Articles by Author Sophie Normand

Sophie Normand
Editor, Writer, Translator
Sophie Normand has always been a perfume enthusiast, ever since she was 13. One day, she smelled Habanita for the first time and fell in love with the world of perfumes. A few years ago, while working as a web copywriter, she decided to share her passion on a blog called MyBlueHour where she writes about perfumes that she likes or that feels are original enough to be mentioned. Today, she is a perfume freelance writer, but most of all, she remains a perfume lover who likes to share her crushes on the internet.
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Mon Guerlain: A Refined Gourmand, Guerlain StyleMon Guerlain: A Refined Gourmand, Guerlain Style

Fragrance Reviews 03/15/17 12:39 (17 comments)

  The Guerlain house revealed just two weeks ago its new big women's perfume. Soberly titled “Mon Guerlain” and presented by the world famous muse Angelina Jolie , this perfume seems to be destined to attract a wide audience, and certainly an international clientele. To make this happen, Guerlain has relied on a gourmand character, which is completely in tune with the times, without falling into the sickening heaviness of  La Vie ... (more)

Spotlight on Mon Guerlain, the new big launch of the famous French perfume house.

Best in Show: Sandalwood (2017)Best in Show: Sandalwood (2017)

Best in Show 03/12/17 06:57 (42 comments)

Sandalwood has a rich, balsamic, sweet fragrance with delicate wood notes. The oil has a woody, exotic smell, subtle and lingering and the color is pale yellow to pale gold. Sandalwood is a small evergreen tree growing to 18 m in height and 2.4 m in girth, with slender drooping branches. The tree reaches its full maturity in 60 to 80 years, which is when the center of the slender trunk (the heartwood) has achieved its greatest oil content. This classic oriental woody note offers milky... (more)

The documented use of sandalwood goes back 4000 years to India, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Our writers discuss their favorite sandalwood aromas; which are yours?

Hermès L'Eau des Merveilles Sees the Life in BlueHermès L'Eau des Merveilles Sees the Life in Blue

New Fragrances 03/01/17 10:06 (9 comments)

  Hermès unveils a new chapter of Eau des Merveilles , their famous fragrance created in 2004. Eau des Merveilles Bleue  is an iodized variation of the mineral woody chord of the original and comes after two earlier flanker lines: Elixir des Merveilles  and L’Ambre des Merveilles . The blue water is a variation conceived by the new Hermès in house perfumer Christine Nagel , who here signs her third creation sinc... (more)

The Hermès house brings a new flanker of Eau des Merveilles: Eau des Merveilles Bleue. What does this new olfactory tale tell?

Pictorial Colognes from L'Artisan Parfumeur Pictorial Colognes from L'Artisan Parfumeur

Niche Perfumery 01/17/17 11:04 (6 comments)

  After the launch of Natura Mirabilis  in November 2016, a new collection will join the range of L’Artisan Parfumeur in March of 2017. It's a series of Colognes which honors Impressionism , the pictorial movement born at the end of the 19th century. More and more often we see how combining the visual and the olfactory nurtures the creative work of perfumers. In this case it is the  Impressionist current , with its... (more)

L'Artisan Parfumeur launches in spring a new collection around the theme of colognes.

Discovering Jean-Michel Duriez' Perfume House in Paris Discovering Jean-Michel Duriez' Perfume House in Paris

Art Books Events 01/04/17 10:20

  Jean-Michel Duriez' Boutique Ephémère in the Galerie Vivienne .   It is in the heart of the Galerie Vivienne in Paris that I was welcomed on the 21st of December by perfumer Jean-Michel Duriez to introduce to me his newly established perfume house. He had a temporary pop-up boutique here, closing today on the 4th of January, and it was really lovely to talk with him about his inspirations, his time working at Patou, his desire ... (more)

Perfumer Jean-Michel Duriez founded his own brand after 30 years of working for brands like Patou and Rochas.

