In our new edition of The Scented Letter (which our VIP Subscribers can read in their downloadable edition), perfumer Alienor Massenet talks about ‘Bottling Mr. Beckham’ – and the creation of Aqua Classic, the latest to join an incredibly successful line-up of David Beckham scents produced in partnership with Coty. (We also reveal David Beckham’s ‘scent philosophy’: the type of smells he likes to wear – and how he likes a woman to smell…)
Here on the website, though, where we know you have a particular fascination with the creative process behind the scents we wear and love, we thought we’d share with you more of Alienor’s thoughts – beyond the creation of this ultra-fresh men’s fragrance…
Q. When did your passion for perfumery begin?
Since I was a child I used to exercise my sense of smell. I used it much more than any of my other senses: an aptitude I learned to play with and which in the end made me different. Then, when a friend of her mother’s told me about the existence of the perfumery profession, I didn’t even dare to think about it. It was too good to be true!
Q. What are your personal sources of inspiration?
I love to find new original ideas all the time I always try to surprise myself, that way I am more inventive. I get my inspiration from everywhere, but mostly from artistic fields. I often think of my perfume ideas in terms of colors, shapes and materials, like architecture or painting. I picture certain fragrances like solid blocks and others like staircases. It’s a very personal olfactive language with a spirit of independence and liberty, typical of each of my creations.
Q. What are your favourite notes or raw materials to work with?
I’m open to any kind of materials, but I like to work by theme – leathers, liqueurs, seeds, roses – to explore an olfactive territory. I also have ‘lucky’ ingredients – myrrh and labdanum – which I always include in my creations. This is maybe due to the fact that I’m very spiritual and that labdanum & myrrh have a mystical dimension for me.
Q. What is the secret of making good perfume?
There is no secret formula to create a good perfume. It’s all about the harmony between the name, the brand, the packaging and the scent. When all these elements are coherent, it’s much easier for the consumer to understand and appreciate the fragrance.
For David Beckham Aqua Classic, Alienor put a new spin on his Classic bestseller, enlivening it with lemon, violet leaves and cardamom, before the aromatic heart of sage, geranium and artemisia unfolds. Notes of patchouli, a suede accord and vetiver emerge later – making this one for nights out as well as days in the office.