Grandiflora Sydney – Saskia Havekes

Magnolia flower

A fragrance is about to bloom out of Sydney, Australia.
Floral Artisan, Saskia Havekes and perfumer Sandrine Videault have combined their artistic talents to produce a perfume.

(Edit: Sandrine passed away in July. The release of this fragrance is now January 2014. Further details are in the comments section below).

Let’s take a look at some of Saskia’s other work or more correctly, heartwork which includes indoor and outdoor arrangements as well as books on floral art.

grandiflora sydney saskia the fragrant man thefragrantman tulips

Flowers by Saskia

grandiflora sydney saskia the fragrant man thefragrantman archway flowers floral grandiflora sydney saskia the fragrant man thefragrantman orchids

Grandiflora Arrangements cover


Many flowers today are bred to be beautiful but not necessarily fragrant. Saskia has sources for particularly fragrant flowers which she artfully combines with beautifully bred ones for a scented atmosphere with visual delights. Photographing nature is also a passion.

grandiflora sydney saskia the fragrant man thefragrantman orchid poppy

Grandiflora is the name of Saskia’s atelier in Potts Point. Magnolia Grandiflora is the name of her about-to-be-released perfume.

Saskia outside Grandiflora, her atelier in Potts Point, Sydney.

Saskia outside Grandiflora, her atelier in Potts Point, Sydney.

The story of this fragrance begins millions of years ago, before humans or many other creatures we know today existed. The ancient genus Magnolia appeared before bees did, and pollination occurred thanks to the help of beetles. The tree adapted to the strength of its hardworking pollinators, resulting in the longevity of this beautiful, fragrant tree.

The magnolia is a true sight to behold – tall trees mantled with startling blossoms come to life in the springtime, shrouding surrounding areas in a fragrance known to this earth for more than 20 million years. The magnolia’s timber is heavy and robust, and the flower has continued to bloom and burst with lush fragrance across the ages, yet the flowers fade so fast. To hold magnolia’s fragrance is a kind of magical blessing.

Amer who lives in the magnolia-filled country of Greece had this to say just last week:

this tree is very common where I live and now it is blooming. It is too tall to allow picking of the flowers but today while walking casually, a huge petal, as big as my palm landed in front of me. I picked it up and it smelled like lemon, very much different to the other, bush like variety with the flame shaped flowers. The petal was sturdy and somewhat fleshy. I was on my way to meet a friend for coffee so I brought it with me as a gift for her. A gift of one petal instead of a whole flower, stingy one might say but she seemed thrilled to receive it none the less.

Magnolia Grandiflora Bottle Hero

Magnolia Grandiflora
Perfumer: Sandrine Videault
Release Date: January 2014
Classification: Soliflore
EDP 100ml
Recommended Retail Price: $185 AUD / $168 EUR

Top citrus, grapefruit, pepper
Heart dry woods, fresh garden accord,
Drydown marine, musk

grandiflora sydney saskia the fragrant man thefragrantman magnoliaSaskia is currently traveling through Grasse on perfume business before returning to Sydney to launch her perfume.

Waking up in Grasse. View from Saskia's window.

Waking up in Grasse. View from Saskia’s window.
Photo: Saskia Havekes

A garden in Grasse.  Photo: Saskia Havekes

A garden in Grasse.
Photo: Saskia Havekes

We managed to track her down and ask her the following questions:

How long did you dream of making your own fragrance?

I have dreamed of creating fragrance for many years. The Magnolia grandiflora trees that line Macleay Street (outside our studio) start flowering in October and have been the inspiration for our identity and many photos by Gary Heery (my partner). As we base the beginning of nearly all our arrangements around this flower and its leaves it seemed the obvious first choice. Along with the unique fragrance and elegance, to capture her was a journey for both Sandrine and myself. The heart was illusive and very transient.

How long from the decision to act to the release date in August 2013?

The journey began three years ago.
In Grasse we were able to combine many personal highs with connecting with our manufacturers and their famous gardens. It was one of my most delightful moments so far when I was rolling in pink rose petals by the truck load on a sunny morning.

grandiflora sydney saskia the fragrant man thefragrantman rose petals
I really felt like a bee during the pollination process. On entering Grasse from Nice airport I spotted a Magnolia grandiflora tree loaded with masses of blooms, a welcome that was a sign of good things ahead.

Magnolia Grandiflora Packaging
Grandiflora is available August 2013.

(Stockist enquiries: )

Further Reading
Magnolia for Men
Magnolia for Everyone
Grandiflora in Potts Point
Grain de Musc – Denyse Beaulieu’s Top 10 Picks for Summer
Grain de Musc – Two Magnolias will blossom in January 2014 at Grandiflora

18 responses to “Grandiflora Sydney – Saskia Havekes

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  3. When we bought our little house, the one thing I liked best about it was the giant tree in the front yard. It is a Magnolia grandiflora. From spring on, it blooms with huge vanilla scented flowers until far after most other garden plants have faded. It is a treasure! I’m sad to hear Sandrine Videault didn’t live to see her last creation take off. The ability to capture the scent of Magnolia flowers sounds marvelous!

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