A portrait, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud

 

Jacques-Cavallier-Belletrud

Renowned perfumers often leave their mark with a single famous creation that changes the industry, but a few do so with not one – or two – but many different perfumes. Perfumer Jacques Cavallier is just such a figure, having changed our scented world with such industry changers as Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique, Issey Miyake’s L’Eau d’Issey, Lancôme’s Poême and Nina Ricci’s Nina. He has created perfumes for Maison’s as famous as Christian Dior, Givenchy, Rochas, designers like Giorgio Armani and Stella McCartney, and niches like Caudalie and Eau d’Italie.

Although Jacques Cavallier has one of the most extensive backgrounds in natural scent materials, it was inventive use of Calone-1951, the component sometimes referred to as ‘watermelon ketone’ that brought him the most attention for his early creations. He brought a freshness and light to perfumes like L’Eau d’Issey that re-imagined what a fragrance could be.

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As a schoolboy in Grasse, Jacques Cavalier Belletrud would walk by an imposing portal. He had no idea what sat behind the wrought iron gates that so intrigued him. Little could he have imagined that, in 2016, this very place would become his creative workshop.

From my earliest childhood I heard all about perfume. Creating scents is like breathing for me – it’s just the obvious thing to do.

Jacques Cavallier Belletrud

Jacques Cavallier was fittingly born in 1962 in Grasse, France, the third in a series of perfuming men. Like his father and grandfather before him, he dedicated himself to the study there in his home turf.

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At the age of eight, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud went to his father, and told him he wanted to follow in his footsteps. He learned perfume notes the way other children practiced piano scales. When he got good grades in school, his father allowed him to weigh out formulas. The day after receiving his high school diploma, he began working in a perfume factory in Grasse, where he learned to distill flowers.

He studied French and Spanish at the University of Nice, and at 18, he created his first formula – but his father reminded him that becoming a perfumer takes much more than mixing a few scents together. It would take a lot of hard work to be hired at the famous perfume and flavor company Firmenich that he met Alberto Morillas, with whom he collaborated on many perfumes, and where he would spend the next 22 years.

Jacques-Cavallier-Belletrud-Test-Lab

Jacques is a perfumer of great variation and considerable range. His work is intensely wearable, and it may be due alone to this singular quality that he was awarded the Prix François Coty at the Prix International du Parfum in 2004.

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  • 1990 Jean Paul Gaultier – Femme (f)
  • 1992 Issey Miyake – L’Eau d’Issey (f)
  • 1992 Cartier – Pasha de Cartier (m)
  • 1993 Jean Paul Gaultier – Classique (Femme re-named) (f)
  • 1993 Azzaro – Oh La La (f)
  • 1994 Issey Miyake – L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme (m)
  • 1995 Lancôme – Poême (f)
  • 1995 Yves Saint Laurent – Opium Pour Homme (m)
  • 1995 Yves Saint Laurent – Opium Pour Homme Eau de Parfum (m)
  • 1996 Bvlgari – Pour Homme (m)
  • 1997 Shiseido – Vocalise (f)
  • 1998 Rochas – Alchimie (f)
  • 1998 Christian Dior – Eau de Doce Vita (f)
  • 1998 Salvatore Ferragamo – Pour Femme (f)
  • 1998 Issey Miyake – Le Feu d’Issey (f)
  • 1999 Bvlgari – Pour Homme Extrême (m)
  • 1999 Krizia – Easy Krizia (f)
  • 1999 Paco Rabanne – Ultraviolet (f)

