French haute parfumerie Maison Crivelli was founded by Thibaud Crivelli in 2018. A man born with fragrance in his home and heart, Thibaud’s creations really do reflect his living experience. He grew up in the cosmetic city of La Roche-Posay in France and was heavily influenced by a family of scientists and entrepreneurs spread across the world and parents who gave him a taste for adventure.
“All the things I do today are due to my youth, my education and the values I learned from my parents. Although I grew up in a small city, I was surrounded by conversations about the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific region.”
The way he explores different traditional raw materials in an unexpected way underpins all the scents Crivelli creates, and he does this by using only the finest ingredients and drawing on his extensive travel experiences and memories. However, Crivelli never wanted Maison Crivelli to be a brand inspired by travel or the perfumes to be associated with a destination. “We are inspired by adventure, by sensual experiences. And then it doesn’t really matter where you are. I love to associate the brand with this idea of exploration because exploring can be physical as well as internal. Perfume is an exploration by itself – through perfume you can even learn about your inner self and reveal facets of your personality you might not have imagined.”
“The Japanese people have a saying ‘ichigo ichie’ which can be translated as ‘in this moment’. It’s a beautiful mindset to have because you end up appreciating the beauty of impermanence and take things which come to you as they come.”
The oud addiction
The latest addition to Maison Crivelli, and the fourth perfume extract, Oud Maracujá takes you to the heart of an oud wood forest – by far one of the most expensive raw fragrance ingredients in the world. The surprise comes in the form of sweet and fresh passionfruit (Maracujá means passionfruit), which provides an exotic contrast to the heat of the oud and is directly inspired by a personal experience.
“That day, the temperature was at its highest. The air was heavy with humidity; the sun was glowing red in the sky,” explains Crivelli. “We had travelled several kilometres before stopping in a remote village. I remember sitting down inside a building. A man approached me and started burning wood chips. I quenched my thirst with sweet, bright, passionfruit juice. We were suddenly bathed in sunlight. Little by little, the smoke spread throughout the room. Powerful, deep, noble, rich, and contrasting with this radiant, thirst-quenching fruit.”
Crivelli prefers to work with different perfumers to build out the brand and ensure that the perfumes have different signatures, in addition to the brand signature. For Oud Maracujá he worked with perfumer Jordi Fernandez who says that Crivelli’s choice of ingredients inspired him to build a bold olfactory profile, full of character and personality. “It all started with the choice of quality raw materials. A burst of fruity top notes like maracujá makes for an addictive and creative opening, contrasting with the darkness and depth of the oud. It’s unique, addictive and sensual. It’s full of edgy variation.”
This accord is enhanced by lush saffron, Indonesian patchouli and leather, and softened by the honey-like Turkish rose and vanilla absolutes. A touch of akigalawood reinforces the power and long-lasting wear of the fragrance.
For Crivelli, perfume is not just about the smell. “It’s about the experience of perfume which depends on what is around me in terms of people, colour, textures, music, ambience, even elements of taste. When you combine all those elements, you end up with something which can be very surprising. And I want people to be surprised by our perfumes,” he adds. “Then maybe they will travel and uncover memories, they will think of destinations, but it’ll be their own.”
And that is why Oud Maracujá is very different to a classic oud or any other fragrance. It’s a journey, an experience, and Crivelli and Fernandez have undoubtedly captured that element of surprise for which Maison Crivelli is renowned.
Maison Crivelli Oud Maracujá Extrait de Parfum 50ml (R4 710) is available at Skins Cosmetics.