May’s – ‘The Fragrance Issue’ – Download Now

Baptiste Bouygues founded his fragrance brand, ORMAIE, with his mother in 2018 with family being at the heart of it. Built on a sense of nostalgia combined with creativity, Bouygues reveals the story behind the brand and why he won’t sway from the family values at their core

Can you talk us through the inspiration behind ORMAIE?


ORMAIE is all about expressing and translating moments, people or feelings that were important to me. We wanted to put creativity at the centre of everything we did. I believe when you want to be truly creative you need to search into something you know and that is what will speak to people. Yvonne for example was the name of my grandmother and the inspiration is the beautiful roses and Parchoulis she always wears but with a modern twist. Papier Carbone is the smell I remember from my school. I also wanted to use only natural ingredients. We find there is beauty and poetry in creating a fragrance with only natural ingredients. There is something exceptional about nature I find, it really touches your soul. 


What has it been like working alongside your mother for the past five years?


It has been amazing. My mother is one of the best creative directors in the world when it comes to fragrances, it’s a real pleasure working with her. What is interesting in the development of new fragrances is that we have the same olfactive memory. We lived in the same places. I can tell her, “I feel like this smells too much like the soap in my grandmother’s kitchen” and she will know exactly what I am talking about. 


How has the brand evolved since it launched?


We launched in 2018 and three years down the line, our values have not changed at all. We very much stay a family where creativity matters the most. We are a bit bigger now but we stay very human-sized. We feel lucky that the vision we had surrounding ORMAIE is being realized and people seem to like it. We love that every step of the way new artists or artisans add their part to the story. 


What made you want to conquer the world of fragrance?


Fragrances have always been around me. My grandparents had a garden with so many smells, it changed all year round which was amazing. My mother also worked in fragrances so I was always surrounded by lots of raw materials and always smelled different fragrances. There is something special about fragrances. It can instantly bring you somewhere else or remind you of someone that mattered. It has such a strong emotional effect. I believe that is why we chose to do what we do. When someone smells one of our fragrances and is transported for a minute and is truly moved, it is the most amazing thing. That is why we do our job. 

Ormaie Baptiste Bouygues

How does ORMAIE stay relevant in an abundant market? 


I feel by staying very honest in the creation process you stay relevant. If you talk about things that are profound to you it will speak to other people. Cultivating a know-how is also very important I feel. For us it is all the artisans we work with, the people cultivating the flowers, only using natural ingredients, but also the bottles, from the glassmakers to our bottle caps in wood polished by hand. That know-how becomes more and more profound and people can feel it in the product. 


In terms of fragrance, what does ORMAIE represent?


It is always hard to say but I hope we represent a sort of poetry in fragrance making. We try to express what matters to us and we hope it brings emotion and beauty to the people we interact with. 


What is the current state of the fragrance market?


I feel more and more people are attracted to smaller brands that try to bring something new. I truly believe if these brands stay true to their values and stay very creative with amazing quality products they have the potential to become the strong actors of tomorrow. 


How would you say the GCC region is different from others in terms of fragrance?


The culture of fragrances is just amazing. Every person I meet here has a wide knowledge of fragrances and raw materials. Everyone has a story. There is such beauty I find in the fact that fragrances have been such part of the region and the culture for centuries. I also love the fact that some scents are so unique to the region, they really tell a story about the people. 


Since launching your brand, what have been the main challenges you’ve had to overcome?


Frankly, we have been quite lucky. People seem to respond in a positive way to what we tried to express. Obviously, the global situation has probably made the business a bit more complicated but we have been very fortunate overall. 

Ormaie Fragrance

And what have been the milestones?


Opening in new regions is always a great milestone for us. We try to find partners that understand us everywhere in the world and we have been very fortunate so far. Opening in Bloomingdales was actually a great milestone for us. It’s probably one of the places where the best fragrance brands are present and it was a true honour to be amongst them. We are also coming out with a few products this year and I believe that will also be a great feeling. We take a very long time to create and we always look forward to the reaction of people. 


This is ‘The Fragrance Issue’ – what is your signature scent?


I wear Le Passant. My father always wore lavenders and I have also always worn them. There is something very French about it, I find. 

May’s – ‘The Fragrance Issue’ – Download Now

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