Scents are very personal to us. We associate scents with certain moments in time, a memory, a person. When it comes to fragrances, have you ever wondered where the inspiration comes from? The award-winning fragrance line, Michel Germain (and yes, there’s a REAL person here) has been in the business for 27 years. We fell head over heels when we learned of his story of how he quit his full time job to create a fragrance for his wife Norma. His fragrance brand, Sexual, entered the market and his brand is now ranked amongst the top 10 for women’s and men’s fragrances worldwide.
Focusing on classic scents is always in style and his line expresses the true meaning of love. The foundation of the brand is known for its glamour, romance and secret, elegant aphrodisiacs. So, secretive that they are too precious to be revealed!
Sexual Noir for women launched 10 years after the original fragrance and has become a well-loved scent around the world. It’s a mysteriously playful cocktail of sophistication and intrigue with a floral-oriental bouquet of mandarin, strawberries and fresh lime. It also carries middle notes of patchouli, pink orchid, pink sweet pea and jasmine. But at the heart of the fragrance is vetiver, warming vanilla, precious amber and sandalwood.
Sounds so beautiful, right? We agree! So, we wanted to find out more from Michel.
When creating a scent, how does it all begin?
For me, it all begins with Norma. She wanted a fragrance that made her feel sexy and attractive, as if she was the only woman in the world. So every fragrance has to inspire these feelings in her and in every woman who wears my fragrances.
When I travel the world with Norma to Italy, Paris and Grasse, France, among other places, the beautiful flowers, gorgeous scents, and romance that are woven into the beings of these countries automatically stir my mind to start creating a fragrance that will capture these characteristics.
Take for example the Rose de Mai. It is only grown in one field in Grasse, France. It is bodacious, romantic, and softly inviting. The field it is grown in is in secluded countryside, lined with tall cypress trees and is the epitome of French elegance in a perfume field. Once I smelled this scent, I knew I had to make a French-style fragrance that in
Do you remember your wife’s first reaction to the scent you created for her?
Norma says she was under my spell (or it could have been the perfume’s spell) the instant she opened her gift and wore it. She loved my perfume creation and says she was entranced with the love and romance I had put into it. It really captured her wish to feel seductive and attractive, as if she was the only woman in the world, she told me. I was entranced with the hugs and kisses I received from her. She’s really special to me.
What does sexy or beautiful mean to you?
Being sexy or beautiful is something everyone has in her or his being. Sometimes we neglect, or forget, to honour or enjoy that part of ourselves. When I look to Norma, a wife, mother of 3, and business woman, I see she reminds herself every day of her beauty so as not to forget or neglect it.
It’s the little things she does … wears her favourite bracelet on her beautiful wrist every day whether she is going out or not; smiles her beautiful smile at everyone she meets whether she knows them or not; spritzes Sexual on her skin before drifting off to sleep every night. Beauty brings her (like the rest of us) joy, and we all need to revel in our own form of it and start our own traditions to remind ourselves of how beautiful we really are inside and out.
Are there certain ingredients that are more prominent in more sensual fragrances?
Sensual fragrances have more layers and complexity to them to reflect the layers and complexity in sensuality. These fragrances have richer, layered (not necessarily heavier) florals and other notes.
Some of the best sensual notes are gourmand. These notes automatically and gently entrance the olfactory senses and stimulate the brain in the way a gorgeous, delectable gourmet meal does. They make a person’s mouth water and want to smell it again and again. Some of the more sensual ingredients that are known to attract are vanilla creme brûlée; fresh roasted almonds; sugar-coated orange zest.
Some of the more sensual floral notes are jasmine (used for centuries to seduce); and blue violet orris. Absolutely gorgeous, heady florals.
Are people surprised that you’re fragrance is Canadian? We often think of France for romantic scents.
Some people are surprised as they have not heard of a Canadian perfumer before. Once they find out my fragrances are top sellers in some of the largest department stores in the world (The Bay, Macy’s, Bloomingdales), they are very surprised. And excited. And proud.
Much of our fragrance oils, however, are grown in the capitol of perfume oils … Grasse, France. (Canada does not have the climate and soil to grow some of these plants.) Grasse grows the most beautiful, fragrant flowers and plants. It is heaven to visit the fields and even more wonderful to have these oils in my fragrances.
What do you love most about creating fragrances?
Besides seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they are wearing my perfume and reading the fan mail, creating fragrances is one of the most enjoyable part of owning a fragrance company. It is relaxing as the heady scents are so calming and beautiful. It is fulfilling, as creating a piece of gorgeous art (I consider perfume a work of art) is a great accomplishment, one I am proud of as it brings closeness and happiness to many people’s lives.
Thank you, Michel!
You can find Michel Germain fragrances exclusively at The Bay in Canada and at www.michelgermain.com