MW speaks to Jacques Cavallier, Master Perfumer and the creative force behind the Le Gemme range of men’s fragrances.

You’ve created some of the most iconic perfumes in the world. What is it that you look for when you’re creating a new perfume?

I am not looking to become iconic. That I can’t predict. And if I am seeking it, I’ll never find it. So I always make a translation for the brand for whom I am working.

Tell us about the inspiration behind the Le Gemme Men fragrance line.

It’s linked to the quality of the stones, and also the fact that the stones come from the earth, and raw materials come from the earth too. The speciality of Bulgari is to take those stones and create facets. It’s the experience – that was my guide. So for this collection, I want to take care of the raw materials, and try to customise each one per fragrance.

Clockwise from top left:
Lavender, one of the notes in
Malakeos; Vetiver, the heart
of Ambero; Patchouli, a vital
ingredient in Gyan
Clockwise from top left: Lavender, one of the notes in Malakeos; Vetiver, the heart of Ambero; Patchouli, a vital ingredient in Gyan

Tell us about how different Le Gemme is from the other men’s fragrances that you’ve created in the past?

First, I had the opportunity to create a collection. That means, as they are full of natural raw materials, they are more simple. It’s about expressing a more lateral sensuality or masculinity, which makes them more sophisticated.

Can you give the Indian male reader five tips on how they should make a perfume last?

By using deep woods, strong natural raw materials, with musk. It’s linked to the weather, the temperature. If it’s too hot, it kills the perfume. That’s why you have very strong ittar in India. I hope through this collection that I have demonstrated that you can be sophisticated, with a very long lasting fragrance, as ittars are too strong. Never rub your wrist, because you are killing the notes. I would recommend spraying directly on the body and then on the clothes.

Which, according to you, is the most masculine perfume ever created?

Azzaro for men. 

TYGAR

Tygar is a fragrance with incomparable brightness and a very strong personality. Around an explosive Grapefruit, an accord of deep woods and Ambrox captures the duality and the exceptional energies of the tiger’s eye. The first impression and impact is surprising. The base is dense, but still contains light and energy

GARANAT

The perfumer has imagined a supremely elegant and virile rose, translating the powerful energy of its colour. Garanat is a perfume that is as rich and thick as velvet: curls of roses and intoxicating incense chiaroscuro create a warm, surprising and fascinating fragrance with great masculine strength.

ONEKH

To illustrate the ambivalence of black onyx, the perfumer chose the power of royal Oud. For Onekh, Cavallier has used a sublime natural Oud: leathery and spicy wood, with notes of saffron and honey. The contrast between brittle, dry and smoked woods and the balmy, addictive and sensual notes serve to enhance this Oud.

MALAKEOS

With an icy and nurturing green freshness, the fragrance resonates with the properties and colours of malachite and captures the deep and aromatic greens of the forests of the Ural. The unique character of this creation in which lavender and oakmoss reign – with a very rare bourbon geranium – is resolutely modern on its base of musk.

GYAN

This unique creation combines patchouli with a flower, and delivers a very sophisticated perfume with an incomparable sillage: its trilogy of woods, dominated by its extraordinary heart of Indonesian patchouli, illustrates the aristocratic grandeur and elegance of this stone of knowledge.

AMBERO

Through spicy, rounded, unctuous and slightly ambery notes, the perfumer presents a very different and contemporary interpretation of vetiver with a warm, dense and voluptuous heart which recalls that of Amber. It has a unique orientalism, to which olibanum incense adds an extremely elegant character.