Marie Antoinette, the infamous young queen of France -- initially loved by the people for her charm and beauty, she became an international symbol of decadent luxury. Naturally her court had a royal perfumer, Jean-Louis Fargeon, and, naturally, he created an opulent, no-expenses-spared fragrance exclusively for her. Inspired by her rose-filled garden at Le Petit Trianon, this mysterious concoction was kept in a black jade flask which the queen kept with her at all times. Luckily for us, the perfumer had a young apprentice, Pierre Lubin, who paid closer attention to the formula for this elixir than perhaps he should have. Known in the House of Lubin for years as “jardin secret”, the formula has been newly revived with the help of one of Marie's black jade bottles that had been hidden away by a confidante. Fittingly, it is now known as Black Jade.
Yes, yes, you say, thanks for the history lesson and all, but what is the juice itself like? Rich. Seductive. Alluring. As deliciously extravagant as you would expect from a queen notorious for her lavish tastes. This was a tribute to her beloved garden, so of course there are flowers, but this is no simple, country garden. These are flowers for royalty. Lush, satiny roses and frilly jasmine are embroidered with cardamom and cinnamon and exotic incense, then layered over a velvety base of patchouli, tonka bean, vanilla and amber. The opening is surprisingly cool and spicy, then as the floral heart opens and the roses bloom, it becomes warm and enticing and compelling. Exquisitely confident and unapologetically luxurious.