La Maison Valmont is a name familiar to those-in-the-know for its luxurious skincare. But for perfume-lovers like us, perhaps the most exciting chapter in Valmont’s story began more recently – with the launch of exquisite, sense-drenching fragrances…
Originating in a Swiss wellbeing clinic and harnessing the power of Swiss glacial water, Alpine botanicals and state-of-the-art molecules to create effective anti-ageing treatments, Valmont is very much ‘a family affair’, owned and run by power couple Didier Guillon and Sophie Vann-Guillon. Didier is the descendant of a family of art collectors, who studied law and business management. His wife (and CEO), meanwhile, is blessed with technical expertise and a passion for innovation, with a fragrant background that includes working at Balmain and Oscar de la Renta perfumes, and at YSL. So could Valmont’s motto – ‘Where Art Meets Beauty’ – be more apt?
The recent launch of exquisite, sense-drenching fragrances certainly expresses perfectly that meeting of art and beauty. Storie Veneziane by Valmont fragrances are inspired by the city of Venice, where the Guillons have an exquisite palazzo – a city whose history is woven through that of perfume itself, via its trade routes, its sensuality, its famous love of luxury. It is a project born of the shared passion of Sophie and Didier Guillon for art and materials.
Storie Veneziane by Valmont, as they put it, offer a tribute to the artistic flamboyance of the city – ‘a genuine bubble, preserved from reality and the world’s tribulations, where only talent and artistic expression counts.’ Venice is the cradle for their creations – and the fragrances themselves are (but of course) made in Italy.
There are three distinct but equally fabulous collections within Storie Veneziane by Valmont, each edited by Sophie, and showcasing fragrances of different strengths. The most delicate are the ‘aromatic emotions’, Palazzo Nobile: six crystalline eau de toilettes ranging from breezily spontaneous, floral-aquatic Sea Bliss through to fresh-floral Blooming Ballet, a symphony of fresh flowers that includes roses and sparkling freesia on a bed of musk. The collection also offers the one and only masculine fragrance in Valmont’s collection (in this case, edited by Didier) – a woody aromatic, based around vetiver.
Through Palazzo Nobile, Sophie explains, she interprets her ‘heartbeats, troubles and emotions…’ Each is granted a colour and a soul, to take us on a ‘global sentimental journey whose assembly resembles a life mosaic.’ (And talking of mosaics, Palazzo Nobile’s boxes – which are designed by Didier – are decorated to resemble Venice’s signature terrazzo floors.)
The Collezione Privata offers us ‘olfactory homages to women’, as Valmont put it, via three feminine eau de parfums that express facets of femininity. Floral-gourmand Jazzy Twist highlights sweet and delicate magnolia, to express the mischievous side of an effervescent and impetuous woman who ‘mixes satin with tulle, and has a soft spot for powdered rose.’ For the seductress, Valmont bring us Lady Code: ‘Feminine without flaunting it, drawing inspiration from chic à la Francaise,’ in a sensual and sophisticated Chypre gourmand, suffused with jasmine. Or perhaps you’ll find yourself magnetised to Private Mind, with its floral-leather accord, embodying ‘a mysteriously sensual woman… She loves the opulence of flamboyant materials, the feeling of fur and cashmere directly on her skin…’
Most opulent of all are the ultra-luxe Storie Veneziane – ‘tales of fragrances’ in stunning gilded bottles that are capped with saddle-stitched leather and adorned with Venetian hand-blown glass masks, hinting at the extravagance of the ingredients within. These really are ‘Venetian stories’, with each conjuring up a particular corner of the magical, watery Italian city in extrait concentrations that linger on the skin as the pure essences are warmed on the body.
Storie Veneziane lead you by the nose via Rosso I, inspired by the stillness of the San Francesco della Vigna cloister, centred around Damascus rose, fresh pink berries and smoked oudh – a so-wearable collision of opulence and splendour. Or perhaps head in the direction of Gaggia Medio I, which transports us to the narrow, old stone streets of Dorsoduro, with sensual cardamom spicing up carnal amber. Verde Erba I is springtime in Venice, its green notes breezing through syringa flower and cool papyrus essence, softened by vanilla. It was born in the discreet Venetian district of Pontile Sant’Elena – and oh, how it has us longing to visit Venice as the petals unfurl in its secret gardens.
Lovers of classic florals will want to explore Alessandrite I, its heart of jasmine brightened by bergamot and a sophisticated whoosh of aldehydes – ‘an embodiment of past meets present’, conjuring up Venice’s Arsenale district and at once elegant and romantic, sophisticated and luminous. And then we have the almost baroque exuberance of the truly innovative Oriental gourmand Blu Cobalto I, in which the earthiness of patchouli is smoothed by delectable chocolate notes, enfolded in resinous opopanax. Utterly delicious on a man’s skin or a woman’s, its ‘place’ in Venice is the Campo San Moisè, with its elegant boutiques.
Truly, Storie Veneziane by Valmont’s is a perfume house which brings out our sense of wanderlust – while reminding us of extraordinary power that fragrance has to allow us to travel through time and space via just a scented spritz. No passport required…