Parfume to provoke

The new fragrance Scandal Pour Homme by Jean Paul Gaultier is a punch of wood, caramel and herbs – unexpected, powerful and of course, provoking

The new perfume Scandal Pour Homme was created by the perfumer team Quentin Bisch, Christophe Raynaud und Natalie Cetto – By clashing contrasting ingredients, they created an unbeatable, seductive scent that embodies the free, fun and extraordinary spirit of Jean Paul Gaultier perfectly. With a strong mix of sage and mandarin, tonka and caramel, wood and vetiver, the perfume is perfectly balanced between light freshness and robust strength – the box ring-inspired campaign is therefore a direct hit just as the scent.

We talked to the perfumers about their inspiration, motivation and favorite fragrance hits in history.

Which scents and smells came to your mind when you thought about ‘scandal’  for the first time?

Quentin Bisch:

I felt like I could dare to create a spectacular masculine fragrance unexpectedly based on a caramel accord. A very elegant gourmandize with this unique Gaultier’s ambiguity. An “Haute Couture accord” built around Tonka Bean, sublimated and asserted by a delightful and regressive caramel.

JPG’s designs and visions are usually seen as ‘scandalous’ in the first place – but become iconic over time. How can you capture such spirit in smell?

Quentin Bisch: It is truly exciting and unexpected to design a gourmand accord for a masculine fragrance. Puzzling, ambiguous at first sight yet definitely masculine, a full Gaultier spirit.

How do you start creating a perfume?

Natalie Cetto : When I start a perfume I imagine my new perfume like a story, a movie with different actors playing together like all raw materials  used for the perfume play together .

Quentin Bisch : It’s a “page blanche” for each new perfume.  A new start. Une risk taking in line with the brand.

Christophe Raynaud: When I start a perfume, I’m in love with the brand and I dive inside the brand’s DNA.

What is your personal fascination with perfume?

 Natalie Cetto : I’m fascinated by how from raw material you finally get a unique smell.  Always remember that a perfume comes from an idea.

Quentin Bisch : Perfume is memory, memories are life. The power of perfume comes from a personality signature.

Scandal Pour Homme by Jean Paul Gaultier

What has been, in your opinion, the most scandalous moment in perfume-history?

Natalie Cetto :  To me, that’s the release of Shocking – it is the first perfume launched, in 1937, by the surrealist fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, and it is the perfect image of her daring creativity applied to perfumery. The perfume was sensual, if not sexual, and contained in a bottle being the shape of the bust of Mae West, the sexyest Hollywood actress of the 30’s. The packaging was a vivid fuchsia pink, and the advertising as daring as possible for the time. A real scandal.

Quentin Bisch : I’d pick Opium – Right from the beginning of its genesis, Opium is a perfume that was created to shock! Explicitly evoking drugs, its advertising slogan was even forbidden at the time of its launch („Opium, a perfume of dependency“), just as its advertising imagined by Tom Ford in 2000, showing an entirely naked voluptuous woman, was again a source of so many complaints in the UK that is was purely forbidden. The perfume itself is an ultra-sensual oriental note meant to irresistibly fascinate and seduce. A myth! And when I smelled OPIUM on my teacher when I was young, I decided to become Perfumer!

Christophe Raynaud: I’d choose Poison – When it was launched in 1983, Poison was evoking transgression of course, because of the dark purple imagery of the advertising and the apple shape of the bottle, meant to refer to the original sin. But it was also so outrageously powerful, especially in regard to the standards of the US market, that it is said that some NY restaurants forbid it: „No smoking, no Poison“.

Art is often regarded as scandalous and provoking rigth after its creation – if your new perfume would be a piece of art, it would be… ?

Nathalie Cetto : Les ready made de Duchamp. He wanted to reconcile art and everyday life. He also drew the spotlighting aesthetics’ more complex questions.

Quentin Bisch : A painting from Jackson Pollock . It is an explosion of colors. A painter coming from the expressionist movement with always something of transgression.

On whom and where would you love to smell the new perfume but haven’t yet? (Dead or alive…)

Natalie Cetto : The young John Watters, an American director

Quentin Bisch : Freddie  Mercury. An artist who pusches the limits with hapiness !


Laura Dunkelmann
August 5, 2021
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