The story behind Sfumato...

To understand how this eau de parfum was born, we have to go back to 1994. I am a fine arts student at Bishop's University in Lennoxville in the Eastern Townships. I then discovered the artistic movements of the different eras and literally fell under the spell of the Italian masters. I am passionate about the methods of manufacturing paint and pigments from that time and am impressed by all these ancestral processes. (At La Grange, this spirit of old-fashioned crafting has stayed with me...) 

Under the spell of Italy's arts and culture, I signed up for Italian language lessons with Professor Gianni di Lullo, a true film connoisseur! He introduced us to his favorite directors, including Nanni Moretti, and if today I'm riding a "Vino" (Vespa-style moped) on the Chemin des Pères, it's a nod to the film «Caro diario» watched in class at that time.

Then begins in my heart the dream of visiting Italy one day and possibly carrying out an artistic project there in ode to the beauty and richness of this country which inspires me deeply. The years go by, I continue my Italian lessons and my path in creation…

Then in 2003, I went on a trip and visited Milan! I came back firmly decided to apply for an artist residency in Florence with a creative project around an outdoor fresco using the egg tempera technique, which unfortunately was not selected.

Back in the Eastern Townships in 2010, one day, I meet the talented painter Alexi Martin Courtemanche, who works according to the pictorial technique of sfumato, as perfected by the great master Leonardo da Vinci. His paintings capture a vaporous atmosphere imbued with immense beauty. Invited to a vernissage at his studio in 2015, I had the idea of ​​offering him a sample of a perfume I had just composed and which I called "Sfumato" to evoke this Renaissance technique using smoky notes.

It is also the year of the great departure of my Italian teacher Gianni di Lullo.

This first Sfumato esquisse will be the first version of an evolving series on a theme that fascinates me. Because the art of perfume comes with variations, as did the great masters in painting when they worked on a theme that inspired them by making numerous preparatory drawings and test canvases, before arriving at the final result.

I felt like I shouldn't give up on the rigor of the work required to further perfect these evolving versions of the Sfumato.

The years pass, then one day, I received the visit of the talented pianist and composer Alain Lefèvre, a great lover of perfumes since always. That day, excited by our meeting, I went furtively into my lab, added some notes, which I assembled on one of my sketches of the Sfumato and gave him a small sample before his departure, which enchanted him and gave me confidence.

Then in 2019, Wonny Song, general and artistic director of Orford Musique, offered me a carte blanche to create an olfactory work which would be exhibited in the central pavilion on the theme of Italy, in tribute to the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonard de Vinci... My heart stopped for a fraction of a second! I understood that this was the art project on Italy that I had been hoping for so much. I had the ability to align all my keywords. Those who connect me to my art and which keep me out of the water when the creative process is more fragile and doubt assails me. The narration of this perfume roots me and connects me to everything that makes me vibrate.

This is how I began the journey of the final rewriting of this composition for the olfactory art installation Sfumato Invisibile. The project took me to Italy, mostly to Florence, Vinci, then on the roads of Chianti, in search of historical clues, ancient smells and to participate in the extraction of the iris pallida, the blue gold in perfumery. A raw material that I wanted to dedicate in the most beautiful way to the woman behind the portrait of the Mona Lisa. It was a larger than life adventure, in every way that Eric, my husband, immortalized through a short film on the artistic process which was a Florence Films Awards finalist in 2019, then presented as part of the Film Festival on Art (FIFA) at a special event. (It was at FIFA that I met my husband more than 15 years ago...)

Sfumato was launched in 2019 as the result of the evolution of more than 200 preparatory olfactory sketches made over almost 4 years, to give life to the art exhibition SFUMATO INVISIBILE, then an eau de parfum which made its debut this year, at the cellar of the contemporary collections of the Osmothèque de Versailles (the International Archive of Perfumes in France).

As you read these lines, the Sfumato eau de parfum (2019) is on display in Milan, Italy at Esxence, as part of the “Omaggio all’Italia, terra di profumi” exhibition by the Versailles International archive of perfumery (Osmothèque). It is found alongside several great perfumes from history evoking Italy, presented on a timeline.

The quest for Sfumato in its aura of mystery, is made of the most beautiful encounters. Those that are sometimes fortuitous, those that mark forever, those that give birth to a beautiful friendship and those that inspire beauty.

I would like to thank all the people who have been part of this fragrant adventure from near or far and who have allowed me to follow this great dream. Grazie mille !!