Givaudan’s Sonia Constant has created stand-out fragrances for Narciso Rodriguez since 2015. Her most recent fragrance for the brand, Narciso Rodriguez Rouge EDP, is an uber-seductive take on the original Narciso. It features big notes of Bulgarian rose, iris, musk and tuberose. The theme of seduction is carried through to the base, where vanilla and tonka bean add to the sensual warmth.
In this interview, Sonia Constant answers questions on how she and fellow nose Nadège le Garlantezec created Narciso Rodriguez Rouge EDP.
With your previous history with Narciso Rodriguez (Fleur Musc, Santal Musc, Bleu Noir), were you the automatic choice to create Narciso Rodriguez Rouge EDP? Or did you have to pitch for it?
Absolutely not. Even if I sign many Narciso Rodriguezes, we are always in competition to create the next perfume! So I had to pitch for it.
What was the brief for this fragrance?
The brief was the colour red – a blazing red. We had to reinterpret this colour. Also words like “temptation”, “provocation”, “seduction”, “magnetism” and “passion” were part of the brief. The fragrance had to become a more seductive variant of the original Narciso.
“We wanted to create a vibrant, elegant, carnal and sensual femininity.”
What did you have in mind when you first started creating it? And how did you achieve that?
We wanted to create a vibrant, elegant, carnal and sensual femininity. We were thinking of a Baccarat rose, with some pink peppercorn on top. The ardent sensuality was to be revealed with an accord of sandalwood, cedar wood, tolu balm and myrrh. We also had in mind some tones of red sequoia and, of course, musks and tonka beans.
Musk is a staple of Narciso Rodriguez fragrances. How did you treat it for this EDP?
Yes, musk is at the heart of every Narciso Rodriguez fragrance, but we had to adapt it with the rest of the formula.
Where did you find inspiration for this fragrance?
Nadège and I were really thinking about creating a fragrance able to initiate passion, something warm, but fluffy. Sensual, but in the Narciso Rodriguez style.
Were there any challenges you had to overcome while creating this fragrance?
Yes, actually the red colour was not so easy to translate, because Mr Rodriguez doesn’t like fruit or gourmand fragrances. So at the beginning we started with some cherry facet, but had to finally remove it. Also, Narciso Rodriguez fragrances don’t follow trends, so it was always more difficult to be a trendsetter.
“The red colour was not so easy to translate, because Mr Rodriguez doesn’t like fruit or gourmand fragrances.”
How long did it take you to create this fragrance?
We worked almost a year on it.
There are lots of Narciso Rouge reviews online. Do you ever read reviews of your creations?
Unfortunately, I don’t have time to read all the reviews on all my creations, but the few I read seem good, I think.
Are you working on any other Narciso Rodriguez fragrances?
I really love the brand and embrace it, so yes I am always working on a new Narciso Rodriguez fragrance. I can only say that it is much more than one project!