Who: Melanie Dir, founder of Gamine parfums. It’s hardly a surprise that Melanie has launched her own fragrance range, since her father is master perfumer Claude Dir and she practically grew up in a fragrance laboratory. Gamine is based in New York and reflects the current mood among modern Millennials for a fresh, non-gendered, more lifestyle focused perfume range, which reflects contemporary values and aspirations.
Most days I wear the Gamine signature eau de parfum, it’s an intriguing fusion of earthy tones and aromatic freshness. It gives me a nice chilled vibe but with enough complexity to feel sexy in an undone manner.
The scent was inspired from my trips to the Reunion Island where I would visit my grandfather and go surfing. I linked up with some of the locals one day who brought me to a cannabis field in the jungle. It had just rained and the sun had come out, the humidity cleared giving way to the dank sweetness of the cannabis vegetation and earthy soil…. I remember this feeling of inner peace and calm, a connection to nature that felt very real. I can still take myself to that place when I wear it.
I describe the scent as dense bricks of blue hemp continuously penetrated with an addictive aromatic composition of Cote D’Azur cypress, vetiver root, chocolat noir and wild Indonesian patchouli.
Fragrance is not an after thought, nor does it require decision making for me. It’s like breathing, a natural part of who I inherently am, an extension of my being constantly fueled by creative expression.
I treat my fragrances like invisible layers of clothing, some days a solo scent is enough and then there are days when I need more textural variety so I’ll layer Cement Rose under the breasts and ass cheek, Oceanic Encre inner thigh down to the ankle and Taba Choko in my hair.
I apply perfume straight out of the shower when my skin is still dewy. If I don’t feel like wearing perfume I will spray an article of clothing or accessory.
Candles and incense. I love to create a good ambiance with either or, there’s nothing sexier than a good flame or cloud of smoke.
Being born in Cannes, the region of perfume, I’ve always been around fragrance. My father, a master nose for over 40 years, started training me when I was very young – how to smell, distinguish notes, compounding process and so on. I expanded my passion via studies at F.I.T, (Fashion Institute of Technology) which led me to over 20 years of development experience working for companies such as L’Oreal, Coty, Bond No. 9 and Shiseido.
Gamine is an olfactive conceptual capsule I refer to as the street wear of perfumery – tapping into fashion, art and culture. Gamine will always deliver classically constructed French fragrances but with an interesting clash in ingredients that spark curiosity, in turn leading to a bigger conversation.
Today it has to be more than scent, there needs to be an authentic story behind every collection and the visionaries who brings it to life.I don’t necessarily associate this to age or a generation but rather a movement of straight up cool artistic founders with a dope aesthetic and love for perfume.
Images by Frenel Morris