Baudelaire was one of the most extreme poets of the 19th century. He wrote a famous book of poetry called Les Fleurs de Mal (Flowers of Evil). He was considered an exceptional eccentric who dyed his hair green (long before it was fashionable) wore winter clothes in summer and summer clothes in winter and he had a half French half Haitian mistress named Jeanne DuVal who was the subject of much of his poetry. She was supposed to have been very tall and striking looking, and was such an eye catching woman that Manet painted her picture. She was devoted to Baudelaire and he to her, and he proudly brought her around to all of the meetings of the members of the “set” and she was a great favorite among the boulavadriers. Alas, she suffered from very bad health and was a victim of syphilis at the time Manet painted her. She was going blind from the disease, and it was suspected that her central nervous system was impaired as her reclining posture makes her look a lot like a doll which has been cast aside. One of Baudelaire’s most ardent poems to her was Parfume Exotique.
There should be a grand perfume to commemorate a woman who could enthrall a man like Baudelaire, and do it for decades despite social norms and bad health. She must have been remarkable. So we composed a remarkable perfume in her honor.
This is a tremendously complex formula that includes five ambers (two golden, one dry, one sweet, and one we call Black Amber), add to that African Musk, a drop of aged sweet patchouli, a nice swath of labdanum, a large part of a very, very dry and somewhat woody Bourbon vanilla, a bit of sandalwood, and just the right amount of Haitian vetiver. This is a wonderfully resinous perfume, with tremendous staying power, infinite sexuality, and amazing balance. Woody in part, spicy in part, resinous always.