The Feeling of Reminiscence and Well-Being – Interview With Leslie and Cyrille From ASMR Fragrances
Leslie and her husband Cyrille are the creative minds behind ASMR Fragrances - a French fragrance brand that brings together the concept of ASMR with the world of fragrances. We asked them a few questions. In addition, there is a great giveway!
How exactly did you enter the world of fragrances?
Leslie: I started my company "Leslie Courtois Design" in 2017. I am specialized in perfume bottle design. I have been able to work with a wide variety of clients from all around the world. But the idea of launching my own perfume range came later as we will discuss.
Cyrille: I entered the world of fragrances by force of circumstances as I am married to Leslie 😆.
What does ASMR actually stand for?
Leslie: The sound of the pages of a book being turned, a massaging shampoo at the hairdresser, finger drawings on the back, or even the smell of a cake coming out of the oven and reviving a childhood memory: everyone knows these sensations.
Like "Proust's madeleine", ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is a phenomenon that triggers a feeling of reminiscence and well-being. It is a visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile or cognitive stimulus that causes a pleasant thrill. ASMR comes in the form of waves and generates a state of immersion: the person feels euphoria and relaxation. It is a lasting trend: ASMR is indeed the third most popular query in the world on the YouTube video hosting site.
How did the idea of combining ASMR with the perfume topic emerge?
Leslie: After a long day of work, in front of an ASMR video, I thought to myself that it was a pity that there was no smell. The relaxation would have been...complete! And even better: we could have the possibility to bring this smell with us as a skin perfume to feel this well-being anywhere. A few days later, I discussed the idea of making ASMR perfumes with a perfume manufacturer client. My goal then was to have access to this sensory experience in which I deeply believe.
Cyrille: When I heard Leslie talking to her client, I thought it was great. Beyond ASMR, which I didn't really know, what struck me was the idea of having perfumes linked to things we love and which trigger emotions or memories. I told her straight away: we're keeping the concept to ourselves, we're going to do it!
Leslie: We then defined the scents that are dear to us and worked with our nose Marie Duchène. The first drafts of perfumes blew us away and we decided to get started! The challenge was then to develop familiar smells, faithful to memories common to all, while having a pleasant fragrance to wear on the skin. The formulation of the fragrances was thus completed after several months of work and we launched this march.
What makes a good fragrance for you?
Leslie: For me a good fragrance has it's own personality. It should be unique. It is a fragrance we wear for ourselves and makes us feel good. It is like a second skin. It should be free of commercial conveniences and closer to our heart and our essence.
Cyrille: Just like books or movies, I like the concept of a "feel good" fragrance. It is that simple for me.
How do you manage to evoke memories and emotions with a fragrance?
Cyrille: As we all know, smell is the sense most intrinsically linked to emotions. When you smell an odor, an automatic memorization process starts. This unconscious memorization process will treat the smell as the environment and especially the associated feelings. This olfactory sensation will be captured in the heart of our limbic brain, where the emotions reside.
This process has been at work since we were in our mother's womb. We first retain the smell of it, then, over the years, that of sweets, books, the swimming pool, our love... All these smells will lead to a gigantic personal olfactory repertoire.
This is why, for the same smell, the brain of a certain person will process this information like no other. For example, it is very difficult to describe odors without calling on comparisons and therefore on memories and emotions.
I love the idea of using something to dress up our emotions and translate our moods.
Leslie: As Cyrille said, it is wonderful to be able to wear a scent which expresses our deep nature, and which awakens in us shivers of nostalgia and well-being.
I think many fragrances can evoke memories but what differentiates us is that it is our primary goal with our perfumes. We really went for this realistic impression and are very happy with the results!
And to further this experience, since all the senses are linked, we offer videos matching the scents, recorded in binaural (3-dimensional sound) for a sensational immersion! All our senses are linked and their association makes it possible to increase our sensory experiences tenfold! Have you ever listened to a perfume?
Your collection features seven fragrances, including exciting creations like "Slime Satisfaction". Tell us a little more about the perfumes!
SLIME Satisfaction is a nod to the child in us: today it's slime, yesterday it was modeling clay or the famous glue that smells like almonds ;) (used in all the French schools in the 90s, which the Italians know just as well). Slime Satisfaction is all that at once: chemical, magical, and surprisingly incredibly nice to wear!
BONFIRE Whisper is the memory of a campfire in the middle of nature in summer, as well as that of the comfort of the grandparents' fireplace on a winter evening. It is a powerful fragrance like the fire and smoke of wild wood. For those who like to smell their hair after contemplating a fire, BONFIRE Whisper is an assumed and very comforting spicy choice.
YUMMY Tingles is the finger covered with cake batter that we lick: milk, butter, caramelized sugar, vanilla. It is THE delicacy that is born in the kitchen, that we want to taste again and again, that makes our brains salivate. And YUMMY Tingles is calorie free 😉
GRASS Tickles is caressing the fresh and wild grasses: in a green meadow, a shady garden, a park full of trees... It is the fragrance for all these memories filled with lightness and soft spring light.
OCEAN Relaxation is iodized sea spray on a lightly creamed skin. Raw and light at the same time, realistic, colorful: we love it or we hate it. Cradled by the associated audio, it's a fragrance that made me cry the day we selected its final version. Emotion hit me like a wave without me expecting it (and that's what I wish for everyone, for all our fragrances).
RAIN Tapping is captivating to many: the life of the forest is very present and nurturing. Moist and charged with electricity, air and earth meet. At the first breath, we are catapulted under the treetops, where the leaves are still dripping from the receding thunderstorm in the distance.
HAIR Salon Grooming makes our public shy: it is indeed the very first fragrance created on this theme. They don't know what to expect. But how many times have I been able to read and hear that we smelled so good when leaving the hairdressing salon! It's a very typical smell of shampoo, hot hair and hairspray. Our nose went to the hairdresser to develop it... Something to feel well-being and total pleasure 24 / 7 when you don't want (or have the means 😅) to go to the hairdresser every day. You add the soundtrack created by sound specialist and ASMR content creator (Maxence Rodier), and the experience is complete.
Which one is your personal favorite and why?
Leslie: I immediately became addicted to YUMMY Tingles and HAIR SALON Grooming. I crave salty food more than sweet but YUMMY Tingles is making me really hungry! HAIR SALON Grooming is really realistic and brings me back to a moment of total relaxation. With the binaural videos, the sensation is almost perfect. I have a strong memorial link with all our fragrances, so these two choices were difficult to make (otherwise I would have cited them all 😂).
Cyrille: I, who never wore perfume, fell in love with BONFIRE Whisper and OCEAN Relaxation. There is something really strong that suits me completely.
What have you learned from your customers?
Leslie: Our clients have taught us that there is a real need for authenticity and reconnection with oneself, in a world where today's society sucks us into its disembodied will.
Also, we have the humility to admit that we cannot promise olfactory perfection to everyone, because there are of course variations depending on the place of memory and the sensitivities to the notes of the perfumes. But, those who have adopted our fragrances have taught us the happiness provided by succeeding in transmitting beautiful emotions to them: whether it is the sweet memories of cocooning with the family, walks in the forest in the fall in the last rays of sunshine, or even simple childhood moments... All this tells us a beautiful soothing story, full of sweet nostalgia and well-being, which rings eternal.
Thank you for the interview!
We give away 7 great prizes! To enter the giveaway, just post a comment below!
1st prize - Full perfume range
2nd prize - 3 perfumes of your choice
3rd prize - 1 perfume of your choice
4th - 7th prize - Sample Kit
You can participate until Saturday, 20.08.2022 - good luck!