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Olivier Pescheaux

Into the fire

INTERVIEW Inspiring words from Donatella Versace set perfumer Olivier Pescheux on the road to the creation of a fiery new fragrance

The fires of creativity began to flicker in Olivier Pescheux 18 months ago. Commissioned to make a sequel to Versace’s successful Eros fragrance, he was immediately excited and inspired by both the brand and its chief, Donatella Versace. The fact that he was “extremely impressed” by the original scent didn’t harm the collaboration either. The result of this spark is Versace Eros Flame, a bold and spicy new fragrance for men that celebrates true love. Pescheux has an impressive CV, having created scents for Christian Dior, Diptyque, Jil Sander, Montblanc and Paco Rabanne – he even made a trio of products for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. EDGAR spoke to the expert about his journey with Versace.

Q.

When you began work on Eros Flame, did you present ideas to Versace and [fragrance company] EuroItalia or did they give you a brief of what they wanted?

A.

My initial inspiration was the following words from Donatella Versace: ‘The spark of true love is the dream that each of us pursues. True love captures the soul, body, and mind and never lets you go. It takes your breath away because without your beloved, you no longer feel complete. True love consumes everything in an eternal flame of passion.’

Q.

Is Donatella Versace someone you admire?

A.

Yes, she is a complete visionary who dares to explore new territories. This creative vision was highly inspiring for me and I wanted to convey the audacious spirit of the Versace universe in the fragrance.

Flame is the sequel to Versace Eros

Q.

What was on your mood board when you made Eros Flame?

A.

Those powerful words from Donatella Versace generated images in my mind. I imagined what a world of extreme sensuality filled with strength and passion could be. It made me think of pulsating heat, like a volcano waiting to erupt, that keeps on attracting you like a fiery magnet of unconditional love, a fascinating man with a blazing spirit.

Q.

Would you say Versace’s menswear played a part in your creative process?

A.

The entire Versace universe stirred my creativity: the bold patterns and impressive colours, the unrivalled style, the sculptured structure of the clothes and the quality of materials. I fully immersed myself in the world of Versace, which, for me, means a bold elegance and an expressive sensuality combined with that Italian refinement.

Q.

How important was it for you to incorporate the philosophy of the Versace brand into the fragrance?

A.

It was my primary focus to give a storyline to the fragrance that matches the one of the brand. That means luxury, sophistication, graceful sensuality, quality, and of course Italian seductive spirit. It gave me a solid point of reference throughout the creative process.

Shooting the campaign for Versace Eros Flame

Q.

How did that distinctive Versace style manifest itself in the fragrance?

A.

We decided to use tailor-made citrus notes, both as a nod to the work of the designer, but also to recall the proud Italian roots of Maison Versace.

Q.

What was the most difficult part of the job for you?

A.

The challenge for me was to ensure the high standards of Versace and match its world-famous image. I was given this incredible chance and I did not want to miss it.

Q.

Reflecting now, what do you think is the most striking note of Versace Eros Flame?

A.

For me, what stands out most is the contrasts – you have the duality of long-lasting freshness and the flaming red colour. Those beautiful Italian citruses are contrasted by patchouli and pepperwood, which give rise to a warm and sensual base that I think makes the fragrance spellbinding and addictive.

Warm and citrus are the fragrance's themes

Q.

What does Eros Flame make you feel when you wear it?

A.

Wearing this perfume makes me feel strong, confident and sensual. It encapsulates this charismatic virility for a man who wants to feel captivating and sexy.

Q.

A statement from the house of Versace says this new fragrance aims to take men to a ‘mythological universe’. What places have you been where you felt a deep, spiritual connection?

A.

I think three places come to mind: the Colosseum in Rome, which has such a powerful spirit; the serene majesty of the Acropolis in Athens; and finally, I’d choose the extraordinary mystery of the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia.

END OF INTERVIEW

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