Monday 23 April 2018


Christophe Laudamiel originally studied chemistry before making the jump to perfumery and in his early career was jointly responsible for classics such as Polo Blue, Abercombie Fierce and Clinique’s Happy Heart. Now settled with his own company, Dreamair, and a 2018 Art and Olfaction winner for his fragrance Club Design, I thought it was time to discover his own scented memories during “Stephan’s Six”.

What is the first smell that you can remember?
The old charcoal oven as a young child, started first with matches and newspaper and then adding real wood to warm it up, was so good. We added compact coal bullets of the kind that burn with a lovely unique smell, but probably of unhealthy smoke, which is why I’ve always been fascinated by fire.

What was the first perfume you remember your mum or dad wearing?
Believe it or not, I think the first perfume my mother wore was a scent of mine, Happy Heart from Clinique. She was, and is, more a cosmetic-cream oriented person (in a delicate and nice Yves Rocher way). My dad was, and is, probably still wearing a spray by natural herborist Maurice Messegué. However, Messegué was also the reason why we had to eat artichoke pedoncules and orange-flower-bud-infused fish filets. Albeit healthy, à la Hollywoodmania way before it was a Hollywoodmania, it was not pretty to eat. Both plants are as bitter as hell, truly disgusting, and boiled orange blossoms do not taste like they smell. Don’t try them. So the spray cologne, although nice, was carrying baggage.

What was the perfume of your twenties?
Egoïste Egoïste Egoïste ... this was the second perfume I ever wore. An unexpected present on a train platform in Boston from a German friend, it was a kind of post-yet-not-totally-over-puberty-style boyfriendship. It was the first time that I was holding in my hands a label from haute couture, and I truly felt blessed and happy. I realised there existed a whole other noble world out there for me, a student in inorganic chemistry graduate studies at MIT. It was two very different worlds that, to this day, are still quite a juggle to reconcile.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
With people, strangers and acquaintances I make mistakes all the time. For instance, professionally this would be when Titan by Porsche Design, on which I was working from concept to juice, literally slid out of my hands. The concept, the technical prowess, even the fragrance description was kept, but the juice was changed last minute for something not originally made for this project. I felt as if someone was stripping me very publicly. I decided to remain mute, but really felt an unfairness that I still find hard. I’m comfortable in, or with, large corporations but in un-homogenous groups it is a struggle. However, all of the trials I trash constantly or all the unused stuff I create for projects are things I don’t think of as mistakes. As a perfumer, if you start calling them mistakes you could soon hang yourself. You have to remain Zen and just constantly improve.

You can only choose one perfume?
That would be Carré Blanc by The Zoo. It’s one that can fit many situations, from daily and corporate to more personal, but also one where you don’t get entangled just thinking of the formula. It has so many different facets depending on the day.

What perfume should I try?
For a guy try Youth Dew Amber Nude by Tom Ford and Silence The Sea by Strangelove NYC and for a girl try Club Design by The Zoo and Paradise by Nest Fragrances. I’ve mixed the perfume genres and the persona genres on purpose because it’s not about genres or sex here, it is about emotional territories, projections or reflections. See, think, and allow yourself things that you hadn’t thought of before. In your everyday life, but in your not-everyday life too, scents calmly place you, or vividly project you, in contexts that create new mindsets and new visions.

For more information about Christophe Laudamiel you can visit his website at

[Image of Christophe Laudamiel © Timothy Woo]

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