Who: Anais Biguine, perfumer and founder of three fragrance ranges, Jardins D’Écrivians, Les Cocottes de Paris and now Gri Gri. We caught up with Anais at the launch of Gri Gri, a fragrance collection for tattooed skin, inspired by the global history and cultural significance of tattoos. Authenticity plays a huge part in the creation of fragrance for Anais and she researched the culture of illustrated skin in Japan, New Zealand and India for the first three scents, they will shortly be joined by a fourth, inspired by American circus tattoos from the early 20th century. Tattoos, Anais discovered, have been found on ancient mummified bodies and caused Charles Darwin to explain “There is no civilisation without tattoos’.
Today I’m not actually wearing anything, because I knew I’d be smelling lots of perfumes, but if I was going to be wearing a perfume today, I’d be wearing Side Show, my next launch for Gri Gri (out later in 2016) as I feel like we’re having a wonderful day, with that almost fairground atmosphere. We’re meeting lots of lovely people and talking about great things, Sideshow is very close to that feeling of pleasure you get from days like that.
I’m a dreamy, passionate and curious person and these are things often transformed into my perfume. Tattoos were a surprising jumping off point for me for my newest collection. I came to it through yoga and the amazing tattoos I was seeing on my yoga teachers, I wanted to know more. It’s quite a rebellious language and I liked the idea of that, so I studied and discovered the extraordinary importance tattoos play across so many cultures. There are strong similarities to perfume; with a tattoo, it’s a message inked onto the skin, with perfume it’s a message sprayed onto the skin, both give the wearer a chance to say something about themselves.
I have two different approaches to my perfuming-wearing rituals, if I’m wearing perfume for work, where I have to be reactive and quick thinking, particularly if I’m working on a new fragrance, I choose one that is stimulating and I’ll put it on different parts of my body – I like to try it on different material as well, on cotton and cashmere, to see how it changes and lasts.
When I’m wearing it for the pure pleasure of wearing perfume, when I’m on holiday, when I’m at yoga or I have a day off, I like to perfume my arms because I gesticulate a lot and therefore I can smell the fragrance.
I also perfume my heels….it comes from my yoga practice. What I’ve learned from yoga is that there are parts of your body you are very conscious of and those that you are not aware of, that are almost dead to you. I do a particular type of yoga that wakes up those parts, so to perfume a part of your body, like your heels, which are often neglected, it gives a certain wisdom to recognise that part of you that deserves more attention and to be perfumed.