After 10 years dedicated to promoting tourism in France internationally, Romain Raimbault joined the GL events group in 2015 as part of the Omnivore team, a leading culinary festival and guide. He took over its direction in 2019, advocating for a responsible and virtuous vision of cuisine and expanding the festival throughout the country. In 2023, Romain embarked on the entrepreneurial path. On one hand, he supports local authorities and cultural stakeholders eager to develop meaningful new event formats; on the other hand, he joined the Nez event adventure alongside Dominique Brunel, Mathieu Chévara, and Jeanne Doré.
How did you get involved with perfume?
I come from the world of gastronomy and spent nine years working as the director of Omnivore, an international festival dedicated to food. I discovered olfactory culture thanks to Nez and was won over by the new approach to fragrances. I found the breakdown of the journey from plant to essence particularly fascinating!
How did the idea for Paris Perfume Week come about?
There was something missing in French perfumery: a specific focus on the fascinating personalities in the perfume world, and a space to promote discoveries and discussions. What we want to do is give the public the chance to physically encounter fragrances and the people involved in creating them. The challenge is to invent a new way of interacting with perfume.
What should we expect from this first edition of Paris Perfume Week?
It’s an event that is part trade fair, part festival. Around 50 international exhibitors will be there, as well as a stage to host 40 or so conferences over the course of the week, along with masterclasses given by leading figures in perfumery. Among other topics, we’ll be looking at young creators, research and olfactory culture.
What do you think will make this event stand out from the others?
We’re holding it in a place that’s different from the usual trade fair venues: the Bastille Design Center, which we’re turning into a giant cabinet of curiosities. The idea is also to create ties between different artistic spheres – perfume and film, fashion, music – which will be showcased to underline the fact that smells are everywhere and the sense of smell plays a decisive role in our lives.
What will the highlights be?
There’ll be lots of them! The event will host an exhibition celebrating 20 years of the brand Parfum d’empire and will feature an off-site program in partnership with the Fragrance Foundation France: Around 20 sales points will take the event out of the Bastille Design Center and into every part of Paris.
What vision of perfume does Paris Perfume Week want to cultivate?
It’s a demanding but accessible vision, inspired by the creative direction and editorial line that Nez has shaped, marked by openness to the general public, everyone who is curious or passionate about fragrances. The event’s name is Paris Perfume Week, but we’re inviting the whole world of olfactory culture to it.