Eight edition of weekly column: “He says, she says”! He: Jakub and She: Aleksandra of Persefume — two people, two genders, two opinions, both valuable, both sincere. Sometimes similar, sometimes contrasting — we test without checking each other’s impressions. Choose what fits you better. Write your own part in comments.

This time we cover brand from Switzerland: Richard Lüscher Britos – created by three passionates with mission of capturing scents from the most fascinating places on Earth. Line is still relatively unknown apart of very devoted perfumistas, but it is the high time to change it!

From the left: Malvin Richard, Serena Britos, Lukas Lüscher – brand founders

Richard Lüscher Britos TERROIR NATURAL PERFUMES are handcrafted, fair-trade, 100% natural (75% of the components are organic and free of synthetic additives) and created with idea of transparency, with indication of ingredients’ origins, the wayhow they are selected and harvested as well as the names of the perfumers.

We traveled around the world in search of special places with exceptional fragrances: the Terroirs. The “Terroir” is the soul of our perfumes. Its ingredients are born out of the interaction between climate, soil, landscape and local culture. These elements, when combined, portray something bigger than the sum of its parts: a unique place with a unique personality and character. This is what you will find in our flacons.


Let us focus on five chapters of TERROIR PERFUMES:


46°N 08°E – Switzerland – Swiss Pine (perfumer: Jean-Claude Gigodot)

Accord I – Tough
High up in the steep and windy mountains of Val d’Anniviers (2000 m), where the winters are long and snowy, Swiss Pines dominate the landscape. These majestic coniferous trees, which can reach 1,000 years of age, are moulded by weather into a variety of impressive shapes. In the summer, amongst blue gentians and gurgling mountain streams, their sun-warmed needles release a wonderfully fresh and aromatic perfume.
Accord II – Mates
Despite its strength and durability, the Pine needs a partner: the Nutcracker, a raven-like bird with dark brown, white spotted feathers. Those animals are essential to the Pine’s survival. During the summer they collect thousands of pine seeds and bury them elsewhere as winter stockpile. Thus, young pine trees can grow from forgotten, sometimes inaccessible hiding places (rock outcroppings or above the tree line). The lichens that grow on the bark also protect the pine trees from diseases.
Accord III – Gentle
A thick blanket of snow covers the mountain pastures and the tree branches; marmots are hibernating, migrating birds have flown south. The remote villages of the Val d’Anniviers are silent. The evenings are spent in the parlour, where the soothing, warm, and resinous smell of pine furniture mixes with the smoky scent of the lit fireplace

He — Very foresty, green, with amazing pine note and airy, cold feeling. Essential pine oil dominates this quite linear composition. You can smell the quality of ingredients, however I have one major problem with this scent: longevity. It just stayed on my skin for few hours, but this time was beautiful indeed.

She — 46N08E lays on the Swiss-Italian border, very close to some ski resorts, national parks and definitely in the mountains. It smells of northern green forest, full of fresh air and conifers bursting with sap. The forest does not always smell this way — it is to high and too cold for it. But there are a few long days during the summer when the sun scorches the earth and valiant trees, or perhaps bushes — that is when they sweat with golden, sticky vapour. I really love this perfume – it reminds me of my homeland forests, maybe not so coniferous but northern still. I feel the note I love so much in the scent of Baltic dunes in September: it is round, sweet, aromatic and mature. It is also reminiscent of my long-gone trips to the Polish high mountains, Tatras, which are very Alpine in character. I miss the purity of those places. In the end I feel the warmth of fireplace after a tough day in the mountains. Nothing is sweeter.