 
Lancôme-Poême

  • 2000 Issey Miyake – Le Feu d’Issey Light (f)
  • 2000 Jil Sander – Sander For Men (m)
  • 2000 Givenchy – Haute Couture (f)
  • 2000 Givenchy – Haute Couture Eau de Toilette (f)
  • 2000 Giorgio Armani – Mania (f)
  • 2000 Calvin Klein – Truth (f)
  • 2000 Boucheron – Initial (f)
  • 2001 Van Cleef & Arpels – Zanzibar (m)
  • 2001 Rochas – Aquaman (m)
  • 2001 Fendi – Theorema Uomo (m)
  • 2001 Yves Saint Laurent – Nu (f)
  • 2001 Paco Rabanne – Ultra Violet Pour Homme (m)
  • 2001 Paco Rabanne – Ultra Violet Metal Beach (f)
  • 2002 Paco Rabanne – Ultra Violet Aquatic Plastic (f)
  • 2002 Van Cleef & Arpels – Murmure (f)
  • 2002 Carolina Herrera – Chic (f)
  • 2002 Oscar de La Renta – Intrusion (f)
  • 2002 Salvatore Ferragamo – Parfum Subtil (f)
  • 2002 Yves Saint Laurent – M7 (m)
  • 2003 Yves Saint Laurent – Nu Eau de Toilette (f)
  • 2003 Yves Saint Laurent – Rive Gauche Pour Homme (m)
  • 2003 Rochas – Absolu (f)
  • 2003 Lancôme – Calypso (f)
  • 2003 Roger & Gallet – Eau de Gingembre (f/m)
  • 2003 Bvlgari – Eau Parfumee au The Blanc (f/m)
  • 2003 Ermenegildo Zegna – Essenza di Zegna (m)
  • 2003 Stella McCartney – Stella (f)
  • 2003 Alexander McQueen – Kingdom (f)
  • 2004 Alexander McQueen – Kingdom (Lim.Edition) (f)
  • 2004 Issey Miyake – L’Eau Bleue d’Issey Pour Homme (m)
  • 2004 Yves Saint Laurent – Cinema (f)
  • 2004 Calvin Klein – Eternity Moment (f)
  • 2004 Boucheron – Trouble (f)
  • 2005 Bvlgari – Aqva Pour Homme (m)
  • 2005 Exte – J’S Exte Woman (f)
  • 2005 Roberto Cavali – Serpentine (f)
  • 2006 Stella McCartney – Stella in Two Peony (f)
  • 2006 Stella McCartney – Stella in Two Amber (f)
  • 2006 Nina Ricci – Nina (f)
  • 2006 Kenzo – L’Eau par Kenzo Love L’Eau (f)
  • 2007 Issey Miyake – L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Intense (m)
  • 2007 Christain Dior – Midnight Poison (f)
  • 2007 Christain Dior – Midnight Poison Extrait de Parfum (f)
  • 2007 Yves Saint Laurent – Elle (f)
  • 2007 Nina Ricci – Nina Prestige Edition (f)
  • 2007 Diesel – Fuel For Life Homme (m)
  • 2007 Diesel – Fuel For Life Femme (f)
  • 2008 Diesel – Fuel For Life Unlimited (f)
  • 2008 Diesel – Fuel For Life Cologne for Men (m)
  • 2008 Yves Roger – Tendre Jasmin (f)
  • 2008 Lancôme – Magnifique (f)
  • 2008 Yves Saint Laurent – Elle Summer Edition (f)
  • 2008 Nina Ricci – Nina Gold Edition (f)
  • 2008 Kenzo – L’Eau par Kenzo Ice Pour Homme (m)
  • 2008 Giorgio Armani – Emporio Armani Diamonds for Men (m)
  • 2008 Issey Miyake – L’Eau d’Issey Extract Shiro Kurumata (f)
  • 2008 Bvlgari – Aqva Pour Homme Marine (m)
  • 2009 Bvlgari – Blv Eau de Parfum II (f)
  • 2009 Yves Roger – So Elixer (f)
  • 2009 Nina Ricci – Nina Precious Swarovski Edition (f)
  • 2009 Issey Miyake – L’Eau d’Issey Ettore Sottsass Edition (f)

 

