Hervé Gambs Paris 1989

As one of Paris’s leading interior designers and floral designers, Hervé Gambs knows his blooms. Now he’s turned his talent towards the most stunning collection of fragrances, weaving together not only ravishing floral elements but other precious materials from around the globe…

‘I am quite convinced that the essence of beauty is hidden inside the heart of nature,’ believes Hervé Gambs. And for more than 20 years, this artistic director and fabric floral design initiator has created ‘sensory experiences for unconventional luxury seekers’. Noteworthy creations include a chair fashioned from wheat and rose-strewn furniture, among show-stopping interior and floral designs.

He first made it onto the radar of many scent-lovers, actually, via a home fragrance collection like no other. In place of the usual diffuser reed sticks (sometimes tricky to incorporate elegantly into an interior), Hervé Gambs’s home fragrance creations are instead dispensed via beautiful silk blooms, wafting their scent into some of the world’s most exclusive homes.

Called ‘avant garde’ (and, sometimes, ‘troublemaker’), Hervé Gambs created the trend of perfume floral design and developed the concept of ‘Neonature’, a way to bring nature into our urban lives. An insatiable traveller with a demanding aesthetic, his positive outlook on the world is constantly fuelled by new inspirations, on an almost daily basis.

Extravagance is Hervé Gambs’s signature, with fragrances ‘made for neo-dandies, both male and female, who cultivate a passion for the extraordinary.’ And it was certainly a natural progression from stylish scents for the interiors to creating fragrances to be enjoyed on the skin, unveiled in 2013. (We first encountered them in a Paris boutique and did a little pirouette of perfume joy when the collection debuted here.)

As he told the Middle Eastern website khaleejmadame.com, ‘There are two kinds of perfumers: the chemical experimenters, and the designers. I am the latter. As designers, we work intensely and are detail oriented. For me, the inspiration that carried me forth as a perfume maker was nature and flowers. Back when I was an interior designer, the need for perfume came into my work as an important touch to add essence to my home and décor, and to feel emotionally receptive to the environment around me.’

The free-spirited Monsieur Gambs continues: ‘Every perfume tells a story. In this field, you have to be fast and creative. For me, perfume is a fashion accessory. It is more than air; it is a statement and an identify of our personality.’ Taking elements from nature, these fragrances enjoy, we are told, ‘extended maceration periods’, to allow components to blend and condense, giving more depth and a remarkable longevity.’ And indeed, even the Colognes Intense – created as ‘a journey through the olfactory memories of a childhood on the French Riviera’ – last for hours on the skin, combining the freshness of a Cologne with the intensity of an eau de parfum.

Truly transportive, this collection spans the citrus sophistication of Hotel Riviera through to Domaine du Cap, which brilliantly evokes the aromatic French maquis vegetation with a blend of thyme, basil, rosemary, wild fennel and cedarwood. Super-cool and super-cooling, meanwhile, we have the Ice Colognes, in which the intensity of nature is ‘captured and frozen for sensations of extreme freshness’ – the fragrant equivalent of a long, cool glass of water (or maybe a G&T), on a baking hot day.

The Parfums Couture collection, meanwhile, is described as ‘non-comformist fragrances for urban sophisticates). Luscious and sensual, they are unforgettable blends, from Hotel Particulier, a-swirl with rose, tonka bean, vanilla, amber and sandalwood to the addictive, unforgettable Oriental-Chypre Rouge Cardinal, which for hours after application continues to trail a sillage of orange flowers, incense, patchouli, vanilla and cocoa.

There are Eaux de Parfum Noir (in sexy bottles to match): a collection of dark, woody and spicy fragrances ‘inspired by the sensuality that exists within us all.’ And most luxurious of all, we have the Parfums Prestige, which saw Hervé Gambs ‘working as a perfume goldsmith’, attentive to the slightest details’ – including the engraved neck of the flacon, right.  These creations span Tonka Majestic – ‘like a fabulous frozen shot, to be enjoyed without limits’, vibrant with Balkan juniper berries, Italian lemon and bergamot, Haitian vetiver and a fougère accord – to the sublime Iris Royal, a masterpiece of a subtly leathery, powdery-floral perfume, poised and elegant with its juxtaposition of Spanish cistus labdanum, French saffron, Italian iris and cool violet leaves.

As Hervé Gambs concluded in that aforementioned interview, ‘I am happy that being around fragrance is part of my life. It lifts my mood and fills joy in my heart.’ Which is precisely what we know these fragrances will do for you, too.

hervegambs.fr  (In the UK, find them here.)

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