LUDMILA BITAR: Creative Director, Ideo Parfumeurs
Where do you live now?
Lyon and Beirut, and airports/train stations/in cabs. I travel a lot to develop my company
Fragrance philosophy in a nutshell:
It’s about small but regular steps for positive changes.
Favorite note in the world?
Powdery ingredients, all of them.
Least favorite scent?
Fruity notes (watermelon, red fruits)…not possible, no way!
If you could choose one baby, what is the fragrance you are most proud of?
Come on, I can’t choose between my children. I can choose between the inspirations to create them: It is Malika’s Temptation story inspired by women and how they don’t have to be afraid to dare.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
A gluten-free mini piece of bread with almond milk and green tea. Kidding, I try to eat what my daughters eat: They are very reasonable. This morning was very healthy (I am proud of myself!): a Lebanese manouche with thyme and cheese, a banana, and a giant mug of coffee with full fat milk. I wake up every day at 6 am.
What does your home smell like?
It smells like the energy of Beirut with an earthy jasmine, a few drops of French cuisine, Algerian orange blossom, and a beautiful tuberose.
What fragrance do you wear?
It is all about the mood and the season: I wear Last Canto, our powdery scent, and Malika’s Temptation, a beautiful mix of oud, vanilla, and woods. My only perfume from other brands is Samsara by Guerlain. I’ve loved it for 25 years.
First fragrance you owned?
OMG, you are taking me back to sweet memories! It was a gift from my parents: Anais Anais from Cacharel.
What fragrance(s) did your parent(s) wear?
My mum is a YSL Opium and Chanel N.5 addict, but she generously started to use from Ideo Parfumeurs Weekend a Fontainebleau, our very Parisian chic with a vintage twist note. My dad wears the Christmas gifts: La Cuvee 2019 which is a mix of Prison Blues from Ideo and something from Aqua Di Parma.
What inspires your bottle design?
Minimalism and zero waste.
Most nostalgic scent?
Fig tree. It is a typical Mediterranean wood scent: strong, warm and generous, a true symbol of my region.
What does Beirut smell like?
A contradictory energy with a mix of jasmine, gardenia, earthy notes like petrichor in September and October, which is this pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm weather. And of course, the smell of the sea.
If not making perfume, what would you be doing?
I left Algeria when I was a third-year med school student … I am in the perfume industry by a pure coincidence. Fill in the blanks!
Last good book you read?
“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” Back to the classics: I am reading what was a homework and a nightmare more than 25 years ago: Jane Austen’s books. I have just finished Mansfield Park, which is a great return to the sources of refined and profound writing.
Least favorite fragrance trend?
What does 2020 smell like?
Smells like success!
Most important part of your day/routine?
Definitely breakfast, the only quiet and full of energy moment before the stormy exhausted mix of work, family duties and social life. In the future hopefully it will be exercising.
How do you unwind?
My family loves hiking and outdoor activities, shopping, and for 30 years music has always been the bandage of my anxiety. Music allows me to not forget.
Best advice I’ve gotten:
It is a tricky question. It is “Big is Little and Little is Big.” As a creative person, I need to focus and take my head out of the clouds and to focus on doing the little things each day that take me one step closer to achieving my big goals.
I won’t leave home without:
The keys, my ID, some cash, and my mobile phone.
Coffee shop order?
I’m at peace when:
I love check lists. The best moment is when the list is fully done at the end of the day. Unfortunately, it never happens! My standards are too high. I believe that I am like everyone: I am in peace if my family is in peace.