Karine Vinchon-Spehner is a talented perfumer that crafted top creations in the field of niche perfumery. She worked for many niche brands such as L’Artisan, Memo, Atelier, and for the house of Amouage she made Interlude Woman, Memoire Man, Overture Man, Opus III, and on the latest one – Boundless, we did this interview. I hope you will enjoy it and learn more about the perfume that the perfume community is buzzing about.
IGOR: What great perfumes from the past inspired you for Boundless? Which legacy it carries on?
KARINE VINCHON-SPEHNER: When I have the chance to create for a niche brand like Amouage, I don’t want to be too influenced by perfumes from the past because for me, a niche perfume has to be new and unique. If I really have to pinpoint an inspiration, I would say Gucci pour Homme created by Michel Almairac in 2003 for the vetiver side, and Féminité du Bois by Shiseido created by Christopher Sheldrake and Pierre Bourdon in 1992 for its spicy notes. If, as I do, you like these perfumes, I think there is a good chance you will like Boundless. The light, and the golden color that I wanted to represented are very important in the perfume. That explains the use of the star ingredient vanilla, and all of the balsamic tones. It’s interesting to speak about legacy because Michel Almairac was my mentor and I do hope Boundless, which I’m very proud of Boundless, will see the same success as his masterpieces. Boundless has so many facets.
IGOR: Can you give us some insight in your creation process? At which point you knew you’ve created the one?
KARINE VINCHON-SPEHNER: The brief was all about liberation. To inspire me, Renaud Salmon, Amouage’s Creative Director, sent me pictures of rainbow eucalyptus trees and the song Tarzan Boy. From this, I had the idea of creating a “golden wood”, something that gives the impression of entering into a dense jungle with trees of all kinds. I represented the sun rays piercing through the branches with raw materials evoking the light and the golden color (spices, balsams and vanilla). Tarzan Boy is a song from 1985, a time when people wore big hair and shoulder pads. This suggested to me a vertical perfume (also drawing on the tall rainbow eucalyptus tree) that represented the evolution of time. Boundless was the prefect reflection of what I had in mind and I knew I had I found the right balance when I was satisfied of its evolution in time.
IGOR: What are your favourite Amouage fragrances, besides Boundless?
KARINE VINCHON-SPEHNER: So many to be honest! All the Amouage fragrances have their own story. I’m proud of everything I have created for the brand, but I especially like Overture Man and Memoir Man, which was my first for Amouage and the beginning of an incredible collaboration. There are also a few other pieces I really like, including Imitation Man created by Leslie Girard – a beautiful leather! And of course, Interlude Man created by Pierre Negrin. Amouage has a special place in my heart and has contributed so much to the perfumer that I am today. Its really like I grew up with this the brand.
IGOR: What kind of impression you were aiming for, for someone wearing Boundless? When someone smells them, should they think they smell nice, exotic, erotic, manly, all at once?
KARINE VINCHON-SPEHNER: Liberated! It was the subject of the brief and the goal I was aiming for. Especially during these times, I think it’s exactly what we need to break out of this restless feeling. I feel Boundless brings confidence, pleasure and reassurance. When someone smells it, they possibly find it energizing on top, elegant at the heart, and full of character on its base note.
IGOR: For the fans of layering perfumes, what notes would you recommend to layer with Boundless?
KARINE VINCHON-SPEHNER: I suggest to try your own idea if you are curious! You can match it easily with Material because they have the same backbone: vanilla and guaiac wood and many similar raw materials. Cécile Zarokian and I have told the same story but in a different way. Wearing Material will also add powdery notes. You can also try spicy notes like Déclaration by Cartier, woody, leathery or balsamic notes. Or otherwise, Imitation Man, Féminité du bois or Dior homme.