14°S 48°E – Madacascar – Ylang Ylang (perfumer: Vero Kern)

Accord I – Costal Juwel
Ylang Ylang, also called the “flower of flowers”, finds an excellent terroir in Ambanja (northern Madagascar), thanks to the region’s warm and humid equatorial climate, sandy beaches, volcanic soil, and the sandy bottom of the river Sambirano. Throughout the year, these large, greenish-yellow flowers unfold their stunning, floral, and slightly spicy aroma on the evergreen trees of the tropical rain forest. The precious essential oil obtained from these generous plants is a true extract of joy of life and sensuality.
Accord II – Biodiversity Hotspot
Madagascar is known for its incredible biodiversity. Because of the island’s long geographical isolation, its plants and animals are unique. But Madagascar is also a melting pot of cultures, some of which imported new plants. Thus, the oriental bouquet of the Ambanja forests, dominated by ylang ylang flowers and the peppery pods of pink peppercorn, is perfectly rounded by the delicate, bitter and fruity-fresh mandarin note.
Accord III – Natural Richness
Near the modest houses of the small Ambanja farmers, we discover a patchwork of plants: some are destined for personal use and the local market, while other crops, such as cocoa, vanilla, and vetiver, are meant for export. Such diversity ensures the ecosystem’s stability and a better income for the farmers. The whole area is enveloped by the fragrance of the open-air fermentation of vanilla pods, the balsamic aroma of vetiver distillation and the nutty gourmet note of roasted corn.

He — It is Vero Kern’s scent, so basically means it has to be good! I just adore Vero’s talent and personality and both are well reflected in this amazing, lush fragrance evoking smell of tropical rainforest. Very realistic ylang-ylang note combined with pink peppercorn is laid on warm, comforting base of vetiver and vanilla creating sensual, elegant and pure masterpiece.

She — 14S48E is an ode to Madagascar ylang ylang. What a world it is! Look at the earth view, there are rivers looking like trees and forests shaped like bacteria colonies. It must be the most living place on Earth! The scent itself starts off slightly minty and peppery, and then the yellow flower blooms – and as always with ylang ylang soliflore there is not much to be done here, as the perfume of this plant is so wonderfully complex.
My skin is rather dry so I often breathe on the scent to make it explode. This one here is a real shape-changer. Underneath the well known ylang complex lies a potent mix of raw, somewhat brutal vanilla and very juicy mandarin. The base makes this perfume darker than I would expect, I even feel slightly mouldy note, a silent reminder of death, which always comes together with life. Great effort.

04°N 74°W – Columbia – Gardenia (nose: Jean-Claude Richard)

Accord I – Floral Purity
No one forgets the first time they smell the powdery-warm, sweetish scent of a gardenia. These flowers love heat and humidity, and found their perfect terroir in the hills of Fusagasuga, where the cold air of the Andean plateau meets the warm air rising from the rain forests.
Accord II – Tropical Garden
In crisis-torn Colombia blooms a unique explosion of colours and scents – a Paradise Garden. Among various shades of green, tropical flowers adopt every imaginable colour and shapes. Orchids, roses, lilies, and hyacinths create a unique floral bouquet of honey-sweet, vanilla-like and fresh leaves aromas.
Accord III – Dancing in Colombia
Botero devoted one of his paintings, “Dancing in Colombia”, to the lively Colombian coffee houses, with their spirited music, passionate dancers, and the sweet, fruity aroma of coffee.

He — Tropics again, but created in slightly different way by Mr Richard, father of Malvin – one of brand’s co-founders. Here the accent is put on green and distant gardenia note matched with contrasting notes of exotic flowers and hint of coffee note – aroma instantly associated with Columbia. Far journey in the bottle, bravo! Just again wish it could stay longer, but we need to remember that all TERROIR PERFUMES are completely natural.

She — 04N74W is Terra Incognita for me – google maps show a green, mounty area in a National Park Sumapaz in Columbia. I never even imagined such a place, so the perfume is a total surprise. First of all it smells rich, like a lava of earthly goods and sweets. I feel almost crushed by the avalanche of aromas. The scent dances fiercely on skin, scattering lights, looks ad smiles around. Everything is hot, strong and vivid here: the flowers, the spices, the coffee. In some point it even seems edible, but I would not trust this joyful concoction, it may occur highly poisonous! An alien beauty at its best.

