Perfume Anorak talks to Laurent Mazzone, the creator of LM Parfums.
Laurent Mazzone was born in the foothills of the French Alps to Italian parents. From a very young age he was fascinated by fragrance and by the time he was 12 he was analyzing, mixing and blending scents he found in the bathroom with flowers from the garden and anything he could find in the local shops. While Laurent had no idea that fragrance would become his profession, the seeds of a life long obsession had already been sown………
PA: Laurent, was perfume your only passion when you were growing up?
LM: The love of fragrance was always there but when I was an adolescent I was probably more interested in mixing music than fragrance. I worked as a DJ in the evenings and it was through this that I became involved in the world of fashion shows, style workshops etc.
PA: So fashion became important to you too?
LM: It did and it still is. In 1998 I opened my first clothes shop in Grenoble and this gave me an outlet for my creativity. Over the next few years I expanded and now I have a chain of fashion stores in the city. I love to stock unusual things and always seek out the most creative designers.
PA: So how did fragrance come back into your life?
LM: I decided to use my shops as ‘sensory laboratories’. I made my first scented candles and burned them in the shops to see if clients would like them. The response was overwhelming! They just kept asking for more and more…….
PA: So creating fragrances was the next step?
LM: It was but it was also quite a long journey! I am a real perfectionist and I didn’t want to rush into anything without really understanding what I was doing. In 2000 I decided to open a shop entirely dedicated to niche perfumes, which was a completely new concept at the time. For more than 10 years I used this shop as my workshop as I pursued the olfactory education that would lead me to create my own fragrances.
PA: Was it nerve-wracking launching your own fragrances?
LM: Very! Especially as we were in the midst of a global recession at the time! But I knew that the time was right for me and working closely with some of the greatest French perfumers I was able to achieve my goal.
PA: Now your fragrances are sold internationally. That must be an amazing feeling!
LM: It really is! To see the fragrances enjoying great success in such a variety of different markets is the best feeling in the world!
PA: You visited London last year, just after the fragrances launched in the UK. What were your impressions of the city?
LB: I love London for its eccentricity, its freedom and also its multiculturalism.
PA: What is your favourite country to visit?
LM: I think that, right now, my favourite country is Russia. I find it breathtakingly beautiful and full of really positive energy. LM Parfums as a brand has been extremely successful there and the people that I spoke to when I visited seemed to really ‘get’ the concept.
PA: Your new fragrance Army of Lovers has a very special significance for you, doesn’t it?
LM: This fragrance really pays homage to a Swedish band I first encountered in 1990. I was immediately captivated by their music and by their charismatic leader, Alexander Bard. I can honestly say that since that time, not a day has gone by when I haven’t listened to Army of Lovers. I knew I wanted to use this name for a fragrance but it has taken me 2 years to get this olfactory tribute exactly right!
PA: Can you tell us a little bit about the fragrance?
LM: Army of Lovers is a musk-based chypre. It’s very much a ‘skin’ fragrance that combines strong notes of Coriander, Oak Moss and Patchouli.
PA: Finally, which of your fragrances do you currently wear?
LM: I always go back to Patchouly Bohème and Ambre Muscadin but at the moment I am wearing Army of Lovers.
Click here to visit LM Parfums website.