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  • 2010 Yves Roger – So Elixer Eau de Toilette (f)
  • 2010 Yves Roger – Vanilla Noire (f)
  • 2010 Issey Miyake – L’Eau d’Issey Summer Edition (f)
  • 2010 Issey Miyake – L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Summer Edition (m)
  • 2010 Issey Miyake – L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois (f)
  • 2010 Issey Miyake – L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Edition Bois (m)
  • 2010 Jean Paul Gaultier – Classique X (f)
  • 2011 Jean Paul Gaultier – Classique X Jewel Edition (f)
  • 2011 Jean Paul Gaultier – Classique X Love Actually (f)
  • 2011 Giorgio Armani – Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her (f)
  • 2011 Giorgio Armani – Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Him (m)
  • 2011 Yves Roger – Vanilla Noire Eau de Parfum (f)
  • 2011 Caudalie – Thé Des Vignes (f)
  • 2011 Bvlgari – Aqva Pour Homme Toniq (m)
  • 2011 Bvlgari – Aqva Pour Homme Marine Toniq (m)
  • 2011 Jean Paul Gaultier – Classique Love Actually (f)
  • 2011 Jean Paul Gaultier – Classique Silver My Skin (f)
  • 2011 Stella McCartney – Stella (Print Collection 01) (f)
  • 2011 Stella McCartney – Stella (Print Collection 02) (f)
  • 2011 Stella McCartney – Stella (Print Collection 03) (f)
  • 2012 Stella McCartney – L.I.L.Y. (f)
  • 2012 Stella McCartney – Stella (Print Collection 01) (f)
  • 2012 Stella McCartney – Stella (Print Collection 02) (f)
  • 2012 Stella McCartney – Stella (Print Collection 03) (f)
  • 2012 Jean Paul Gaultier – Classique X L’Eau (f)
  • 2012 Issey Miyake – L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Sport (m)
  • 2012 Halle Berry – Closer (f)
  • 2012 Eau d’Italie – Un Bateau Pour Capri (f)
  • 2012 Ermenegildo Zegna – Florentine Ires (m)
  • 2012 Ermenegildo Zegna – Indonesian Oud (m)
  • 2012 Ermenegildo Zegna – Javanese Patchouli (m)
  • 2012 Ermenegildo Zegna – Italian Bergamot (m)
  • 2012 Ermenegildo Zegna – Sicilian Mandarin (m)
  • 2012 Maison Martin Margiela – Beach Walk (f)
  • 2012 Maison Martin Margiela – Flower Market (f)
  • 2012 Maison Martin Margiela – Funfair Evening (f)
  • 2012 Nina Ricci – Nina Fantasy (f)
  • 2013 Jean Paul Gaultier – Classique Belle et Corset (f)
  • 2014 Stella McCartney – Stella (re-launch) (f)
  • 2014 Caudalie – Parfum Devin (f)
  • 2014 O Boticário – Linda na Dança (f)
  • 2014 Jean Paul Gaultier – Classique (Collector Edition ’14) (f)
  • 2014 Bvlgari – Aqva Amara (m)
  • 2015 Jean Paul Gaultier – Classique Pirate (Collector Edition ’15) (f)
  • 2015 Bvlgari – Eau Parfumee au The Noir (f/m)
  • 2016 Bvlgari – Splendida Magnolia Sensual (f)
  • 2016 Bvlgari – Ombero (m)
  • 2016 Bvlgari – Garanat (m)
  • 2016 Bvlgari – Gyan (m)
  • 2016 Bvlgari – Malakeos (m)
  • 2016 Bvlgari – Onekh (m)
  • 2016 Bvlgari – Tygar (m)
  • 2017 Bvlgari – Aqva Pour Homme Atlantiqve (m)
  • 2017 Jean Paul Gaultier – Classique (Collector Edition ’17) (f)
  • 2019 Bvlgari – Falkar (m)
  • 2019 Bvlgari – Opalon (m)2019 Bvlgari – Yasep (m)

For a long time Jacques Cavallier Belletrud worked for Firmenich, a company that produces perfumes for other brands, he moved on to the LVMH group (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey SE) in 2012, where he works together with François Demachy as in-house master perfumer, and becoming the exclusive perfumer for Louis Vuitton. Named Maître Parfumeur of Louis Vuitton, he traveled the world for four years to perfect the first collection of Louis Vuitton perfumes. The French Maison hadn’t released any scents since the mid-twentieth century, marking new territory in creative exploration for them.

