Beauty secrets of a French perfumer

Beauty secrets of a French perfumer

The daughter of the renowned French perfumer, Annick Goutal, is a nose and photographer.

As artistic director and a perfumer at the brand her mother founded in 1980, Ms Camille Goutal has helped to keep the brand's legacy alive for the last 15 years.

The elder Ms Goutal died of cancer in 1999.

Today, the brand is owned by South Korean beauty conglomerate AmorePacific. But Ms Goutal continues to take charge of its creative direction together with Ms Isabelle Doyen, who has been co-creating scents at the brand since 1986.

Ms Goutal was in town recently to launch the brand's latest creation, L'Ile au The.

It will be available in Escentials stores next month.

1. What is the one beauty product you cannot step out of the house without?

Monoi oil, a traditional blend of coconut oil and tiare flower petals from Polynesia, which is made in Tahiti.

I use it to hydrate my skin and hair. I apply it on clean skin in the shower and then I rinse it off, so that it is not greasy on my skin.

The oil is scented, so sometimes I use it as a light perfume.

2. Which is your favourite perfume?

Annick Goutal Songes, which was launched in 2005.

I created it for myself after a trip to the Mauritius. I wanted to capture the smell of frangipani at sunset, the sea, the beach, the wind and suntan lotion. It took me five years to get it right.

3. What, in your opinion, is the best beauty invention?

The older I become, the less make-up I wear. Because I've realised that when I wear too much make-up, I look older.

So if there is only one thing I would wear, it's mascara, because I want people to focus on my eyes.

I like Helena Rubinstein's Lash Queen Feather Mascara, and the L'Oreal Paris False Lash Architect 4D Mascara, because they are easy to apply with no clumpiness.

4. What is the most ridiculous thing you have done in the name of beauty?

I don't do anything ridiculous. I've always led a natural lifestyle. I don't go to the hairdresser because I don't like the smells and the chemicals, so I cut my own hair.

My beauty routine is simple too. I hydrate my skin with organic camellia oil and the Hydraphase range by La Roche-Posay.

5. Share a beauty tip with us.

Wear perfume on your clothes, not your skin. This will make the scent last longer and not change much. The acidity of the skin will change the smell of the perfume.

Or you can wear the perfume in your hair; but don't do that too often as the alcohol in the perfume can dry the hair.

Here's a tip: spray the perfume on your hairbrush, let the alcohol evaporate, then brush it through your hair.

I like to spray perfume on the inner lining of my leather jackets the night before I wear them. So the next day, there will be a little bit of the scent left behind.

Do not wear too much perfume; it is unpleasant for others. Put on a little in the morning, and top it up at midday.

For a strong perfume, two sprays is enough. For a fresh and light perfume, four or five spritzes will do.


This article was first published on March 6, 2015.
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