38°N 16°E – Italy – Bergamot (nose: Jean-Claude Richard)

Accord I – The Golden Fruit
With its fresh yet flowery-sweet scent, bergamot oil (extracted from the rinds of the bright yellow citrus fruit) is one of the finest fragrances in the world. The locals told us that bergamot trees grow only on lands from which Mount Etna can be seen – and judging from the maps, this is no legend: the trees grow exclusively on a 150 km long strip of land on the Ionic coast, in the province of Reggio Calabria. The golden fruit’s special scent has been valued for centuries and its essence was used in precious perfumes such as the legendary Eau de Cologne 4711.
Accord II – Traditions
As the sun grows warmer, the bergamot trees blossom in all their splendour, bewitching the southern tip of Calabria with their honey-sweet fragrance. The cultivation of citrus fruits is a family business, passed on from father to son. The atmosphere is dripping with tradition, knowledge of the land, good cooking, and dolce vita.
Accord III – Hidden Characters
In the small villages of the bergamot-growing region, many immigrants find a new home, bringing new influences with them. In a bar or at the market, local people mingle with Sikhs from Pakistan wearing colourful, intricately tied turbans and long beards. In this combination of cultures and smells, Eastern food, sandalwood and incense mix up with the pervasive scent of bergamot.

He — If Calabria, it means just one thing: Calabrian Bergamot. Here combined with woods and incense, but still it is very bright, delicate and citrusy feeling with slightly retro aura. Enjoyable.

She — The region closest to 38N16E is Calabria. What’s there in Calabria, guys? A lemon? Nooo. An apple? Whaat? Nooo. It must be bergamot then! And it is. Wearing it during last summer was a beautiful experience — it is embarrassingly naive, natural and cheerful. Imagine the world where the Mediterranean Sea is only “the blue pool in the old garden” and forget about the next line of Robinson Jeffers poem (“more than five thousand years has drunk sacrifice Of ships and blood”) and all the horrors happening there now. This is the divine bergamot, living in a place of no death, no decay. The speck of honey adds warmer tone to this uncomplicated beauty. I can only wish it could last longer on my skin.

44°N 03°E – France – Wild Mountain Lavender (nose: Andy Tauer)

Accord I – Intense Violet
The purple patchwork on the otherwise barren highlands of Causse Méjean (southern France) can be seen even from afar. As we move closer, we discover thousands of tufts of wild mountain lavender. The sun, wind and abrupt temperature changes are responsible for its incredibly fruity, fresh, and at the same time herbal-floral perfume.
Accord II – Mystic Wilderness
Wild sheep graze among the wild lavender in this lunar landscape – hilly, rocky and magical. A few black pines are proudly outlined against the horizon, while millions of bees pollinate the aromatic plants that escaped the sheep’s teeth. The spicy aroma of pine resin mingles with the sweetish perfume of mountain lavender and the green, fruity scent of juniper.
Accord III – Authenticity
Once the sun reaches its zenith and the wind carries the hot, marine air to Causse Méjean, it is time to stop harvesting the wild mountain lavender. The small sickles are put away, the collecting blankets are spread on the ground .The all-female pickers, shaped by life and hard work, share the latest news from the surrounding villages and philosophize about life. Homemade chestnut ice creams are passed around and offered to the passing shepherd. The chestnuts, glazed with sugar and vanilla, have a delicate and exotic flavour as they melt in your mouth.

He — Another fragrance by another iconic perfumer: Andy Tauer. Here Mr. Tauer used his signature style to create lavender-centred perfume. Essential lavender oils are mixed with smoky resins, pine and herbs plus tiny hint of sweetness. Invigorating and minimalistic, I have been wearing this perfume during my field trip to some Eastern villages – it perfectly matched the pure, raw aura of countryside.
Loving whole collection – the sixth perfume by Delphine Thierry is at works, we can not wait to give you special preview!

She — 44N03E – the map shows a totally green area once again, I did not realize it is still possible in France, this post-industrial lady! The first note is striking here, I would call it abyss, but it loses the momentum terribly quickly and turns into something more shallow, even chemical at times. It is a very soft lavender, blurred with warmer notes, still natural and clean. It’s  the only perfume in the line that does not evoke strong feelings. Perhaps it is just peace and calm embodied.
What a great line overall.

Reviews based on sample sets received from the company – you can buy this beautifully packaged Discovery Box from the official E-store. We encourage you to test Richard Lüscher Britos scents – the brand will be also present during Pitti Fragranze 2015 in Florence.

Jakub (left) and Aleksandra (right)—photo edit by Jakub Grabarczyk Photo+Retouch
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