Interview with Caroline Dumur Interview with Caroline Dumur

Interview with
Caroline Dumur

How would you describe your style as a perfumer?

It is certainly true that my style varies from one creation to another. However, the things that undoubtedly inspire me are raw materials; their styles and singularities: I love working with them, finding new combinations between them, reinventing great classics? After all, for me, the most important thing is the final use of the perfume; that is, the pleasure people derive from actually wearing it. I'm constantly seeking out this sense of surprise and pleasure. I'm someone who is very curious and flexible; I like to search, try things out, and start again.

What is your motto as a perfumer?

Pleasure is the key. When I create a perfume, I devise an entire back-story around it; I want my perfumes to make people happy.

A sense of "overdose": an excess of raw materials in a perfume, giving added depth and intensity.

What does L'Artisan Parfumeur evoke for you?

Something precious: it's a remarkable French perfume house with a long history.

A very strong emotional connection. My first perfume was Mûre et Musc; that's why the brand fills me with such emotion and pride. Our house used to be filled with the scent of my mother's Les Boules d'Ambre.

Caroline Dumur Caroline Dumur
Il Était Un Bois
Il Était Un Bois (A Tale of Wood) - Eau de Parfum

"I wanted to find a different way of exploring wood, by adding unexpected dimensions and textures."

Caroline Dumur


The perfume explores all the different facets of the woods in an unexpected harmony. Discover its warm notes of vetiver, sweet buckwheat and cedar.

The Il Était Un Bois Eau de Parfum comes with its matching sample in order to try the scent on your skin before opening the 100ml bottle, and be able to send back the fragrance if it doesn’t suit you. 

Sample the scent >

How did you approach the Il Était Un Bois project?

I started the project with the idea of using vetiver as the basic foundation. I knew I wanted to do something different with it, to explore its addictive, indulgent side, and so I had the idea of using buckwheat to bring out that sense of addiction.

L'Artisan Parfumeur is keen to give its perfumers free rein. How does it feel to have such creative freedom when crafting a perfume?

It affords an opportunity to work with raw materials in exactly the way one chooses, and to emphasise the precise aspects one desires to emphasise.

How would you describe Il Était Un Bois?

It's a perfume for anyone who likes wood? something immersive. For people who are seeking elegance.

It has an embracing, sensual side to it. It's a very comforting perfume; I wanted to find a different way of exploring wood, by adding unexpected dimensions and textures.

What was your creative process for the Il Était Un Bois perfume?

I started with Vetiver Concentrate, a unique ingredient created by upcycling the distillation water obtained during the first extraction of the plant.

Next, I sought to accentuate the indulgent aspect of vetiver by creating a pairing with buckwheat. This pairing enhances the cereal facets naturally found in vetiver, and provides a unique sense of comfort with roasted, almost salty, hazelnut facets.

Base cedarwood notes offer a warm sensation, and white musks contribute to the sensual, enveloping signature.

Wood artisans attach great importance to their raw materials. When creating Il Était Un Bois, did you draw inspiration from different raw woods?

For me, the most important thing is what the material gives me, how I perceive it, and the memories associated with it.

I like working with raw materials, which is why I drew inspiration from vetiver, which delivers an intense woody impact. I also explored the complexity of cedarwood to lend texture to the perfume.

Wood working tool Wood working tool
Il Était Un Bois Il Était Un Bois