Revered Perfumier Stéphane Humbert Lucas has launched the 777 collection inspired by his extensive travels in the Middle East with each fragrance developed to evoke elements of the Qur’an and the spirit of the region through their names and individual ingredients.
On the occasion of this launch, in a one on one conversation, he shares with us, the incidents that inspired him, his interpretation of perfume, his love for Middle East and a lot more.
What makes Dubai your favourite destination?
I’m in love with the place – the sea, the architecture and the warmth of the people.There is something contemporary and historical all at the same time when it comes to the city of Dubai. This world in Dubai is in constant expansion adapting to modern trends. However, the same time it is very close to its traditional roots. At sunset, when the city was getting silent, I was feeling so many things… the excess and the Orient.I wanted to be a sorcerer, I was seeing citrus fruits trapped in blue ink asphalt.
Considering that you are French, why did you choose to design oriental perfumes over French ones?
Even though I am French, for me, the interpretation of fragrance is like a Moroccan fresh air, a nice Sahara walk, hot winds, sun and mysterious people. My ancestors are Arabs and I’m attracted by the Orient, which I consider the cradle and foundation of perfume.
Middle Eastern or French, which perfume industry do you think has innovated more, and where do you see more potential for future perfumers ?
My inspiration comes from my readings, my trips, my meetings. The brands I was fascinated about 15 years ago were Serge Lutens and Amouage.Even earlier, I was in love with Une Foule from Guerlain, M7 from Yves Saint Laurent. I’m in constant touch with a laboratory in Grasse who work with the best raw materials, and search for the innovative and uncommon materials used in perfumery. With this lab, I’m aware of everything happening in the perfume world and I ’embroider’ the materials with conviction and a certain ‘savagery’, far from the typical trends. The big laboratories tempt the creators with sweet synthetic molecules which are too synthetic for me. This trend is very poor, light gray as we say in French and robotic.
Who or what has been your greatest influence during your journey as a perfume designer?
I found the inspiration in the course of time, it’s impossible for me to give you an exact date. As a teenager, I was in love with an Egyptian girl for a long time. She smelled so good that I wanted to offer her tons of perfumes to admit my love to her.I spent my time visiting stores to buy nice perfumes for her – of course, I never found the perfect perfume. Being a perfumer, it’s to live life in search of that perfection.
Your latest brand is called Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777. What does the number stand for ?
My favourite number is 7. In Numerology, I’m 7. I always work with the digit 3. When I describe a person, I always use 3 adjectives. When I create a perfume, I always pre-define 3 main materials. 777 means also the protection of the divine, the luck, the destiny. There is also the idea of the 3 stars, like kite mark.
If you were to put one ingredient as your favourite, what would it be and why?
The tonka beans and the broom. They perfectly describe the Olfactive palette I love. They are wide and generous, and multiply the harmony of floral, woody and antique. I also really love rose, jasmine and iris.
Out of all your creations, which perfume is your personal favourite and why ?
I particularly love Black Gemstone for its black layers placed on a top of each other. This perfume is always surprising me. In parallel, I really love 2022 Generation Woman which evokes the white and pure. Combined together, they are my Yin & Yang.
What else have you planned for the near future? Can we expect another new brand of perfumes from you ?
I live life day after day, of course I have some ideas but I’m attached to strongly hold my tree of today. I’m not a business man, neither a soothsayer. I create and I live for my creations.