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  • 2016 Louis Vuitton – Turbulences (f)
  • 2016 Louis Vuitton – Rose des Vents (f)
  • 2016 Louis Vuitton – Mille Feux (f)
  • 2016 Louis Vuitton – Apogée (f)
  • 2016 Louis Vuitton – Matière Noire (f)
  • 2016 Louis Vuitton – Dans la Peau (f)
  • 2016 Louis Vuitton – Contre Moi (f)

 

Louis-Vuitton-perfume_trunk_main

 

  • 2018 Louis Vuitton – Sur la Route (f/m)
  • 2018 Louis Vuitton – Ombre Nomade (f/m)
  • 2018 Louis Vuitton – Orage (m)
  • 2018 Louis Vuitton – Nouveau Monde (f/m)
  • 2018 Louis Vuitton – L’Immensité (m)
  • 2018 Louis Vuitton – Attrape-Rêves (f)
  • 2018 Louis Vuitton – Au Hasard (m)
  • 2018 Louis Vuitton – Le Jour se Lève (f)

 

  • 2019 Louis Vuitton – Cactus Garden (f/m)
  • 2019 Louis Vuitton – Afternoon Swim (f/m)
  • 2019 Louis Vuitton – Sun Song (f/m)

Wondering what Jacques Cavallier Belletrud creates for us in the future…..

 

 

 

The noses: Pierre Guillaume

 

Pierre-Guillaume_PORTRAIT

Born in Clermont, Pierre Guillaume was a young 25-year-old chemist when he composed his first fragrance, COZÉ 02. This ‘Spicy Tobacco’ accord, inspired by the contents of a precious cigar case owned by his father, received critical acclaim from the fragrance blogosphere, which brought it to the attention of professional buyers all around the world.

Perfume Love for Everyone!

After New York Times perfume critic Chandler Burr praised ‘the young French chemist who concocted the coolest new European fragrances’, marked the commercial debut of the Collection Parfumerie Generale by Pierre Guillaume.

In 2010, the perfumer founded Pierre Guillaume Diffusion and set up a production facility comprising a composition studio, a cellar for raw materials and a packaging line solely dedicated to manufacturing the fragrances conceived by Pierre Guillaume. A second facility was inaugurated in 2015 to handle the company’s logistics.

Pierre Guillaume enjoys complete artistic and financial freedom to create his perfumes collection’s in his own studios and workshops, under the brand Pierre Guillaume Paris. Sixteen years later, 93 beautiful fragrances have been released in the Pierre Guillaume perfume collection.

Come into the world of Pierre Guillaume.

 

 

 

Shiseido signed for purchasing Serge Lutens trademark

Born in 1942 in Lille, France. In 1968, Serge Lutens was invited by Christian Dior to work as an art director for makeup product development, a position he then held for over 12 years. In 1980, he signed on with Shiseido for an image development project conducted in line with the Company’s full-scale launch of its European business and continued the collaboration over the next 20 years as Shiseido’s global image and visual identity.

serge-lutens-bench-1Serge Lutens

Shiseido’s partnership with Mr. Serge Lutens, acknowledged by the high-fashion and cosmetics industry for his unique visual creations, started in 1980. It was largely thanks to this collaboration that the Company was able to successfully break into European markets and accelerated its globalization.
In 2000, confident of his own experience in perfumery and supported by the Shiseido group, Serge Lutens decided to create his own brand: Parfums Beauté Serge Lutens, later renamed as ‘Serge Lutens’.

