Julie Pluchet

Julie’s roots and heritage influenced her to become a Perfumer. She grew up in the French countryside in a family passionate about nature (now, an endless source of inspiration for her creations). Always fascinated by smells and perfumes, Julie’s mind was made up about perfumery when she watched the movie Fanfan with Sophie Marceau who plays a trainee perfumer.

PERFUME SOCIETY:  PERFUMER Q & A – Julie Pluchet

 

What is your first ‘scent memory’?

It’s a bit vague. But I think it goes back to my grandmother’s bathroom where I would find her Guerlain cosmetic products and a bottle of L’Heure Bleue – these scents were fascinating to me.

 

When did you decide you wanted to be a perfumer/create your own perfume?

I was a teenager! It was when I saw the movie Fanfan with Sophie Marceau. She plays a trainee perfumer and from here I discovered the world of perfumery. I was already into smells and perfumes before this, but I completely ignored the fact there was actually a perfumer job. Once I’d discovered it was a career, it was evident it was the career for me.

 

What are your five favourite smells in the world? 

Roses

French boulangerie

Melted chocolate

Frangipani flower

Rum

Now I’m thinking about it, I have never tried to create a fragrance with all of these notes together…

 

What’s the worst thing you ever smelled.  (Honestly!)

Expired tofu. Honestly!

 

What is the fragrance you wish you’d created?

Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens. It’s the most beautiful woody fragrance I know.

 

Do you feel (like us) that this is one of the most exciting times in fragrance history, because of the creativity being expressed by perfumers?  Why do you think that is?

It’s great that perfumers are put more in the spotlight now and recognised as the creators of the scents. Perfumers are recognised as artists and are asked to express their creativity more freely like in other arts.

 

If you could have created a fragrance for a historical figure, who would it be?

It would have been nice to create fragrances for Vivaldi for his four seasons.

 

What’s the first fragrance you bought.  And the first bought for you…?

The first bought for me was a present from my mum, it was Delicious by Gale Hayman and my collection grew from there. I’m not sure which one I bought first but it could have been Ocean Blue by Escada.

 

Do you have a favourite bottle design, from those that have been used for your fragrance creations?

I really like The 7 Virtues bottles. I like the minimalistic vibe and the colourful design to reflect the fragrance notes on the labels and packaging.

 

How many perfumes might you be working on, at one time?

I manage between 20 and 30 creative projects at a time. But all projects are different. Some are more straight-forward and some need deeper creative work. But if we talk about only creative fine fragrances projects, I can work on 6 or 7 creations at a time sometimes.

 

Does your nose ever ‘switch off’?

Never completely – I can’t help it. This is why I rarely use home fragrances or strong scented products at home to allow me to switch off. But when I am out, I am always open and curious about smells. This is part of my job; anything could be a new source of inspiration.

 

How long, roughly, does it take you to create a fragrance?

It depends on the complexity and the emergency of the project. It could be anywhere from 24 hours for a quick modification to 6 months when working on a new fine fragrance creation.

 

Is creating a fragrance ‘visual’ for you, as well as something that happens in the nose/brain?  If so, in what way…?  Is a mood-board helpful?

I process ideas in my brain and imagine the smell first. A mood-board, a smell in the air, an experience, or a memory… they can all start the creative process.

 

What can each of us do to enhance our appreciation of fragrance?

What is your best tip for improving a person’s sense of smell?

I would say to keep your nose as clear as you can and not be inundated with smells. You can’t appreciate a fragrance with too much “pollution” in your nose. I find it difficult to smell properly in a perfume shop for example, so I tend to avoid these. Smelling a fragrance in a neutral environment helps and also going back to nature to appreciate smells of flowers and plants in the garden.

 

If you had one fragrance note that you love above all others, what would that be?

Cardamom. It’s too addictive for me!

 

                                                                       

 

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