What was your inspiration for Djhenné?
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...
"It’s all about the skin. I wanted to capture the morning after, the tenderness. And I love about skin when you go on holiday and have been on the beach all day, and your skin is lovely and brown and then you go back to have your shower, to wash everything off. You come out of the shower, you are all clean and you put some cream your skin to protect it and keep it looking beautiful. It’s the most important part of the day, you’re excited, then you get ready and put on a beautiful dress that shows how good that skin looks, and go out to a restaurant for the evening. That’s what I wanted to capture."
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 air in the closed room was heavy with a mixture of odours: soap, face powder, the pungent scent of cologne.” The perfume is described as a powdery floral oriental.
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.