L’Artisan Parfumeur is the quintessential “niche” house. Its expense, its packaging, its unisexness, its hard-to-get-ness, its French-ness, its cutting edge-ness (really?), all set it apart as a special milestone in our contemporary scent style availability scene.
It’s also the first non-department store perfume house I discovered. It’s probably the model every small house out there tries to follow and wishes to become. Last week I was in a scent shop talking with its owner who’s a buddy. He said Molinard had been in lately trying to get him to carry their line. “What’s their new thing?,” he asked. “Two hundred dollar Lalique bottles? That’s their new revival gimmick?” I said they’re one of my favorite low-level old house makers, and they’ve probably sat by and watched L’Artisan skyrocket, carving out a prestige corner of the market, getting all the fashionable attention, and Molinard management slapped themselves and said damn-that-should-be-us! Now they’re trying to get in the prestige brand artisanal scent corner. Nice mod, colorful, sample paper clips too. Let’s market to get some L’Artisan chic, they must be saying. “They’re too late,” said my friend the scent shop owner.
The beauty of this house referendum is that everyone can contribute. Some can do two sentence reviews of L’Artisan stuff, and some can do twenty paragraphs on one scent. The house has a few dozen scents for sale, but has discontinued a good number in its short history. Some members can review those discontinued ones and give us a sense of what we’re missing. Or not missing. Nothing, or no post, needs to be perfect or definitive either.