Luxury fragrance and spirits have come together in a magical union that is Maison Psyché.
Rémy Cointreau, the renowned spirits company, has taken a bold step in creating a luxurious perfume house that redefines the art of perfumery. The origin of Maison Psyché began when Eric Vallat, the CEO of Rémy Cointreau, had a hunch to enhance the aroma and refinement of a perfume by allowing it to mature in an oak barrel.
With Baptiste Loiseau, Cellar Master of Louis XIII, the revered keeper of the legend, and Sophie Labbé’s (Principal Perfumer at Firmenich) extensive portfolio of 120 fragrances, the first collection of Maison Psyché is the product of experimentation of two creative geniuses who developed an amazing discovery during the pandemic. A project that had been kept secret even from their colleagues until the birth of a remarkable end-product that was finally ready to take on the world of luxury fragrances.
As a seasoned expert in the cosmetic and fragrance industry, Francesco Riosa was brought on as the CEO at Maison Psyché. Prior to this, he held positions at the L’Oréal luxury division in Paris, working with the Giorgio Armani perfume team, as well as at Christian Dior and Prada for their perfumes. In March 2021, he transitioned to Rémy Cointreau Group to spearhead the development and launch of Maison Psyché, an exceptional new brand that marks uncharted territory for the company.
“The creation of Maison Psyché is the fulfilment of a wonderful dream. The dream of reinventing La Grande Parfumerie in the 21st century and restoring its prestige by connecting it to the traditional and time-honoured expertise of exceptional spirits,” shares Francesco.
Their shared love for terroirs and age-old expertise in cognac, perfumes, and beyond has led to the birth of five exceptional olfactory creations that make up the first Maison Psyché collection, with only the best ingredients scoured from the earth: Alexanor (bergamot from Calabria), Belle-Dame (roses from Grasse), Alcyone (Indian Jasminum grandiflorum), Hamadryas (Madagascar bourbon vanilla) and Nymphalis (patchouli from Indonesia).
But what sets these fragrances apart from the rest is the time spent in oak casks specially designed by Seguin Moreau, whose expertise as coopers has been recognised for almost two centuries. The Maison Psyché parfums are shaped by the mastery of time and the wood derived from old cognac casks used to reveal the essence of the materials. What is eventually unveiled is the journey undertaken by the exceptional raw ingredients in the creation of new fragrances whose longevity on the skin and olfactory richness are unparalleled.
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These fragrances are housed in genuine collection pieces made of Baccarat crystal and adorned in gold – some even with diamonds, thus the starting price of €5,500 (RM25,792) a bottle. They are numbered and only available in very limited quantities; with only 200 bottles per scent, where in-person discovery of the perfumes is reserved for an exclusive clientele on a confidential basis. The revelation of the fragrances will be an incredible experience that only a select few would have the privilege of enjoying in locations around the world that are kept secret from clients until the unveiling.
Maison Psyché is not just about the blending and ageing expertise specific to the world of spirits. It is a bridge between two worlds, that of luxury fragrance and that of spirits, and a bold venture with terroirs, people, and time at its very heart.
The founding myth of Cupid and Psyché inspired Maison Psyché, and it embodies the metamorphosis that the maison has achieved with its fragrances. The butterfly, traditionally depicted with butterfly wings, a symbol of the soul and the metamorphosis towards eternal happiness, has been chosen as the symbol of the perfume house. With Maison Psyché, the art of perfumery has been taken to new heights, and the world of luxury fragrance will never be the same again.
Perfume enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that Maison Psyché also makes its debut in Malaysia and Singapore this month as it makes its way around selected locations around the world.
This story first appeared in Prestige Malaysia’s March 2023 issue. Pick up a copy in store or subscribe on Magzter.