Pascal Gaurin

Pascal Gaurin

From Craftsmanship to Perfume

As a child, Pascal Gaurin smelled everything around him. Foods, plants, the furniture in his room and the earth in the garden. He did this to such an extent that his mother wondered if he was afraid of getting poisoned. It wasn’t his environment or his family, but his fascination with craftsmanship which gave him the certitude that one day he would work with luxury products – a way to reconnect with his enigmatic great grandfather, a sculptor of bronze. At 15 he met a tailor who passed on to him a taste for beautiful materials and a passion for detail. However, it wasn’t until much later, when he read an article on the perfume industry in Vogue, that he really became interested in the career of a nose. During his preparation for HEC, an interview with Jacques Polge describing the course of his career served as a revelation. It was decided, Pascal now had a single obsession: to create perfume.

The Soul of a Globetrotter

A year after he completed ISIPCA, Pascal Gaurin was recruited by IFF who sent him to get some experience on the other side of the world. Working out of Hong Kong for two years, Pascal created fragrances for China, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines – a cultural shock that he considered a lesson in humility. Disconnected from everything familiar, Pascal learned about Asiatic customs and discovered the region’s olfactive tastes. In 1997 IFF offered him another adventure, a city he had always dreamed of – New York. “New York had always fascinated me, but I never thought that one day I would have the chance to live there.”

From the Forests of Creuse to Patchouli

Most inspired by very dense essences, Pascal Gaurin is fond of resins, deep woods and anything that can express extreme sensuality. His taste for darkness probably originates from his grandparents’ home in Creuse, France. “The forests are very dark there, it always feels like it’s night time− you can feel the vapors of humus, mushrooms, leaves and bark.” he says. It was here that he first came into contact with nature. It only takes the smell of a bale of hay, an uncultivated field or a stable to bring a smile to his lips. “I love frontal materials, those you need to tame like a sculptor does stone − by keeping the volume but making it flow. This is where he gets his affinity for cistus labdanum, patchouli, Cashmeran and vanilla – ingredients he qualifies as erotic.

All Senses Awakened

While he is extremely passionate about perfume, Pascal cannot live without film and music. An unconditional fan of directors Martin Scorsese, David Fincher and Ridley Scott, Pascal watches dozens of films every week, his own way of disconnecting from reality. Accompanied by music from morning till night, he cannot imagine working without a soundtrack. From Radiohead to the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and Guns N’ Roses, each song provides energy and emotion that he uses to create – so much so that he defines a perfume brief musically before he tries to find the olfactive inspiration.

(Bio provided by IFF)

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Pascal Gaurin is the author of Made in Heaven.