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MEET A PERFUMER

OLIVIA BRANSBOURG

Founder of Sous Le Manteau


Provenance: France

Where do you live now? New York

Fragrance philosophy in a nutshell: “Would you rather seduce or be seduced?”

Favorite note in the world? Like in music, it changes every day. Today it’s vanilla.

Least favorite scent? I can’t think of any. There is always an aspect that intrigues me. As long as it isn’t too fruity.

If you could choose one baby, what is the fragrance you are most proud of? With Sous le Manteau, definitely Vapeurs Diablotines. Love at first try. Complex and intriguing. Fiery and addictive.

What did you have for breakfast this morning? Homemade juice with raw beetroot, celery, raspberry, banana, orange, ginger and curcuma. Grilled sourdough bread with salted butter.

What does your home smell like? Joy, fresh laundry, fresh herbs or flowers depending on the season.

What fragrance do you wear? Only the ones I made and the ones I am working on.

First fragrance you owned? Loulou by Cacharel, for the design of the flask at first, then for its scent. I was 13. It was my first purchase. I started a collection of samples when I was 5.

What fragrance(s) did your parent(s) wear? Quite a few. The ones I preferred on them: Calandre by Paco Rabanne for my mother and Bel Ami by Hermès for my father.

What inspired the name of your company? A French expression from the 17th century describing any kind of objects that were circulating secretly, undercover, considered as too erotic or against the official power.

What inspires your bottle design? Minimalism and classicism.

Most nostalgic scent? The old ones from Guerlain that can’t be reproduced today for toxicology reasons.

What does New York smell like? Energy, dynamism, generosity.

If not making perfume, what would you be doing? Making art

Last good book you read? The Consolations of the Forest by French author Sylvain Tesson

Least favorite fragrance trend? Cheap fruity scents.

What does 2020 smell like? A return to fragrances that also have holistic virtues. Sous le Manteau fragrances are based on authentic recipes found in officinal books, reproduced and modernized for the lovers of the 21st century and have not been tested on animals. They are also free of aluminum, formaldehyde, parabens, and sulphates.

Most important part of your day/routine? Kisses to the ones I love, whether IRL or virtually and a power nap, 20 minutes every day. The rest is work, with alternation of creative phases and research ones.

How do you unwind? I dance. Most of the times on [Erik] Satie or David Bowie.

Guilty pleasure? Vice? A glass of wine.

Words of Wisdom: Dream, create, fail, do again, improve, share

I won’t leave home without: Red lipstick and a few drops of perfume.

Coffee shop order? I make my own with a Bialetti.

I’m at peace when: I seize the day.

— ERIN FLAHERTY

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