Best in Show: Chanel (2017)Best in Show: Chanel (2017)

Best in Show 01/01/17 11:55 (67 comments)

Chanel. For almost 100 years, these two syllables have conjured sophistication, glamour and simplicity...and perfume. Whether choosing an iconic early aroma of the brand such as Cuir de Russie, a 70s classic like Cristalle, an 80s powerhouse oriental such as Coco, or a new Les Exclusifs such as Jersey, it is easy for everyone to find a Chanel of their own. And many famous names have helped to keep Chanel iconic: Marilyn and her N° 5; Warhol and his pai... (more)

Fragrantica editors celebrate their favorite Chanel fragrances. Leave a comment with your own picks!

Autumn Smell List Made in FranceAutumn Smell List Made in France

Columns 10/18/16 10:54 (2 comments)

  For many in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is withdrawing on tippy toes to give way to cooler temperatures. With its bronzed glow, this season makes us dream of warm, cocooning sillages, and especially woody scents fit the fall time atmosphere in a sublime way, which is why I decided to come up with an indiscriminate smell-list for the season. We encounter woody aromas in both classical and recent launches, and they show up in the most exclusive areas...all the more reas... (more)

French Fragrantica Editor Sophie Normand invites us to experience Autumn through a selection of perfumes with woody notes.

The New Hyperbole by Courrèges: A Not to Miss Gem The New Hyperbole by Courrèges: A Not to Miss Gem

Fragrance Reviews 10/05/16 10:52 (5 comments)

Courrèges is a house that stands apart in the world of perfume. A fashion designer house foremost, it is also in the perfume category where its name distinguishes itself through originality.                                          Perfumes of Courrèges in the boutique at rue François 1er in Paris.  This house with roots in the ... (more)

Perfumers Antoine Lie and Jean Jacques (Takasago) designed a remarkable tobacco, amber and honey scent for Courreges.

Best in Show: The Fragrances of Annick Menardo (2016)Best in Show: The Fragrances of Annick Menardo (2016)

Best in Show 10/02/16 08:34 (26 comments)

Some might say that it has been challenging for women to forge successful careers in the traditionally male-dominated world of perfumers; a review of famous noses certainly shows a disproportionate number of men to women. But this week's perfumer in the spotlight has crafted a range of iconic fragrances over a career that spans 3 decades and she shows no signs of stopping. Born in Cannes, France, Annick Menardo  originally wanted to be a psychiatrist. L... (more)

From Bvlgari to Biagiotti, this week's perfumer in the spotlight has crafted some of the most successful masterpieces of modern perfumery. What are your favorites?

A fragrant week in Paris: Les Rives de la Beauté EventA fragrant week in Paris: Les Rives de la Beauté Event

Art Books Events 09/20/16 10:45 (One comment)

As every year, fall in Paris was announced with the "Les Rives de la Beauté" event. For five days this event takes the form of a city itinerary dedicated to beauty and the art of perfumery leading to different venues in the Paris city center. Participating brands and distributors express their creativity through an astonishing array of aesthetic, artistic, sensorial and inspiring experiences: launches, workshops, courses and other initiatives related to olfaction and the ... (more)

Sophie brings news from the 8th "Rives de la Beauté" event taking place last week in Paris.

Best in Show: The Fragrances of Alberto MorillasBest in Show: The Fragrances of Alberto Morillas

Best in Show 09/04/16 04:20 (56 comments)

Few perfumers can boast as successful a career as Alberto Morillas . Spanning 4 decades of not just successful, but legendary creations, Morillas has given us some of the world's most iconic aromas. His first fragrance was 1981's Must de Cartier, EDT (eventually re-launched as Must II) and his most recent work includes collaborations with Bvlgari, Dali and Ferragamo. A native of Seville, Spain who moved to Switzerland at the age of 10, Morillas was ins... (more)

Our international writers discuss their favorites from the legendary perfumer, Alberto Morillas. What are yours?

