Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Perfumer Olivier Cresp's Fragrance Dos and Don'ts

Olivier Cresp, acclaimed Grasse-born perfumer responsible for the creation of Thierry Mugler Angel, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, Cacharel Noa and lately of Nina L'Eau by Nina Ricci, shares with us his tips for optimum fragrance wearing. You might also want to check our own guide into How to Best Apply Fragrance for Optimum Pleasure and Longevity.

"1. DON'T store fragrances under hot lights in your bathroom as the temperature will alter the top notes, turning them sharper or more sour and sometimes musty. You should keep your fragrances cool by storing them in the fridge to prolong the scent.
2. DO spritz fragrance into your hair rather than all over your body. This will help the scent to last longer compared to quickly rubbing off your skin. It also means that when moving your head, there'll be a more natural waft of fragrance.
3. DO use a variety of fragrances for different occasions and seasons. A collection of five to six different scents is recommended.
4. DON'T wear a sensuous fragrance on your wedding day. Instead, stick to jasmine or rose-based scents for a romantic, but not overly sexy aroma.
5. DO wear a warm fragrance for a first date. Opt for a spicy scent like pepper to excite his senses.
6. DON'T wear an overpowering scent for a job interview. Stick to classic, unfussy smells".

[quotes from GraziaDaily]


  1. What a short code of etiquette this is!!
    In a world where we live by rules and regulations in their thousand this is a mercifully slim manifesto.
    I wonder though do same rules apply for gentlemen (many of whom do not have hair enough to waft) and if we are first dating a fragrance-phile such as ourselves?
    Oh Lord, perhaps these pronouncements from on high set as many hares running as they catch.

    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  2. Yes, it's a handy little guide, for the general public I'd say, rather than die-hard enthusiasts (those need a more detailed guide with which they might disagree even!) Fragrance on the back of the neck for those gentlemen who have not enough hair (rest can indulge) is fine (chest hair is also puuuuuuurfect!)

    Dating a perfume fan is a game; turn it into one, if you haven't!

  3. #4 is odd -- jasmine IS sexy!

  4. Anonymous20:25

    You can always doux as you please though, the bathroom suggestion is a good commonsense rule that most females I know, never follow. I've been spritzing the back of my hair and person for years, after an application of First sent me straight to bed with nausea and headache. If you are at work in small confinement areas it's good manners not to overwhelm everyone
    when you are speaking to them face to face. Just because you can't smell it, doesn't mean everyone else can't-- every exit is a grand exit :-)

    No sexy perfume on your wedding day?? That one actually makes me sad.

    Spicy perfume on a first date??
    Me thinks not...

  5. annemariec20:38

    Hmmm ... you can 'excite his senses' on a first date but not on your wedding day, apparently. For the wedding we have to stick to the notion of the 'virginal bride', it seems. Dear oh dear.

  6. Anonymous21:47

    he should wear something spicy to excite MY senses! and not one of those dreary colognes that make me think of laundry detergent and dryer sheets!

    what is a "classic, unfussy" scent for a job interview? i would suggest wearing something that makes you feel confident. the key may be volume, rather than type - you just don't want to blast anyone away. or maybe you do... ha.

    i generally say wear what makes you feel great, sexy, confident, happy. as long as it doesn't take over my space or make me want to puke, it's all good.


  7. Miss Heliotrope23:40

    1/I like this idea but people around here complain if there's no room in the fridge for food. & I don't want a huge fridge, or several, bc of the power usage.
    2/What if you have short hair - or none? Do only people with long hair wear perfume?
    3/Money comes into play here - if you really like one expenisve one, will you get more pleasure from just using that one, rather than half a dozen cheaper (which can also be lovely) scents that you dont like as much? Or what if you can only afford one from the supermarket?
    4/I understand that for many people weddings can be stressful enough, so let's add criticising the perfume the groom has decided to wear - surely it's his choice?
    5/What if you don't date boys, what perfume should you wear then? (or if you do date a boy & he has allergies or hates spicy scents & dumps you before the end of the movie..)
    6/There are some classic fussy scents out there. & it depends what the job is, and surely application has something to do with scent power as well. & what should I wear when collecting the dole?

  8. How many shops put their boxes of perfume under lights! Nearly all department stores love to do this - Rrrrrrr Helg!

  9. apparently i'm not the only one who was annoyed at cresp's idea that a 1st date scent can/should be warm & inviting or spicy, but that a wedding scent should be chastely romantic...says more about monsieur cresp perhaps, than about anything else.

    alors, entertaining, anyway...

