Earlier this month, we hosted our first virtual event with Nathalie Pichard, a fragrance expert from France. With more than 17 years of industry experience, she has worked alongside with prestigious brands such as Chanel and Hermès.
Over the next 90 minutes, we discovered and rediscovered fragrances — from Under The Lemon Tree by Maison Margiela to Nishane Fan Your Flames. It was a wonderful and insightful olfactory journey on genderless fragrances and without a doubt (especially during Singapore's Covid-19 Heighten Alert), the experience transported and uplifted us through scents. We continued the conversation after and spoke to Nathalie on who and what inspired her.
Can You Share Your Earliest Fragrance Memory?
Deeply anchored in my childhood, my passion for perfume came from my family. I was born into families who loved and wore a lot of perfumes i.e. Chanel, Guerlain, Dior, Lubin, Hermès to name a few. They transmitted that love to me and inspired me to work in the fragrance industry. My life is quintessentially in a bottle of perfume, with French education and heritage.
My first scent was the perfume of my beloved mother. She frequently wore Jicky by Guerlain & Shalimar by Guerlain. It was the perfume of love. Although she has passed on twenty years ago, when I smell her perfumes my memory is always awakened and I feel her beside me. Perfume is a liquid emotion — it has the power to recover and awaken souvenirs and emotions.
Who Has Been Your Model As A Perfumer & Why?
My first model was Guerlain’s nose, Jean Paul Guerlain. He created a lot of Guerlain but not the ones I loved (Jicky, Shalimar and Mitsouko which is my perfume). Now, my modern models are Dominique Ropion, Mathilde Laurent, Jean Michel Duriez, Albert Morillas, Olivier Cresp and there's just too many to mention. From big to small independent fragrance houses, ladies to gents — I'm glad to know a lot of perfumers now.
What Are The Things That Make You Happy?
The simple things in life makes me happy. Perfumes make me happy but also sharing moments with family, friends, travels, encounters, love, passion and the smile of a child. My work makes me happy when I feel people sharing and feeling the same about perfume.
How Has The Fragrance Industry Changed Over The Past 17 Years?
The fragrance industry has been evolving for years because of globalisation, atomisation of consumers, products, regulations, tastes, distribution … Internet, the evolution of money power drove people to buy more beauty and fragrances as part of luxury and they understood as well how beauty and perfumes are good for mind, body, soul, self confidence as a social and well being tool. Fragrances in particular have always been a magical link between people. China and Brazil will be the next big markets.
What Are Your Go-To Fragrances For Summer?
This summer, I'll be wearing Mitsouko by Guerlain (my regular for 35 years and counting), La Dompteuse Encagée by Serge Lutens and a fresh Eau de Rochas (worn during the evening). I usually prefer not to wear perfume when it's hot and at the pool. When the sun meets perfumed skin, it just doesn't mix well for me.
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