El and Ella: The New Perfume Duo from Arquiste El and Ella: The New Perfume Duo from Arquiste

Niche Perfumery 08/26/16 06:26 (5 comments)

The French house Arquiste , founded by Mexico native Carlos Huber,  is unveiling a new fragrance duo called El and Ella this September. The collection of Arquiste aims to capture moments especially related to history and architecture, a second passion of the artist, and these two new fragrances plunge us into the year of 1978, on the dance floor of the vibrant Armando club in Acapulco. Carlos Huber, the creator of Arquiste ... (more)

The house of Arquiste plunges us into the 70s with two new fragrances, El and Ella, coming out this fall.

Galop d'Hermès: More on the Debut of New In-House Perfumer Christine NagelGalop d'Hermès: More on the Debut of New In-House Perfumer Christine Nagel

New Fragrances 08/23/16 06:52 (6 comments)

Hermès launched recently in its stores their new feminine fragrance , Galop , which will be distributed through their boutiques starting from September 2016. As we reported on the 1st of July this year, this is the first major Hermès perfume signed by Christine Nagel , who succeeds Jean-Claude Ellena as in-house perfumer of the classic French house. The creation is presented as an Extrait de Parfum , a high concentration which has i... (more)

A very nice trial run for Christine Nagel, which formalizes her debut as house perfumer at Hermès.

Best in Show: Gardenia Fragrances (2016)Best in Show: Gardenia Fragrances (2016)

Best in Show 08/14/16 06:53 (41 comments)

Behold the gardenia, the flower whose very name evokes the garden! This is actually where the name of Chanel's otherwise not faithful, not intending to be faithful,  Gardenia fragrance  derives from, tipping the hat as it does to the deco motifs of its jewelry from the 1920s. And who can blame them? Replicating a flower whose own fragrant oil is not practically cost-effective to extract (though it can be done at painstaking effort) results in a pleiad of fragrances that ... (more)

Our editors set themselves to task trying to pinpoint the best gardenia fragrances. What are your favorites?

Penhaligon's Trade Routes collection is expandedPenhaligon's Trade Routes collection is expanded

Niche Perfumery 08/09/16 09:10 (3 comments)

Penhaligon's launched in 2014 the Trade Route Collection, which honors the legendary roads of London's trade in the nineteenth century. A prestigious time for England, which saw its docks daily host commodities from the four corners of the world. The "very British" house unveils this month two new fragrances that will enrich this collection: Alizarin and Oud de Nile . Inspired by the luxurious and precious goods that were traded on the London docks, ... (more)

The English brand was inspired by a trip to the land of the Pharaohs to enrich its Trade Routes collection with two new editions this summer.

Perfume Choices for the French Perfume Choices for the French "14ème Juillet" Holiday

Columns 07/13/16 15:02 (7 comments)

July 14th is known to many outside of France as Bastille Day , but in France this date is called fête nationale or le 14 juillet . It's a double anniversary, the storming of the Bastille on July 14th 1789 and the Festival of the Federation on July 14th 1790, and it symbolizes the end of the Monarchy and the beginning of what is now called the French Republic. The French love to celebrate this day in a big way! First, there's the Bal du 14 juillet , a g... (more)

A small selection of fragrances in honor of Bastille Day, with the powdery, spicy carnation in the spotlight.

New from Le Galion: Sang BleuNew from Le Galion: Sang Bleu

Niche Perfumery 07/06/16 10:56

Le Galion , the sleeping beauty from the 30s that Nicolas Chabot revived from its ashes in 2014 , will unveil in September a new chapter in their collection , named Sang Bleu . The fragrance " inspired by open sensuality " , whose name evokes the nobility under the Ancien Régime , is described by the house as a musky chypre - citrus scent . Sang Bleu   se... (more)

The house of Le Galion will launch in September a new fragrance called Sang Bleu.

