Having recently released Elysium Pour Homme, the eponymous creator of one of the world’s most luxurious perfume brands tells of his sources of inspiration
1 THÉOULE-SURMER ON THE CÔTE D’AZUR
When I want to switch off, I go to this small village on the Bay of Cannes. The villa we stay at hangs on the edge of a hill and looks straight out over the sea, where you’ll see Nice and Cannes twinkling in the distance. I love being elevated and looking onto water. Somewhere in the sun, I’m in my element.
He’s my style icon, not so much for the way he looks but because he has done more to free men from the shackles of stereotypical masculinity than almost anyone. He has made wearing fragrances not only acceptable but fashionable, something I didn’t think was possible when I was growing up.
2 SMALL, INDEPENDENT PERFUMERS
Perfumery is undergoing the same change as the cosmetics industry did 15 years ago. There’s been a backlash against big mainstream brands, and names like Frederic Malle, Kilian and Le Labo are just a few of the brands of tomorrow. They started like us, perceived as small. They don’t attract the type of consumer who still wants to buy the latest fashions with the big logos, but the cognoscente looking for something different—products that are uniquely theirs; legitimate and authentic.
3 MANGE TOUT
Since I’m based in London during the week, the weekends are almost always spent at my house in Brighton, which is by the beach. I love to spend my Sundays having brunch with friends at my favourite restaurant, Mange Tout. What do you want when you walk into a restaurant? It’s simple. You want a friendly smile that greets you at the door. You want great service. And you want delicious, unpretentious food. Mange Tout ticks all of those boxes and more.
5 MY PERFUMER’S ORGAN
Named after the musical instrument, this toolbox of sorts holds small eyedropper bottles with 238 tinctures, resinoids, absolutes and essential oils that comprise the building blocks of every single perfume I create. This is where each story begins. With a custom-made leather Dunhill case, it also folds neatly into a piece of hand luggage should a client require me to pay them a visit.
“THERE’S A LINK BETWEEN ARTISTS AND PERFUMERS. WE ARE PAINTING PICTURES BUT INSTEAD OF PAINT, WE ALLOW RAW MATERIALS TO EXPRESS OUR VISION, USING THE LANGUAGE OF PERFUME”