Monday 9 March 2020


A background in the gold mining industry might not be the usual start for the founder of a perfume company. When Baptiste Bouygues launched Ormaie, he had also had experience with Louis Vuitton and Givenchy so the world of fine fragrance was definitely in his blood. With such an unusual journey into the fragrance industry, I wondered what perfume memories he would reveal during “Stephan’s Six”.

What is the first smell that you can remember?
We lived in Thailand for the first five years of my life, and the smell of rain on the pavement after it’s been dry is the first smell that I can remember. It’s just beautiful. It has a name, it’s called Petrichor, which means blood of the gods I think. Even in summer when it’s raining and you’re just watching TV, you don’t hear it but you can smell that it’s raining. I love everything about that scent and there’s something so reassuring about it. It’s just an amazing smell.

What was the first perfume you remember your mum or dad wearing?
It was Pour un Homme de Caron for my father. It’s a great lavender perfume, I love its green quality, and the bottle was so art deco. When you look at the bottles from back in the day, at the packaging, the creativity was insane, I think that was the first fragrance that really touched me. In France a lot of men wore Pour un Homme de Caron, there was something sexy about it, it was just a wonderfully masculine fragrance.

What was the perfume of your twenties?
Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male by Francis Kurkdjian. Once again it’s the lavender that I loved, but it had a sexiness to it, it’s a little dirty. Yes, that was definitely the fragrance of my twenties. I’ve always worn lavender, just in different ways.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
It’s not so much of a mistake as a fortuitous accident. When we were making Toi Toi Toi it was decided that we would do a test combining both white and black woods. We wanted to put all of the woods together and see what happened, and people don’t usually do it because of the cost. I think that whole thing could have been a perfume mistake because it was a huge risk that we took in terms of creativity, in terms of putting ourselves out there, but happily people are connecting with the fragrance.

You can only choose one perfume?
It would have to be Le Passant, which is one of our fragrances, or Pour un Homme de Caron. Definitely one of those two. Le Passat is again built around lavender, you know I love it, and when I smell them both they reassure me. There’s something about it. It makes me remember when we lived in the countryside. We didn’t have money at the time, and it takes me back to that small apartment watching telly with my dad, and it’s a special moment.

What perfume should I try?
I would say L'Ivrée Bleue because it’s very different. We worked with the darker aspects of vanilla. It’s sexy, like the vanilla of a cocktail more than the vanilla of a cake or something, and you’ve also got the rum and the chocolate. I think it’s super narcotic. I admit that it’s a very polarising fragrance and you really do like it or you don’t, but when you like it it’s very exciting.

For more information about the Ormaie fragrances you can visit the website at or discover the complete collection at Harvey Nichols.

[Photograph of Baptiste Bouygues © Metal Magazine]

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