I was delighted to see the ITB stand at Esxence, because I feared that they had gone out of business, and their old range of Colognes was great. I was also fond of the name which roughly translates as “Institute Well Done”, Très Bien being (if you’re lucky) written in red ink by a teacher in the margin of a French schoolbook with its weird musical-stave ruling. I imagine the citrus Cologne constraint was a bit limiting in the long run. Frédéric Burtin is now back with three Colognes Fines: Violette de Parme, Tubéreuse Absolue and Rose de Mai. These are essentially high-end soliflores whose aim is directness and quality. My favorite is Rose de Mai , a beautiful, rich, transparent green rose with a touch of cassis in the top. These are undemanding but satisfying fragrances that embody Guy Robert’s tongue-in-cheek golden rule: “Un parfum doit avant tout sentir bon” (a perfume must above all smell good). In fact, to use an archaic French word, these are top-notch sent-bons.