“Tell me if you don't understand my English very well. I can speak even more unintelligible! - jokes Monsieur Philippe Starck at the presentation of his perfume debut. In front of me is an ordinary-looking man in jeans and a gray sweatshirt with a hood, but this smiling gentleman's portfolio contains everything: from a chair, a computer mouse and a juicer to an Olympic torch, a yacht and entire hotels. And today his collection of personal achievements will be replenished with his own scent. More precisely, three.
“You shouldn't think that I am far from the world of cosmetics - my childhood was spent in a perfume shop,” he says. It turns out that after the divorce, his mother, with the help of her family, opened her own store. As Stark explained, in the last century, giving small businesses to divorced daughters was something of a tradition in the bourgeois milieu. “It was small, rather lousy and located in a very unfortunate place,” adds Philippe. The designer's mother did not like the store. She, a beautiful woman, had many other activities more interesting than the soap and cream trade. Therefore, the eight-year-old Stark was in charge of the family business, who was much better than her versed in all kinds of bottles. “Customers were more willing to come to me for advice,” recalls the designer. - And when there were no clients at all (which happened quite often), I went to a distant room,climbed onto the shelf and began to build his own universe. It was here, among the smells of good perfumes and bad shampoos, that I was happy for the first time. And it seems that it was then that I realized that I wanted to invent, create”.
Philip Starck © starck.com
The impressions of childhood were so strong that at the age of 20, Philip decided to go into perfumery - he bought everything he needed, but realized in time: it would not be possible to do something worthwhile without appropriate preparation (“I always knew the value of quality!”). He postponed this case for four decades. The people who invited him to take up the old could be trusted: for the first time he did not hear a word that caused rejection, nothing about trends, marketing, sales. He was not even asked to make the fragrance on his own, but was offered to become a kind of muse for three eminent perfumers.
“Three of the most skilled translators were selected for me, who were able to convey all my thoughts in the language of perfumery without a single typographical error. Moreover, it was not an interlinear translation, but a truly literary translation. Poetry, into which they have invested all their talent and life experience,”says Philip. Meanwhile, new word-formation and puns are not alien to him. The women's fragrance Peau de Soie literally translates from French into two different modes at once: "silk skin" and "my skin". Men's Peau de Pierre - "Pierre's skin" or "stone skin". And the unisex composition Peau d'Ailleurs is “leather somewhere else”. “Why leather? As a boy, I realized that a scent does not exist on its own - its real sound appears only when it comes into contact with living flesh, '' explains Stark with pleasure, who is clearly proud of the pun, and is also pleased with the aromas themselves.- I always find fault with myself. When I introduce another new product, I want to cry with shame. These scents are the only exception. " There is a fair amount of coquetry in the designer's voice.
“To understand the fragrance“for her”, you need to understand my relationship with the fair sex. I grew up without a father, so my mother first took care of me, and then other women loved me … - he smiles slyly, looking at his wife. - I am a product made by women. My world is the world of women. I admire them, I adore them. But the sultry ladies on the posters have nothing to do with reality. Upon closer inspection, there is a kind of masculine darkness inside every fragile girl. I value this riddle most of all in them. " Philip entrusted Dominic Ropion to retell these thoughts. And the famous "nose" made for him a full of contradictions and at the same time a harmonious fragrance: feminine in the top notes and full of masculinity inside. It is almost impossible to disassemble with the help of which components it was possible: the designer set the task of hiding the ends in the water,so that the perfume could not be read like a newspaper and lost interest in it. This is a book that needs to be opened every day.
If there is noise in the universe, why can't there be a smell?
Daphne Bouger got an even more interesting task: a fragrance for men, whom Stark openly dislikes, considering it boring, brutal and uninteresting. “I never kicked a ball in the yard with the guys. But then I decided to go to football. 64 thousand people in one stadium: I felt the strength and power of the crowd, closely following the ball moving across the field. And then I thought - poor people! I felt ashamed, for them, for myself. For us. It seems to me that all the best in me is my “feminine” part,”he confides. - When my wife wants to offend me, she says: well, after all, you are a man. I always answer - don't joke with it. Don't joke or you'll see. The most interesting thing in a man, in his opinion, is the “female”, sensitive, half, it is in her that the strength lies. Likewise, perfume at first does not raise doubts about gender. And after a while it sounds on the skin with more and more soft accords.
But the most difficult puzzle Stark came up with was Annick Menardo: the designer talked to her about something that doesn't exist yet. Together they figured out how emptiness smells when you fly into space and open the rocket door. After all, if there is noise in the universe, why can't there be a smell? Annick created a fragrance without a floor, because Philip sees the future in this. “One French philosopher and biologist said concurrently that the loudest revolutions go unnoticed. And so, in the meantime, morality changes, and with it, sexual identification. A stage of asexuality awaits us, when people forget about their gender,”he prophesies.
Talking so passionately about fragrances, the most famous industrial designer is extremely reluctant to answer questions about the bottle. It turns out that he was so carried away by the perfumes themselves that the creation of reservoirs for such precious liquids did not interest him at all. “I offered to buy flasks from someone else and just stick the label, but my idea was not supported,” Stark complains with a grin. “Packaging has become my nightmare: a person who can develop any design in five minutes suddenly lost focus. But in the end I pulled myself together and created the bottles that you see in front of you: unusual and at the same time simple enough not to shift the emphasis from what is inside."