I was recently invited to the exclusive launch of the new Valeur Absolue parfums; Serenitude and Confidance. At the launch, I had the opportunity to meet Founder and President, Benedicte Foucart. In my 45 mins tête-à-tête with Benedicte, she enlighten me about the true essence and beauty of fragrances and also, she talked me through the inspiration behind the brand, each individual parfumes and a lot more. Like they say “knowledge is power”, I learnt things I didn’t know about the perfume industry and also a little more about the powerful and inspiring woman behind the brand.
To my understanding, apart from just smelling amazing, a perfume should also make you feel something, connect with your emotions. This is the fundamental concept of Valeur Absolue; it’s also focuses on well-being, an aspect which might be lacking in today’s perfume industry.
…So, after realizing something was missing from the perfume market and with many years experience within the industry, Benedicte left her job at one of the world’s leading fine fragrance companies and Valeur Absolue was born.
Q: Would you like to share a little more about yourself and your experience in perfumery/ Briefly detail your career path?
Bénédicte Foucart: I spent all my career in the beauty industry, developing perfume designer brands like CK, Lagerfeld, Valentino and then working for international beauty brands like Elizabeth Arden. I then dive into the perfume bottle, so to speak, as I worked for a leading perfume house where I met the best perfumers in the world. A few years ago, I decided to launch a new and innovative perfume that marries fine perfume and well-being for a more intense and joyful experience.
Q: That very popular question, where did your inspiration for the well-being fragrances come from?
Bénédicte Foucart: For centuries, perfume has been more than just a pretty scent. It had always had either a spiritual or well-being dimension. In the 17th century, women were even drinking perfumes thinking that it would keep them healthier…
I wanted to add to the perfuming gesture that we all do every day a more meaningful dimension again and make it more than just a perfume. We talked to many women around the world and this is how the mood enhancing concept came to birth and how our collection of well-being elixirs started.
Q: Who’s the Valeur Absolue woman, what’s her lifestyle and what’s she about?
Bénédicte Foucart: She is super-busy and has many facets in her life: work, friends, husband, kids, parents… She cares about others and she doesn’t have lots of time for herself. She wants to live her life fully, with all its dimensions, but sometimes finds it a challenge to juggle everything at the same time.
Our brand is resolutely positive and brings positive energy. It creates a moment just for us, where we don’t only smell amazingly nice, but where we also take care of ourselves and enhance a mood that makes us feel better at that specific moment: harmonie, sensualité, joie, serenitude, confiance, vitalité
Q: There are now 6 beautiful perfumes in the Valeur Absolue collection, what are the key notes in each of them?
Bénédicte Foucart: They each have a very distinctive personality and unique notes as they are each designed to enhance a specific mood. They contain essential oils, active minerals and an endorphin boosters to make women smile…
Harmonie has néroli, earl grey, musky notes
Joie-eclat has grapefruit, vetiver, tuberose tonalities
Sensualité has rose, jasmine and ambery notes
Serenitude has rose and creamy woods tonalities
Confiance has spiciy and vanilla notes
Vitalité has bitter orange and red fruits notes.
Q: A hint of what’s next with Valeur Absolue?
Bénédicte Foucart: We have a new fragrance in development for a launch at the end of the year and are also working on a body care and a home fragrance line. Those will be available next year.
In your words,
Fragrances should make you feel… exactly how you want to feel: more sensual, more confident, more relax…
What do you pay attention to when choosing your day time perfume? It depends on my mood or on my agenda (I don’t put the same perfume for a business meeting, a casual family event or a date with my husband)… with the 6 VA perfumes, I always find the one that best complements myself and gives me a boost in my busy live.
I want to experiment with a new fragrance, what’s your advice for me? Close your eyes, listen to how it makes you feel and trust your nose and instinct.
…Travel destination: New York and Sydney
…Book: “Women who run with the wolves”, Clarissa Pinkola Estès
…Guilty pleasure: Belgian chocolate and French Bordeaux
…Way to relax: running with music
…City break or country side: Lourmarin, in Provence, a perfect place to recharge batteries.
Currently, I am loving Valeur Absolue Serenitude, it has been my go-to perfume the past couple of weeks. It’s a soothing, calming composition. Rose is the dominant smell but also contains Sandalwood, the essential oil of which has well known calming and relaxing properties. A simple bottle containing Amazonite stones (from the Amazon River). After using the fragrance, you can actually remove and keep the stones, how cool eh?
If you don’t already know, but the colour aqua green is actually renowned for it’s capacity to protect against negative waves. It’s also said that this stone promotes a sensation of happiness.