Shiseido signed for purchasing the trademark of Serge Lutens, a name synonymous with luxury fragrances and cosmetics. This brand was created in collaboration with Mr. Serge Lutens and Shiseido has been in the process of negotiation since March 2015.

The purchase of the trademark rights will enable Shiseido to invest more in the brand such as opening up directly managed boutiques in major cities worldwide, and gradually increase points of contact while keeping its prestigious image. As of 2015, the brand has expanded to around 2000 outlets in 35 countries.

 

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Mr. Lutens will keep directing the brand to transmit the spirit and the style.
In order to continue to promote the Serge Lutens brand in the future, Shiseido has concluded that it would be the best way to purchase the brand while maintaining its concept, ‘Rare and Lux’.

Jean Claude Ellena, The Diary of a Nose

Jean-Claude Ellena @ Richard Schroeder

Jean-Claude Ellena is believing that composing a scent is an art form that requires all 5 senses (Click photo to enlarge).

Perfume creation is an exclusive and secretive business. After all, if you create a truly unique and successful scent, the whole world wants to copy it. So, what is the day to day life like for a nose? How is a new scent actually created? And how do you translate it into a perfume that smells nice on your skin? This book takes you on a journey in the life of one of the world’s most important perfumers Jean Claude Ellena, mastermind of many Hermès fragrances.

Jean Claude Ellena, The Diary of a Nose

Jean Claude Ellena, The Diary of a Nose’ (picture by Rebecca, La Touch de Beauté) (Click photo to enlarge)

The French bestseller The Diary of a Nose is the story behind the creation of a perfume, from the head perfumer at Hermès. Perfume creation is an exclusive and secretive endeavour. What is day to day life like for a perfume maker? How does the creation of a new scent begin? How do you capture the essence of a smell on the skin?

For one year, Jean-Claude Ellena kept a diary of his life as ‘parfumeur exclusif’ (‘le nez’ or ‘the nose’) for Hermès, and the result is this fascinating book in which he offers the reader a rare glimpse into the secrets of the perfume business and with it a peek into his mind and life. Believing that creating a scent is like creating a work of art, and describing himself as a writer using ‘olfactory colours’, he explains how all of the five senses come into play when creating a perfume. He also reveals how inspiration can come from a market stall, a landscape, or even the movement of calligraphy, and concludes this charming, perceptive diary with recipes for natural fragrances, each made up of three synthetic ingredients, to create the illusion of smells like freesia, orange blossom, grapefruit, pear, chocolate, cashew and cotton candy. This is the story of a quest to capture what is most elusive. Jean-Claude Ellena offer readers a rare insight into the secrets of his business, his art, and his life as one of the world’s most important and admired perfumers.

The book is not new, it came out in French five years ago. The English translation of the American edition 3 years. Hermès perfumes are timeless, like this book is timeless. A great present for those who love perfumes, their secrets, and everything around it….

Even if you don’t like the Hermès perfumes. You have to admit: The man is a magician, a nose, a parfumuer … His journal reveals in simple words a real secret: the creation of perfumes. Day by day, every emotion, every encounter, every precious moment is preserved. Here, everything is customary but nothing is ordinary, for this is where the magic happens. More than a chemist or composer, I’d call Ellena a poet.

Particular Books (August 28, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1846145597
ISBN-13:  978-1846145599

by Jean Amr

The Noses: Elie Roger and Estee Lauder ‘Knowing’

For many years in her life, my sister used Estée Lauder’s White Linen, created by the legendary Sophia Grojsman for Estée Lauder in 1978, and: Knowing

But who was the perfumer behind Estée Lauder’s Knowing, a chypre of roses tangled up with dark moss? For many years, Lauder, like many other companies, didn’t put the perfumers into the limelight, and this is why Elie Roger’s name is not often linked with Knowing if you search for the information online. Roger worked for the fragrance house of Firmenich, and he signed both Knowing (1988) and Clinique Wrappings (1990). While his portfolio wasn’t as extensive as that of some other perfumers, he had a distinctive style, and both Knowing and Wrappings remain beloved classics.

