DIVE BEHIND THE RUTHLESS SCENES OF THE PERFUME INDUSTRY ...
When Corbeyran , the essential comic book scriptwriter, eclectic and prolific author of more than 400 titles (including Le Chant des Stryges or the successful saga Châteaux Bordeaux), meets Christophe Mot , perfumery professional and big fan of comics, it gives birth to La Maison des Fragrances , a family, tragic, glamorous and international saga.
The many family, professional and emotional twists and turns of the Capella family - at the head of one of the most famous perfume composition houses - come to life thanks to the talent of designer Piotr Kowalski.
This new family fresco, in particular in the line of the great sagas such as the Masters of barley or Largo Winch is to be discovered at Éditions Robinson from February 26, 2020.
The Capella family is one of the big names in perfumery. Based in Grasse, it is recognized for the quality of its "noses" which have been the authors of the most famous perfumes. But a war of succession rages to determine which branch of the family will take control of the company...
Grasse, world capital of perfume
The action of this first volume is mainly located in Grasse, the world capital of perfume . Already in the 16th century, the city was known for its traditional tanning industry.
The leather and skin processing industry as well as leather goods require a lot of water and Grasse had a perfect location for such an activity. The leather of the gloves made in Grasse had a somewhat unpleasant smell and it was decided to embalm them: a separate company dedicated to this production was created.
To the already existing cultures of rose, jasmine and tuberoses, cultures of mimosas, carnations, violets and many other plants were added, which earned the city the title of capital of perfume. At the end of the 16th century, the whole of Europe came to Grasse to exercise the profession of perfumer and to take advantage of the favorable situation of the city.
The development and refinement of mining techniques lasted until the 19th century and contributed to the rise of the city's reputation. The know-how related to Perfume in Pays de Grasse has been listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO since 2018.
INTERVIEW WITH CORBEYRAN AND CHRISTOPHE MOT, CO-SCREENPLAYERS OF THE COMIC BOOK
1/ Why did you choose to include this family saga in the world of perfumery?
Christophe Mot : After having worked for more than 25 years in the field of perfume and cosmetics, I wanted to share with Eric Corbeyran my passion for this creative universe in order to discover the workings of this prestigious industry.
Corbeyran : This project revolves around three main ideas: bringing the reader into the mysteries of olfactory creation and revealing some secrets of designing and manufacturing a perfume through a “nose”; discuss the diversity and importance of ingredients in modern perfumery as well as the leading role of France and the Grasse region in its growth and development; lead the reader into the dynamic and competitive world of the major perfume houses, combining traditional know-how and Hi-tech technology.
2/ What were the sources of inspiration around the Capella family?
Corbeyran : The world of perfumery, and in particular that of composition houses, has always been run by large families since its origin. Without drawing inspiration from any one of them in particular, the approach of the entrepreneurial family context also makes it possible to reinforce the dramaturgy of professional relations and remains an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the creation of a great saga.
3/ La Maison des Fragrances is a series that takes place in a very coded universe: perfumery. How did you document yourself?
Christophe Mot : With Eric, we first shared together my experience of the world of perfumery, from the conceptualization, to the creation and then the marketing of a perfume, as well as the parallels with the world of wine for which we we have a common passion. Then, with the help of The Fragrance Foundation France in particular, we organized meetings with key players in the industry. Big houses opened their doors to us and we took part in the prestigious annual evening organized in Paris by the Fragrance Foundation which rewards the best perfumes and which inspired certain pages of this first volume. Finally, we finally met master perfumers in their laboratory so that they could reveal to us – but always under the seal of secrecy – the mysteries of the creation of a new “juice”.
4/ Why did you choose the medium of comics to tell this family saga?
Christophe Mot: At the source of the creation of a perfume, there is always a search for association between words and images. This is called an “olfactory brief”. What could be better than a comic strip to illustrate this creative approach! Passionate about comics, working with Eric Corbeyran was both a dream and an obvious way to carry out this project.
5/ The end of volume 1 suggests dramas and tragedies to come within the Capella family and its entourage: do you already have the rest in mind?
Corbeyran: We already have in mind the framework of the next developments of the intrigue at the Capellas which promise many twists in order to make the reader discover other facets of the world of perfumery.