Olivier Cresp on the road in Grasse in a Mercedes-Benz 190 SL from 1957.

Mercedes-Benz VIP Club Collection: journey in fragrance.

Mercedes-Benz has launched a collection of five new perfumes signed by Master Perfumers in the industry. One of them is Olivier Cresp. Guest feature by Miguel Matos,

Mastering perfection.

Some perfumes take us on a mental journey through memories and emotions. And there are others that can take us to physical places in search of inspiration and beauty. Mercedes-Benz has created a collection of no less than five new perfumes signed by Master Perfumers in the industry.

Glass containers with raw materials and lavender.

The names involved in the creation of the Mercedes-Benz VIP Club Collection are among those on a very short list of fragrance composers in the world who have decades of experience – a long list of absolute bestsellers for the biggest perfume brands. They also have unquestionable expertise in mastering and combining fragrant raw materials.

Olivier Cresp, the man behind the Mercedes-Benz VIP Club Collection fragrance Infinite Spicy, in a lavender field.

On the scent of the Master Perfumer.

Thus Mercedes-Benz decided to follow in the footsteps of one of these Master Perfumers: Olivier Cresp, the nose behind Infinite Spicy, the dark red bottle within the Mercedes-Benz VIP Club Collection. This collection of signature fine fragrances is also comprised of the scents Addictive Oriental by Alberto Morillas, Black Leather by Honorine Blanc, Energetic Aromatic by Annie Buzantian and Pure Woody by Harry Fremont.

Grasse – the world capital of perfume.

So what better place to embark on such a journey of fragrant discovery than Grasse? This small medieval village in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southern France is the world capital and birthplace of perfume. All of the roads up to the village on the hill are beautiful paths leading to captivating scent, while the lavender fields and surroundings promise more beautiful aromas.

View over the rooftops of Grasse.

It is also the French village where Olivier Cresp grew up. His roots are there. Olivier and Mercedes-Benz get together in Grasse where he shows us the narrow streets of this village where perfume is culture. In fact, perfume is everywhere and walking around with Olivier Cresp we can smell jasmine here and there. The occasional wafts of lavender and rose are no strangers in Grasse.

A view of perfume.

But Olivier Cresp’s creation in the Mercedes-Benz VIP Club Collection, Infinite Spicy, is not a floral one. The name is spicy and the scent is true to the name. Olivier, one of the best top perfumers in the world, is a very approachable person. His perfume for the collection reflects his view of perfume: always striking the balance between originality and commercial appeal. Infinite Spicy takes on a gourmand style, which is one of Olivier Cresp’s signatures. After all, he is the mind (and the nose) behind Thierry Mugler Angel, the “father-perfume” of all gourmand fragrances. A gourmand fragrance is one that reproduces “edible” smells from desserts and other confectionary sweet products. This is achieved by combining natural and synthetic raw materials. Infinite Spicy is Olivier’s response to the challenge of creating a contemporary “fougère”.

Raw materials for the production of perfume.
Historical flacons.

Not conservative, but deep.

Fougère is the name given to perfumes that smell “fern-like”, using elements such as coumarin, extracted from tonka beans, alongside aromatic herbs. It is mostly associated with masculine fragrances and the designation derives from the first perfume created in this style, Fougère Royale, by Houbigant, in 1882. For Infinite Spicy, the result is an oriental fougère, not very typical nor conservative, but rather deep, modern and sexy with a gourmand touch but without being sweet. Infinite Spicy is a tart and peppery perfume, verging between the freshness of black pepper, anis and cardamom and the warmth of ambery/woody notes. Even juniper and ginger contribute to this tingling effect. The secret to success is in the balance of the ingredients.

The DNA of Grasse.

With nearly a hundred perfumes to his name, Cresp is the creator of several other fine fragrances for Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz Perfume, Mercedes-Benz Perfume Intense, Mercedes-Benz Club and Mercedes-Benz Man. So the perfumes of this premium car brand already had Olivier’s DNA, and therefore also the DNA of Grasse. While walking through the gardens of the Musée International de la Parfumerie, we witness Olivier’s passion for plants and flowers. Together with Olivier we visit the offices and labs at Firmenich, the place where the Mercedes-Benz perfumes are created and manufactured, and also where all the raw materials are investigated and extracted in line with high standards of innovation.

Olivier Cresp at the market.

Olivier gives us a selection of raw materials to smell and guess their origin. In his own way he is teaching us how to really understand what he does and the mechanics of perfume chemistry. A journey through the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France, a mental journey through perfume, an opportunity to share emotions and the origins of a fine fragrance, experiencing and learning from a master perfumer. All of this culminates in a beautifully designed bottle full of fragrant promises: Infinite Spicy.

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