Monday Question – Your Ideal Perfume: Give Me Your Brief, Please!

I’m sure you have often dreamed of the one, the ideal perfume. The scent that you would make for yourself if you could.

Let’s play today, let’s be creative directors for a day: Give me your perfume brief.

What should it smell like? What feelings should it evoke? Who is it for? Who should be the perfumer? What does the bottle look like? What is it called?

question-markMy Answer:

I’d like Monsieur Jean Claude Ellena to create a fabulous perfume called Cuir d’Hermès for me (and everyone else who’d like to try it).

Cuir d’Hermès is a gauzy and transparent leather scent (yes, I am aware of the contradiction). It is soft, warm and suede-like. It smells like a greige/taupe/etoupe leather bag looks.


Monsieur Ellena has a free hand when it comes to raw materials, money is no object (this is a fantasy after all!). I’d like to smell soft leather, vanilla, resins and spices on wood, all of this lifted by a powdery cloud of gentle aldehydes.

Cuir d’Hermès comes in a simple, leather sheathed bottle that can be personalized with your initials.

Cuir d’Hermès is for elegant, sophisticated women and men who look for subtlety and refinement, who want to make a statement through restraint not obviousness. Cuir d’Hermés is effortless chic and natural grace.

It’s your turn now! I can’t wait to read about your ideas!


About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
This entry was posted in Hermès, Monday Question and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Monday Question – Your Ideal Perfume: Give Me Your Brief, Please!

  1. I think I’ll wait till His Highness does your Cuir d’Hermes. Speaking of Luxe brands I wonder how the Louis Vuitton frag will smell? If they are thinking I imagine you will probably get your wish but with a different label.
    I would be a terrible curator, I love almost EVERYTHING!
    Portia xx

  2. brie says:

    This question is way too hard! But I will give it a shot…first off the perfumer must be Laurie Erickson and it must be an all natural blend. Something in the vein of Jour Ensoilielle, with notes bursting with a variety of citrus, orange blossom and a base of grounding, spiritual, woody essential oils- a fragrance that evokes the same feeling of euphoria every time I smell JE…. a fragrance that when wafting in the air everyone will say “Brigitte is nearby” as they will know it is my signature scent. And a name? “Noetic Owl”. One can only dream 🙂 ……
    enjoy the day!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I love your idea, Brie! It sounds fantastic. Let’s hope Laurie is reding! 🙂

      • arline says:

        If she isn’t, you might send her a personal note, and see if she would create this for you. I have contacted her, and she is very nice. I think she does do custom creations 🙂

        • brie says:

          Laurie and I do have contact and I chide her all the time about coming out with more naturals. I am happy with Cocoa Sandalwood and am eagerly anticipating Spicy Citrus Vetiver. But thank you, Arline, for the suggestion 🙂 !!

    • acstrommen says:

      My sentiments exactly! Jour is as close as I get to a signature, and Laurie is a genius! Maybe a touch of caramel or dry vanilla in a Jour-like recipe. Maybe a little leather. I don’t know how it would work, but it sounds good.

  3. Lady Jane Grey says:

    I’m understated (as always…) : a cologne by Geza Schön – with the finest ever Vetiver and Lime and Bergamotte. Plus some of his excentric molecules for the neccessary twist… Straight, but not simple. Juicy and fresh – uplifting for both, the wearer and the “audience”. And I’d call it “Enlightment” 😉

  4. annemariec says:

    Oh I’m never any good at this game, I don’t have the imagination for it. Here’s my thought though:

    Dear Perfumer
    Create me a perfume for this moment:
    I’ll have what they are wearing. (Minus the dead fox, thanks all the same.)

    • Olfactoria says:

      That’s perfect. That is just how I imagine you, Annemarie! Minus the dead fox of course.

      • annemariec says:

        You flatterer! But yes, the girl on the left would be my style if I could achieve it. I love her dress. But as I look again I realise that TWO foxes died to make the stole for the girl in the right. Ack.

        My perfume would not smell of road kill, but an animalic note would be essential, of course.

        This is such fun. It;s great reading everyone’s perfume dreams.

    • Alice says:

      No need for a brief, the image is so powerful – I want a bottle of this one too!

