Clement Gavarry is a brave man. The fourth-generation perfumer was born in Paris, based in New York accepted Victoria’s Secret’s challenge to create the long-awaited, Middle-Eastern inspired scent sequel to its blockbuster fragrance Bombshell. The result? Bombshell Oud, which with similar bravado was beamed onto the Burj Khalifa on the eve of Ramadan at the launch of the new fragrance in Dubai.
“The way that each of the ingredients I used blend together makes this fragrance radiate with beauty,” effuses Clement. “The fragrance opens with Pink Saffron which mingles with zesty Mandarin, while earthy violet leaves add texture. Soft and smooth Sueded Peony possesses a unique characteristic that adds depth and decadence, and enhances the floralcy throughout the heart. Oud is a very luxurious ingredient with lots of depth, and the way that I married it with floral top notes gives the entire fragrance a bold sensuality. White Suede envelops the drydown with smooth warmth.”
Clement continues, “Oud, one of the most mythical and mystical ingredients, brings a rich and complex signature with ambery, smoky and earthy nuances. A warm glow of Ambrox further heightens this new intoxicating fragrance for an intriguing new take on oud.” Intrigued? Clement invites GRAZIA on a olfactory adventure for the launch of Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Oud. Prepare for your senses to be seduced.
Clement Gavarry is the nose behind the latest incarnation of the Victoria’s Secret Bombshell fragrance family
What in your opinion is the purpose of perfume?
For me, I believe fragrance is a way to connect with one another, but also with yourself. When someone selects a specific perfume to wear, it’s a very personal decision, and ideally it will bring a certain peacefulness and joy to their daily life. Wearing fragrance is also a way to make a statement, and an invitation for others to get to know your personality.
What are your favourite fragrances to create?
I love the artistry involved in creation, thus I don’t have a particular favorite type of creation per se, but I do gravitate towards creating fragrances using lots of natural ingredients. Natural ingredients, such as rose, jasmine, mint, vetiver, etc. have a very raw and earthy tonality to them, and remind me of happy childhood memories and different places I’ve traveled to over the years.
What qualities does a Victoria’s Secret fragrance need to possess?
For me it needs to have a robust signature and a new addiction. These two elements create an exciting new perfume, with its own individual personality and sensuality.
How does this Victoria’s Secret Bombshell fragrance compare to the others in the collection?
I wanted to stay true to Bombshell and the bold and iconic Bombshell heritage, while giving it a new exotic twist that brings mystery and intrigue by using different oud facets to bring it to the next level. Compared to other fragrances within the Bombshell collection, this particular perfume is much more sensual and warm, with earthy, leathery and musky textural notes that give it a unique dimension.
Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Oud Dhs350 for 100ml, SHOP NOW.
Did you draw on any personal experience of the Middle East to create this fragrance?
I was influenced by my ingredient palette and research of the Middle East. While I’ve never traveled there, and I studied Oud in-depth, and spoke to our natural experts in this region, and was able to mentally escape there while concepting this fragrance. The many different facets of Oud illude to richness, warmth and decadence, helping me discover the Middle East through a new lens.
How would you advise somebody to take themselves on their own fragrance journey?
First, smell is the most powerful sense a person has. People have many memories linked to scent (from childhood up to the present day), you make connections based on these ‘scent memories’, also known as nostalgia. When you smell different perfumes, see what connects with you, and gives you a positive sentiment. Once you have found a perfume that you love, make note of the ingredients used in them, as well as their olfactive family, and from there you can research other fragrances that use these notes or fall into the same categories.
How should one balance the trends in fragrance with what suits your personality when it comes to choosing a perfume?
I’m a huge proponent of not following the trends. Finding your own unique favorite perfume is an extremely personal journey, and the path is not the same for everyone. If someone is too influenced by what other people are wearing, or by a current trend, the fragrance won’t truly ‘speak’ to them and bring a sense of joy, nostalgia and confidence as they won’t connect with it. It’s always better to choose a scent that suits your personality and olfactive preferences.
What do the most enduring scents have in common? What are the hallmarks of a classic?
For me, a ‘classic’ perfume is one that has a genuine signature, a personality – and that brings something unique to the wearer. It even imparts a special status to the person who has chosen to wear it. Any fragrance that stands the test of time in popularity has these properties.