Interview with Dominique Ropion- Perfumer of Givenchy’s Amarige, Calvin Klein’s Euphoria and Thierry Mugler’s Alien

Dominique Ropion

The perfumer to whom we owe a great many fragrant success stories, such as Givenchy’s Amarige, Calvin Klein’s Euphoria and Thierry Mugler’s Alien, Dominique Ropion was recently awarded the International Cosmetic Valley Prize (formerly known as the François Coty Prize). We interviewed him when he was invited by Frédéric Malle for the launch of his brand’s latest fragrance, Géranium pour Monsieur…

A few key words that describe your personality ? 
A tremendous bounty! Excuse me, I don’t really feel comfortable talking about myself…

Aside from yourself, who would you have liked to be ?
I have always hesitated between a butterfly and a tyrannosaurus – light and fragile or a real heavyweight. Lately I’ve been leaning more towards the butterfly! But that could still change.

Your first encounter with fragrance ?
A girl in high school who smelled good; I thought it would be neat to know how to create that kind of effect.

Your favorite smell ?
Gardenia: complex, mysterious, sensual… like skin. Yet it’s a flower.

Your favorite fragrance components ?
There are so many! They change with the fragrances I’m working on. I like letting my projects and my mood lead me to re-explore ingredients.

Your favorite flower ?
Definitely a white flower. Probably gardenia.

Your favorite drink ?
A Laffitte (NB: one of the Bordeaux grands crus).

A travel destination that you really enjoy ? 
I like traveling through ingredients while sitting alone at my desk in the evening.

What influences you as a designer ?
The classics, like Coty and Guerlain fragrances. And above all, nature.

An artist whose work fascinates you ?
Mozart. For his facility and precision.

Which perfumer(s) style do you admire ?
Jacques Guerlain.

The fragrance you wish you had designed ?
A fragrance by François Coty. He invented everything. I admire his freedom.

How do you envisage the future for fragrances? Do you have any hopes for the future?
I think perfumery is going to become more creative and luxurious once again. It seems to me that that is its deepest nature.

Your own little luxury ?
Working with Frédéric Malle, of course!

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