Queen Margot

 

 

The Queen Margot, made famous by the novel that Alexandre Dumas wrote about her, was born Marguerite de Valois, in 1553.

Her image is that of a very beautiful and highly cultured woman, as can been seen by her memoirs and various poems that she wrote.  

The Queen was always faithful to classical scents of ambergris and musk that accompanied potent jasmine. These three very expensive scents were regularly ordered by Marguerite from her Parisian supplier.

Like her mother, Catherine de Medicis, she carried on the elegant traditions of the royal houses by writing on perfumed paper bearing her coat of arms.  

Many witnesses of the time spoke of her charms and of the elegance of her perfumes, either to praise her or to shower abuse on her giving her the reputation of a « femme fatale » such as Alexandre Dumas depicted in his novel. 

It is thanks to research done by Janine Garrison that Nicolas de Barry managed to re-create this perfume worn by this exceptional queen.  

Janine Garrison has spent many years in the National Archives studying this Queen and in particular the accountancy of the House of the Queen of Navarre. In these accounts appear orders at regular dates, for the following articles : musk, ambergris and jasmine. As a woman of the Renaissance Period, and as a creative woman   (fashion, poetry…), Marguerite prepared the perfumed ointments herself using these precious raw materials.

 

In order to re-create Marguerite's perfume in a more contemporary version, Nicolas de Barry had to reconstitute or imitate certain elements that no longer exist on the market like  jasmine essence obtained by ancient cold extraction methods or natural musk.

With these three reconstituted elements, the harmony of the accord jasmine/ ambergris/ musk recognisable, with a dominant note of fresh smelling jasmine, softened by the presence of ambergris and almost  honeyed and « spiced » sensual musk. 

Marguerite de Valois, rediscovered perfume, the "Reine Margot", leaves a lingering scent of jasmine that Brentôme loved so much; and Dumas transformed into:  Margot a "femme fatale"...