  10. Elisa,

    true, but I think he means Marc Jacobs Blush jasmine rather than Serge Lutens Sarrasins jasmine ;-) Two VERY different things!

  11. Anon,

    indeed the application and storage tips are common sense, and yet many people don't follow those "rules" for some reason. I think perfume should be smelled at a somewhat personal distance, when leaning in for a hug. Otherwise it is potent. Which is not bad, per se, but should be controlled in social situations.

    Now, the 1st date and wedding scent tips: I think he views the former from the "instigate" and impression point of view and the later from the "don't come across as slutty to your guests".
    I kinda think that what most people refer to as spicy isn't actually spicy but rather musky in the non-clean-musk way (these terms are greatly vandalized by general folks, spicy and musky I mean). I actually think that something with pepper is a good jolting, fresh and stimulating choice for a date! (No men have complained! LOL)
    Whether one should choose their wedding scent so as not to create the wrong image for the guests rather than pleasing themselves and their spouse, now, that's a good question and one on which mr.Cresp finds me opposed to his POV. :-)

  12. AMC,

    please see my reply above.

    I disagree with the wedding tip, but do bear in mind that most weddings in continental (and southern) Europe take place in the (quite warm) summer which boosts aromas and a too sexy perfume can come off as invasive, cloying and just plain slutty. Not a good thing to be remembered by! I think his tip comes in part from that realization. And possibly the fact that weddings are social affairs as much as affairs of the heart [*exasperated sigh*]

  13. J,

    spicy is good. It's EXTREMELY good in my books! :-)
    I do think that what most people (general folks, not us perfume enthusiasts) think of as spicy are old classics like Youth Dew and Opium which clobber you down the head with their expansive and heavy balsamic notes. But spicy is not necessarily spicy oriental; I believe he refers to spicy florals and spicy aromatics, or even citrus spicy (which is a great category), things that are still "fresh" but in an unexpected way.

    Job interviews have become so entrapping with HR book led questions that no scent sounds like the best choice. You wouldn't want to be faced with the question "if you found out your scent offended your subordinates what would you do?" (tricky question, if you think about it).
    Perhaps a little scented handkerchief in a purse though might be self-therapy for one, before sitting down to the questionnaire. ;-)

  14. C,

    for what is worth, here are my suggestions:

    1.Fridge seems drastic. He talks about people with 4-5 bottles of perfume (average user). I think a well-ventilated room with the option of an A/C is enough. :-)
    2.Obviously not. Spray your clothes or your arm's tiny hairs, they retain scent just lovely.
    3.It's all about pushing the market, that notion of a "fragrance wardrobe". Choose what you like!
    4.Weddings are largely considered social affairs (for better or for worse; I think for worse). Appearing a certain way is a consideration for many (as evidenced in the choices of clothes, styling, table design, choice of dancing and music later on etc.) I disagree with him myself.
    5.Boys are given too much credit for what they like/dislike re: scents and dates (unless you marinate in your perfume(. They're all visually focused in my experience. ;-) If one is gay or dating a perfume fanatic, then they have more leeway to show off their personality through their scent choice. I think it should reflect who they are, rather than trying to please. Better weed things out first time around.
    6.Cute!! Like I said to Minette above, no scent seems to be the rule these days. I'd bombast everyone with my fumes if I were collecting the dole; revenge on the system. :-D

  15. M,

    exactly!! I just want to grab the bottles to my bosom and cry out NOOOOOOO!!!!!
    I wonder why they do it, they become fried. They could be displayed under UV-protective glass panes, it shouldn't be more costly than many of the elaborate contraptions some stores have already.

  16. NFS,

    no you were not the only one!

    The divide in his logic seems to be personal vs. social (a wedding being the latter).
    Still, a wedding is a very special day in the life of anyone and they should feel free to choose what they like vs. what is expected of them. Oh well, unless you're planning on having the wedding on a day of heatwave at noon in Ghana drenched in Angel eau de parfum spray topped up with all the body products line as an extra touch, you're all right I guess. ;-)

  17. Anonymous03:01

    " that something with pepper is a good jolting "

    Maybe this says much more about his
    own dates...long awkward moments of silence. I guess then it makes sense,
    jolt someone out of a stupor perhaps?

    Poor Mr. Crisp oops Cresp, having fun at his expense:-)

  18. Anon,

    oh noes, that was me, not mr.Cresp!
    Jolt as in "jolting him out of his shyness", not stupor. We wouldn't want stupor, would we?

    It's very interesting to see this post has generated such animated discussion and such visibility. I guess people are curious to see what insiders advise.


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