Saturday, October 4, 2014

Limited Edition Fragrance: Mary Celestia from Lili Bermuda

Of all the fragrances I've experienced in my lifetime, there is not one whose journey into creation is as profoundly fascinating and moving as that of Mary Celestia.  I was beyond honored to have attended its launch party at the drom Fragrances Showroom in New York City, and be able to witness the incredible unveiling of this stunning piece of history. 

A luxury perfume originally created in the 1800's and hidden mischievously in a Bermuda shipwreck for 150 years, is now available for purchase after a meticulous, first- of- its- kind re-creation process.
"This perfume waited 150 years to be worn.  And now, finally it can be" said Isabelle Ramsay- Brackstone of The Bermuda Perfumery after unveiling the fragrance at a New York City Launch event. 
(...) In September 1864, exactly 150 years ago, the Mary Celestia, a civil war Blockade Runner sailing to Charleston, South Carolina, sank off the south shore of Bermuda.

An international team of Marine Archeologists discovered a well hidden cargo of perfume bottles in the ships bow in 2011 after a Bermuda storm blew through and shifted the wreck.  The intact bottles were embossed Piesse and Lubin London, signifying they came from a bow defunct perfume house on Bond Street in London.  It was a place sought after by the world's elite and its perfumer, G.W. Septimus Piesse, who wrote the first book on modern fragrance-making in 1857 called The Art of Perfumery. 
Later it was determined the precious cargo of perfume- smuggled during the Civil War- was likely en route to the neck of a wealthy woman in the American South.
Now, 150 years later, the perfume's journey is complete.
drom Fragrances conducted an exhaustive scientific analysis of the ancient perfume and the results were used to re-create the fragrance as of Piesse was in his studio today. 
Jean- Claude Delville, drom's perfumer said "In perfumery, opportunities like this don't come along too often.  Opening the bottles was like going back in time 150 years.  I was shocked at how fresh and floral it was and the amount of citrus in it.  We analyzed and captured the unique spirit of the original fragrance and thus re-created a lost treasure". 
The fresh fragrances opens with the smell of sparkling grapefruit and zesty citrus.  The scent of rosewood is complimented by warm amber tones.  Finally the soft notes of rose and orange flowers impart timeless elegance. 
The limited edition Mary Celestia is packages in a genuine Bermuda Cedar box with the bottle nested in a black velvet bag.  The box is closed with a hand tied blue ribbon and a red wax seal. 
The fragrance bottle is dressed with a unique medal depicting the Mary Celestia before she sank.  The artwork of the medal is used with the direct permission of the Bermuda Monetary Authority, which created the image to imprint on its rare three-dollar gold coin issued in 2006.
-Information via press release
Starting this month, only 1,864 bottles will be released for purchase and be available online at  Each bottle will retail for $225 and a portion of the proceeds will go to a new foundation to preserve and promote Bermuda's shipwreck heritage.  If you love beauty and fragrances, this belongs in your collection.  Its scent is as beautiful as its story and I sincerely cannot imagine any other fragrance that compares.    

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