The man behind Parfums de Marly
Julien Sprecher was born in St Germain en Laye in France, to a father devoted to the fragrance business.
He completed his business school and training in French perfume and cosmetics brands Guerlain and Orlane before deciding to join the family business and focus on the fragrance industry.
The family business established an office in the Middle East in 2000 and Sprecher and Axel Berrier took lead of the company.
After spending years in the creative sphere, Sprecher finally let his creative passion flow and create the Parfums de Marly brand, through which he aimed to recreate the splendor of the 18th century.
Aficionado had the chance to speak to Sprecher during one of his visits to Dubai, to discuss his vision on perfumery, the global fragrance industry and his focus on the Middle East region.
How do you view the niche perfume market in the Middle East? How did it evolve through the years and how dominant are the larger brands currently in the market?
The niche market has become a very important segment for the fragrance market in the Middle East, as well as around the world. It has been seeing double-digit growth since the past few years now.
The visibility inside the perfumery of major niche brands has increased even more with the establishment of dedicated areas inside stores for each of them.
Tell us a little about your latest fragrance, Athalia. Who does it speak to?
Athalia is our latest feminine fragrance and would appeal to sophisticated and glamorous women. It is the most sensual fragrance of our range with iris as its main note.
How long did the fragrance take in the making?
It was like love at first sight; it did not take long. Working on the iris note can take a long time, as this ingredient is one of the most expensive raw materials in perfumery. It can be quite overwhelming. But we worked the iris with amber and this mix turned out to be very elegant. It was daring to play with these two ingredients, especially that iris usually mostly works with soliflore, but I believe the result was amazing.
Which fragrance do you recall took the most time to create?
Layton took the longest, as balancing its formula and making it long-lasting, without twisting its notes, was challenging.
What is the best way to purchase a perfume?
To make sure you have tried it on your skin and left it there for some, time as the juice changes with time.
How can one preserve a perfume for as long as possible?
It is always better to keep it away from light and heat.
You work with remarkable noses. How involved are you in the creative process?
I am very involved in each creation, from the brief given, to the noses, to the final result.
What are some of your favorite raw material?
I really love vanilla; it goes very deep into everybody’s skin. I rarely meet someone who does not like vanilla. I also like to work with Orange Blossom as well as Rose.
What is the value of the Middle East to Parfums de Marly, when compared to other regional markets?
The Middle East is a very important region for us. Our fragrances please the Middle East consumers who are looking for long-lasting, sophisticated juices.
What are the top challenges you face now trying to reach out to your clients? How do you try to overcome these?
It is important to remain consistent in what we do and create. Our juices have strong personality and a strong locative signature, which helps them stand out in this very competitive market.
What is your next project or focus?
The focus of the brand is to grow in the US market, where we just opened a stand-alone boutique in the Meatpacking district in New York. It is a quite a young market for us that we aim to develop during the next two years.