My love for perfumes has taken me on many unbelievable adventures, in beautiful places around the world. But, as it turns out, although my passion for scents was often reaching dangerous levels of a single-minded obsession, I was never exclusive with my propensity for luxury goods.
Walking the streets of Paris, it is impossible not to encounter exquisite, classy women wearing accessories that are simply unique in their perfection. A colorful silk scarf, a sleek belt hugging their waist, a shiny vintage watch sparkling in the afternoon sun or a delicate neckless competing with a red lip and a smokey eye….
Truth be told, I have always had a soft spot for leather goods, especially bags. They are the kind of magical accessories that instantly elevate an outfit, they speak about taste, elegance, and social success. It is a luxury piece that must also prove its utility, as our bags carry - in a metaphorical way, of course - part of our lives and souls.
At the very heart of Paris, at No. 54, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, not far from the Elysée, there is a tiny hub of French leather luxury, known as Joseph Duclos Boutique. Opened in September 2021, their bags, cases and clutches are the modern testimony of an unparalleled mastery in crafting leather. Apart from leather goods, the brand offers jewelry and a collection of four scents.
The history of this brand goes back to 1754 when King Louis XV signed the Letters Patent in Versailles that would lead to the creation of the Royal Leather Manufacture. The brand is built on an entire philosophy that endured through centuries, with amazing accuracy.
The style and finishes of their pieces bring forward thoughtful techniques that are as rare as one can imagine, pretty much like the well-kept secrets of old artisans. These artisans are indeed true artists, and their craft transcends times and fashions.
They seem to operate in a world of their own, where hours of work melt into each other with the sole objective of producing exceptional quality pieces of “haute maroquinerie”. As a permanent recognition and validation of the effort and talent, each bag is numbered and bears the name of the artisan who made it.
This is indeed, a very commendable way of expressing respect and appreciation for the artisans at Joseph Duclos. They are the backbone of the success and endurance of this luxury house, and they take traditional craftmanship into the future.
At 54, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, designer Tristan Auer followed his talent and let himself be inspired by the most appreciated French chateaux of Versailles, Chenonceau and Rambouillet. Tristan Auer has also absorbed artistic ideas from the architecture of the Manufacture Royale de Lectoure.
If you happen to pass by Joseph Duclos Boutique you might just see one of those artisans at work, and you are in for a very special experience. The attention to detail and the minute techniques will leave you with the strange feeling that you have just witnessed the birth of a piece of art.
It is said that centuries ago, leather and perfumes were always associated in a way that still stirs the imagination of contemporary creators of leather goods and perfumers. The marquis Pompeo Frangipani had the brilliant idea of making an almond fragrance to perfume the inside of his leather gloves. This was an intelligent solution to cover the musky scents that emanated from the leather.
So, nowadays, it was no surprise when the extraordinarily talented perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer decided to join forces with Artistic Director for Joseph Duclos Ramesh Nair, in creating four fragrances, each corresponding to the universe of one of his leather goods collections. The creative inspiration of Nathalie Feisthauer focuses on “natural ingredients that echo the brand history and spirit”.
For those of us who wonder about the future of this brand, we are told that the next step in Joseph Duclos’ development will be to open a shop-in-shop at a Paris department store before expanding in the rest of Europe, Asia, The Middle East, and the U.S.
The French luxury heritage brand – Joseph Duclos – is destined to take the concept of timeless elegance to a whole new level. The absolute perfection of their pieces has brought attention from the public at large and from the critics. This revived house of leather goods, jewelry and fragrances has restored our faith in good taste, quality, and lasting beauty.