Tenue de Soirée; The New Perfume by Annick GoutalTenue de Soirée; The New Perfume by Annick Goutal

New Fragrances 07/05/16 14:10 (7 comments)

The French house of Annick Goutal will unveil in September 2016 a new fragrance , named Tenue de Soirée . For the occasion the brand has dressed this perfume, described as " a manifesto of olfactory boldness " and " a concentrate of impertinence " , in a new style . A bottle that breaks away from the usual design of the collection, colored  in violet and purple  and accompanied by a p... (more)

Annick Goutal will launch in September the brand new fragrance of the house, Tenue de Soirée

Discovery: The New French House Bdk ParisDiscovery: The New French House Bdk Paris

Niche Perfumery 07/04/16 17:35 (One comment)

Completely new on the market, the house Bdk Paris was launched at the end of June at the Liquides store in Paris, and subsequently at the Salon Tranoï event in Paris where it was introduced to professionals and visitors.   This independent house was born from the perfume passion  of the young David Benedek , a n interest that has its roots in his childhood when the young David spent a good amount of time in the Parisian ... (more)

Spotlight on a newcomer to the world of niche: BDK Paris.

Galop d'Hermès: The Next Big Women's FragranceGalop d'Hermès: The Next Big Women's Fragrance

New Fragrances 07/01/16 09:54 (22 comments)

The French luxury goods house founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermes, Hermes , presented to the press last Wednesday their next big fragrance for women , with the evocative name of the DNA of the brand: Galop . Photo credit: Flair A fragrance in which rose is blended with leather, poured in a bottle shaped as a stirrup, is very sophisticated and faithful to the spirit of the Hermès house. Galop d'Hermès not ... (more)

Hermes unveiled to the press its next big female launch, Galop d' Hermes, to be expected on the market in France in September.

News from the Salon Tranoï Event in ParisNews from the Salon Tranoï Event in Paris

Art Books Events 06/30/16 07:09

Four times a year during the Paris Fashion Week, and twice a year during New York Market Week, the TRANOÏ fashion trade show takes place with the aim to establish a relationship between creativity and business. TRANOÏ, which means “between us” in Italian, is an artistic platform that gathers and curates the very best of avant-garde and progressive designers as well as contemporary and leading brands, and puts them in the hands of the most influential player... (more)

Fragrantica visited the specialty fragrance trade show TRANOÏ Paris, located in the heart of the new venue Cité de la Mode et du Design.

The Fragrances That Triggered Our Love of PerfumeThe Fragrances That Triggered Our Love of Perfume

Columns 06/25/16 08:13 (104 comments)

They say, "Pleasure is the flower that passes, remembrance the lasting perfume." Actually it's Jean de Boufflers who said it, but we might as well borrow it. Ask any perfume lover and they can pinpoint exactly the moment they fell down the rabbit (or is it rabid?) hole of perfume eros. Remembrance comes without prompting in our case. We can recall who wore it, what we felt, how the weather was like...the point is a perfect symbios... (more)

"Pleasure is the flower that passes, remembrance the lasting perfume." Which scents triggered your own perfume fascination?

The Winners of the Olfactorama 2016 Event in ParisThe Winners of the Olfactorama 2016 Event in Paris

Art Books Events 06/20/16 10:23

Founded in 2012, L' Olfactorama is a French organization which aims to promote and defend quality perfumery. The association seeks to position fragrance as a form of artistic expression; a real aesthetic object , with both cultural and social elements. Last Friday, June 17th, the awards ceremony of the 2016 Olfactorama was held at the  Carreau du Temple in Paris, during the "Salon Alternative Fragrance & Beauty&... (more)

During the "Salon Alternative Fragrance & Beauty" in Paris, the 4th Olfactorama 2016 awards event was held in the Carreau du Temple.

