I admire artists who know when to stop. There is always the opportunity to do more. To create more. The question becomes do you have more to say? Or do you realize you’ve completed your conversation? It seems as if Saskia Havekes the owner of Grandiflora flower shop has arrived at the end of her fragrant discussion with Grandiflora Saskia.
Ms. Havekes began her perfume brand in 2014 where she took two perfumers and asked them for their interpretation of magnolia. For those the first name of the perfumer; Michel (Roudnitska) and Sandrine (Vidault) were on the label. The artistic direction which someone who works with flowers as a vocation provided a new perspective. Together they created a compelling diptych of magnolia. In the ensuing years it seemed like Ms. Havekes was only interested in releasing a fragrance when she had something she wanted to express through perfume. Each release would explore Madagascan Jasmine, Queen of the Night, or Boronia. Each sought out the full profile of the floral on the label. There was also a grandiosity to these. They filled my room with floral gaiety. I should be sad that she announced her sixth release would be her last. Except something as exuberant as Saskia can’t help but make one smile.
The brief for this final fragrance is her Sydney, Australia flower shop. The scent of walking inside and breathing deeply. She collaborates with perfumer Christophe Laudamiel. Together they evoke the artistry of Ms. Havekes as florist and perfume creative director.
Right from the start they impress. Whenever I step into a flower shop there is a chilly wateriness which is the first scent I detect along with the greenery. This is before I ever notice the blooms. The opening of Saskia is this. Using the rainstorm ingredient of petrichor and violet leaves it creates that accord. Simultaneously baie rose and hyacinth drag my nose towards the flowers awaiting. And they are magnificent. The primary nucleus of the floral accord is gardenia given extra heft through boronia leaves. It is always there but the other flowers in the shop have their moment, too. A lush ylang-ylang and a shy mimosa are given a summer hillside twist through immortelle. It as if your nose encounters something new at every turn. Just as if you were in the shop.
Saskia has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
If this is going to be Ms. Havekes’ last word through fragrance it provides an exclamation point to what has been an outstanding conversation.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample I purchased.
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