The young boy tiptoes his way up the marble staircase of a forgotten palace. Once at the top floor, he sneaks in a mighty suite.
A perfume flask gleams inside a dusty bedside table. Intrigued by the unlabelled phial he investigates.
Was it left behind by the Indian princess who often stays in this apartment?
The perfume smells lilac. Where could it possibly come from? Coty, Houbigant, Gabilla, Lenthéric?
Perhaps the fragrance had been composed expressly for her?
Little did he know that this tiny time capsule straight from the golden age of modern perfumery contained his future.
It is to recapture the magic of his serendipitous find, that Philippe Neirinck founded la Parfumerie Moderne.
The name of the house spells out its paradox. Modern perfumery was invented between the "Belle Epoque" and the Jazz age, just when the most luxurious hotels were springing up around Europe, to cater sophisticated cosmopolitan travelers.
It is from this glamorous era that the modern perfumer draws his inspiration, sending us mysterious scented messages from the timelessly elegant settings of Europe's most mythical hotels.
It isn't by chance that Marc Antoine Corticchiato hails from Corsica, just like François Coty, who ushered perfumery into the 20th century.
Together with Philippe Neirinck, they conceived three rich and complex creations defying trends and consensual tyranny inspired by great palaces.