Andrée Putman is one of France’s best known interior architects. She has designed everything from home interiors to furniture to tableware. She redesigned the interior of the Air France Concorde jet, and she was responsible for the interior of the Pershing Hall hotel in Paris. For her first fragrance, Préparation Parfumée, which was released in 2001, she worked with nose Olivia Giacobetti, who...
...immediately understood what I wanted and succeeded in transforming my own personality into olfactory notes. We spoke about wood, wet wood, wood after the rain, driftwood, about water lilys and coriander leaf. I wanted it to be light and fresh, to be a fragrance for women, for men and even for children...I hope this fragrance evokes the same serenity and discretion present in all my other creations. (via cached copy from andreeputman)
Préparation Parfumée has notes of driftwood, grey pepper, water lily and coriander leaves. It has a strong pepper start, which is joined shortly by the wood notes. I would not have thought that I knew what driftwood smelled like, but it does in fact smell very much like old, weather-beaten wood. I don't particularly catch the water lily note, but it does smell like water, and Giacobetti, happily, knows how to do water without resorting to a heavy synthetic marine note. It is fresh, a bit earthy, and a bit green, although again, I don't really smell anything like coriander leaves (also known as cilantro).
It is a relaxed, laid-back scent, and very atmospheric despite the the fact that it is also about as transparent as a fragrance can get: this is not something to dab delicately on the pulse points. It is a true unisex, in the sense that it is hard to have a preconceived notion about which gender would more appropriately smell like driftwood.
Préparation Parfumée is packaged in a reproduction of an antique chemist bottle. You can buy a small 30 ml bottle for $55; it is also available in 100 ml and 250 ml sizes, and is sold at beautyhabit, hqhair, and Takashimaya.