Inspiration for a fragrance can come from almost anywhere. In the case of Westport Parfum, it came from my hometown. Last year, news of an upcoming high-school reunion got me feeling very sentimental about my old stomping grounds — what the French call la nostalgie — and I thought it would be interesting to translate those feelings into a fragrance.
Westport, Connecticut is a small coastal town, full of history and pretty scenery and charming old architecture. When I was coming of age there, it was home to quite a few professional creative types, and the town had an air of genteel bohemianism. For me, it was an encouraging environment, a place where I felt supported in exploring my own creative instincts.
Cannons on Compo Beach
At the same time, Westport is classic small-town New England, with its winding country lanes, rocky beaches and Colonial homes. A strong historical vibe pervades the town, perhaps best exemplified by the replicas of the Revolutionary War cannons that sat squarely on the town beach almost two hundred and fifty years ago, ready to fight off the invading British Army during the Battle of Compo Hill.
And Westport’s agricultural roots as a nineteenth-century onion farming community — at one time it was the onion capital of the country — preceded its reputation as an artist’s haven, which began around 1910 and continues to this day.
Downtown Westport, circa 1800’s
Westport’s dualistic town character … its bedrock of tradition on the one hand, and its large creative community on the other … has always kept it interesting. Not just another suburban outpost, it’s got an energy that’s both cosmopolitan and comforting which draws in visitors from far and wide.
To name just a few of the many enjoyable things to do in Westport, there are beaches and marinas, a vibrant shopping district, fabulous restaurants, the Westport Playhouse, art galleries and historical societies, and the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts (where yours truly was the teenaged singer in the first band to ever perform there, many shimmering moons ago).
Old Mill Beach
Of course, like everyone everywhere, growing up meant navigating various rites of passage, some of which I managed more gracefully than others. I’m grateful for my family and friends in Westport who loved and nurtured me through those years.
There were wonderful townspeople as well, like Sally the Record Store Lady, everyone at The Remarkable Bookshop, the guys at Westport Pizzeria and Oscar’s Deli, and many memorable others. They were all a part of my formative years, and for that, and for the sheer fortune of growing up there, I feel blessed.
Westport — redolent of woody, smoky autumns and fresh, green-smelling springs, of rivers and beaches and saltwater and tides, of the deep cool of summer shade, of home and comfort and, most of all, of nostalgia. It’s a place forever imprinted with cherished memories. And though I eventually went off to live in other parts of the world, in a certain way, it will always be home to me.
Read on to learn about Westport the fragrance.
Westport is a fragrance in the aromatic fougère family. It opens with a refreshing burst of citrus and herbal notes, segues into a powdery green floral heart, and dries down to a warm, marine-amber base. It has a dreamy, ethereal quality that’s counterbalanced by the evocative depths of its marine and amber facets.
Key notes are spearmint, sage, bergamot, basil, lavender, rose, magnolia, jasmine, ambrette seed, vanilla, benzoin, seaweed, oakmoss, opopanax, labdanum and patchouli.
Westport is built around two olfactive themes. An earthy, agrestic theme — through the use of hay, oakmoss, vetiver, patchouli, seaweed and other notes — evokes the natural environment of beaches and saltwater, woods and grassy fields, bracing autumns ablaze with turning leaves.
And a nostalgic theme — expressed through a cozy amber accord of vanilla, benzoin and labdanum, plus the deep comfort of roses and magnolia — reflects my emotional connection to the town.
Like all of my fragrances, Westport is hand-blended, one-hundred percent botanical, synthetic-free and unisex.
In composing Westport, I wanted to create a rich aromatic experience that resonates for you the way the town does for me. I hope you enjoy it. — Claudia xo
Beautiful fragrance! It’s got a soft, dreamy quality, yet it’s earthy and deeply nuanced at the same time. I pick up herbs, mint, woods, florals, vanilla, leather and, underneath it all, the sea. Very sophisticated, high-quality perfume, and I love that it’s totally natural.