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The story of Fleur d' Elena

Fleur d' Elena is the latest EDP by artisan perfumer Samuel Gravan. In this article, Samuel shares his inspiration behind the scent and the process by which it is made.

This scent is an interesting one, as the design aims to evoke a person rather than a place or experience. In fact, the perfume is very much a tribute to my first perfume tutor, Eva.

Eva opened my mind into perfumery, she inspired me to push the boundaries, to dream big and to take creative risks. She was not always my perfume tutor, she was originally in fact my neighbour.

I used to go to her house after school some afternoons, she would cook and take care of my brothers and I while my parents were at work.

I was always a curious kid, and one day at Eva’s house I came across a drawer full of old-fashioned bottles with homemade tinctures inside. At first I had no idea what they were - but they smelt nice and I wanted to know more about how they were made. My curiosity developed into a passion for perfume creation, and Eva eventually agreed to teach me the fundamentals. She had a strong understanding of the foundations of perfumery. Those informal lessons in my teens had a big influence on my decision to pursue perfumery professionally in later years.

I decided to name this perfume Fleur d’ Elena after the influence Eva had on my perfumery. Eva to me was an illuminating force, and in Greek, Elena means a torch, or a bright light.

Despite being a floral perfume, my vision was to create a light, bright scent with some fresh notes - but I also wanted the drydown to stay fresh and clean on the skin. I opted out of heavy base notes such as patchouli, vetiver or sandalwood. Instead I used santalol, an isolate of sandalwood, which is of a smooth, clean, woody character. Using isolates in this scent was also a change for me, as I was previously more focused on using essential oils for body and character. In this perfume, the scent had to bounce off the skin and project, so I chose to use lighter fresher isolates extracted from natural sources.


The scent opens with a vibrant citrus burst - a stunning accord of clementine and Tunisian neroli, similar to the scratching of the skin of the pink grapefruit – zesty and effervescent. The opening is not sweet but more on the crisp side, the bitter citrus nuances add dimension.

As the scent develops on the skin, a bouquet of white flowers really comes to life. There is quite a bit happening, with complex white florals blending effortlessly with the rose absolute and jasmine notes to create something quite intricate and refined. The addition of ambrette seed and olibanum add complexity and contribute to its sensual nature.

The true core of Fleur d’ Elena is its white floral notes. Waxy gardenia absolute, tropical frangipani-type notes, as well as ylang. One thing to note is that the ylang is of a fractionated nature – this removes the heaviness and makes it more crisp and top note-like, for some it is barely detectable, it compliments the florals in this scent. This scent is long lasting because of the addition of hedione and cashmeran ( two synthetics used in trace amounts) to add longevity and projection. For those familiar with my work, I use a minimum of 95% naturals as I find the smallest amount of synthetics strategically placed will add lift to a scent. Some essential oils can also be cloying and heavy on the skin, this perfume projects just enough to create a delicate aura for the wearer.

The blend is elegant, chic and wears effortlessly, with a certain joyfulness that lingers with time.

Explore the Fleur d'Elena EDP range or order a 2ml sample as part of Samuel's EDP Discovery Set


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