Estee Lauder Knowing Paulina Porizkova ad, 1994

Estee Lauder ‘Knowing’ ad, with model Paulina Porizkova, 1994 (Click photo to enlarge)

Estee Lauder Knowing EDP Spray

Estee Lauder ‘Knowing’ Eau de Parfum in it’s legendary beautiful bottle (Click photo to enlarge)

A real beautiful creation. The top notes begin with the floral freshness of mimoza, pittosporum, sweet rose and tuberose, combined with sparkling fruty notes of plum and melon. There are floral notes mingling with a sweet woodsy note of patchouli and iris and spicy clove and laurel. The chypre base includes precious woods (sandalwood), vetiver, patchouli, oakmoss and civet. Knowing is a warm and elegant woodsy scent for a sophisticated and self-confident woman.

Elie Roger passed away on Nov. 19, 2010, five years ago, after a long career, which started in 1946 in Grasse, France, his hometown. He worked for 20 years at Firmenich, both in New York and Paris, and he received the American Society of Perfumers’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. Since he crafted two American classics as well as some other interesting fragrances, it’s well-deserved recognition.

by Jean Amr

The Nose: Pascal Gaurin

Pascal Gaurin Nose

Pascal Gaurin was born circa 1970 in France. This French Perfumer works for IFF (International Flavors & Fragrances) as Senior Perfumer for the Fine Fragrances division (Click photo to enlarge).

Pascal had no objective reasons to become a perfumer, but chose it thanks to his gift. His fascination with scents was so great that as a child, he literally explored the world with his nose, causing his mother to wonder if he was afraid of being poisoned.

Pascal studied and graduated at ISIPCA in Versailles and a year after that he began to work in IFF, first in Hong Kong, where he enriched not only his olfactory palette, but also gained a deep understanding of the art, customs and olfactory preferences of people in Asia. Then, in 1997, Pascal was offered the chance to work in IFF, New York, the city of his dreams. The city where everything happens, and where all smells come together.

Most inspired by very dense essences, Pascal Gaurin is fond of resins, deep woods and anything that can express extreme sensuality. His taste for darkness probably originates from his grandparents’ home in Creuse, France. ‘The forests are very dark there, it always feels like it’s night time, you can feel the vapors of humus, mushrooms, leaves and bark. . . I love frontal materials, those you need to tame like sculptor does stone, by keeping the volume but making it flow’. This is where he gets his affinity for cistus, patchouli, Cashmeran and vanilla, ingredients he qualifies as erotic.”

IFF

Other passions of Pascal, which help him in his work, are music and film. The palette of fragrances created by Pascal Gaurin is wide indeed:

  • 2000 Givenchy ‘Oblique Play’ (with Jean-Claude Delville)
  • 2002 Calvin Klein ‘Crave’ (with Yves Cassar and Jean-Marc Chaillan)
  • 2002 Liz Clairborne ‘Bora Bora’ (with Oliver Polge)
  • 2003 Calvin Klein ‘Eternity Purple Orchid’ (with Sophia Grojsman)
  • 2004 Curve ‘Crush Men’ (with Jean-Marc Chaillan)
  • 2004 Karl Lagerfeld ‘Liquid Karl’ (with Bruno Jovanovic and Sandrine Malin)
  • 2004 Liz Clairborne ‘Realities’ (with Jean-Marc Chaillan, Laurent le Guernec)
  • 2005 Liz Clairborne ‘Liz’ (with Jean-Marc Chaillan, Laurent le Guernec)
  • 2006 Banana Republic ‘Rosewood’
  • 2006 Curve Chill Men (with Jean-Marc Chaillan, Laurent le Guernec, Loc Dong)
  • 2007 Christian Lacroix ‘Noir’

Christian Lacroix Nuit

Christian Lacroix ‘Nuit’ (Click photo to enlarge).

