Dreams of Do Son

Tonkin, Doson, La Pointe (carte-postale)

Tonkin, Doson, La Pointe (carte-postale)

Do Son is a seaside resort near Hai Phong in the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam. The fresh sea breeze takes the edge off the stupefying heat of the city. This name, so evocative for Yves Coueslant, was to become the name for a perfume dedicated to his childhood memories.

Yves Coueslant’s native French parents emigrated to Tonkin, which was a French colony at the time. The vicissitudes of war had revealed Asia to his dad, who loved the place so much he wanted to live there. But his wife probably found life there a little harder to handle. Her son recalls his mum and her love of flowers, especially cây hoa huê – a tuberose so fragrant, so heady and so blindingly white. In his mind’s eye he sees the pagoda at Do Son, a little holiday home on stilts, waterside walkways with their balustrades, the sea tinted with the reflections of lemons skirting the neighbouring Red River delta, the lapping of the waves and evening scents pepped up by the wind and shade. And as ever, everything bathed in the intensely sweet accents of tuberose…

Do Son is the fruit of this memory. But the fragrance was designed to reproduce the natural vegetal element of the tuberose bloom on its stem rather than the intoxicatingly intense tones so revered in the history of perfumery. Vietnamese tuberose (dubbed Indian) keeps a tender touch of greenness. The perfume plays on the heart note with rose and orange blossom singing the top notes and lingering base notes of iris, benzoin and white musk pepped up with pink pepper bring up the rear.

Do Son finds its balance by associating humidity with freshness. The harmony between the two provides an olfactory memory of a glorious wetness suddenly visited by an invigorating and propitious breeze carrying the wholesome auspices of tuberose.