Portrait of a Perfumer: Christophe Raynaud
"I wanted to pay a tribute to the wonderful Middle Eastern culture, its opulence, its luxuriant nature, its colours and its exceptional ingredients."
Perfumery is his universe, and fragrance is his addiction.
Christophe Raynaud’s fragrances stand out for their presence and radiance. He likes to start with a raw form, an olfactory block that he will work on for hours, a bit like a craftsman, a sculptor who gives shape to his creation. "At first I am the architect and then I become the craftsman."
Becoming a perfumer
The origins of a vocation.
Christophe Raynaud's desire to become a perfumer began at an early age. As a teenager he dreamt of creating a brand with his childhood friend. "He would design the clothes and I would design the perfumes! This was done a few years later!"
Awakening the sense of smell
The earliest olfactory memories of Christophe Raynaud.
The smell of the pine forest and wet sand after a rainy day at the seaside. "When I discovered Cashmeran® (a synthetic molecule) while studying the raw materials, I was immediately transported back to this childhood memory.
Notes with an oriental olfactory touch
He is particularly fond of ingredients which make a perfume powerful and memorable and above all synonymous with pleasure. He cherishes the woods representing this poetic force that will be found in a scent’s wake.
His vision of L'Artisan Parfumeur
A naturalist brand with a creative flair
He always admired L'Artisan Parfumeur for its strong naturalist identity. For him, the brand evokes above all the spirit of Jean Laporte, a "great perfumer-chemist who revolutionised perfumery in the early 1980s as one of the pioneers of modern fine perfumery.
I have always been sensitive to his approach to perfume as a poetic creation that allows exploration of nature with finesse." A naturalist composition, formed with beautiful materials, to tell dreamlike olfactory stories."
His vision of the perfumer's work
A profession that combines both art and craftsmanship.
"As a perfumer, I imagine myself as a craftsman with the sensitivity of an artist. The craftsman has a precise know-how, an expertise linked to their trade that almost goes without definition. The artist expresses their sensitivity and creative freedom, their conception of art, their unique inspiration. It is in this sense that the perfumer is an artist and a craftsman."
The perfume, a real crucial cultural element in the Orient.
For this collection, he wanted to pay homage to the wonderful Middle Eastern culture, its opulence, its luxuriant nature, its colours, and its exceptional raw materials. He wanted to describe this heritage and this wonderful universe bathed in the tales of the Thousand and One Nights.
Christophe Raynaud on layering
An age-old ritual in the Middle East.
In the Middle East, "the ritual of layering is not only a luxury but above all a necessity. The trail of a chosen combination of scents will reveal the uniqueness of an individual. The number of scented products used will typically range from five to seven. They can be chosen freely, for their fragrance, their texture, for the emotions they create." The fragrances of the L'Orient collection can be used in this way, offering endless possibilities, depending on the particular character that one wishes to highlight.
A few words on the L'Orient collection’s fragrances
A wonderful heritage cradled by the tales of the Thousand and One Nights
Fables d'Orient is an oriental fragrance that celebrates amber and the most beautiful and precious resins of frankincense and myrrh, wrapped in white iris petals and the comfort of overdosed musk. Ode à l'Oudh reflects the delicious opulence of vanilla, coloured with spices and adorned with vibrant woods. Bois des Sables embodies the richness and generosity of woods by combining patchouli, sandalwood, cedar and guaiac with the smoothness of vanilla. Légendes du Cèdre is a woody nectar built around a creamy cedar with saffron accents. Contes du Levant features three vibrant peppers - white, pink and black - to enhance the iconic rose du levant, majestic in each of its facets, on a mysterious and bewitching patchouli base.
"This continent inspires me a lot. I have been there several times. Everything is bewitching for me. The architecture, the shapes, the colours, the nature, the scents of course, the food and the many encounters I had with incredible people."