  • 2007 Tom Ford ‘Black Violet’ (with Clement Gavarry)
  • 2007 Calvin Klein ‘Eternity Summer’ (with Clement Gavarry)
  • 2008 Patrick Dempsey ‘Unscripted’ (with Yves Cassar)
  • 2008 Emanuelle Ungaro, ‘U by Ungaro for Him’ (with Yves Cassar)
  • 2008 Calvin Klein ‘Eternity Summer’ (with Yves Cassar)
  • 2008 Jessica Simpson ‘Fancy Love’ (with Celine Barel, Clement Gavarry, Yves Cassar)
  • 2009 Michael Kors ‘Very Hollywood’  (with Laurent le Guernec)
  • 2009 Valentino ‘Valentino’
  • 2011 Christian Lacroix ‘Nuit for Him’
  • 2012 Vera Wang ‘Lovestruck Floral Rush’
  • 2013 Diesel ‘Loverdose Tattoo’ (with Anne Flipo)
  • 2014 Diesel ‘Loverdose Tattoo EDT’ (with Anne Flipo)
  • 2015 Diana Vreeland ‘Daringly Different’
  • 2015 Oscar de La Renta ‘Extraordinary’ (with Bruno Jovanovic)

Oscar de La Renta Eau de Parfum EXTRAORDINARY

Oscar de La Renta ‘Extraordinary’ (Click photo to enlarge).

by Jean Amr

A piece of History: Perfume Houses, Annick Goutal

Annick Goutal Hadrian Yakymour

Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien (Click photo to enlarge).

Music and fragrance speak the same language: they’re composed of notes, harmonies – and the finished ‘juice’ we take such pleasure in is known as a ‘composition’. So it’s not so surprising that Annick Goutal, who dedicated her early life to playing the piano, with the dream of being a pianist, should turn, instead, to creating perfumes (which today are loved around the world).

Annick Goutal was born in Aix-en-Provence, the third daughter of a family of eight children, with a father who was a confectioner; as a child, she liked nothing better than tying up chocolates and small packets of sweets with beautiful ribbons – when she wasn’t practising piano. At the age of 16, she won first prize for piano at the prestigious Versailles Conservatory – but not long after, abandoned her pianist dream when the pressure became too much. She moved to London and found work as an au pair, where her classic beauty and slender silhouette was ‘spotted’ by legendary photographer David Bailey. And who better to launch someone on their modelling career…?

camille-goutal-and-isabelle-doyen

Madame Camille Goutal and long time collaborator, master perfumer Isabelle Doyen were on hand to celebrate the new Annick Goutal Boutique 955 Madison Avenue opening (Click photo to enlarge).

Always intellectual, always questioning, Annick had doubts about her new career: how could she accept earning a living so effortlessly? She moved back to Paris, opened an antique shop (Folavril, after a character in a Boris Vian novel). She had her first daughter, Camille. The door of the antique shop closed, another opened: Annick began helping a friend launch a beauty store selling plant-based creams. An echo of her childhood, Annick Goutal set about designing confectionery-style packaging, tied with elegant ribbon bows.

The beauty products needed a fragrance – so Annick headed to Grasse, still the heartland of perfumery today. And it was meeting with a perfumer, Henri Sorsana from fragrance house Robertet, which opened Annick Goutal’s eyes, and more importantly her nose, to what became her true vocation. Before very long, Annick gave up modelling, and instead became a perfumer, showing exceptional talent. She spent four years training, rediscovering the musical language she’d left behind, translated to the world of olfaction.

Annick Goutal Eau Shop Counter Yakymour

Annick Goutal shop counter (Click photo to enlarge).

By chance, at a dinner, Annick had rediscovered her teenage love, Alain Meunier (who she’d met 20 years before at the music conservatory), who was now a famous cellist. She liked nothing better than to listen to Alain practising for a concert, while she played on her own ‘organ’: the array of precious oils and fragrance elements used to compose perfumes.