  5. Boy, this really set me thinking (see my fuller article on this at But for today, my perfumer would be Roja Dove and my fragrance would be ultra-opulent, based on the scent of my garden. A mixture of the rambler rose Veilchenblau, elder, Rosa Dentelle de Malines, the leaves of the incense rose Rosa Primula, lavender and phlomis fruticosa, mixed with the Granny-Smith-and-cinnamon scent of my sweetbriars, ripe barley from my neighbour’s fields and fresh-cut timothy grass from the newly-mown paths. The drydown would be the woody scent of my garden cabin, and the juice should be a soft lilac-purple in a tall purple bottle with a real amethyst stopper. The box would be matt, textured card designed so you could use it afterwards for jewellery, and lined in purple velvet. And the whole thing should come in a purple silk velvet drawstring bag. And the name? How about, Le Jardin d’Améthyste?

  6. Alexandra says:

    I would design a perfume purely for me and even after all the trouble (and his totally lack of exclusivity) it would have to be designed by Bertrand Duchaufour. I would chose a slightly gruff tobacco and hay opening (reminiscent of Chergui) that over time melts into a warm smooth vanilla (with a touch of amber) base. I would keep the scent in the Illamasqua Freak bottle, because I loved that bottle and it was wasted on such a non-descript smell.

    It would be called ‘Odi et Amo’ as I love the poem by Catullus, and ‘I hate and I love’ could represent the contrast between the opening and the dry down of the scent.

    (Let’s hope Jean and Bertrand are reading this!)

  7. Tara says:

    I love the sound of your perfume, B. The most elegant leather ever. I’ll take two, please.

    Right now I guess I would like the perfume that I imagined 1932 would be. Hay, jasmine, greenery and a swirl of smoke and incense. My personal perfumer for this would be Matilde Laurent because of L’Heure Fougueuse. Otherwise I would ask her to do a wonderfully deep balsamic perfume. This is too much fun, I could go on and on…

  8. muza says:

    Oh what a question!!! Well, I was lucky to experience creating a custom fragrance by my all time favorite perfumer so I tell my story in short. It was Neil Morris who made my dream come true and created a perfume (actually two perfumes because I couldn’t choose one from three samples! So what? I’m a perfumista LOL) The one is named after myself and smells of my childhood, my mother and my own baby’s skin <3) The other one smells of my first dates, love, sex, coffee and happiness, I also gave it a name Heavenly Suite 🙂 Now my only sadness is that the sample sizes are already empty and the parcel with full bottles got stuck somewhere at the post office agrr!

  9. Alice says:

    A strange coincidence..I had been dreaming of a leather fragrance over the weekend, but mine was a tuberose/leather accord, and quite light , with blossom and green nuances (not boudoir or cowboy!) – I’ll commission Atelier Colognes to prepare something edgy but wearable (generous spraying possible without causing fainting fits). The name? perhaps ‘esprit tubéreuse’

  10. ringthing says:

    Ok *cracks knuckles* I would like Christopher Brosius to create the life of a maple tree in perfume: the green sap/seeds; the smell of the boiling sap to make syrup; the syrup itself; the wonderful dusty, apple-y smell of the dry leaves and the unique bonfire smell when the leaves are burned at the end of the fall season. I grew up in the US Midwest and my uncle had a small family farm. They had a sap house and tapped their own trees; some of my most cherished childhood memories are of riding the tractor through the cold woods to collect the sap buckets and the buckwheat pancakes and sausage all covered in fresh syrup that my aunt and cousins would serve. It was a big extended family time, so my perfume would evoke nostalgia in the way that Brosius’s Memory of Kindness does. I’m not a bottle person but packaging in autumn colors is a given.

  11. wooddogs3 says:

    Mine would be a deep, dark vanilla, built on a base of sandalwood, with deep jasmine and some black rose at the heart. A little civet and wafty incense. There would be no Tonka, which gives an oddly “hollow” note to my nose, not the world-filling vanilla of my dreams at all. A top note of saffron would be lovely. When I bought CBIHP’s 7 Billion Hearts I thought it would be pretty close to this dream, but the intense wood shop scent of sawdust ruins it for me. I dream of having Laurie Erickson make the perfect one.

  12. Lynne says:

    Good question, as we’re all looking for that “pie in the sky” perfume. Mine would be called Parfum d’morphique. It would morph to what I was desiring according to the weather/seasons. For instance, in the summer it would be an uplifting citrus ala Acqua Viva. In the fall, it would morph into a casual leather, ala Cuir Beluga. For a job interview, it would resemble Chanel no. 19. I could go on and on,,,but there will never be one perfume for me—ever! lol

  13. All your talk of Laurie makes me so jealous – we can’t get her frags here in Europe any more….

  14. Georgy says:

    It’s called “georgious” and PG would have plein poivoir:-)

  15. My dream fragrance is a re-worked Dune. It would be less powerful, more salty and dry, smelling more like the ocean on a good day, minus any seaweed. It would not be anything like “ocean” fragrances such as “Cool Water” or its knock-offs. They are cool and sharp but lack that special something that makes a fragrance truly smell like the sea..

