By Jeremy Katz

Toronto – Canada

 

Photographs by Eric Delbaere

 

 

 

 

Alexandra Bachand:  Perfumer

Two Artists Make “WAR Flowers” Bloom

 

Vignette Two Of Two

 

The six unisex colognes Alexandra makes, in her Perfumer’s Barn.

 

In Quebec’s scenic Eastern Townships, perfumer Alexandra Bachand lovingly plies her trade.  Alexandra is the founder-perfumer of the Quebec perfume brand alexandrabach andof The Perfumer’s Barn, an enchanting countryside location she and her husband Eric run, an hour or so south-east of Montreal.

 

Perfumer’s Organ in the Museum part of the Barn, with display of raw materials she uses.

 

There, Alexandra formulates and manufactures, by hand, all her original scent creations for both women and men.  She typically incorporates, in each, 30-40 ingredients or “notes” that, balanced and in combination, form “chords” (to use the perfumer’s lexicon)!  Her ingredients, which she sources from Canada, the US, Europe and Asia, include frankincense, oak moss, myrrh, pine resin, tonka bean, pink and black pepper, citruses, agarwood, and sandalwood, to name just a few.

 

Alexandra at her “formula table” in the Barn, with 5 year-old daughter Lelia.

 

She only sells on site and welcomes guests to her workshop, where she offers tours and a true artisanal perfume-making experience. Visitors have come from all over the world; from across North America as well as from Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East.  

 

Alexandra tests a scent at the Welcome Centre in her Barn.

 

Alexandra trained seven years to be a perfumer, graduating from the Perfumery Art School in England, and also studying under Nicolas De Barry, a French master perfumer and pioneer of natural perfumery.

 

Sales area of Perfumer’s Barn. Giant bottle is a formula Alexandra created that reminds her of her childhood.

 

Since starting her own perfume brand in 2015 and opening The Perfumer’s Barn in 2017, she has been focused on perfecting the combination of French perfume know-how with native Quebec spontaneity, enthusiasm and creativity.  Her desire is to deliver quality, attention, and innovation in the brand-new industry of niche perfumery in Quebec. 

 

“Perfume Library” display in the Barn, with examples of the colognes and eau de toilettes Alexandra has created.

 

Alexandra’s creative approach also led her to collaborate in art curator Viveka Melki’s multi-sensorial, touring art exhibition “WAR Flowers”, an exhibition inspired by the preserved, hundred-year-old pressed flowers Canadian soldier George Cantlie plucked from the gardens, fields and hedges of First World War Europe.

 

Alexandra in her lab, filling bottles of cologne.

 

For “WAR Flowers”, Alexandra created ten original plant-based scents to communicate the meaning and emotions of attributes such as “devotion”, “solitude”, “familial love”, “grace”, “innocence”, “memory” and others.

Although her own perfume line draws on dozens of ingredients for each formula, for the “WAR Flowers” art exhibition she used only 10-12 “notes”, and created more simple scents, emphasizing “the top notes” to elicit a more immediate and visceral reaction from visitors to the exhibition. 

“I love creating for my own perfume line,” Alexandra says, “but creating scents for the multi-sensorial “WAR Flowers” exhibition was a new and exciting challenge, and a direction I’d like to explore further in future”. 

 

Exterior view of Alexandra’s workshop/store/museum called The Perfumer’s Barn, outside Magog, Quebec.

 

Video..  goo.gl/SMG6cV

 

“WAR Flowers” is currently being exhibited at the Visitor Education Center, Canadian National Memorialin Vimy, France through September, and then can be seen at the Château Ramezay Museumin Montreal from October through March 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 





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