What was your inspiration for Djhenné?
"I’d been working on it for a while, but the thing that really helped me to finish it was when I met with Wheat Absolute. It was the thing I needed to finish off the perfume.
I wanted to make a lavender perfume, but to be honest, I don’t really like lavender! (laughs uproariously) Really I don’t like lavender very much, so I made a mix of three things: Lavender pays, Lavender de Barrême and Lavandin. I also used Syringa flower (but it’s got a very different smell to lilac, it’s closer to orange blossom).
For this perfume I also made a new leather accord, different to what’s in the other perfumes. This one is a ‘blond’ leather, not a dark one. I used myrrh oil (not the oleo resin) and Wheat Absolute (the supplier was Robertet), it’s sweet and balsamy. There is also Moroccan cedar in it."
You’ve also released Poudre de Riz (rice powder) under the Huitieme Arts Line. Can you tell us about that?
"Poudre de Riz - what was traditionally used for face powder, it’s quite an old fashioned smell and has a set of traditional associations, it’s a very classical accord, but for this I thought about a bungalow on the beach.
There is a couple in the bungalow and it’s important to know that they f*** all night – not make love, you get the difference? In the morning the doors are opening, there is an oceanic breeze, monoï is on the breeze because that’s what you smell in the air. I started with something that evokes sexuality. There is the poudre de riz accord, then the middle has a monoï accord (but it’s not a perfumery material, so it’s what you make that smells like monoï). There is also a rose petal material in the middle."
This isn’t a strong and heavy ‘sexy’ scent though...
The publicity material is obviously a little less candid. The company cites the French novelist Henri Barbusse as its inspiration, quoting a line from his book published in 1908 called The Inferno:
The notes list are:
Monoï Accord: (Tiaré absolute, Cacao, Vanilla)
Rose Petals (a ‘speciality’ from Rosa Damascena from Robertet)
Poudre de Riz Accord: Sandalwood, Liquid Iris on Cedar (speciality from Robertet), Tonka Bean (tincture), Tolu Balm infusion, Benzoin resinoid.
Pierre also showed three other fragrances (above) that he has created, though he has no plans to market them at present. The trio are entitled "Contemplation 2012". The scents are Arabian Horse, Feve Tonka and Coze Verde.