An Interview With Top-Class Perfume Bottle Designer Mr. Pierre Dinand
by Denise Petals
Hello Fragrance-Freaks! How have you guys been? Well, talking about scents, most of us buy the scent for the fact it smells good (Duh!). There are others among us who buy the perfume because of its packaging, I know alot of people reading this bought one of Dali's perfume because of its exaggerated structure, or some other perfume which has captivated you because of the bottle (I am such an impulse buyer too!). Well today, we have an exclusive interview with The Man behind the Bottles. Without this man, your 'Pleasures' or 'Ysatis' bottle might have just ended up in a plain rectangular box! Mr. Pierre Dinand whom we are talking about has created over 450 perfume bottles over a period of 40 years for the most respectable Fragrance Empires in the world- you name it he has worked with them, Dior, YSL, Paco Robanne, Rochas, Givenchy, CK, the list goes on! He is such a talented man that even the Fragrance Foundation had him design their award (FIFI award) which is a much conveted prize among leaders of the American perfume industry.
Mr Dinand was drafted and sent to fight in the paddyfields of Indochina, but he was more interested in art than in fighting. He studied Asian temples and structures which is commonly seen in his works. He even worked with Archeologists in Cambodia! Later, he worked for a chemical company which was about to launch a new product. The package was "hedious" and Mr. Dinand had to re-design it himself; this pleased his Boss. Later on he was appointed by a Contact advertising agency and this was where he met his first client Rochas...the rest is History!
Well we are privileged to have a very humble Mr. Pierre Dinand (who agreed without hesitation to give BB this interview and send me a book on his life and perfumes) telling us about his life, his experiences with perfumes, tips about perfumes and everything we freaks want to find out about the World-of-Scents! So here goes:
1) Why do you think perfume is extremely important, especially in the women's wardrobe?
Perfume is an important accessory, like jewelry or a beautiful dress. Without Perfume, a woman is naked.
2) Which perfume/perfumes a woman/women was wearing captivated you. Tell us about any experience relating to this and what scent was that?
The first Perfume I remember that really triggered an emotion for me was SHALIMAR I had a rendez-vous in a topfloor restaurant in New-York, and then I smelled her Perfume in the Elevator.I knew immediatly she was up there waiting for me...
3) Sir, how did you enter this industry and what do you think one require to do this job?
I did Architecture in the Beaux-Arts School in Paris, but moved to Advertising. My first client was PARFUMS ROCHAS, a beautiful sexy woman. I fell in love... To do this job, one requires a strong artistic background. Sculpture, Architecture, Painting and a good knowledge of history, civilisations different cultures. It helps to live in Paris and to travel as much as I did in Europe to Roma, Venise, Florence,but also all around the world.
4) The most memorable experience in this career?
I had so many experiences in my career, I could write a book about it. Working so closely with the most famous fashion-designers YVES ST LAURENT, BALENCIAGA, BALMAIN, SCHIAPARELLI, CHRISTIAN DIOR, HUBERT DE GIVENCHY, PACO RABANNE, BILL BLASS, GEOFFREY BEENE, CALVIN KLEIN, ARMANI, VALENTINO, FENDI, KARL LAGERFELD, KRIZIA, GUCCI, HERMES and so many other big groups; AVON, REVLON, P&G, LOREAL, UNILEVER and many Japanese companies like KANEBO, POLA, HANAE MORI, KOSE, KAO, CORP...Also working with Annette Green for the Sculpture of the FIFI AWARDS.
The most memorable experience is probably PACO RABANNE explainig his brief for his new fragrance in 1967: My Perfume should reflect a Woman and a Man making love on the back-seat of a Car.... I told him there was not a lot of space, maybe we should choose a big car, he said yes, a Rolls-Royce. And I used from his former idea only the front grill, called CALANDRE in French. Crazy situations like this one happened to me many times and gave me hints and directions to create the bottles.You just have to be patient and carefully listen, something will always come out of an interview with talented gurus.
5) Out of the so-many bottles you have created, which do you love the most and why?
My 6 favorite are CALANDRE, OBSESSION, ETERNITY, OPIUM, MADAME ROCHAS and PLEASURES. Probably because all the elements were united to make a success. It is very much like a jackpot machine. You need the 5 cherries to win. Fragrance - Bottle design - Name - Marketing team - Finance...If one of the cherries is a Banana, you do not get your jackpot and the fragrance is a Flop...
6) This is a toughie! You have met so many gorgeous women in your job experience, who do you think is very beautiful (do define your idea of beautiful please) and who do you think smells the best?(what was she wearing?)
Yes, I fell in love a few times and then things got terribly complicated. Until I married one of them and get stabilized for good. My idea of beautiful, is a mixture of all senses, intelligence, beautiful look, voice, sense of touch, and smell; It should be a right balance with all the senses and she was wearing SHALIMAR.
7) Give us tips: What do you think women should look out for when they are planning to get a scent, especially to have this scent as a signature one?
It depends the hour of the day and the circonstances: An All-day perfume coud be ETERNITY or PLEASURES. An Evening-date would be more YOUTH-DEW, OPIUM or TRESOR.
