“ What is life ? Is it finally the memory of passing time ? I have often asked myself this question by observing the events of our existence in which everything seems fleeting and at the same time eternal. Because as soon as a thing disappears, it will still exist in our memories and feelings. Isn’t this true luxury? Contrary to what we may believe, it doesn’t lie in a mercantile possession, but in the emotion that people can have with an impression given by their senses. Thus, a luxury can be a clear mountain that one discovers the last day of his holidays, or words spoken by his grandson during a fishing game. There is nothing exceptional. It is an inner possession of very simple moments, and we will always keep these images, moments and words engraved in our memories. For smells, it’s the same thing. The creator of perfumes can thus draw on thousands of situations, emotions, facts and privileged or unhappy moments. Everything can be a pretext for creation! If I take the example of my last perfume, I was in my garden and I wanted to reproduce the luminosity of the lemon tree.
One can still meditate on relativity. For example, one sees the lightning before hearing the roar of thunder. But for an blind person, he will only hear the sound, when the storm has preceded him. The value of existence of a fact, an event, an odor or a vision is therefore extremely relative and the truth is not unique. Another example is the observation of stars in astronomy; This light that has come to us has existed in the past and these phenomena no longer exist today. So there are several truths. This is why two perfumers will have totally different approaches, the perception of reality not being the same according to the senses of each one. It varies even according to the time of observation, the environment or the mood. All this leads us to great humility. Thus, in my trade, one cannot know in advance how the public will receive our creation. One can believe that a perfume will be a success, when no one will want it. And vice versa ! We are in total close to 200 perfumers in the world, and no-one is infallible. Personally, I stop testing when I feel that what I perceive and what I have imagined, converge towards an end result. But this is not what those who are going to receive it have imagined, for they already feel the world with 12 different senses. When presented with a determined image, they will perceive the perfume with surprise, and in this perception they may have emotions. If they have emotions, the perfume is then successful.
I grew up among flowers, which is why for me, a perfume that would be authentic and true, it would be something that has an aspect of nature in the broad sense of the term. It would be raised as a feeling, perceptible as a leaf, with the richness of sound and to lead to a form of enjoyment. There, I think I’ve reached my goal. Make all the senses work together so to create a resonance that leads to joy. Moreover, there is the temporality that illuminates these moments. It happens to all of us to have flashes, visual or auditory, which disappear immediately but which are of an incredible enjoyment. One has the impression that this moment will never be repeated again, but we have it in us, that is to say our evolved brain has stored it forever but for a determined moment. In any field, we have these extremely short moments that come back and that are embellished. Then, the other senses will add events or actions to this little crystal, and that will give him joyful proportions.
All this contributes to reveal emotions, which is the goal. To tell a story. This luxury is therefore not necessarily something very sophisticated. Of course the realization in itself will be complicated, but the starting crystal will be something very simple. Like the perfume of verbena that I created, closer to the scent of the plant. I have always been keen to exalt this simplicity. Simple does not mean “insignificant” because for the purity of a perfume, the simpler it is and the more understandable it is.
Smell this! It is of the heliotrope and its smell recalls the gingerbread. And here are the emotions of childhood that go back. I have developed for a society dozens of ambient odors that recall the memories of childhood. The smell of the Petit Lu, for example, that one eats at 4 o’clock … And today, my biggest desire is that everyone can participate in the knowledge of the world of perfume. Not in an intellectual way, but in practice, and so that, in their daily lives, they can go towards smells in order to have fun.”
Interview held by Carine Mouradian on September 9, 2017, at Cabris (Grasse)