With a focus on raw materials inspired by extensive travel across the globe, Thibaud Crivelli designed his collection, Maison Crivelli, to be a living experience told through olfactory stories and sensory discoveries. Discover a bit more about the mastermind behind the brand in our interview with him below.
Your first scent memory?
From what I remember - and apart from the perfumes worn by my parents - my first contact with perfume came from raw nature. Throughout my life, I came across a large variety of ingredients. Our home garden was filled with flowers in Spring: roses, honeysuckle, geranium, artemisia, peonies, and a huge wisteria. It was a colorful garden with large trees, and I remember well the scent of freshly cut grass warmed up by the sun. We would spend Summer on the French Riviera and of course, the scent of local aromatic notes and citruses came along: laurel, rosemary, citruses... In autumn and winter, we usually spend our weekends walking or horse-riding in the forest. I remember afternoon strolls in colorful, misty, and moist forests with the scent of saddle leather, undergrowth or freshly cut trees (more specifically pine and oak).
When did your love of perfume start?
Perfume has always been a part of my life and since a very young age, I have said that creating a perfume brand would be a lifetime project. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and adventurers, who ventured off the beaten tracks long ago. The 3 generations that preceded me lived in various Foreign countries (Australia, Morocco, Lebanon, Vietnam...). I feel that our family members are all very curious and attracted by different cultures and perspectives, and this mindset has helped me to move forward and work on the project.
Do you remember the point at which you decided to start Maison Crivelli, what was it like?
I remember this moment very well. I was based in Hong Kong and I had worked for perfume brands for the previous 10 years. I wanted a change in my career and I also needed to relocate from Asia. A few external factors gave me a “kick” but I also felt I was ready. This was a very spontaneous process.
Could you elaborate on your relationship with nature and your love for the raw ingredients?
Having grown up in a very small city, I have always been surrounded by nature, and obviously the more time you spend in nature the closer you get to perfume ingredients. Living in Asia has also given me the incredible opportunity to visit markets and fields where perfume ingredients are grown and extracted.
I do a lot of synesthesia, and this has led me to discover perfume ingredients with a very sensorial approach. What I find interesting to explore is not just “a scent”, it is actually the whole sensorial experience around perfume discovery. All in all, the senses remain very correlated.
As a result, I do not have the technical and scientific knowledge that perfumers have. My knowledge is different, it is complementary, and the beauty of the partnership with our perfumers is actually this capacity to join forces and work on creations that are very creative and original, from the inspiration all the way to the formulation.
What inspires you to create? How do you know the moment the next fragrance is born?
Each of our scents is inspired by a moment that I have lived when I have discovered a perfume ingredient in a very surprising way. I brief the perfumers by narrating them this experience: I send them pictures, videos, sounds… I explain to them what I have lived and we work together to translate this memory into a fragrance that would be sensorial, surprising, contrasting, and very modern.
The creative process works two ways. I don’t really “nourish” my inspiration: surprises often come to me! I am an active and very curious person, and I always try to explore, feel what is around me and experience many sensations at the same time. I believe that this mindset helps me to live more surprises, which then become beautiful inspirations.
Occasionally I also decide to start working on a new perfume that is based on a specific perfume ingredient. In this case, I dig into my past to remember a surprising experience around it, and then I follow the same creative process.
Which fragrances from your collection do you wear the most?
My favorite scents from the collection are Hibiscus Mahajád, Papyrus Moléculaire and Iris Malikhân. During warm Summer days, I also love wearing Rose Saltifoliaor Lys Sølaberg.
Which of your perfumes would make you blush if worn by a significant other?
It would definitely be Iris Malikhân and Hibiscus Mahajád, as those are the perfumes of the collection I am the proudest of. And it is very touching to receive so much feedback on those two specific creations.
What’s one scent/accord you cannot stand?
I have an eclectic taste and I have learned to appreciate perfume ingredients independently from the “I like/I dislike” approach. But I must reckon that I really dislike synthetic fruity notes, which I find “cheap” in most creations. Also, I am not a big fan of overly green creations.
How do you envision the future of Maison Crivelli?
Bright and exciting! We have many new projects in the pipeline. In 2022 we will be launching 2 new perfume extracts in our collection, both done in partnership with Quentin Bisch. We will also continue the retail expansion by opening more markets, especially in Asia. The opening of a boutique in Paris is also a mid-term project I am slowly starting to work on.
And now a bit of fun!
These are made to be immediate thought answers so no cheating!
Sweet or Salty? Both at the same time!
Invisibility or Super Strength?Super strength, I love diving and I am always frustrated when the oxygen tanks run slow 🙂
Texting or Talking?Talking, face to face and ideally sitting at a nice open-air terrace. This sounds very French I guess!