Smelling happy: The master perfumer explains

Fabrice Pellegrin is the nose behind some of Oriflame’s most iconic scents: Giordani Gold Essenza, More by Demi, and the newly launched men’s fragrance, Happydisiac Man. We caught up with the celebrated perfumer to discover how he went about creating an aroma that uplifts and energises.

What’s your first fragrance-related memory?
My first fragrance-related memory is linked to my grandmother who was working on the rose fields in Grasse, France. It’s a scent that has never left me, and the rose note will forever be linked to her. Another early memory that I have is of the fragrance my father wore – it was Azzaro for men.

When did you realise you wanted to be a perfumer?
I grew up in the south of France, near the birthplace of perfumery, so it was very natural that I should want to become a perfumer.

Happydisiac Man will be the 11th fragrance you create with Oriflame, is there a common thread between your fragrances?
I have only just discovered that I do have a common thread in all my fragrances: the ingredients I use the most are amber and wood notes.

How does creating a scent for a man versus a woman differ?
For male fragrances I will focus and play with woody notes specifically, while for female fragrances I tend to use wood notes and then add a signature floral. A key difference between the two is that masculine fragrances are more restricted in their scent families, whereas female fragrances offer a far broader range of smells.

"The smell of happiness for me is… My wife, my children, the garden, the sun, the region where I live, the south of France, the morning light..."

You once described yourself as an “inventor of scents”, where do you source inspiration for your inventions?
I source inspiration from EVERYTHING: people, music, paintings...

In your own words, what does happiness smell like?

The smell of happiness for me is… My wife, my children, the garden, the sun, the region where I live, the south of France, the morning light.. 

How did you capture happiness for this scent – what are the defining “happy” notes?
In my opinion, the happy notes can be found in the energetic blend of the unique caviar lime accord and the touches of green apple and strawberry.

How has your work as a perfumer affected your perception of everyday smells?
I am very influenced by the odours that I smell in my every day life; I like to analyse them. For example, the other day I was travelling in St Petersburg, and I arrived in my hotel where I was overwhelmed by a mysterious smell. The staff told me that it was an amber smell that had been especially developed for the hotel. That kind of emotion really inspires me for future creations.

Based on the smell alone, who is the Happydisiac man?
The Happydisiac man can be anybody! You see, the fragrance is developed to enhance emotions - and emotions touch us all.

                                      Shop Happydisiac Man here.


Happydisiac Man 

TOP NOTES 
Unripe Grapefruit
Coriander Seeds
Pineapple

HEART NOTES
Scent of Laurel Leaf Oil
Orange Blossom
Lavender

BASE NOTES
Patchouli
Iris Powder
Leather

Words by: Photographs by: Oriflame