For over 20 years, Hervé Gambs has been working with olfactive expressions, making them refreshing scents and giving a new meaning to the French Haute Perfumery
What makes him different is his ability to derive something new out of the contrast between raw and extreme. Read all about his journey as he is ‘speaking scents’ with ParfumPlus!
ParfumPlus (PP): What made you want to be a perfumer?
Hervé Gambs (HG): I have a passion for nature in all its shapes and forms, I like to touch and feel flowers and plants. Naturally, I fell in love with the natural flavors and essences of Nature. I wanted to incorporate these raw materials and elements in a sophisticated way.
PP: So when did you realise that your nose was special?
HG: Over the years, I have developed an advanced interaction between the senses of taste and smell.
I love cooking and detect flavors through smell. That was the beginning of my journey.
PP: Perfumers claim to be able to identify a lot of ingredients. How many do you claim to recognise?
HG: Not that many, as I am continuously discovering and identifying new ones.
PP: As a perfumer, do you think you see the world differently than the rest of us?
HG: Yes certainly. I think I am very curious about everything. I am constantly challenging the connections of touch, smell, taste and their impact on us.
PP: Are you partial towards any perfume accords and ingredients in particular?
HG: I do not forbid anything at all. I am curious to test new accords and sensations. I am not a chemist-perfumer but a creator of perfumes, so I do not feel blocked by the chemical and technical formulas, I work instinctively.
Sometimes it smells good, sometimes it does not smell good .. but I try and assess and experiment with exciting correlations.
PP: Your personal opinion on natural and synthetic ingredients? Do you prefer one over the other?
HG: These days, there are few differences between natural and synthetic ingredients, as synthetic ingredients are increasingly created from natural molecules and derived from nature.
But, personally, I use a lot of natural materials because I like their intensity and power
PP: Any favourite perfumes?
HG: It is always the next one that I am creating.
PP: Has your personal taste in perfumes changed over time?
HG: Most definitely as I regularly discover new ingredients that make me see and experience other possibilities to create and evolve my tastes and perceptions.
PP: Your home fragrances…The one you create with decorative flowers. How has this been received by the Middle East audience?
HG: The gesture of perfuming a home is an art of living in France, because we host many dinners parties for friends and family and do a lot of entertaining in general.
Scenting a home means creating an atmosphere where we want to share joyous moments and make memories with our friends or family.
The culture in the Middle East is the same, so the customers welcomed my collections of scented candles and my fragrances for interiors with open arms.
It feels inspirational to bring a bit of French culture into their homes.
PP: How long does it take to create a Herve Gambs fragrance?
HG: It could take anything from a few minutes to many months, it is all circumstantial.
PP: You claim to be creating sensory experiences for unconventional luxury seekers… could you please elaborate on these “unconventional luxury seekers”? And how do you cater to their “sensory experiences”?
HG: For me the “unconventional luxury seekers are the “NEO-DANDIES” which combine feminine and masculine passion for extraordinary and dazzling desire for singularity. They claim to be different from everyone with an intimate signature scent that is off the beaten paths of “déjà vu”.
The pursuit of beauty today requires the luxury of excellence and expertise of the rare. Care for oneself means seeking and exploring signs of exclusive distinction.