Perfume is not only a time machine that triggers memories and takes you back to cherished moments and experiences in the past with just one spritz. It is also a powerful transporter that can take you to any place on this planet, instantly with no travel time or a huge CO2 footprint like a plane or a cruise ship. Almost like those magical machines you’ve seen on Star Trek – beam me up Scotty!
If you’re sceptical how this might work, just put it to the test and check out these five unisex offerings by the brand new perfume collection Les Destinations. The brand is the latest love child by German family-run company Mäurer & Wirtz (4711, Baldessarini, Tabac Original and others) that looks back on more than 175 years of perfume tradition and expertise.
From Montreux and Grasse to Cuba, Costa Rica and Oman …
5 olfactive journeys for your bucket list.
For their launch, Les Destinations picked five places of longing that definitely should be on your bucket list: starting with the crystal clear waters of Montreaux on lake Geneva and the flowering meadows and mountain sceneries of the Swiss Alps; travelling on to the Mediterranean flower fields and orange groves of perfume’s world capital Grasse; crossing the Atlantic to discover exotic and sensuous destinations like Cuba and Costa Rica; only to turn to the splendors of the Arabian world with its balsamic and spicy aromas and fragrances of Oman.
To make sure your travelling mind finds the right spot on the globe without further delay, a GPS location with latitude and longitude is added to the names of all five perfumes.
Travelling in (olfactive) style. Photo: Mäurer & Wirtz.
For each of these creations, Les Destinations managed to team up with a renowned perfumer. No wonder each of the five eau de parfums has its own story to tell. Obviously, the five noses did a lot of research and have been profoundly inspired by the genius loci of their dream destination.
We had the chance to get in touch with two of the creatives behind the scents, Nicolas Beaulieu who created 43°40′N 6°56′E Grasse, and Véronique Nyberg, the nose behind 23°8′N 82°21′W Cuba, to talk about the project:
SCENTURY: Nicolas, what about the concept for Les Destinations prompted you to contribute one of the fragrances from the collection?
Nicolas Beaulieu: I have a personal background that resonates with Les Destinations. Indeed, my grandfather was a surveyor, and I think he passed on to me a kind of fascination for maps and geographical coordinates. That intriguing series of numbers which immediately transports you elsewhere. That’s why the idea of Les Destinations spoke to me so much.
SCENTURY: How about you, Véronique?
Véronique Nyberg: To travel and explore the world, to be able to discover new cultures, new faces, and new landscapes, has been one of my passion since I was a child. And Cuba — I am always amazed by the incredible energy coming from the place and the people living there. The scents, vivid colors, and music make Cuba an endless source of inspiration filled with good vibes, emotions and feelings that I wanted to capture in my perfume.
SCENTURY: And how exactly did you prepare for this brief to get into the mood and vibes of Cuba and in particular, Havana?
Véronique Nyberg: Funny fact : I happened to be in Havana a few months before the brief. So, it made it easy for me to catch the mood and translate the vibes from this beautiful place into a perfume.
SCENTURY: Nicolas, Grasse is known to be the cradle of perfumery. What is your relation to this place, personally?
Nicolas Beaulieu: After I graduated from Isipca, I had the fantastic opportunity to join IFF’s Perfumery School. And Grasse was of course part of the curriculum, best place to study natural ingredients. I was very young then, but even now, when I travel to Grasse for my work, it always brings me back to the sweet memories of my apprenticeship in the historic city of perfumery.
SCENTURY: So many different flowers, herbs and plants are grown in this region to be harvested and processed into perfume raw materials. Was it difficult to pick from this immense variety?
Nicolas Beaulieu: It is always hard to choose indeed! But with 43°40′N 6°56′E Grasse I wanted to pay tribute to Grasse’s excellence of perfumery craftmanship, not just one specific ingredient.
SCENTURY: Véronique, is this the first time that one of your creations has been inspired by a location?
Véronique Nyberg: No, it is not. My travels are one of my strongest sources of inspiration. I believe the diversity and beauty of the world will never fail to inspire me and enrich my creativity.
SCENTURY: Merci Véronique Nyberg and Nicolas Beaulieu!
Just as different and diverse as the destinations are the five inspiring fragrances. Let’s browse through the list, fasten your seat belt!
01. 46°26′N 6°55′E Montreux
46°26′N 6°55′E Montreux by Les Destinations. Photo: Mäurer & Wirtz
Amandine Marie, who previously worked for Bottega Veneta, Chloé and Givenchy, and who created Montreux, explains:
“I felt inspired by the combination of the fascinating lake scenery with the powerful mountain landscape. The scent mirrors freshness and elegance infused with floral accords from the alpine meadows.”
02. 9°55′N 84°05′W Costa Rica
9°55′N 84°05′W Costa Rica by Les Destinations. Photo: Mäurer & Wirtz
Nelly Hachem (Comme des Garçons, Girogio Armani and Kenzo), the creative mind behind Costa Rica, drew inspiration from the heavenly beaches and the green and woody notes of the plantations:
“In Costa Rica, coffee is called El Grano de Oro, grain of gold, and it’s emblematic for this country. Blended with warm and woody accords as well as the opulent fragrance of the frangipani flower, an irresistibly sensuous scent unfolds.”
03. 23°37′N 58°34′E Oman
23°37′N 58°34′E Oman by Les Destinations. Photo: Mäurer & Wirtz
To Alex Lee (Lancôme, Masque Milano, Penhaligon’s) the light, aromas and sounds of the markets in Oman were the main source of inspiration for his work on the perfume:
“To me, the Orient is a world of mystery. Roaming the souks of Oman opened an entirely different world for me — a wonderful inspiration for my scent that starts with a spicy accord of saffron and pink pepper, and closes with a woody and warm base of balsamic and oriental notes.”
04. 43°40′N 6°56′E Grasse
43°40′N 6°56′E Grasse by Les Destinations. Photo: Mäurer & Wirtz
As Nicolas Beaulieu explained in our interview above, he feels very much at home in the city of Grasse and its surrounding landscape. Nicolas has worked for many other prestigious brands such as Chopard, Lanvin and Paco Rabanne.
“The idea behind my perfume is the beginning of Spring in Provençe — the moment when this little village awakes from its long winter sleep to transform into the flowering capital of scent: A bouquet of white flowers, paired with bitter almond oil citrus oils and pink pepper.”
05. 23°8′N 82°21′W Cuba
23°8′N 82°21′W Cuba by Les Destinations. Photo: Mäurer & Wirtz
You already met Véronique Nyberg (Boucheron, Calvin Klein, Mugler) in our little interview above. Here she shares with us how she translated the fascinating vibes of Cuba into her intriguing olfactive creation:
“Cuba is a way of life! I tried to capture this mood in one single fragrance: Smoky notes of Cuban tobacco leaves, left to dry in the Caribbean sun. Leathery accords that remind me of the heavy armchairs in that cosy bar where I tasted Cuban rum.”
Discover all five eau de parfums from Les Destinations brand new online shop and learn more about the perfumers who created them!