Blog post by Gwen

1697 – boozy and deep and rich

Bertrand Duchaufour is one busy guy. The word prolific comes to mind. In the last ten years alone, he has created some 45+ fragrances. With so much juice in the air, you know it’s just a matter of time until he produces a clunker. Well, 1697 from Frapin, isn’t it.

Many of my fave fragrances have come from design houses (Maison Martin Margiela) or jewellers (Mauboussin), but P. Frapin & Cie is neither of those – it’s a distiller.

The Frapin family, one of the oldest families in Europe, has been making award-winning cognac from their Fontpinot Castle in the Grand Champagne region of France since 1270. In 2008, they entered the perfume market. The jump from cognac to perfume might seem odd at first, but it makes perfect sense when you think about it. After all, wine and perfume transform plants into complex sensory experiences, and cognac and perfume fall into the ‘luxe’ category.

There are seven fragrances in the Frapin line, each designed to represent a different aspect of life around the castle throughout the years. 1697 represents the year that Louis XIV, the Sun King, granted nobility to the Frapin family. Louis ruled for over 70 years, and his reign was noted for his love of women, gambling, dance, drinking and other indulgences, like Versailles.  So, what does Louis’s court in 1697 smell like? Exotic, rich and boozy.

1697 opens with booze. That’s right – it begins with a shot of mouth-watering whiskey. Rum emerges warmed by pepper with labdanum adding notes of leather and resin, making it deep, dark and delicious. As it blooms, flowers appear, adding a feminine aspect to the fragrance. Jasmine, ylang-ylang, and rose are warmed with spicy clove and cinnamon and sweetened by dried fruits. Sweet, creamy tonka bean appears at the base, bolstered by exotic vanilla. Patchouli adds its mustiness blending in beautifully with cedarwood, while musk tames any boldness and smoothes the whole blend out.

I can tell you what the notes are, but Duchaufour's magic with them makes 1697 a boozy, rich and intoxicating fragrance from start to finish that smells great on a man or a woman.

By the way, currently, 1697 is an exclusive, with only 1697 special-edition numbered bottles produced. Mine is 0012.

Check out 1697 in our Shop.