A Conversation with Terry de Gunzburg on her new Haute Perfumerie Collection

Full range_Terry de Gunzburg

Everyone with a passion for beauty will have heard of YSL’s touch éclat, a concept developed by former international marketing and creative director of YSL beauty Terry de Gunzburg. The award-wining concealer-highlighter revolutionized the industry when it launched in 1992. Twenty years later de Gunzburg is still busy. The beauty guru has now launched her exclusive eponymous signature fragrance collection. We catch up with the inspiring beauty entrepreneur and learn of the inspiration behind her new label.

Flagrant Delice

Since she was young Terry de Gunzburg has been fascinated by scent. During her childhood she would watch her grandmother boil jasmine and her father extract juices from lavender to make refreshing colognes. While she initially pursued medicine, it was during her studies to become a doctor that she became more and more fascinated by the world of beauty and soon left her degree in medicine to complete a course in Aesthetics. And then fate played its part when Terry de Gunzburg in her new role as a studio makeup artist, was sent to cover a photo session for the Haute Couture edition for Vogue.

The stage was then set for Terry to display her impeccable technique and unique style as a beautician. Over the next ten years she worked with the legendary Parisiann beauticians, the Carita sisters. She then went on to do the make up for magazines, models, movie stars and sets and soon after became a globally recognized studio makeup artist. In 1985 she met Yves Saint Laurent and developed her expertise even further.

In 1998 she launched Haute Couleur make up and her brand BY TERRY and soon after became a beauty guru to many women who religiously followed her advice and recommendations. Last year de Gunzburg finally decided to do what she has long desired: launched an additional range to the BY TERRY line with her first fragrance collection TERRY DE GUNZBURG.

What was the inspiration behind your new range of perfumes?

I have been inspired by so many different things including Haute Couture embroideries, Contemporary art, my gardens and their botanical mysteries. I never had one inspiration, but a kaleidoscope of inspirations. I consistently looked for my perfect fragrance “fit” – just like one does when they search for the right vintage couture dress, a precious stone or a sky-high stiletto.  My creativity allows me to gather inspiration from my everyday life. For example, the packaging of the fragrances has been inspired by a granulated coral necklace that I had lying on my dressing table while I was looking for a design.  The bottles themselves are solid forms but with rounded edges and the iconic mercury drop as a top. I have given names of flowers I am keen on (Rose, Tuberose, Iris and Jasmin) personal sensations, concepts and memories such as light, shadow, dream, opulence, character, delight and sun).

What made you move from beauty products to fragrance?

I have always been fascinated by the fragrance industry especially luxurious scents. I have tried several times to give birth to this desire but wanted it to be perfect and so I had to wait for the right moment. It took me 10 years to come up with something that corresponds to my creative vision: a Haute Parfumerie collection infused with the most beautiful natural raw materials. The artistic process was not result of a “one day craving”, but rather years of obsession.

What does the collection of fragrances represent?

This collection is like a dictionary of my olfactory experience from when I was growing up as a child on the shores of the Mediterranean. lt is something I have achieved by following my tastes, my personality and my instinct. This is the reason why I have named it Terry de Gunzburg rather than By Terry as the line carries signature scents.

How do you feel your past experience has helped you to develop your new range of perfume?

My past experience and my work in the beauty industry for so many years have helped me understand and anticipate women’s needs and aspirations. More than my experience, I had to bring this project to a mature stage to create a personified collection that reflects my personality and my soul.

What are the key manifestos of your brand?

The rare and precious –  the quintessence of luxury, is celebrated in my range of perfumes. All my creations are made conscientiously and consistently. They are created with care and founded on know-how. 

What did you set out to achieve when you were launching your perfume?

The most important thing to me when I established my perfume collection was to come up with a collection of personified scents. I felt that women were missing a crucial scents which I endeavored to create. I wanted my collection of fragrances to be formulated in the purest tradition, through the incorporation of the most luxurious, qualitative and rare raw material and in highly concentrated levels. 

Can you describe the scents of each of the perfumes?

This collection of Haute Parfumerie is an audacious alchemy between purity and intensity, extremes and simplicity, tradition and modernity, rare and precious. A floral olfactory signature is at the heart of each one of these eaux de parfums.

 FLAGRANT DELICE is a fruity floral of a contemporary and delectable fig, with vanilla and almond trail.

REVE OPULENT is a floral bouquet of gardenia.

LUMIERE D’EPICES is a combination of fresh sparkling citrus, with a sun-kissed jasmine spicy trail.

PARTI PRIS is a floral and woody scent with a hypnotic tuberose.

OMBRE MERCURE is an enchanting blend of iris and violet with patchouli and sandalwood. A pertinacious, original, segmented and audacious perfume, this scent is my favorite of the night.

What ingredients do you use in your perfumes?

Within my perfumes I have incorporated some of the rarest ingredients such as Iris butter, absolute tuberose, rose essence and ylang-ylang. All of these natural raw materials have been used in highly concentrated levels.  It’s an exquisite alchemy between purity and intensity, extremes and simplicity.

How do you differentiate your perfumes from others on the market?

Today, the marketing logic is often stronger than the olfactory creation. The noses must meet specific briefs that determine the target and the gender of the perfume. I wanted to create my perfume collection away from marketing codes and just follow my intuition. That’s why I did not give any brief to the Noses I worked with. I just gave them some flowers I passionately love and some key words. Free from any restrictions, I have followed my instinct to create pure original and extravagantly high-quality fragrances.

What kind of ladies would be most attracted to your perfumes?

I believe that any woman can recognize herself in at least one of my creations. When I have created my perfumes it was olfactory “love at first sight” experience for me. I created them so women could also experience this olfactory “crush” like I did. They are specially designed for passionate characters that want to leave a trail behind them. These fragrances can also be used by the same woman on different occasions, depending on her mood or on the event.

Terry Shooting DP Parfum 3

The new perfume range Terry de Gunzburg is available exclusively at Sephora in The Dubai Mall. For more information, call +971 4 339 9828  Please see details on the store locations at http://www.sephora-me.com/ar/pid3881/stores.html