Although David Frossard’s family already had a business selling perfumes and cosmetics in Africa, David’s own fragrant journey truly began after he’d completed his studies in philosophy. Wanting to make his own way into the world of fragrance, he started working as Head of Exports at L’Artisan Parfumeur (whom many have called ‘the first niche fragrance house’).
With such great experience under his belt, David’s entrepreneurial spirit urged him onwards to create his own company – Différentes Lattitudes – which specialised in supporting independent perfumery houses at the start of their own journeys. With David’s expert guidance, now well-known and iconic names such as Atelier Cologne, Juliette Has a Gun, BYREDO, Memo Paris, Parfums Frapin, BDK Parfums, Ella K and Liquides Imaginaires were so-successfully launched. Indeed, many of us will have begun our journeys into the myriad delights of niche perfumery, and have lined our dressing tables with their bottled artistry, thanks to David Frossard and Liquides Imaginaires forward-thinking fragrant imaginings.
Far from resting on his fragrant laurels, David surged onwards with his creative approach to scent, opening the ‘Liquides Perfume Bar’ in 2013, and finally, in the autumn of 2020, taking the plunge to launch his own perfume house: OBVIOUS. Formed with the ethos of being a luxury perfume house that ‘combines simplicity with elegance, and elegance with respect.’ Perhaps David’s philosophical roots show through in the balance which is cited as central to their being, where the beauty and artistic opulence of fragrance is showcased, while also highlighting the importance of ‘complementary scents that are simple yet eminently complex.’ Similarly, and with his vast experience in sourcing the best ingredients in the world; OBVIOUS ‘favours natural ingredients but does not shun synthetic ones.’ The best of both worlds, in other words. But at their heart, they say, ‘make no mistake,’ for they are truly ‘motivated by transparency, recyclability and accountability.’
With this ethos at their core, for the OBVIOUS fragrances, ‘We have chosen to use organic dilution alcohol, recyclable bottles made from recycled glass, cork caps with no plastic inserts, and boxes made from recycled paper and natural dyes.’ And inside those so-sustainable bottles, the scents themselves bear the hallmark of their founder’s deep-rooted adoration of artistic (yet utterly wearable) fragrance making, because ‘our perfumes also match today’s wardrobes and lifestyles: simple, high-quality, original and casual.’ Even the names reflect the ‘obvious’ and honest approach to everything they do – Une Rose, Une Vanille, Une Musc, and so on – they do what they say, in the most superb way.
Continuing with the ethos of ‘less is more’, the formulas of the fragrances themselves have been kept deliberately short and uncluttered; the ‘luxury embedded in simplicity.’ Using an analogy we can all understand, ‘Just like in the kitchen, it’s not a question of adding more ingredients but knowing how much to add of each one.’ Therefore, ‘Obvious creates short, understandable and obvious formulas.’ For this seemingly simple (but in fact incredibly difficult to achieve) aim, only perfumers with a true understanding and restraint of their skills could be used, and David chose Amélie Bourgeois,Anne-Sophie Behaghel – two talented noses, and fellow entrepreneurs, who formed their own company of FLAIR PARIS, and have composed for many of the world’s leading fragrance creation laboratories.
For OBVIOUS, Amélie made the sparkling Une Verveine, which veritably bubbles over with joyously uplifting French verbena, Italian citrus and the feeling of green undergrowth, leaves unfurling and freshly snapped, sap-filled stalks. Un Bois, meanwhile, shows the opposite side of her skills, using fresh but ultra-dry wood filled with a modern, utterly addictive heart of Ambroxan. For Une Patchouli, Amélie weaves the ‘desire for elsewhere’ that formed that ingredient’s long-loved fragrant history, rounded and smoothed by tonka bean and silky tolu balm. Another classic ingredient is transformed in Une Rose, that Queen of flowers granted a surprising freshness by being bathed in grapefruit and lapped with sophisticated spices as it warms.
Anne-Sophie’s compositions can be explored in Une Musc, inspired by that ‘perfect symbiosis’ of skin and perfume – the perfect white t-shirt of scent which can take you anywhere; Une Poivrebeckoning you forth for a ‘journey that never ends’ with pepper juxtaposed against cool violet leaf and a warm base. It’s the sunshine, meanwhile, that pours from the bottle of Une Fleur d’Oranger– generous citrus fruits squeezed over Tunisian orange blossom. And for Une Vanille, Anne-Sophie moves far away from the usual ‘gourmand’ and swathes the fruits of the wild orchid with ultra-clean musks.
Whichever of the OBVIOUS fragrances you feel most instinctively drawn to, we feel your own journey is about to begin – into fine niche perfumery if you have not previously plunged; or even deeper down the fragrant rabbit hole if you’re already a fragrance-lover. Truly sublime scents, each one, we applaud their ‘quest for olfactory elegance’, most obviously!