INTERVIEW WITH SABÉ MASSON
Immerse yourself in the fragrant world of Sabé Masson La Maison du Soft Perfume. A veteran of the beauty industry, founder Isabelle Masson-Mandonnaud began this innovative venture to bring a unique fusion product to the market. The first “fragrance with a thousand virtues,” Sabé Masson’s Soft Perfume collection is a beautiful combination of aroma and skincare. We sat down with the Paris-based founder to learn more about the link between her perfumes and wellbeing, French women’s affinity for perfume, and what makes a good perfume.
What inspired you to create your own line of perfumes?
Aroma is an essential sense. I had the feeling that there were many explorations and innovations possible in the world of perfume.
How are Soft Perfumes different from traditional liquid perfumes?
The composition of Solid Soft Perfumes is alcohol-free, and is made without ingredients that are aggressive to the skin. The application is different too; solid perfume rolls onto the skin, onto the pressure points in particular. Soft Perfumes pique the imagination: each fragrance is designed to take the wearer on a pure olfactory journey. The Soft Perfumes Liquides are a true perfume created by perfume artisans. These perfumes are made from an alcohol-free and surfactant-free base, meaning they don’t have any components that are aggressive to the skin or ease photosensitization (with 10% of concentration of perfume). The perfumers create the fragrance. There are perfumes which are evocations or mono fragrances, not created by perfumers but chosen from a database of scents. For example, a perfume of Orange Blossom or Patchouli does not exist. Nobody creates this, there is no olfactory composition – they are single aromas from nature.
What are the most popular scents in the collection?
The scents that are available in 18 countries are Zazou, Eu vent de Vous, Né des Roses, Parisian Rhapsody, Georges et Moi, La Reine Soleil, Striptease Flowers, Belle Furieuse. The fragrances becoming best-sellers are De Guerre Lasse, Artist, Copacabana for summer, Macadam Paz… But it really depends on the seasons, the cultures and the evolution of the brand. Usually, when the customer arrives for the first time, he will choose a « classical » perfume such as Zazou, then will come back and will challenge himself by daring to try more creative fragrances such as Swing Beauty, Belle Furieuse, Macadam Paz… It is a true pleasure to see that our perfumes are seducing and interesting. This is why we work on the communication of our « Beauty Culture » because the perfume totally applies to both beauty and well-being.
Will you explain more about how the soft perfumes enhance well-being?
Since the beginning, Sabé Masson has offered a way of perfuming oneself with respect by removing the ingredients which would be harmful to the skin (alcohol) and replacing them with raw materials and ingredients with good qualities for all kinds of skin. For example: mango butter and tamanu oil are strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. Added to one of our perfume compositions, they bring their qualities to the skin. But where do we apply perfume the most? Onto the neck, the cleavage, the wrists and the upper part of the hands… These are the most exposed parts of the body. Due to the hydration and resulting softness, the Soft Perfumes can be considered a kind of skincare. Our Soft Perfumes are perfumes of care because they respect our skin with the daily gesture of perfume application. This repeated, daily action imparts your skin with beauty because it is made respectfully with healthy products.
As the Founder of our Maison de Parfum, I truly think that putting alcohol on our skin every day is bad for the skin. Even if within this perfume the composition is bio or organic, there’s nothing worse than putting alcohol onto the skin. This is why I always tell people to spray perfume with alcohol on their clothes, and to roll Soft Perfumes directly onto the skin.
Are there any new launches on the horizon you can tell us about?
The next novelty, the Olfactory Edition, is coming in September. The Comtesse de Ségur’s Gardens is a first olfactive edition that we wish to develop. It tells stories through perfume about the mythic books, childhood, and life in general. This first Olfactory Edition will be about the famous writer Comtesse de Ségur, born Rostropchine, with her three studies: ‘Les Petites FillesModèles’, ‘Après la Pluie le Beau Temps’, ‘Un Bon Petit Diable’.
Why is perfume so essential to French women?
Because the French woman is elegance personified. She is artistic elegance combined with freedom of speech and the good taste of a French education. Perfume is like the gastronomy, which is part of the pleasures « à la Française ». What would be a life without the scent of the one we love, without the perfume of Provence, without the aroma of a meal into our nostrils. I say that ‘Perfume fragrances the world’ and indeed it is true, the world evolves… So Sabé Masson creates this, these perfumes impart our values and our emotions with every application.
What’s the difference between the way that French and American women approach perfume?
I do not quite know about American women, but when they are elegant they are breathtaking and it is magical. I think they know a little about perfume and its mysteries. Even if Mrs. Lauder expanded her perfume empire, I think that today’s American women are craving the European culture. Everybody can perfume themselves with anything, but it takes some principles to perfume yourself the right way. Just like a new cuisine, perfume evolves and the American women in a constant evolution, warriors and proud of their culture. They are trying to acquire the perfume and its new habits and customs.
For those who don’t yet have a signature perfume, do you have any suggestions for how to go about finding the best scent for you?
The instinct. It is necessary to wear something that we feel, that makes you thrill and not following the dictates of marketing or the model wearing this or that perfume but feeling the emotion that it gives us. Also meaning, the notes composing the perfume are essential and have to be known. On our website the Olfactory Macarons explain each perfume’s notes. Of course it is also important to know some of the classic notes that we appreciate in general: rose, patchouli, amber… From these raw materials, many olfactory compositions are created and can be very different from one perspective to another.
If you purchase on the website, you’ll discover the Olfactory Family. If you buy in our store or corner then you can have a pure olfactory discovery without listening to anyone, and the ambassador is there here to guide you, not to influence your choice.
What makes a good perfume in your opinion?
Without hesitation I’d say the quality of its ingredients and the artist who made it. The perfume is just like cuisine or music… There are qualities of shared experience, excellence, talent, rarity… A true perfume is worthy of these characteristics.
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