Enthusiasm and passion are hard to feign and true enthusiasm and passion can be rather contagious. The Scented Hound recently had a conversation with Fabrice Croisé co-founder of Eric Buterbaugh Florals, a new collection of floral based perfumes. It was clear from the beginning that Mr. Croisé clearly loves what he is doing.
Before we get into the perfumes of Eric Buterbaugh Florals, we need to talk about how the venture came to fruition. For those in the know, Mr. Buterbaugh is the floral designer to the stars. For the past 17 years, Buterbaugh has been providing the chicest floral designs for stars (and friends) like Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Ritchie and Demi Moore. But interestingly enough, Buterbaugh didn’t start his career with aspirations to become the king of Hollywood floral designers. Instead, this Oklahoma native first worked for designer Gianni Versace in Dallas. This job eventually moved him to LA and London where he had responsiblity for merchandising, buying and for dressing celebrities. Eventually, Buterbaugh parted from Versace and moved back to LA where he serendipitously fell into floral design by accident. Clearly not all accidents are a bad.
Buterbaugh had always been fascinated with fragrance from an early age and the thought of creating perfumes around his brand as a floral designer had been ruminating for many years. He had been approached by some large beauty corporations in the past, but he never felt they were the right fit to help bring his vision to life. Enter Fabrice Croisé, a former Loreal executive who for years worked in the development of perfumes for Lancome and then used his talents at an advertising agency specializing in fragrance. Like Buterbaugh, Croisé had always wanted to create a line of perfumes, but never found the right inspiration or story to help this dream come true. Then one day, a friend in common introduced the two and Croisé said that within 10 minutes they both came upon the conclusion that together they could make their fragrant dreams come true. Buterbaugh had the story that Croisé was looking for and Croisé had the industry knowledge and experience that Buterbaugh was looking for. Croisé left his job at the ad agency and never looked back. “Everything flowed in a very natural and organic manner. It was as if the world was sending me a message that this was meant to happen”
Buterbaugh and Croisé moved forward with a vision to create the most beautiful floral fragrances with an homage to the legacy and beauty of perfumes of the past, but with a modern take and twist. Instead of shopping around for perfumers, they decided to reach out to famed perfumery Firmenich. Croisé said that he had worked with them in the past and not only admired the perfumes they created, but he also respected their perfumers and the way they worked. Buterbaugh and Croisé presented the company with their concept as well as a list of Buterbaugh’s favorite flowers which he uses in his designs in addition to flowers he rarely uses, but loves. The two also gave the company two stipulations, the first was that there would be no budget restrictions, allowing for the finest in ingredients to be used in the creations. The second stipulation was that the duo would not make any changes to the creations presented by the perfumer. As such, Buterbaugh and Croisé were presented with over 30 creations, but only 10 made the cut to be included in the original line (seven initially released, with three more creations to be launched within the next year).
Croisé said that the perfumes were designed to be true to nature and were meant to represent a beautiful interpretation of the flower in your hand. Additionally, the goal was for the perfumes to be gentle in nature. They didn’t want the perfumes to be overpowering or composed with any shock value. Croisé said the line is also meant to be gender neutral as both Buterbaugh and Croisé share the philosophy that if you love a perfume, no matter the composition, embrace it, love it and wear it.
As part of the initial collection, the seven perfumes in the line are:
Virgin – Lily of the Valley: The tingle of citrus, the beauty of the Lily and the softness of musks are present all at once. A Lily floating in air, in all its white purity. Created by perfumer Pierre Negrin.
Regal – Tuberose: Born from a rainforest memory. A drop of grapefruit and a sting of pepper bring modernity to the long treasured Tuberose. Strong, intoxicating and proud of its exalted lineage. Created by perfumer Honorine Blanc.
Velvet – Lavender: Vanilla, sage, sandalwood and musk come through, but Lavender is the host, present from beginning to end. All warmth and sensuality, balance and intrigue. Created by perfumer Harry Fremont.
Apollo – Hyacinth: This green floral fantasy is crafted from the stem of the Hyacinth. Sugary, mineral and watery as flower sap itself. Elegant and subtle, all the way to its warm, soothing, woody finish. Created by perfumer Alberto Morallis.
Sultry – Rose: A resplendent, unforgettable, haunting Rose given to Eric as an homage to his artistry. An iconic interpretation of Eric’s signature flower. Created by perfumer Illias Ermendis.
Celestial – Jasmine: The white sparkle of Jasmine, the sensuality of ambergris and the carnality of amber intertwined in a captivating combination. Romantic and tender, with a sensuous background. Created by perfumer Illias Ermendis.
Fragile – Violet: This gorgeous, delicate work of art stays close to the skin with Violet leaves and petals in perfect equilibrium. Clean yet spirited. Created by perfumer Alberto Morallis.
As mentioned earlier, three more perfumes will be released within the next year. The first to come will be in time for the holidays; Thorn. Croisé said that as the rose is Buterbaugh’s favorite flower, they knew that there would be more than one rose perfume in the collection. Croisé said where Sultry is a beautiful “in your face” full-on rose full of passion, composed of Ottoman rose, with the saffron and pepper, Thorn is more of a full bouquet composed of pink pepper, cinnamon, geranium and violet with a Bulgarian rose at the heart.
Of course, beautiful perfumes must be housed in a beautiful bottle. According to Croisé, the inspiration behind the bottle was a vintage crystal cognac decanter. As such, the Eric Buterbaugh Floral bottles are designed as a throwback to the perfume bottles of the 1920s and 30s. And to ensure the inspired bottles are true to the bygone time, all perfumes come in a decant form with a separate travel spray atomizer that can be used for application on the go. The substantial 250ml bottles are all hand-made crystal creations, whereas the 100ml bottles are the finest of cut glass.
If launching a new line of perfumes wasn’t enough, the duo has created a living experience in the opening of their new boutique in West Hollywood. Here, the love of perfume and art is combined with a rotating collection of art inspired by flowers as well as a perfume bar where one can experience the Eric Buterbaugh Florals collection of perfumes and candles….and Rooster diffusers. Yes, you read that correctly. Inspired by the team’s crest, for $3,800 you can have your own one of a kind, stuffed rooster diffuser scented with lemon flower and jasmine. And of course, all this topped with the duo’s wonderful sense of humor and play as each rooster is topped with a one of a kind crown and necklace. Buterbaugh and Croisé, as serious as they are about creating great beauty, they do it all with a sense of humor. To experience this, all you need to do is check out the tag line at the bottom of their website.
Finally, Croisé shared that the Eric Buterbaugh Florals will be launching a new line of floral perfumes for sale in retail outlets some time in the coming year. But if you want to experience their incredible floral perfumed creations now, you can only purchase them via the Eric Buterbaugh Florals website.
Buterbaugh and Croisé’s entrée into the perfumed marketplace is a welcome one. Their attention to detail and homage to classic perfumery, their keen eye of beauty, all mixed with incredible joie de vivre is a nice addition to the industry and I look forward what this duo introduces next. In the meantime however, I can’t decide which creation to spritz on first, Velvet with its vanilla kissed lavender smoothness or the sublime Regal and its beautiful classic take on tuberose. So many choices from the bouquet to choose from!
The Eric Buterbaugh Collection: 100ml Eau de Parfum for $300; $250ml (in crystal decanter) for $500. Sample collection of all seven of the perfumes, each in 10ml spray for $250. Of course, your very own scented rooster for $3,800. All available via the Eric Buterbaugh flagship store in West Hollywood or via the Eric Buterbaugh Florals website.