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An Interview with Perfumer Christelle Laprade

“It is not by chance that everything has a scent,” says Christelle LaPrade, explaining that for as long as she can remember, she wanted to know how and why the objects, places, and people around her smelled the way they did. With an innate desire to explore the spectrums within spectrums of scents, and her ability to practically apply the depths of her knowledge, it is also not by chance that her creations display the magnetism and intricacy of a master. As a perfumer at Symrise, Christelle has collaborated with MIND GAMES’ creative team and their CEO, Alex Shalbaf, to compose fragrances that are beautifully layered and intensely alluring. 

Perfumer Christelle Laprade at a fragrance event, and enjoying the Wisteria in Central Park, NY 

Born in the south of France, where her inquisitive nose and natural talent were given endless opportunities to develop, Christelle wasted no time documenting the way things smelled, and more importantly, recognizing how those things made her feel.  A hint of a familiar smell can do magic; transporting a person through time, or unlocking a memory long forgotten, and Christelle was determined to capture that magic.  A visit to a local career center towards the end of her high school studies led her to apply and gain acceptance to the International Institute of Perfumery, Cosmetics & Fragrances, where she studied under revered masters such as Isabell Douyan, Maurice Roucel, and Dominique Ropion.  

Surrounded by such incredible talent, and peers who were also passionate for the olfactive sciences, Christelle approached her education with joy and enthusiasm, feeling she had finally found what she called, “her universe.” The lessons learned in those years would ring true throughout her career, and she credits her training and classmates with widening her horizons and showing her the more complete picture contained within every raw material. Bringing thoughtfulness, realism, and intrigue to everything she creates, Christelle sets out to deliver fragrances that elicit feeling and create sensation.  

Christelle smelling flowers with her brother in the South of France

With the knowledge and experience of her education, Christelle’s natural talent as a perfumer shone, and for over two decades Christelle has worked with clients on everything from smaller, niche brands, to established luxury fragrances, never failing to infuse each project with her personal style and unique perspective. Her experience and personality is a perfect fit for MIND GAMES, and a true partnership was born out of creating scents that merged our vision with her expertise.  

The playfulness in each scent is matched only by her savvy, sending you on a journey through brilliant juxtapositions of light and dark, hard and soft, modern and timeless. She draws inspiration from travel and nature, but also flavors, trends of all kinds, and the people she meets, continuously challenging herself to tell their stories through scents that compel and transfix your attention.  

Christelle testing the vetiver and the vanilla orchids at the Symrise outpost in Madagascar

An important aspect for each project Christelle works on, and a fundamental value at both MIND GAMES and Symrise, is a commitment to creating our fragrances in an ethical and sustainable way.  Inspired by today’s youth and compelled to safeguard their future, Christelle views sustainable methods of production in any industry as not only the right thing to do, but the imperative thing to do, and she is proud to work with companies who are supporting farmers, using upcycled materials, and growing and harvesting raw materials with the future in mind.  

Moving forward, Christelle will continue to play a vital role in the creation and development of new fragrances, expanding the MIND GAMES line and pushing her creative boundaries to great success.