Interview with Philippe Di Méo, founder of Liquides ImaginairesInterview with Philippe Di Méo, founder of Liquides Imaginaires

Interviews 06/07/16 11:07 (3 comments)

  On the occasion of his latest project, a film that pays tribute to perfume and puts pictures in the poem " Elevation " by Baudelaire, we met Philippe Di Meo, Liquides Imaginaires ' creator.   © Julien Benhamou   Sophie : Hello Philippe. You have worked in the luxury sector ever since you started (spirits, gastronomy, Baccarat crystal), how did you come to perfume? It all started with a... (more)

Meeting Philippe Di Méo, founder of Liquides Imaginaires: an opportunity to discuss his creative approach and what's new.

New: L'Homme Idéal Eau de ParfumNew: L'Homme Idéal Eau de Parfum

Fragrance Reviews 05/16/16 17:13 (4 comments)

Guerlain unveiled in 2014 its new male fragrance L’Homme Idéal in an eau de toilette version. A big launch for such a house is always a delicate exercise, since it is necessary to stay in line with its prestigious heritage, while at the same time seduce a younger audience, which in general is fed mostly commercial perfumes. In this sense, I found the new Homme Idéal rather successful! The aromatic oriental brings into the ... (more)

Guerlain has recently launched a new version of L'Homme Ideal in Eau de Parfum concentration.

The New Olfactory Jewel of Guerlain Rue Saint HonoréThe New Olfactory Jewel of Guerlain Rue Saint Honoré

Art Books Events 05/02/16 09:55 (2 comments)

Guerlain recently inaugurated a place exclusively dedicated to scent on Rue Saint-Honoré , close to its historic address. Last week, we were invited in small groups to discover this " temple of perfume" that pays tribute to the origin of the house. Therefore, the public does not find skin care or makeup in here (except nail varnishes and lipsticks exhaling the sillage of La Petite Robe ) , onl... (more)

Fragrantica offers a tour of the store "Guerlain Parfumeur", which opened in early February at 392 Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris.

Fifi Awards, France, 2016Fifi Awards, France, 2016

Art Books Events 04/16/16 08:22 (10 comments)

The annual Fifi awards of the Fragrance Foundation, France was held Thursday, April 14th at the glamorous Lido. An annual gathering of professionals from the French perfume world, this event brings together brands, perfumers, evaluators, journalists, bloggers, etc. Each year the Fragrance Foundation gives out approximately 15 awards for excellence in fragrance in all its forms - consumer, niche, boutique, retail, design. The milestone of the FIFI Awar... (more)

Winners included Chanel Misia, Gaultier Ultra Male, So Elixir Bois Sensuel from Yves Rocher, and many more!

Cierge de Lune: The Latest of Aedes de VenustasCierge de Lune: The Latest of Aedes de Venustas

Niche Perfumery 04/14/16 07:44 (2 comments)

During Esxence in Milan, the Aedes de Venustas house showed us a preview of their latest creation, Cierge de Lune . But on Thursday, April 7th, it was in Paris that the brand unveiled its new fragrance, in the middle of the white walls of niche perfume boutique Sens Unique, where perfumers, journalists and bloggers joined the event. It was a rather intimate launch, reflecting the cozy atmosphere of the shop, organised to present in detail this new edition of the collection composed by ... (more)

Thursday April 7th, Aedes de Venustas of New York presented its new vanilla fragrance, Cierge de Lune, at Sens Unique in Paris.

Fragrantica's French Editor Discusses Favorite Fragrances from Esxence 2016Fragrantica's French Editor Discusses Favorite Fragrances from Esxence 2016

Art Books Events 04/08/16 10:41 (5 comments)

If you are a parfumista, you might sometimes feel overwhelmed by the pace at which niche perfumery evolves - so Esxence might leave you puzzled. Not that this show is free of pretty things, on the contrary, it is difficult to find the right expression of emotion in this whirlwind of brands, concepts and innovations. Sometimes we wonder if niche perfumery has not reached a point of saturation that borders on excessive in this selective market. But rest assured, this abundance of ... (more)

Impressions of three days at Esxence 2016 in Milan.

