Reading Time: 6 minutes

When you think sometimes that everything was already created-and-said in the Perfumery industry, there is always someone to remind you that creativity has no limits. Here is Carine Lebrun, the creative mind behind OXYMORE PARFUMS. It is a new perfumery brand launching now and Carine Lebrun, its founder, accepted to play our exclusive interview game.

(Version Française ici)

LuxuryActivist (LA): Dear Carine, how did your passion for Perfumery start? What are your influences and what type of perfumery do you appreciate? What are your first olfactory memories?
Carine Lebrun (CL): I am passionate about perfumes and smells since my childhood. I remember once putting my nose on a bindweed flower in the street. I was just old enough to know it was a weed, so I wasn’t expecting much from it. But when I dipped my nose into it, I was immediately overwhelmed. I could feel an unexpected smell of marzipan, and I stayed immobile on it for a while, incredulous.

My grandfather had a small rock garden, in which he grew thyme, which he did not fail to crush between his fingers to make me smell it. I continued with the thuja next to it, and took the habit to smell everything! Little by little, I began to make the connection between the smells, without having too much explanation of their common points at that time (rose and lychee, tangerine and thyme).

A little later, I collected the scent gums of our childhood, then the fragrance small samples, before trying my hand at formulation by mixing different fragrances, to which I added some herbs and cooking spices. The result was inconclusive, but it took more to discourage me! Each perfume has inhabited me and left traces, which emerge without my necessarily being conscious of it. I have the constant desire to innovate, but of course, the perfume culture that I have forged for myself impacts my creations.

Sensitive, I store references of all types (visual, cinematographic, literary, smells of everyday life, and people I meet ). I believe all of this is brewing in the corner of my head and spurting out as I create. I appreciate the original scents, which are invitations to travel, making you dream, with an assumed character, which tell stories. I like it when the notes “heckle”, jostle each other while registering in overall harmony. And beautiful raw materials are important!

LA: Today you are launching OXYMORE and its three Eaux de Parfum. What were your motivations for going freelance now?
After 20 years of developing fragrances internationally on all types of projects, I have spent the last few years working more specifically on niche projects. I have been fortunate enough to create fragrances for great brands, and the urge to “make my babies” has grown.


LA: How to describe OXYMORE, the creative process, who are the talents behind these fragrances, and what type of client are they intended?
OXYMORE is a brand of luxury perfumes, alternative, sober and subversive at the same time, based on unexpected and harmonious contrasts. Regarding the creative process, for Blond Tenebreux for example, I was inspired by the ambivalence of a film character, and I developed it by focusing on a French celebrity whom I would like her to see wearing it. For Tendresse Cruelle, it was another film character that inspired me.

Regarding the Oud, I wanted to make a different Oud. Making an Oxymoron with the Oud was not easy; the Oud is conveying the notion of preciousness. I then looked at its origin, Asia Pacific, and decided to go to the other side of the globe, to design an Oud that would be Atlantic, and therefore marine! For the formulation of these three Eaux de Parfum, I wanted to collaborate with a talented Perfumer: Fabrice Olivieri – Parfumologie.

I remember our meeting at the beginning of my training at Cinquième Sens: I had a profound admiration of his excellent taste, and especially of his talent as a Perfumer: he made me feel some of his compositions at the time, so beautiful and original. that I still remember 20 years later. I appreciate his approach to perfumery, he is also a true perfume lover, and I appreciate his compositions’ timeless and qualitative aspect!

LA: We see that you immediately launched e-commerce along with your brand. Some brands have been slow to do this. Why was that important to you?
We are witnessing a real boom in perfume purchases via e-commerce, and even more so in the current context. It seemed essential to me that customers be able to have access to Eau de Parfum in this way.

LA: What is your vision of the perfume market today, and how do you stand out with OXYMORE PARFUMS?
The number of niche perfumes has exploded over the last decade to meet a demand from consumers tired of seeing too many “copycats” in traditional perfumeries and, seeing a “collapse” of the fragrance after the surge top notes. It was for these niche brands to offer more qualitative and original fragrances. Today, the same phenomenon is reproducing with the niche perfume sector, which is also saturated. With OXYMORE, my wish is to surprise, inspire dreams, and offer quality Eaux de Parfums. I want to create perfumes that tell stories, with pretty notes that don’t disappoint in the heart and the base.


LA: Do you have any projects for OXYMORE in the near future that you can share with us?
I would like OXYMORE to be established in Paris, in Province, in Europe, and elsewhere! In terms of product development, I have many ideas for the future, particularly creating an ingredients range that would include Oud Atlantique.

LA: What can we wish you for the future?
For me as for everyone, a more lenient context. And I would like to continue to reach perfume lovers, aesthetes, enthusiasts, dreamers, poets!

Luxuryactivist warmly thanks Carine Lebrun for her time and wish her all the best for her future endeavours. Do not hesitate to visit OXYMORE official website:

José Amorim
Information sourced by the author for All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. Images are for illustration purposes only.