to be his second in a duel, D’Orsay was certainly well-connected. Emperor Napoleon III even attended his funeral.
One new scent entitled A Coeur Perdu, or 'With All My Heart,'' is a blend of elements like bergamot, neroli, ambroxan and moss, where perfumer Fanny Bal references the intertwined bodies of Marguerite and Alfred. While the hyper-experienced Bertrand Duchaufour, with 35 years as a nose to his credit, developed Nous sommes amants, or 'We Are Lovers,' by blending bamboo, black pepper, floating wood, ambergris and musk, in a brilliantly moody mélange.
The brand D’Orsay was relaunched in 2019 with a first boutique at 44 rue du Bac in Paris’ Saint Germain district; before a second was added at 2 rue de Francs-Bourgeois across the Seine in the Marais. Since then D’Orsay has also opened in shopping mecca Aoyama in Tokyo, each boutique done on a classical international style of sleek woods and precise brass fittings. All capturing the sense of mystique about D’Orsay with cabinets made of multiple drawers in which secret scents are carefully locked.
“Everything we do references the romantic sensibility of Count D’Orsay – from the illicit affair to the sense of carnal desire,” explained Huynh, CEO and founder of Parfums D'Orsay.
France’s ability to rediscover classy old marques continues with D’Orsay, whose fragrances are made between Paris and the Provencal perfume capital of Grasse. D’Orsay also offers decorative olfactive Totems, sleek sold brass columns to help diffuse its home scents. While its scented candles continue the sense of romance with names like Sous les Draps or A l’abri des Regards, meaning 'Under the Sheets' and 'Away from Prying Eyes.'
“All of our creations are designed and made in France, all the way to the bottles and even spray caps,” stressed Huynh.
A dynamic mother of three, the Franco-Chinese Huynh worked for eight years with Chaumet, before launching her own Deco-rocker jewelry brand Statement Paris, a blend of polished forms and fine diamonds that accessorize her all-black ensemble featuring a laser cut Alexandre Vauthier double breasted blazer.
Her famed fashion stylist sister Melanie Huynh began working at Maison Martin Margiela after completing fashion college. After later studying marketing and communications, Melanie worked as a freelance stylist for Elie Saab, Lanvin, Carven and Loewe and as a consultant to Altuzarra.
Down in Bordeaux, the sisters have collaborated with businessman papa Kim to acquire and revamp Chateau Malromé, Lautrec’s one-time residence.
They have already turned the 43-hectare estate into a high-end yoga retreat and are re-focusing the vines into a biodynamic wine. Ideal to be served in Huynh’s latest idea – bringing in chef Sébastien Piniello – noted for his use of plants and fruits grown via the permaculture technique of cultivation – to helm the chateau’s restaurant Les Abeilles, meaning 'The Bees.' An apt name for Huynh, who must have been the busiest lady in French luxury this week.
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