In St Paul de Vence one of the very prettiest boutiques belongs to Sonia Godet. As I walked past her door I was immediately drawn in by the gorgeous decor, with its beautiful chandelier, authentic floor tiles and delicious scents. I didn’t know as I entered the store that I was about to discover a very special family story.
Sonia is a young woman with great things ahead of her. She is what the French call a “nez”, or a nose, which means she is the one who creates the perfumes that surround us each day. She grew up here, a stone’s throw from Grasse and the heartland of the French perfume industry, and the art of creating perfumes is in her blood.
Sonia learned how to create perfumes and worked as a ‘nose’ on both sides of the Atlantic, for prestigious brands such as Lancome, Cartier and Burberry. But she missed her native Southern France, and when one day she found the vintage perfume bottles, remaining from her great-grandfather’s perfume business, she decided to revive the family brand and after many dormant years, Parfums Godet was brought back to life.
The Godet family were first noticed in the 16th century for their fine cognacs, and beautiful presentation bottles. When Sonia’s grandfather Julien Joseph Godet started to create perfume, and to open his boutique in Paris in 1901, he drew on the family tradition and savoir faire for blending fragrances and presenting them in beautiful bottles.
He got to know the artist Bonnard, and gradually was introduced to the buzzing artistic circle at the time, and felt inspired to move to the South of France and create more perfumes and fragrances. It was his fragrance Fleurs de Reine that inspired Bonnard when painting his famous Nu à Contre Jour.
Today, Sonia’s range of perfumes and her beautiful hand made soaps are all made locally, and she is growing fast. It was touching to see how excited she is about her brand, and as I chatted with her in her little bijoux boutique, I kept thinking how proud her great grandfather would be if he could see her prolonging the family name.
One of my very favourite things about this blog is the doors that are opened for me, and the opportunities I am given to highlight talented and passionate artisan creators from all corners of France. Sonia is one of those souls, who goes to work every day excited about her brand and eager to share her savoir faire and her love for the family brand.
Thank you Sonia for making me so welcome and sharing your world with me, for a brief perfumed moment.
If you’re in St Paul and you’d like to visit Sonia’s shop, or if you want to buy her products on line, then check out her website here, and if you see her be sure to say hello from me!