When you picture a perfumer, a heavily inked, bearded dude who spends his free time getting into fighting shape, literally, doing Muay Thai is probably not who comes to mind. But David Frossard is nothing if not defying expectations. The Parisian is a man of many passions and perfume is one of them. Along with Philippe de Meo, Frossard founded niche perfumery, Liquides Imaginaires and he also lends his prodigious talents to the storied fragrance house Frapin. Here the olfactive master answers queries about what smells inspire him, his grooming must-haves, and why he consciously chose to go the hirsute route.
What was the first fragrance you ever wore?
My first fragrance was Pour Monsieur de Chanel, which was my grandfather’s perfume—a very chic Chypre. I still love this fragrance because it reminds me of him. It’s very elegant.
What is your earliest scent memory?
I remember the smell of the Corsican shore, where I traveled to each summer as a child.
What are your favorite smells and why?
That mixture of salt, sand and bushes—a very typical olfactive mix.
When coming up with fragrance ideas, what are you inspired by?
When I begin working on a fragrance, my first source of inspiration is the story I want to tell. Our fragrances are very figurative…like books they are telling a tale and creating a sense of mystery.
Which destinations have inspired you the most?
All destinations have their own olfactive print—even cities like New York and Paris, but I would say Africa. With the intensity of the heat in Africa, the smells are very concentrated. That is where I discovered that a strong smell can also be magical.
Which one of your fragrances is the most meaningful to you?
L’humaniste from Frapin. It’s a fresh but very stylish fragrance…simple yet very elegant, which is a difficult combination to achieve.
Besides applying scent, what else does your grooming regimen entail?
I use some David Mallett Salt Spray in my hair. David is the best hairdresser. He’s Australian and based in Paris.
What’s always in your dopp kit?
I have something to clean my glasses, which are a very important part of my style. I tend to choose styles that are more cool or intellectual looking. And I use the beard balm from David Mallett and all of the miracle products from Skeen.
How long have you had a beard?
I started my own business at 32. I needed to look older at that time to be trusted by my partners.