  16. Vanessa says:

    I’d be pretty darn pleased with your gauzy leather scent – Cuir de Russie has an unfortunate oily note, which I know you would studiously avoid. Your new creation sounds like a leather version of Rima XI, so that would be rather splendid. I am wearing Olfactive Studio Lumiere Blanche today and loving it. I wouldn’t mind someone just tweaking it to take it in a slightly more floral direction. A hint of ylang-ylang, maybe, but very discreet. Or a very light rose note.

  17. dremybluz says:

    My astronomically expensive fantasy fragrance would be prepared by Roja Dove. This mystical liquid would have to be housed in a massive bottle crafted from the finest swarovski crytal. A large, flawless blue white diamond would be set in the center of this fantasy bottle. I would love the opening notes to be a bright burst of fresh Seville orange peel softening into an ethereal cyphre cloud. MIddle notes would be from the finest fields of French carnations and Bulgarin roses. Base notes to be of Madagascar vanilla, Indian tuberose and sandlewood, Baltic amber, ambergris, civet, ambrette, patchouli, and labdanum. I would name it– Sparkling Power.

  18. Natalie says:

    I looove imagining fragrance briefs! Yours sounds beautiful. Hopefully you and Mr. Ellena will make it available to all? 😉 For my perfume at this moment, a very simple brief: stunning floral oriental. Glowy, alluring, and a little mysterious. And then I will sit back and wait to be wowed!

  19. Do you think an old style aldehydic leather chypre but with a note of fig or more precisely dried fig and might be possible?
    It would so remind me of Morocco, which would be rather lovely on such a dreary day.

    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  20. Sassa says:

    First, the scent would have the aldehyde opening of Chanel 22, with the addition of a soft Orange Blossom floating on top. The middle notes would be the exact incense of Chanel 22 with the rose/jasmine middle of Chanel 5 Parfum, and a liquid-y, warm vanilla and cinnamon to smooth the spikiness of the jasmine. The base would be the worn sandalwood of Bois des Iles with the incense retreating a little (but still discernible) and the vanilla bubbling up to taking it all home.
    The perfumer? Ernest Beaux of course! it may take some coaxing to get him to work with vanilla, but I’ve no doubt that he would hate it AND it would be the best vanilla ever inhaled.

  21. Nancysg says:

    I know I am late on this reply, but it wasn’t until last night that “my fragrance” came to mind. I want to smell the fields of golden wheat waving in the breeze with the sun shining down on the dry earth. Wheat, wind, sunshine and earth. Maybe Ellena could do this light transparent scent with a whiff of dirt. The gold of the wheat would have to be incorporated into the crystal bottle. Maybe clear glass with a gold etching of heads of wheat engraved. “Fields of Grain” perhaps for the name. Can you tell I grew up on a wheat farm?

  22. Dear Noses of the World,

    I would like you to create a perfume for me (price per kilo is no object).

    Must smell like:

    Must not smell:

    Try not to make it gross, Guys 🙂

  23. Undina says:

    I thought about it a while ago and I decided that I wouldn’t want any perfume created for me. Why? Because I won’t be able to work with any perfumer. I can tell which perfumes I love or like but I can’t say how a perfume should smell for me to like it. So a perfumer (let’s assume a very talented one) will implement something based on what I tell him/her. And then what? Most likely, I won’t even like – let alone love – it. So here starts the dancing: “Oh, it’s nice but…” But what? What can I tell a perfumer who knows much more than I and who has already done, presumably, his best? So I’ll end up accepting something less than perfect for me just to stop that agony and not to offend an artist.
    Nah… I’d rather choose from perfumes created for others 🙂

  24. scentsate says:

    What a fantastic discussion. I especially like Undina’s take on it.

    I’d commission Annick Menardo to make a fragrance based on soul food. And then a series of fragrances based on famous paintings, starting with this one:

    I think tuberose, orange blossom, mint, and light aquatic notes would be in order for The Kiss. And it’s Menardo, so you know she’d have an unconventional structure no matter what the notes were.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, what a great idea! I love Klimt and there actually is a perfume sold in Viennese tourist shops that has The Kiss on the bottle and box, unfortuately the scent itself is just an inconsequential and cheap cologne-type thing. I wish for a proper treatment by Menardo and scentsate. 🙂

  25. unseencenser says:

    You know, I DON’T dream of the perfect perfume. I have so many and am still discovering new things to smell – I don’t dream of perfection, I dream of a surfeit of experiences!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s