Gérald Ghislain – Creator of The Scent of Departure

[quote style=”boxed”]My favourite gadgets are definitely a pen and a sheet of paper. It helps me to put down my most volatile ideas. I always need them to describe what I feel when I smell a particular Fragrance for instance.[/quote]

Gérald Ghislain, a French fragrance creator and at the same time the owner of a restaurant and a bar in Paris, refers to himself as an epicurean. He is an insatiable wonderer, a creative entrepreneur who draws inspiration from his trips, encounters, and everything that is around him.

Born in France, he spent his childhood travelling between France and Morocco. The Mediterranean atmosphere he grew up in surrounded him by various scents and made his choice of becoming a cook and a perfumer quite natural.

He launched a luxury brand called Histoires de Parfums 10 years ago to tell his own story not with words but with scents. This extraordinary library opens the world of well-known personalities and the years they were born. The perfume line is presented in more than 400 luxury stores around the world.

His latest creation, a fragrance line called The Scent of Departure, reflects the idea that was born in his numerous trips: each perfume of the line represents the unique scent of world’s cities: Vienna, Frankfurt, Istanbul…

Today Gérald is passionate for perfumes, but as a versatile person interested in everything, he can plunge into something new tomorrow.

What are you working on right now?

I am preparing with excitement the “take-off” of our new perfume line called “The Scent of Departure” in the different continents of the world. Time flies and I have to work very rapidly on this concept! That makes it amazingly stimulating. That is why for the time being I often need to travel and that inspires me too…

What does your typical day look like?

Every day is completely different. I never have a schedule or a plan, so I cannot say precisely what I will be doing. That is why the best day for me is tomorrow, a new day that brings new challenges, opportunities and inspirations. Moreover, as I travel a lot, each day is enriching and eventful.

I often work with my family- like team in Paris and I enjoy meeting new people in different countries .I find the rhythm of my day through these unique encounters…

3 trends that excite you?

As I told you, I love travelling, so one of my first trends will be the travel. To my mind, it has become vital to travel nowadays, in order to discover a wide range of cultures, and in order to adjust to a particular way of life. Just like perfumes, the revelations I have in each country I visit is unlimited and absolute.

The second trend will be sensuality. Indeed, sensuality must be part and parcel of the creations I introduce. Sensuality is exciting to my mind as it triggers something which is bewitching.

I find this sensuality in the smell of a Tubéreuse plant, dangerous and sensual. I can find it in the gracious way women were walking in the streets of Morocco, when I was a child. But I can also find it in the imposing and elegant step of a flamenco dance.

The third and favorite trend which excites me the most will be change or novelty.  In fact, I love when the atmosphere changes in one second. I love changes. When something surprising happens to me, be it good or bad, positive or negative, it is so thrilling to me! Challenging. Exciting. Many times I burst into laughter! Sometimes people tell me that I am crazy!

How do you bring ideas to life?

I bring ideas to life while walking! I enjoy strolling in each city I discover. Feeling the atmosphere of it, hearing the sounds around me, admiring the architecture and getting overwhelmed by the scents of the city is a unique moment where I can give birth to my ideas. Be it in New York, Dubai, Barcelona, or in the familiar and charming streets of Paris…

What inspires you?

Oh, my inspiration comes from a myriad of very different and enriching atmospheres, deeply imprinted in my memories, just like a timeless perfume:

My inspiration comes from the blend of Mediterranean scents during my youth, from the warmth of a crazy flamenco atmosphere, or even from the scent of a tropical forest in Asia!

Of course, travelling is my biggest source of inspiration. I try to discover every city I visit, catch the smells, capture images, like those of people, buildings, even weather, to remember my feelings and reproduce them in the form of scents and perfumes.

For instance, I am fond of the smell of fresh rain on hot stones!And depending on the season,I love the extraordinary smells coming from the “marché de Rungis”.

However, inspiration does not only have to do with something I smell. I can imagine billions of scents while watching a landscape, hearing a music, experiencing a feeling or even while reading a book.

What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?

In my opinion, the biggest mistake is to react too quickly without thinking or to take too much time to think. The decisions should be taken in the right moment and you have to try over and over again, because you never know which try can be the best one.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

If you want to be successful in business, you have to be humble and learn from other entrepreneurs, form your colleagues, and above all from your customers. You can show your ego, but I don’t think it will work. There is no room for ego in business.

What do you read every day, and why?

It could be any magazine or professional editions .As I am restricted in time, it is true that I cannot read regularly. So I do not have the patience to finish a book or even to watch a movie till the end!!

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?

I would recommend “Commonsense Direct & Digital Marketing” by Drayton Bird. When I read this book 15 years ago, I realized that direct marketing can be applied not only to one business model, but actually to all of them, I mean, you can even apply it to your personal life.

What is your favourite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?

My favourite gadgets are definitely a pen and a sheet of paper. It helps me to put down my most volatile ideas. I always need them to describe what I feel when I smell a particular Fragrance for instance.

Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?

Drayton Bird.

You manage to do a lot of things at the same time, and what are your plans for future?

Right now I am an owner of the restaurant, creator of perfumes; I have also been a flamenco producer. I have a lot of ideas and I try to implement as much of them as possible. However, I do just those things that I am passionate for. Currently I am thinking of creating a new product, something special that doesn’t exist yet, like a new fragrance, maybe synthetic, but with aroma therapy effects.

What is your personal recipe of success?

I think that the heart of any success is the atmosphere which reigns in the enterprise: Synergism is the word to describe the spirit of our enterprise and the state of mind of its members.

If we look closer at the definition, Synergism is an interaction between two or more agents such that the total effect produces a greater result than the sum of the individual effects.

I am surrounded by people I know for years, and being bounded to them helps us to build strong connections. It enhances our well being, and the enterprise’s one.

So my personal recipe would be:

A generous portion of synergism and entrepreneurship

A pinch of creativity and passion

A slice of perseverance

A sprinkling of madness!


Through the official site of The Scent of Departure: 

And through our new website of Histoires de Parfums :   www.histoiresdeparfums.com