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Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine – New friends, old friends…. – Feb 10, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

Wikimedia Commons - Magnolia Grandiflora - by Paxsimius 06/13/2007

You meet the nicest people when you travel. Last week Kay and I attended the Elements show in New York. We smelled great new frags, met some great people and made new friends – like Saskia Havekes.

Saskia, is a beautiful, smart, engaging, modest and gracious woman. She’s easy to talk to and I liked her right away. She is also immensely talented. A Sydney based horticulturalist/ florist, author and now, head of a perfume house, she still operates her floral design business out of the small shop in Potts Point she opened in 1995, called Grandiflora.

It wasn’t long before her striking floral installations, whether for a wedding in a château in Paris or for corporate clients like Swarovski, earned her an international clientele. Her love of plants and flowers, her respect for nature and her commitment to quality is evident in her work as seen in the three books she has written: GRANDIFLORA, GRANDIFLORA ARRANGEMENTS, and GRANDIFLORA CELEBRATIONS.

A florist lives in the scented world of flowers, plants and earth and their characters are a florist’s medium, so the crossover to perfume was a natural one for Saskia. She collaborated on the book, Fragrances of the World 2013 with Gary Heery and Michael Edwards. Then, in 2013 she launched a fragrance house called Grandiflora and introduced two signature scents: Magnolia Grandiflora Michel and Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine – two different interpretations of the same plant. Both fragrances are FBW, but it was the Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine that resonated with me the first time I smelled it.

Magnolia Grandiflora, that medium to large evergreen tree that grows best near the seashore and is native to the southeastern United States, with its large white, lemon scented flowers is Saskia’s favourite flower and her muse. In an interview with A magazine she explains why: “…it’s the supreme purity of the rapidly opening flower of the Magnolia Grandiflora; the incredibly ephemeral nature of it - fleeting in its magnificence and lasting power. The subtle, yet very suggestive and perennially evocative fragrance…” She calls it her “heaven tree” and it was her first choice for a personal perfume. And nose Sandrine Videault, with whom she had worked and became close friends, was her first choice to create it. See, I told you Saskia was smart…

Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine opens with a dramatic burst of lemon, the scent of a fragrant magnolia flower opening, along with a sweet note of melon and hints of rose from pink pepper. The bitterness from grapefruit tempers the fruity floral aspects, keeping it light and ephemeral. Aldehydes give the opening the waxiness, that magnolia petals have, and rounds out the citrus notes. Musk smoothes and warms the top notes so that the fragrance smells, well, sunny. As it blooms, it becomes fresh and green, dry and woody and smells like being in a magnolia garden. There is a woodiness at the base, along with a marine-aquatic chord which brings a sea breeze to the garden. A note of sheer musk fuses it all together without compromising its lightness. The drydown is soft, refined and elegant.

Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine smells like standing in a magnolia garden, in the soft early morning of a spring day experiencing the burst of a magnolia blossom opening, catching its fleeting, magnificent scent before it is carried away on a sea-breeze. I cannot get enough of it.

Sadly, Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine was the last fragrance Sandrine Videault created before passing away last year. What a wonderful way to honour a friend. What a glorious fragrance to wear.

Today, we’re adding Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine to our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00.