Scented Quote of the Day, from Olivier Cresp:
"20 or 30 years ago perfumers were unknown and journalists would not come to interview them. Today in our industry people know what we create and our names are in magazines, we can be part of TV programs, etc. We are recognized in the same way that great chefs are. Having said that, one never does anything by oneself, it is a team that creates: the perfumer, evaluators, sellers, the client. Take the case of Schumacher who wins a grand prize; behind, there are engineers, a brand, sponsors. If today he were to race under an unknown brand, he would still be a great pilot but he would win much fewer races.
Question from editor Marianne Lecoq:
So we are not going to see the perfumer's name on a flacon any time soon and be able to follow him, olfactorily speaking?.....
"There exists a new concept in the Frederic Malle boutiques in Paris: he has launched a dozen of perfumes that showcase perfumers and these ones have their names on the labels. I think it's a niche, but me personally, it does not interest me to have my name on one of his flacons because I am not seeking to sell a hundred. And I know I am recognized, so that's sufficient for me. If I had felt frustrated I could have launched my own perfume "Olivier Cresp". From time to time I have a journalist who calls me and tells me "You know, I think you created this perfume because I recognized your style." And this makes me feel very happy."
Excerpt of an Interview of Olivier Cresp in French by Marianne Lecoq on Parfumessence where you can read the rest of the interview. An interesting quote regarding the complexities of fragrance creation and authorship.
Olivier Cresp is the nose behind Angel, D & G Light Blue, Noa, Gloria, XS, amongst others.
...and French Fifi winner Nina by Nina Ricci (created with Jacques Cavallier).
...Fresh news (april 5th, 9 pm)
I've read that Nina is very popular in France. The bottle and ad campaign were particularly nice.
It was interesting to learn that Olivier Cresp does not "smell the market" in order not to be influenced by it. I think there's a way for trends to trickle back up to the perfumer's lab even if he/she does not follow trends. Nina is firmly established within the very popular carameley fruity-floral trend targetting younger women.
Cresp is speaking of mainstream perfumery when he says it is a team. There is a tendency to forget or ignore the many niche houses, where real creativity can reign.
You are right to point out that it seems that Cresp does not have much time to follow what is happening in niche perfume houses. In fact, he is not very interested on a personal level.
Having said that, there is no doubt in my mind that creativity can exist even when working with a team. If you think of movie-making, that's how it works.
I would not want to essentialize either prestige perfumery or niche perfumery and say that one is more creative than the other. Some perfumes from each sector show real creativity.
In fact, if you read Michael Edwards' interview in English in Parfumessence, you realize that for him, niche perfumes have to really convince him that they are authentic creations to get into his guidebook.