A rose by any other name

What’s in a name? Camille, the daugh­ter of famed per­fumer An­nick Goutal, fills us in.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - PEOPLE - By Sunitha Thaya­paran star2@ thes­tar.com.my

IT is mid morn­ing when I air- kiss Camille Goutal hello, hav­ing last caught up with her in Paris a cou­ple of years ago.

We start talk­ing about art and she whips out her phone to show images of Shad­ows, the Andy Warhol ex­hi­bi­tion that she man­aged to visit at the Musée d’Art mod­erne de la Ville de Paris.

“It was spell­bind­ing, so mys­te­ri­ous! I’m not re­ally a fan but this cu­ra­tion took my breath away. That’s what I love about the city, there’s al­ways some­thing com­pelling, ar­tis­ti­cally.”

Seated here in a clas­si­cally ap­pointed suite of The Majestic Ho­tel Kuala Lumpur, her blonde locks pulled back into a youth­ful pony­tail, she ex­udes all the charm and gen­tle ex­u­ber­ance I re­call from in­ter­views over the years.

Camille is in Kuala Lumpur for the launch of An­nick Goutal’s new­est fra­grance, Rose Pom­pon and re­calls in de­tail why both the idea of the scent and its name res­onates with her.

“First, as a scent in it­self, my mother was to­tally en­am­oured with the idea of the rose. In 1984, she gave the world Rose Ab­solue and then there was Ce Soir Ou Ja­mais that re­vealed the fem­i­nine mys­tique of the rose, her favourite flower.”

Ac­cord­ing to Camille, her mum wanted to cre­ate an al­most trans­par­ent scent, which was un­heard of in those times. In fact, the cre­ation of Ce Soir Ou Ja­mais was the re­sult of an er­ror.

“In con­coct­ing the for­mula, she added too much of an in­gre­di­ent. But the re­sult was sur­pris­ingly ex­actly what pleased her, and that led to the in­spi­ra­tion of Pe­tite Chérie.”

Of course, all who know the brand’s sto­ried his­tory know that Pe­tite Chérie was the per­fumer’s soul­ful trib­ute to Camille, who now car­ries on the fam­ily name in scent cre­ation.

These days, Camille works with the nose Is­abelle Doyen, who used to col­lab­o­rate with her mother.

“Of course, I would love it if one of my two daugh­ters were in­ter­ested in car­ry­ing on this tra­di­tion. But I’m like my own mother, who al­ways let me do my own thing and some­how I grav­i­tated to this, her pas­sion.

“When I was young, I used to cre­ate wool pom­pons to ac­ces­sorise berets and the like. It was some­thing we’d do to­gether, hence the name of this lat­est fra­grance, Rose Pom­pon. It speaks to the mod­ern young woman, and I was in­spired by my Parisian girl­friends in their 20s who have it all to­gether: ca­reer, fash­ion sense, a sen­si­ble beauty regime and a cer­tain in­sou­ciance. They work hard, but then they want a glass of Rosé, come dusk. I think my mother would have liked the idea,” she muses.

She has ado­les­cent daugh­ters, al­most 14 and 17 – “and go­ing on 38!” – with artis­tic in­cli­na­tions. Camille shares: “I hope they find their pas­sion. We work so hard ev­ery day, Is­abelle and my­self. It’s been 16 years of a great col­lab­o­ra­tion.

“But for this fra­grance, I worked with a younger per­fumer, Philip­pine Cour­tière. It was cer­tainly a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause she first came to me with a scent that I felt was too com­mer­cial. Af­ter go­ing through it with her note by note, we re­turned to the essence of An­nick Goutal. Bul­gar­ian rose and black­cur­rant are eter­nal themes in Rose Pom­pon and in­form the non­cha­lant el­e­gance of it.”

Camille ad­mits that work­ing with women is some­thing she re­ally ap­pre­ci­ates.

“There is a nur­tur­ing, a mu­tual un­der­stand­ing. Is­abelle and I are both rais­ing daugh­ters so time and space is al­ways given for that. We also be­lieve in tak­ing the time to travel and ex­plore.” The duo just re­turned from a trip to Tahiti where they sniffed the scent of a rare moun­tain­ous bloom.

“Oh, and we be­lieve in earthy, long lunches,” laughs Camille, who al­ways man­ages to get a ta­ble at her favourite restau­rant Sep­time come din­ner­time – de­spite the fact that there’s a three­week wait­ing list. “I’m lucky, I know the own­ers so I just call in the morn­ing and if there are can­cel­la­tions, they slot me in first.”

On her celebrity sta­tus, she says that she has never re­ally no­ticed it, es­pe­cially in Paris. “There was one time in a restau­rant when this young guy prac­ti­cally blurted out my name. I thought it was funny be­cause it was him and not his girl­friend who recog­nised me. Of course, my girls love the celebrity part of it, al­ways telling their friends, ‘ Pe­tite Chérie, that’s our mother, you know.’”

A day in the life of Camille is pretty much spent in the lab or in meet­ings with the mar­ket­ing or de­sign team.

“Now that my daugh­ters are older, I don’t have to do ‘ fer­ry­ing about’ duty,” says Camille. “I’m home by eight and if I have time, I’ll cook or do what ev­ery Parisian does and or­der sushi.”

She reads un­til one in the morn­ing, and no, she’s not hooked on so­cial me­dia like the rest of the world. “I have an In­sta­gram ac­count that I use mainly for its fil­ters.”

Travel is some­thing that fig­ures strongly in her life and last year, she was in both Mar­tinique and Scot­land with her fam­ily.

“When I need to de- stress, I head out to Ile de Re in the coun­try and ride my horse. I’m well aware that I’m in­cred­i­bly lucky to have that lib­erty – there is noth­ing quite like the free­dom of be­ing on a horse, the wind whip­ping your hair. It frees you from ev­ery­thing.”

Rose Pom­pon is priced at rM440 ( 50ml) and rM585 ( 100ml). An­nick Goutal is lo­cated in Pavil­ion KL and Ise­tan Suria KLCC, as well as Kens Apothe­cary in Bangsar Vil­lage II and Kens in Bangsar Shop­ping Cen­tre, KL.

“Of course, I would love it if one of my two daugh­ters were in­ter­ested in car­ry­ing on this tra­di­tion”

Camille Goutal

camille Goutal now car­ries on the fam­ily name in scent cre­ation.

An­nick Goutal’s new­est fra­grance is called rose Pom­pon.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.