The birth of an olfactory signature

David Jourquin’s childhood was split between the gentle spirit of his mother, steeped in exotic fragrances, and the strong character of his grandmother, who liked having everything in its proper place.

Each morning, his mother would slip into her leather coat before kissing him goodbye and dashing off to work. Invariably, her perfume would mingle with the magical scent of the supple hide, leaving an indelible mark on the first few moments of his day.

His radiant grandmother welcomed him day after day, echoing the scent of her shiny waxed wood floors. He was always rather amused by her of habit of sprinkling a few drops of Saint-Michel Eau de Cologne on the cushions of her lounge chair.

Somewhat withdrawn but still attentive, his father smoked cigars and sometimes brought David to the market in Pointe-à-Pitre where the young boy reveled in the sweet, powerful aromas of all the spices.

His step-father brought him on unforgettably intense redolent journeys to Morocco….

Amidst this fragrant mosaic, David Jourquin grew up believing that smells had meaning, they gave structure to his life and spoke only truths to him. Still today, he remains filled with the scent memories that made him who he is. The scent of waxed wood floors soothes him; patchouli reassures him. He cannot forget the familiar scent of leather, dazzling spices, wafting cigar smoke…. They are his mirror image, his roots, the many facets of his inner self.

Over time, through the various experiences that made a difference in his life, new sensations etched their way into his emotional network. Now cigars remind him of Cuba, evoking myriad images, sounds and silhouettes in a head-spin of amber colored rum. Leather has become more sensual and exciting, his favorite material, in fact. It’s like a second skin he wears all the time, dressing him as if naked because it’s so incredibly comfortable.

While other people may need to breathe, drink, eat or sleep… David has a vital need to perfume his world to make it his own, get a handle on it, move forward and create. The entranceway to this apartment smells as if it’s lined with incense paper. The kitchen emanates warm aromas of vanilla and patchouli. The living room is filled with the rich scent of floor wax and the bedroom dances with the delightful fragrance of orange blossoms… Certain furniture is also entitled to its own olfactory signature; such as the bed, on which the pillows receive a nightly dab of precious Eau de Cologne. “It helps me sleep,” he confides. “I don’t like the smell of laundry detergent, so I create my own sense of ‘clean’ before slipping between the sheets and heading off to dreamland.”

For this detail-oriented individual, settling for a pre-fabricated olfactory expression of his personality would be simply unthinkable. To start, he must pin-point two fragrances that each reflect a different aspect of his personality. The first is rather strict. Its fits the businessman in him and naturally coincides with his daytime activities. The second one is sweet and heady, allowing for the whims of the midnight hour. But neither completely satisfies his exacting tastes. At times, he even combines them, the way he accents an outfit with a surprising accessory, such as a leather glove or a string of pearls….

Until the day he dared to venture into art of perfume making, and developed his own two fragrances, dedicated to the Day and to the Night. Formulated like a genuine olfactory biography, they come to life through a heady heart note of patchouli and feed off the perfumer’s personal experiences, adding a hint of leathery mandarin, wrapped in tobacco leaves, and then take flight in a field of fine lavender before veering into the sensual essence of musk (for the evening version).

Elegant, rare, balanced and tinged with a bit of folly… the Day and Night versions shine in their gorgeous containers, as warm, refined, exciting and precious as the ambrosial notes they protect, sheathed in lambskin and shimmering like brass, sealed with exquisite wooden caps.

In early 2014, David Jourquin is launching two new women’s fragrances inspired by the wild spirit of the 1920s – Cuir de R’Eve and Cuir Altesse – as well as his first scented candle – Winter in Biarritz – a tribute to the wildest of all the Atlantic cities.

Ready to melt on you hot summer skin: Cuir Caraïbes and Cuir Solaire.

David Jourquin

Thoughts gathered from a discrete man.