THE POTPOURRI: REDEFINED
To say French couple Alexandre Piffaut and Sandra Fuzier are purists is putting it mildly. To elevate potpourri from how people often think of it (dried scented flowers that collect dust and tiny insects while disintegrating into a mess), they looked for the best medium to distribute their brand of essential oil-based home fragrances, Mad et Len. They found it in the Sahara desert, in the form of porous volcanic rocks that absorb and retain fragrance better than traditional potpourri. The prescented rock is encased in rectangular or round brushed black metal lidded “pots” that are as heavy as cast iron, and resemble archaeological fi nds. Two variations are available at L’armoire. Our fave (above): the sweet and woody Black Champaka, $190. The other is the spicy and earthy Terre Noire (in a round box), $340. Each comes with a mini vial of its scent for refreshing the volcanic rock.
All Mad et Len’s herbs and flowers for its essential oils are grown in a tiny village in Verdon near Grasse. They are steamdistilled for up to two years for the oils to reach their maximum potency – the way French chemists used to do it hundreds of years ago, before solvent extraction was introduced.