I met Isabelle d’Ornano, the co-founder of Sisley Paris, in January 2014 when I was invited to have lunch with her and a few beauty editors from Germany (Vogue, InStyle, Elle, Gala) at her magnificent Parisian apartment near the Musée d’Orsay. She is indeed a fascinating woman whose life would make a perfect script for a movie.
The creation of her new perfume Izia is a tribute to the rose and her native country Poland. It all begins with a souvenir. The memory of Lancut, one of Poland’s most beautiful castles. It’s a rose garden, hidden away in its park. Isabelle d’Ornano used it as an inspiration for her Loire Valley rose garden. Izia is a fragrance structured around the rose. Once a year in late May, Isabelle d’Ornano looked out for that particular rose, different from any other to include it in her bouquets. The perfume was bewitching and stood out from the rest.
Isabelle d’Ornano always preferred to see roses cut in a vase, a teapot or an old carafe – filling every corner of the house with their charm. She would wrap them in moistened newspaper and take them back, then leave them to bloom in her Parisian apartment or give them as an enchanting gift. Lush and luxurious petals would open one by one to reveal a golden centre; this was the perfect moment to appreciate their unmistakable scent.
Isabelle d’Ornano would have loved to present these gold-flecked roses to Dolly Radziwill: the beloved aunt from whom she learnt so much. Immortalised in a drawing by Alex-Ceslas Rzewuski, she held court in the heyday of the Russian Ballet and shared a close friendship with the famous socialite and artist, who was Isabelle d’Ornano’s great uncle. A writer, and a friend of Misia Sert, Jean Cocteau and the surrealists, Rzewuski was an aristocrat born into the oldest families in Ukraine and Poland.
Izia tells the story of five women united by one irreducible fragrance. Along with Isabelle d’Ornano, Amandine Clerc-Marie, Christine d’Ornano, Quentin Jones and Sonia collectively created Izia as one would sketch a work of art.
Izia opens with highly sophisticated top notes: white bergamot from Calabria, accentuated with hints of freesia and tea, introduces brilliance and clarity, which are emphasised with aldehydes. With its lemony, sparkling facets, pink peppercorn subtly enhances the uplifting bergamot.
Izia’s exuberant soul is a lifelike individual rose, shaped by the perfumer like a sculpture to reveal a lemony floral heart with refreshing notes of pear, exalted by a luminous whisper of fresh petals of jasmine, peony, and lily of the valley. Vibrant, green angelica adds powdery, leafy nuances to the bouquet.
In the base notes, the d’Ornano Rose accord is highlighted by enveloping, powdery musk, which lingers in an incredibly feminine way. The woody warmth of cedar provides structure, while the drydown note of amber, both masculine and feminine at once, transcribes a modern sensuality.
IZIA FRAGRANCE BY SISLEY PARIS
VIDEO: THE STORY OF IZIA
VIDEO: MEMORIES OF POLAND
VIDEO: ISABELLE D’ORNANO, THE CREATOR
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