The Perfumer’s Destiny: words with Sophie Labbé

Known by her peers as the lacemaker of flowers, Sophie Labbé is the award-winning perfumer behind My Destiny. Radiating positivity, Sophie gives us a glimpse into how she crafted the scent, and explains why being a perfumer was always her destiny.

You do not come from a family of perfumers, how did you find yourself working with fragrance?
I have always been interested in smell, but I never knew that it could be a career!

It was only when I was studying chemistry at university, that I read an article about the school of fragrance ISIPCA, and I knew that was where I wanted to be. But before applying I needed to meet a perfumer – I wanted to understand what it meant to create perfume for a living, and so I reached out to master perfumer Jean Kerlo. By coincidence he was the president of admittance at ISPICA and recognised me when I applied to the school; in many ways, this was destiny at work!

So you believe that perfumery was your destiny then?
Yes! I didn’t know it at the time, but the stars aligned for me and now I definitely believe that this was my destiny; I think that we all have a unique path in life and a goal that we have to achieve.

As someone that initially studied chemistry, do you treat scent-making as science, or are you more romantic than that?
I am definitely both. You see, a perfumer needs to be extremely curious and has to enjoy new experiences, because this feeds innovation and imagination. But, as well as a sensitive spirit, you also need to have the rationality of a scientist – you have to have both sides.

Do you think you smell the world differently from most people?
I don’t think I smell the world differently, because we all smell in our own way; our perceptions are enhanced by emotions and experiences. But I probably perceive more scents – it’s a bit like a game: I pass someone on the street and try to guess their perfume – like investigating. Or, when I travel, I find it super interesting to arrive at an airport and think, “how would I define my first contact with this country.”

The semiprecious stone, tourmaline has been used to enhance My Destiny – what is the significance of the gem?
This stone is really special because of its positive energy and ability to boost confidence. To me, wearing a precious stone is like wearing a perfume – it empowers you. Tourmaline is associated with the expression of creativity, which I believe makes this fragrance even more special; you have the power of the fragrance, plus the energy of the tourmaline stone.

What gives you confidence and positive energy?
Love! It gives me strength and makes me moves mountains. I am able to exceed my own limits when I feel loved. And passion. I also need to be passionate in what I do, because this makes me happy, strong and determined.

Can you tell us a bit about the other notes found in My Destiny? How and why did you select them?
We wanted to create scent that resonates positive energy, so the fragrance starts with sparkles of grapefruit and blueberries. At the heart, the peony was an important addition, as it adds elegance. Then orange blossom gives the fragrance power. And finally patchouli.

To me, patchouli has a lot of depth and mystery, an aura that is important for My Destiny – there’s something special about it, it’s very addictive.

How did it feel to complete My Destiny?
I was super proud and happy with My Destiny, especially as it was the first time that I had collaborated with Oriflame.

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