Marie Antoinette’s Black Jade: a fragrance with a story

They say that 80% of a person’s satisfaction with a gift comes from how it’s wrapped. That may be the case, but a gift doesn’t just have to be wrapped in gilt-edged paper and silk ribbon; it can also be wrapped up snugly in the beautiful fabric of a story.

A gift with a story is worth ten without. A gift with a story says that the gift-giver put in thought, or at least paid attention. A gift with a story keeps on giving, each time the object becomes the focus of someone’s attention and the story gets retold. In many ways, the story is the gift.

A 200 year old fragrance worn by Marie Antoinette is that kind of story.

lubin black jade

Lubin’s fragrance Black Jade purports to be a rebirth of the very scent Marie Antionette would dust her delicate wrists and neck with. An introductory whiff of the fragrance proves it to be far less sweet than the feminine frilled gowns the Queen is routinely depicted as having worn. Instead it’s enticingly floral with a hint of spice; deep, layered, luxurious.

The ingredients of the fragrance are as plush and regal as you might expect, from the base of patchouli, tonka bean, vanilla and amber to the notes of rose and jasmine laced with cardamom, cinnamon, and incense.

Jill Timms, the proprietor of Melbourne Haute perfumery Peony explains:

Created for Marie Antoinette by her personal perfumeur Jean-Louis Fargeon, the perfume was kept in a black jade container and Marie Antoinette carried it with her always. Inspired by the Royal garden ‘Le Petit Trianon’ at Versailles, it is a rich Floral Chypre fragrance.

Word has it a sneaky apprentice of Fargeon kept the formula, eventually leading to its recreation today.

So if you’re after a Christmas gift with a story – one that, beyond the delicate scent and beyond the beautiful packaging, has a history that gets unwrapped with the layers of crisp Christmas paper – perhaps a royal scent is in the air.

black jade marie antoinette

Black Jade is available in Australia exclusively at Peony boutique.

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Some people's wardrobes are about a small selection of pieces that all fit within one aesthetic - Tania Braukamper isn't such a person. With a wardrobe that spans three different rooms, her approach to fashion is a mixture of current-season key pieces mixed with vintage finds she's sourced on innumerous shopping trips around the world's more cultured capitals. Despite a disparate approach to shopping, Tania is adamant that the key to mixing vintage with new season is to stick to key looks and colours that work for oneself. And it's a theory that she works into her writing for, where she serves as the publication's Editor.