Celebrity & People

5 Minutes with Jean Paul Gaultier

By Lauren Carbran

There’s always a reason to celebrate Jean Paul Gaultier perfumes. But now the legendary Classique and Le Male fragrances have had a revamp – and we couldn’t be more excited. Cue Classique Essence de Parfum (vanilla and jasmine) and Le Male Essence de Parfum (citrus and leather), both of which offer a new touch of sophistication. So if you love the classics, you’ll adore these, which launch at The Perfume Shop on 12 September 2016.

And here’s what happened when we caught up with Jean Paul Gaultier for a chat about the wonderful world of perfume…

JPG_Laboratorio__02_0040What is perfumery for you?

It’s a bit like an Aladdin’s cave for me. There are so many elements and discoveries. I have been experimenting with new fragrances for more than 20 years now, pushing the limits in this fascinating field. There are endless possibilities in this universe.

Is there a link between haute couture and perfume?

Of course. Perfume is the first article of clothing. It sets the pace of a look. And there is a vast savoir-faire in both fields. On both sides, there is a continual search for new shapes and new scents. And it is in this savoir-faire that both couture and perfume find their fulfilment.

What is most difficult when launching a perfume brand?

Probably staying true to one’s own universe and to oneself. And to succeed in translating one’s values and obsessions into perfume. It is only by being in this state of mind, and thanks to savoir-faire, that one can reconcile both universes.

Not all the fashion houses have a savoir-faire in perfumery… why did you choose to embrace this domain?

My DNA is to innovate and to be at odds with the conventional ideal of beauty. I always wanted to show more than one side of beauty. In my perfumers, I want to keep this irreverence and keep looking for a divergent beauty.

One scent you like on other people?

The smell of freshness.

One scent that you do not like on yourself?

A scent that would be too invasive.

An olfactory memory that transports you?

The smell of rice powder in theatres. It reminds me of the magical world I discovered at the age of six, when my grandmother took me to a show at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. It was like breaking through an all-new world, full of magic and poetry.

A childhood smell?

My grandmother’s boudoir.

What are the necessary qualities to appreciate a perfume?

A sense of surprise, an olfactive memory, like an image that appears in your head when you smell the perfume. I am a very visual person, and scents trigger images in my head.

Do you think that women are more faithful to their men or to their perfume?

It is a good thing to be faithful, and it is also good to change. Each to their own.

How would you describe Jean Paul Gaultier perfumes?

Innovating, surprising, savoir-faire and with a punk attitude.

To whom is this beautifully designed body perfume addressed?

Bodies evolve and so do perfumes. After more than 20 years of existence, they needed a new body and new look.

Your favourite quote about perfume?

‘When we talk about Belle Parfumerie, it does not always mean natural and raw materials.’


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