Monsieur Hulot, the character created by French filmmaker Jacques Tati, was a man of few words. They simply weren’t needed in his world where music and mannerism could express so much. With virtually no vocabulary, Tati was able to comment on everything from Western society’s obsession with material possessions to France’s class structure and even the cold and often impractical nature of the space-age design that captured the public’s attention at the time.
Which makes me wonder how he would have responded to the Mr. Hulot’s Holiday scent created by Christopher Brosius for his company, CB I Hate Perfume. Brosius was previously known for his work at Demeter, which he founded, and whose scents gave the wearer the opportunity to smell like an idealized form of familiar, everyday aromas such as tomatoes, rain, or dirt.
With CB I Hate Perfume he takes that idea and moves it forward. Instead of a single scent an entire memory or experience is evoked. Fragrances such as In the Library, which conjures up “Russian and Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth and a hint of wood polish” or At The Beach 1966, whose “prime note…is Coppertone 1967 blended with a new accord I created especially for this perfume – North Atlantic. The base of the scent contains a bit of Wet Sand, Seashell, Driftwood and just a hint of Boardwalk. The effect, when you wear it, is as if you’ve been swimming all day in the ocean.”
For Mr. Hulot’s Holiday Brosius combined “the salty breath of the breeze off the Mediterranean, driftwood, rocks covered with seaweed and the smell of old leather suitcases”.
Tati said of his creation, “His principal defect is inattentiveness which makes him unsuited to our functional age. Everyone has a bit of Hulot in them”. Now thanks to Brosius everyone can have a little Hulot on them as well.