Baptiste Bouygues and Marie-Lise Jonak are using family ties to make olfactory magic. The mother-son duo have each built impressive careers of their own, with Jonak’s work contributing to several FiFi Awards (the highest honor for fragrance) and Bouygues’ rising talent leading him to houses including Louis Vuitton and Givenchy, but their latest step is a joint endeavor. In late 2018, the two launched ORMAIE, a collection of seven France-made fragrances now exclusively available at Barneys. Ethics are a starting principle for the new line, with scents using entirely natural ingredients (a rare feat), bottles coming from the only French glassmaker to recycle its own magmas, and toppers featuring wood from renewable Beech forests. With this mix of experience and consciousness, this truly feels to be the fragrance house of the future.
Bouygues and Jonak’s modern ideas go beyond sustainability: each luxury scent is unisex, even as some lean towards more traditionally masculine or feminine notes. This works by paying homage to these types of perfumes, through creations like Le Passant, which evokes a classic masculine essence. It creates natural sensuality through elements including bergamot, tonka, and both lavender and lavandin. The scent contributes to a strong start for the niche fragrance house, which seems to be proving that in a time that increasingly demands the perfect mix of artistry and ethics, a family team can do it all. Bouygues gave L’Officiel USA a creative peek into the nostalgic, familiar vibes of Le Passant, in what’s surely only a whiff of what’s to come.
If Le Passant was the star of its own movie, which actor would play the starring role?
If it was a man, Yves Montand. If it was a woman, Anna Karina.
What color(s) does your fragrance smell like?
Light green with a touch of deep lavender blue.
Which place in the world does your fragrance encapsulate best?
Rue Bonaparte in Paris.
If you had to place your fragrance in an iconic decade past, which one would it be?
The early '80s.
What item from your wardrobe would you compare your scent to?
Something that one loves because it keeps them warm, but can lose easily, like a beautiful scarf.
What genre of music do you think your fragrance most aligns with and why?
[Serge] Gainsbourg, for the poetry.
If your fragrance had a night out on the town, what drink would it order at the bar?
A glass of red wine.
If you were to relate your new scent to a book, what would it be? Why?
L’Étranger by Camus. There is not one word of excess, and it’s rooted in deep emotions that he does not dare to feel.
If your new fragrance had a soundtrack, what three sounds would play once you spray the scent?
Wooden shoes walking on a Parisian wooden apartment floor, an old apartment bell, and the sound of a match lighting.
If it wasn’t called Le Passant, what would it be called?