Boy: The New Exclusif From ChanelBoy: The New Exclusif From Chanel

New Fragrances 04/02/16 02:21 (8 comments)

The arrival of a new Exclusif by Chanel is always an event in the fragrant blogosphere. Olivier Polge had already seduced us last year with Misia , an ode to Coco's friend and muse Misia Sert, whose femininity is expressed through a " lipstick " accord with notes of rose and violet . The new opus in the Les Exclusifs line ... (more)

Chanel unveiled their newest opus of "Les Exclusifs", a scent that honors the designer's great love.

Mentha Reliogiosa, the New Perfume from Dear RoseMentha Reliogiosa, the New Perfume from Dear Rose

Niche Perfumery 03/27/16 09:06 (4 comments)

Night-blooming jasmine that inspired the perfume White Song in 2015 . I discovered the house Dear Rose a year and a half ago. Created by Chantal Roos and her daughter Alexandra, it features a mostly female universe. Composed of perfumes with evocative names of songs, Perfume Voices is the first collection of the brand and marries the expertise of Roos, famous for working with YSL Opium, Kouros among others, to the passion music. Within this first colle... (more)

"Mentha Religiosa is an intriguing fragrance which blows hot and cold and is seductive with a haughty edge, devouring and dangerous if one is not careful, like a praying mantis."

Réminiscence Rem L'AquaRéminiscence Rem L'Aqua

New Fragrances 03/16/16 10:03

Rem , the solar elixir of Réminiscence , is introduced in a cologne version for the summer. Created in 1996 and repeatedly imitated, the original transported us to a tropical beach, feet in the sand, gazing at the turquoise blue ocean . A vacation fragrance dressed in the sweet charm of white flowers and enriched with emphasized salicylates, those small molecules whose scent evokes the idea of ... (more)

The new flanker of Rem by Réminiscence is reinvented in an "eau fraîche" for the summer, which highlights iodized notes.

Olfactorama, Partner of Salon Alternative Fragrance & Beauty in ParisOlfactorama, Partner of Salon Alternative Fragrance & Beauty in Paris

Art Books Events 03/15/16 00:16

  Founded in 2012, L' Olfactorama aims to promote and defend quality perfumery. The association seeks to position fragrance as a form of artistic expression, a real aesthetic object , with both cultural and social elements. For its 4th edition, the Olfactorama returns to reveal the best perfume of 2015. This independent and demanding voice is based again on the  olfactory approach of choosing th... (more)

Olfactorama, the yearly French event awarding a best perfume prize, will be part of the Salon Alternative Fragrance & Beauty, to be held at Carreau du Temple, Paris, from June 16-18.

Givaudan Presents a Book in Paris on Their 250 Year Long HistoryGivaudan Presents a Book in Paris on Their 250 Year Long History

Art Books Events 02/29/16 13:25 (7 comments)

Givaudan will launch on March 22nd the book Givaudan, une odyssée des arômes et des parfums which traces its 250 years of rich history. As a world tour of odors and flavors, this book focuses on the know-how of this global leader in perfumery and flavors.       Givaudan was founded as a perfumery company in 1895 in Zurich, Switzerland by Leon and Xavier Givaudan, although some parts of the modern company date back as far as... (more)

Givaudan's book on their 250-year history: "An Odyssey of Flavours and Perfumes” is presented in Paris.

L'Ile Pourpre, The New Perfume of Liquides ImaginairesL'Ile Pourpre, The New Perfume of Liquides Imaginaires

Niche Perfumery 02/23/16 14:13 (4 comments)

On February 15th, the french niche brand Liquides Imaginaires  launched the first opus of its new trilogy, Les Eaux Imaginaires. The press event was hosted at the Maison Victor Hugo in Paris, during the exhibition Eros Hugo . An original idea that echoes to this new fragrance, L’Ile Pourpre , which features a dark, carnal and forbidden fruit. The challenge for Philippe Di Méo, the founder of the brand, was to create a fruit that would refl... (more)

The french house Liquides Imaginaires has imagined a new trilogy, Les Eaux Imaginaires, of which the first fragrance is L'Ile Pourpre.


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