Chartreuse liqueurs to the heart’s content
By Julie Carpentier
Stat crux dum volvitur orbis
There is a word which has the effect of a time capsule on me : Chartreuse. Like a detonator, the word triggers a panorama of immutable images and sensations from my childhood : that of my maternal grandfather's liquor cabinet where his Chartreuse liqueurs held a privileged place, the sugar soaked in elixir that our grandmother gave us during the countless (tortuous) journeys made as a child between the Loire Valley and our house in the Alps, the black and white photo of my maternal great-uncle Dom Louis-Paul Rousseau on his way to exile, at the time deputy prosecutor of the Grande Chartreuse and who lived in the monastery until his manu militari expulsion in 1903, the smells of camphor and dried plants in the pharmacy where my dear mother worked all her career, the génépi liqueur that we used to make in the summer with my sisters under the 'alchemist' instructions of our grandfather.
In short, this liqueur has a very special place in my heart : I even owe to it my inclination, at the age of twenty, towards the wider world of "wines and spirits". And over the years, in the pursuit of this passion, which I have developed into a profession that brings me into contact with a good number of spirits lovers, I have come to realise that virtually every one of them has a very personal relationship with Chartreuse liqueur. "It is not something you come to by chance" : the immortal and spiritual liqueur weaves a link with each and every one of us that intertwines spirituality, history, savoir-faire & tradition, mysticism, but also handing on, epicureanism, the values of sharing and of contemporaneity.
"Once upon a time... Chartreuse" is also the story of a time-honoured passion that gradually turns into a collection. When the fervently passionate amateur starts seeking each bottle (in multiples), the rare bottles known as "unobtainable", when he becomes a treasure hunter capable of travelling hundreds of kilometres to examine and acquire these historic liqueurs, the rare posters, the unusual or sometimes even unpublished advertising objects.
"Once upon a time... Chartreuse" is THE perfect collection, bringing together more than a thousand bottles and hundreds of items that have been patiently hunted down, researched, located, exchanged, negotiated and acquired. As complete as it is extensive, this French private collection, which will be on offer in Geneva on 4, 5 and 6 March, is THE most beautiful collection of Chartreuse ever to be offered on the market, and it bears the mark of passion and of sharing, that irreplaceable guarantee which attests to a gesture of love, to bring together the best of the best to make a unique whole.