Mūre et Musc
Mūre et Musc
40 YEARS OF AN ICON
Jean-Claude Ellena, a long-time friend and exceptional perfumer, tells their story.
All alone in his small improvised laboratory at the back of a Parisian boutique on Rue de Grenelle, Jean Laporte was inspired to create a white musk and blackberry accord. A short and transparent formula, greatly modern in its simplicity. It now needed to be dressed, structured and brought to life in a fragrance.
And so, he went off to Grasse to meet a trio of young perfumers who were very much in vogue, Jean-Claude Ellena, Lucien Ferrero, and Jean-Claude Gigodot. Jean-Claude Ellena remembers their first conversation: "the scent is beautiful and tender, but it doesn't diffuse beyond the bottle! What can I do?"
The blackberry component was clear, but Jean-Claude Ellena felt that this beautiful intention needed a hook, a preface, something that the creative perfumer called a head note. "I advised him to use a blend of citrus, combined with tarragon and a hint of lavender. And then as a base, oak moss. We carried out several trials before finding the right combination. He went away with a handful of samples, and chose one", the perfumer recalls.
If Mūre et Musc is so addictive today, it's because its soft cotton red fruit notes blend in perfectly with the top layer of the skin. "A second skin" for some, "more than a perfume" for others.
Soon, this citrus fruit that overflows with sun took its place in the practices of the Greeks, the Romans and the Arabs who became fascinated by its therapeutic properties. Recognized in the writings of the Roman botanist Pliny the Elder, as well as the Persian physician Avicienna, lemons also became a symbol of perfection and beauty for the Hebrews. In Mūre et Musc, lemons were selected for their freshness and their acidity, aromas that bring sun to their iconic juice.
Abundant in the mountains of Europe, America and Australia, blackberries are known for their medicinal properties and for their gourmandise in cooking. This wild and juicy berry is also tied to Greek mythology telling that blackberry bushes are native to the blood shed by Titans fighting the Gods. Fresh, this rosacea reveals tart-sweet flavours. Cooked, it reveals gourmet aromas of caramel.
However, blackberry extract does not exist in perfumery, Jean Laporte created it by blending a molecule often found in flavoured foods, reminiscent of the coveting warmth of cooked raspberries, with a blackcurrant note. The illusion is perfect: one can almost see, smell and touch 'blackberry'.
Natural musk is a rare and controversial substance that comes from the abdominal glands of the Musk Deer, a specie native of Siberia and the Himalayas. Natural musk is especially demanded in its liquid form for its aphrodisiac properties and its powerful flavours. Threatened of extinction, musk deers have been protected species for many years from hunting and breeding.
It is at the beginning of the 20th century that the chemist Lavoslav Ruzicka created "white musk", a chemical molecule as powerful, animal and stirring that its natural form. While musk was long synonymous of virility for its woody scent, women found their identity in the sensual and mysterious accords of the molecule.
White musks exist in several forms - some stand out for their amber accord, others for their powdery and red fruit facets. In Mūre et Musc, Jean Laporte selected the suave and hypnotic facet of white musks to charm us at each encounter with this atypical Eau de Parfum.