Annick Goutal Eau Shop Counter Yakymour

In 1981, Annick Goutal created her first signature perfume, Folavrl, with its touches of tomato leaf. It was soon followed by L’Eau d’Hadrien, still worn and loved all over the world by men and women for its timeless, citrus-powered freshness. Her gift: to capture the memories of people she loved, landscapes, and moments which touched her life. Perfume-lovers picked up on that, and she joined the ranks of French ‘haute parfumerie’.

Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien Eau de Toilette YakymourAnnick Goutal, Eau d’Hadrien. A universal perfume inspired by a Tuscany landscape, Eau d’Hadrien is the expression of Annick Goutal’s deep passion for Italy, named after Roman Emperer Hadrian, who was a great lover of arts and ‘everything’ beautiful (Click photo to enlarge).

In 1986, Annick was joined along the way by equally gifted ‘nose’. And the reputation of Annick Goutal spread around the world; by the 1990s, the collection was in the ‘top five’ in leading department stores like Saks and Nieman Marcus, fuelled by the popularity of fragrances like the exquisite floral bouquet of Gardénia Passion, blowsily delectable Rose Absolue, and breezy Eau du Sud. Each new fragrance embodied the French ‘art de vivre’, or way of being: that seductive mix of simplicity and extreme sophistication, so admired around the world.

Annick Goutal Eau du Sud Eau de Toilette Yakymour

Annick Goutal, Eau du Sud. The recollection of a summer evening in Provence, where the daylight seems to be never ending (Click photo to enlarge).

Unbelievably sadly, Annick Goutal died in 1999, at the age of just 53, after a long battle with cancer. Fragrances, of course, are a kind of immortality, but more than that, Annick Goutal passed on her love of rich, complex fragrances to her talented daughter and ‘muse’ Camille. (Camille was the inspiration for both Eau de Camille, and Petite Chérie, a fragrance composed for young women.)

Camille studied Literature at ‘A’ Level, then took courses in art, photography and design at the Louvre Museum School. It led to a career in photography. But scent beckoned. She’d grown up surrounded by it, at the family’s homes in Paris and on the Ile de Ré, whose salt-tanged breezes inspired Annick Goutal Les Sables.

Her mother’s legacy was hugely important to her. And in 1999, Camille took her first steps as ‘Aromatique Majeur’ for her mother’s perfume house. So the baton was passed, and today, there’s a fresh duet at Annick Goutal: Camille Goutal, composing beside Isabelle Doyen, and it’s among the few houses in the world to have its own in-house perfumers.

Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio Eau de Toilette Yakymour

Annick Goutal, Ninfeo Mio. The rendition of a wonder-filled stroll through an Italian garden crossed by the Ninfeo river (Click photo to enlarge).

This isn’t someone simply to follow in her mother’s footsteps, though: the innately stylish Camille’s definitely imprinted her own signature at Annick Goutal. As she told The Perfume Society’s Jo Fairley, ‘Unlike my mother, who created Eau de Camille and Eau de Charlotte for me and my sister, I tend not to make my fragrances too ‘personal’, or based on people and places that are sentimental to me. Un Matin d’Orage, for instance, was inspired by a stormy morning on a business trip to Tokyo…’

Other creations have included Les Nuits d’Hadrien (a more sensual version of her mother’s iconic Cologne), bewitchingly exotic Mandragore, and cool, green Ninfeo Mio, inspired by the legendary gardens of Ninfa, just outside Rome (let’s talk about this fragrances later).

Annick Goutal Les Nuits d'Hadrien Eau de Toilette Yakymour

Annick Goutal, Les Nuits d’Hadrien. The illustration of a Tuscan lanscape at dusk, set ablaze by a late afternoon sun (Click photo to enlarge).

Importantly, Camille and Isabelle continue to enjoy complete creative freedom – able to put together notes and harmonies unfettered by ‘marketing briefs’. Annick Goutal would herself surely be so proud of each and every beautiful new composition.

Like she is saying: “We like to think of them as music, for the nose…”

More info at http://www.annickgoutal.com/en/

by Jean Amr