In Conversation With Olivier Cresp – The Man Behind Dolce & Gabbana’s New Fragrance, Devotion

It’s interesting to note what goes behind creating a fragrance – from inspiration to the feelings it evokes and its bottling. Fragrances are also personal; they are often a sweet reminder of memories of the past that we cherish. The most recent launch, Devotion, from Dolce & Gabbana, is the brainchild of Olivier Cresp, who narrates how a meal in Italy led him to create a citrusy delight that he defines the new fragrance as. “The chef of the establishment surprised us with a dessert that perfectly encapsulates Italy’s spirit – the famous Panettone. Its warm aroma enveloped us, creating an olfactory symphony that resonated deep within my senses,” he shares. Cresp lets us into the world of creating a fragrance, its notes, and why he thinks it transports the wearer to the world of joy and passion.

Olivier Cresp

ELLE: What would you say is the essence of the fragrance, Devotion?

Olivier Cresp (OC): Devotion is a fragrance that encapsulates moments of pure joy and indulgence, celebrating the richness of life’s pleasures. The delightful combination creates an olfactory experience that is not only opulent and comforting but also exuberantly joyful. A fragrance that speaks to both sophistication and the sheer delight of revelling in life’s moments.

ELLE: If the fragrance could transport us to another place, where will Devotion take the wearer?

OC: Devotion has the uncanny ability to transport the wearer to their personal sanctuary of joy. It could be a mental realm where laughter echoes freely and memories of cherished moments dance in vibrant hues. I like to imagine a space where happiness isn’t just a fleeting emotion but a serene landscape of inner bliss — a place where dreams take flight, worries fade into the background, and a sense of positivity resonates deeply within.

ELLE: Fragrances have a lot to do with memories. Which of the notes evokes nostalgia?

OC: This would be the beautiful quality of Madagascan Vanilla. The warm, comforting, and familiar scent of vanilla possesses a remarkable ability to evoke memories and emotions. Vanilla has the power to trigger a sense of nostalgia reminiscent of cosy moments and sentimentality.

ELLE: How do you think the idea of wearing perfume has evolved in the last twenty years?

OC: I feel like people now invest in larger collections, curating an array of scents tailored for various times of day or night, reflecting seasonal changes and diverse moods. This trend of amassing a variety of fragrances reflects a desire to feel unique, allowing individuals to craft olfactory experiences that align intricately with their ever-changing lifestyles and preferences.

ELLE: How have luxury fragrances pushed the boundaries of perfumery?

OC: Luxury fragrances have elevated the standards and perceptions of what a fragrance can offer. By blending elements of artistry, exclusivity, and storytelling, luxury fragrances have shifted the market’s focus from mere scents to immersive experiences. This evolution has allowed brands, both niche and legacy ones, to push boundaries creatively, experimenting with unique and daring scent compositions. The emphasis on luxury has allowed brands to delve deeper into craftsmanship, sourcing rare and high-quality ingredients and presenting fragrances as symbols of sophistication and individuality.

ELLE: If you could create a fragrance for a famous person, who would you choose and why?

OC: Creating a fragrance for someone as visionary and creative as Pablo Picasso would have been my dream. Having a conversation with the artist about his preferences, perceptions, and the way he interprets the world through his paintings would indeed be a fascinating experience.

ELLE: Choosing a fragrance is subjective, but what are the factors to keep in mind while you do so?

OC: Your feelings and instincts should guide the choice; make sure to trust your senses. Consider the occasions or seasons when you intend to wear the fragrance, as scents can evoke different emotions and atmospheres. Also, take note of how a fragrance interacts with your skin chemistry, as it can vary from person to person. Ultimately, if a scent resonates with you and brings you joy, embrace it wholeheartedly without overthinking. It’s about finding what makes you feel confident, comfortable, and uniquely yourself.

Read the full story on ELLE India’s new issue, or download your digital copy via Magzter.

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