In these early days of the new year it seems like lavender is going to be one of the keynotes for the coming spring. Anything that can take some of the space from rose after rose is welcome to me. Because of my proximity to a lavender farm I am getting a wider knowledge of all this multi-faceted ingredient offers. One of the things I have noticed when out at the farm is while the lavender is still on the plant there is a freshness to it. This isn’t usually the way a perfumer chooses to interpret it most of the time. Which is why Jovoy 21 Conduit St. stands out.
Jovoy owner and creative director Francois Henin has been expanding from his Paris store. One of those is to London in Mayfair. The name of the perfume is the address of that store. Oli Marlow is part of the staff at the store. He had been working for a while on his own lavender accord which captured that brightness I was speaking of. When he showed it to M. Henin they decided to flesh it out into a fully formed perfume. to help with that perfumer Marie Schnirer would collaborate with Mr. Marlow to create 21 Conduit St.
I don’t have any way of knowing this, but I suspect that the accord that Mr. Marlow showed M. Henin was what I sensed at the top. Where Mme Schnirer’s hand might be seen is in the latter stages where a woody liqueur forms to match it.
If you were going to harness the brightness of lavender, it makes sense to surround it with citrus. That is what the opening moments of the perfume do. Grapefruit and orange add that typical sunny quality that they are known for. Where this turns is rhubarb and pine are used to further give lift and light. The rhubarb already has the grapefruit-like part down. What it also imparts is a green vegetal piece. This is what the pine resonates with, creating a spring fresh breeze over the lavender. If I am right this early going is why Mr. Marlow caught the nose of M. Henin. The remainder of the development goes in an unexpected direction as an amaretto accord creates a syrupy boozy almond which vetiver and ambroxan add themselves to. This forms an accord which made me think of a liqueur I would never want to drink but I would like to smell like. It is also notable for the balance of the ambroxan in not letting it become monolithic and boring.
21 Conduit St. has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage.
I am probably simplifying the pieces of who did what in composing this. What I don’t want to get lost in my amateurish need to pick things apart is how good this is. It moves through its two phases wonderfully. I know I’ll be writing about many more lavender perfumes over the next few weeks. There will not be many better than this one.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample I purchased.