It was our great pleasure to have afternoon tea with E Coudray’s Chloe Benichou to talk fragrance, family and what it’s like to be part of such an historic brand. Born in France, Chloe currently resides in London, her adoptive home.
PA (Perfume Anorak): Can you tell us a little bit about the history of E Coudray?
Chloe: The brand was created by Edmond Coudray in 1822 and was dedicated to women. Edmond Coudray was a doctor-chemist who supplied eaux de cologne, creams, soaps and pomades to the crowned heads of France, England and other countries. He wrote a book called L’art d’être belle (The Art of Being Beautiful). He was considered to be very avant guarde and developed the concept of the ‘boudoir’ where woman bought their perfumes in a confidential way, taking the time to choose a fragrance that would perfectly match with their skin and personality.
PA: How does it feel to be part of such a great fragrance heritage?
Chloe: I feel very proud to be part of a such quality niche brand. I love its strong identity and the fact that each fragrance has been created with extreme care and attention to detail.
I feel also very lucky to have grown up in this universe of beauty where woman are active and self confident.
PA: Did you always know you wanted to work with the company?
Chloe: I have always been interested in perfumes. It started when I was looking at my father smelling fragrances on scent strips. It was a mysterious and attractive world for the little girl that I was. I was also interested in law and contemplated pursuing this as a career.
PA: If not, what did you originally train to do?
Chloe: Originally, I was trained as a lawyer. It is kind of paradoxical having juggled the rigorous world of law and the creative and glamorous world of perfume but I think I have both sides in me and I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to explore both.
PA: What is the first fragrance you remember owning?
Choe: Vanille Coco was my first perfume. I loved its gourmand and exotic notes. I was also very proud to wear it because I naively thought for years that it was named after me, as my parents called me Coco.
PA: Which of the E Coudray fragrances is your favourite and why?
Chloe: It is a difficult question because I feel very attached to these fragrances that I grew up with, especially because each of them reminds me of a specific time in my life. Since 2012 I have worn Iris Rose. Its romantic powdery scent blended with the rose note perfectly illustrates the period I got married and moved to London.
PA: You are now living in London, what do you particularly like about London?
Chloe: I love its magnetism and dynamism and I love that you can easily move away from that incredible energy by walking in the many parks and cute villages that surround it.
PA: And how does it compare to life in Paris?
Chloe: People have to work hard in London, maybe harder than in France. The city also has this incredible energy you can find in places like New York but with a human dimension like Paris.
On a personal level, Paris is where I go on holiday and to be with my family while in London I live an active life with my husband and baby Juliette.
PA: What other fragrances do you like apart from E Coudray?
Chloe:During summer I like to wear fresh and simple fragrance or soliflores such as orange, vanilla and rose.
PA: When you are not working or chasing around after your toddler, what do you like to do?
Chloe: During my free time I like to discover new areas, meet friends for afternoon tea and go to dance classes !
E Coudray is available at Roullier White .