Ostens is a fragrance house celebrating the finest ingredients they could get their hands on, and ‘ripping up the rule book’ of perfumery along the way…
Friends and business partners Christopher Yu and Laurent Delafon have been in the fragrance industry for over 20 years – they’ve worked alongside such notable names as Francis Kurkdjian, Olivier Polge, Lyn Harris, Sophie Labbé and Dominique Ropion – and fortuitously enough, first met in the Liberty perfumery department.
Laurent had a role in perfume distribution for Diptyque. Chris, though a self-confessed ‘fragrance nut’, was then ‘in computers.’ They got chatting, and not long after that meeting, took the plunge to go into business together, founding United Perfumes, where Christopher took on the role as Managing Director, and Laurent became the CEO.
As part of their jobs, they regularly travelled to Grasse, and one day heard tell of name well known by industry insiders, but practically unheard of in the wider public: LMR Naturals: Laboratoire Monique Rémy.
‘We loved the sort of secrecy about them, this idea that nobody outside the perfume world knew about LMR Naturals,’ Christopher confesses.
Viiting their HQ and smelling the incredible LMR ingredients, at that moment the duo decided they must get these under the noses of perfume lovers – to celebrate the materials themselves. And so (some years later, it must be said – a fragrance house isn’t buiilt overnight!) Ostens was born – raw ingredients made magical.
Those fragrances are found in two forms: for each hero ingredient, there is a fragrance ‘Preparation Oil’ and an eaux de parfum ‘Impression.’ Ostens use the term ‘Impressions’, because each fragrance takes an LMR ‘hero ingredient’ as the creative jumping off point – cedarwood, patchouli heart, rose Isparta, jasmine absolute and Cashmeran Velvet. And while sometimes that ingredient is the central focus, in others ‘it is more akin to a spice, used sparingly yet dramatically,’ explains Chris.
You can read their full story in our page dedicated to Ostens; but we are now so thrilled to be able to bring these fabulous fragrances directly to your noses, via their exquisite Ostens Discovery Set.
Inside the beautifully bound (and very book-like) slip case, you’ll find a whole library of olfactory wonders to explore…
Cashmeran Velvet – Cashmeran Velvet is a synthetic molecule which mimics the scent of warm, comforting woods with a slightly charred and smoky quality.
Cedarwood Heart – Cedarwood Heart leaves a dry, almost pencil-shavings scent on the skin that’s then softened by an unexpected, slightly creamy and almost vanilla like quality.
Jasmine Absolute – Ostens selected jasminum grandiflora grown in Egypt, for its fresh, natural, almost stem-like scent.
Patchouli Heart No.I – Patchouli Heart from Indonesia softer, warmer, and a more modern interpretation of the classic patchouli.
Patchouli Heart No.II – Patchouli Heart from Indonesia is a softer, warmer, and more modern interpretation of the classic patchouli – another spin on the highly versatile ingredient.
Rose Oil Isparta – A rose is a rose…or so we thought until we smelt the unique scent of the Rosa Damascena from Turkey.
Ostens Discovery Set £30 for 6 x 2ml eau de parfum
Kept for yourself or sent to a scent-loving friend, ‘We realised that if we loved those smells, then there were surely other people who’d feel the same way’ Ostens told us.
Well, we fell head over heels for them, and feel sure you will, too…
By Suzy Nightingale