8) What do you look for in a woman's perfume?
Something I will remember. It is very difficult to remember more than 10 different fragrances. But I do not have 10 different girlfriends, at least not anymore!!! A good trick is to make them wear the same Perfume, it can save a man's life of dangerous situations...
9) Say Calvin Klein calls you to create a bottle for his new scent for women, what does he actually tell you, what infos do you need? Do you have to smell the scent to create the bottle? What actually happens Sir, from the day Calvin Kelin tells you he wants a bottle to the day you create it? We really want to know this!
Calvin first name for his Perfume was..." CLIMAX"..Of course, the bottle was supposed to be very sexy, at the limit of erotism. It could have been bad taste. The concept stayed, though the name had fortunately to be changed, because of the proximity with CLIMAT de LANCOME. The scent was create by ROURE at the same time, and I worked very closely with the Perfumeur JEAN AMIC at the time, to make sure the "JUICE" would match the design, and the coloured surlyn of OBSESSION.
10) Apart from creating perfumes which we all know is a great passion of yours, what are other things you like to do to relax, enjoy?
I always practiced a lot of sports: Ice-Hockey French National Team, Ski, Tennis and Squash, my latest passion Windsurfing and Funboard. I am always looking for vacations in very windy spots, like GARDA LAKE, MAUI North shore, BARBADOS SILVER SANDS, MARGARITA EL YAKE, CAPE HATTERAS or the MISTRAL wind at my house of SAINT-TROPEZ.
11) Sir, if you were not a fragrance bottle designer, what would you have been doing?
Funboard instructor, No I am kidding... Maybe Architect.
12) You choice of scent sir, what do you wear?
COOL-WATER created by my friend the great Perfumeur PIERRE BOURDON. and I did not even designed the bottle...
13) What do you think are the changes you see in perfume trends over the decades- from the 60s when you started creating till this day? Which trend of scent did you like the best and why please?
Since the 60s, Women started to work and needed lighter fragrances, until mid-70s, when suddenly very strong fragrances appeared like OPIUM, GIORGIO, POISON. GIORGIO was obviously too strong. It is the first time I saw signs in restaurants. NO SMOKING NO GIORGIO. I never saw any other Fragrances namely mentioned in such a way; Did you?
[I read in a magazine that a French Restaurant did not allow people with Poison perfume in..hmmm..Ed]
14) So do you like the women with the rich, heady scent like Madame Rochas,Volupte and Poison or the lighter scents like Pleasures?
I prefer the lighter scents like Pleasures or Eternity
15) Your all-time favoutire woman's perfume? The best perfume you think ever created?
I can recognize and I like OPIUM and OBSESSION because I did the bottles, I now prefer the lighter scents like PLEASURES and ETERNITY which I created both of them also I must confess it is very exciting for me to have been part of so many extraordinary ventures. I just cannot believe it when I think about it.
It is like it was created by another person, not me. I was a spectator of what was happening to me. I never visited people to ask for a job, they came to me. The best Perfume ever created is undoubtedly CHANEL #5 , and still Nr.one in the world, because of an excellent JackPot, which continues with the same team and same owners for 78 years. ESTEE LAUDER is also a good example of longevity and continuity.
16) Your favoutire scent category-
Floral/ Oriental/ Floral Oriental/ Spicy/Green/Transparent etc
Floral/Oriental -OPIUM , Spicy Green Transparent-ETERNITY
17) Your fave perfume for day wear and evening wear?
Day wear PLEASURES Evening SHALIMAR
18) Which perfume do you think best describes these words Sir?
-Sexy ---- OBSESSION
-Beautiful ----- CHANEL #5
-Romantic ----- L'AIR DU TEMPS
-Bold ----- TRESOR
-Feminine ----- MADAME ROCHAS
-Exotic ----- MITSOUKO
-Seductive ----- GIORGIO
-Innocent ----- CK ONE
-Trendy ----- ETERNITY
-Classy & Sophisticated ----- SHALIMAR
-Dainty & Demure ----- COOL WATER
-Wild Party Girl ----- OPIUM
19) Your plans for the future Sir?
My plans for the future: continue to work at a very limited pace as a counselor for one Perfume once a year; Take care of my PIERRE DINAND Museum in Japan and go windsurfing to these fantastic places surrounded by gorgeous women smelling Coconut, PinaColada, Vanilla and Tiare flowers, Yum.. Yum!
I must add something I want to say; When I started this activity in 1959, 40 years ago, I had no competitors, one GUERICOLAS just died of a heart attack. And a group of talented designers in New-York SCHWARTZ & WASIN disappeared rapidly. I was lucky to meet so many talented people who perfectioned my knowledge in all aspects of Art. If I had to mention only a few names who brought me the best rewards for my work, it would be: YVES ST LAURENT, HUBERT DE GIVENCHY, GIORGIO ARMANI, ROBIN BURNS, CALVIN KLEIN & ANNETTE GREEN.
BeautyBuzz Thanks Mr.Pierre Dinand for this exclusive interview and wishes him all the best for the future!
Source : Beauty Buzz