Humanity’s first perfume

“Today, all perfumes smell like vanilla, flowers, fruits. Those three families work, they have become indispensable… The slightest note that is not in these three categories becomes completely jarring. No one veers into fresh flower notes, for instance. My latest women’s perfume for Cartier arose from the idea of a lily in a vase. It is made for women who love flowers, but not floral scents. It’s almost an anti-floral perfume.”

“The current market would have us believe that to be attractive, you have to smell like candies or marshmallows. I have a lot of trouble with that kind of aggressively marketed femininity. There are many perfumes that are supposed to be odes to sensuality which are simply not. They evoke food instead. The most beautiful women’s perfume for me is still Femme de Rochas, designed by Edmond Roudnitska. It expresses the body. It smells like a woman’s body: her hair, skin, ears.”

“Treizieme Heure, which I created for Cartier, evokes for me the idea of humanity’s first perfume, with its scents of smoke, earth and something animal.”

            – Mathilde Laurent, Cartier’s perfumer. As quoted in Maison & Objet magazine, January 2013

Humanity’s first perfume