Meet Celine Roux, the fragrance artist

Talented, intelligent and beautiful (both inside and out) Celine Roux is the Head of Global Fragrance, Jo Malone London. Not only is she super creative and passionate about her work, she also is extremely warm and open hearted. Read on as she talks beauty, style and also reveals her famous chocolate cake recipe. 

What is your first memory of fragrance?
From my childhood I clearly remember the taste and smell of a Navette, which is a sweet pastry from Marseilles with a delicious orange flower taste. Our latest fragrance Basil & Neroli includes Neroli Essence from the Orange Blossom tree, which in some ways reminds me of this memory.  We all have an olfactive memory when it comes to scent.

When did you first think of becoming a perfumer? Was it a childhood dream or something that happened because of fate?
My grandfather imported flowers and spices into Grasse for perfumery, so it feels like it’s in my blood. 

What inspires you when you think of creating a new perfume?
I am so lucky that that my role allows me to travel as I am constantly finding inspiration in new cities and landscapes not only through scents and ingredients but also local traditions.   

Our brand is British and this naturally is our biggest source of inspiration. From fashion to art, history to photography.  For example Peony & Blush Suede took inspiration from Cecils Beaton’s mid-century ballroom – the wildly extravagant flowers and couture. For Wood Sage and Sea Salt our starting point was the windswept wildness of the British Coast.

What fragrances are you wearing these days from Jo Malone London?
Myrrh & Tonka is currently my go to, it’s so alluring and sensual. For the day I tend to combine this with Wood Sage & Sea Salt to bring the clean crisp freshness of the English Coast. During the week I tend to leave my skin clean as I am always trying new samples of fragrances we are working on. 

What scents and smells did you find inspiring in India?
Last year I traveled around India a little and this led me to the inspiration to a new fragrance. I obviously cannot give much away but I came back from my trip feeling so inspired by the amazing spices and florals. Some of my favourite ingredients to work with are spices or herbs… usually things you can also cook with, I find it interesting that these can be used so differently in perfumery. 

What is beauty according to you?
Being comfortable in your skin is really the most beautiful thing. 

I've heard that your chocolate cake is divine - may I please have the recipe?
Of course. 
1. Firstly pre heat your oven to 180°C
2. Slowly melt and heat 200g of quality dark chocolate (Nestle Dessert ideally) with 160g slightly salted butter – let it cool
3. Add 150/160g sugar
4. Separate the yolk and whites of 5 eggs. Add the yolks and whisk up the egg whites to create soft peaks
5. Add 1 or 2 large tablespoons of plain flour
6. Add the zest of 1 orange or sometimes I use a handful or two of crushed walnuts instead
7. Bake in grease proof dish for 22mins at 180°C

You have such great skin and hair - how do you take care of it? 
I never dry hair and I swear by Aveda products; the Damage Remedy™ Reconstructing Conditioner is an absolute must and I use the whole Be Curly™ collection for styling.
My daily skin routine includes La Mer for cleansing and moisturising. I also use the Jo Malone London Vitamin E Gel as a weekly treatment. I do also love the Glam Glow face masks. 


What are the three things about beauty that you know as a Frenchwoman? 
1. Drink lots of water
2. I don’t feel right until I have applied the Jo Malone London Dry Body Oil
3. I always wear one piece of statement jewellery

Rumour is that you're making an India-inspired fragrance. Can you give us a hint about what we can expect? 
It’s true, when I travelled to India last year I came away with a lot of inspiration with all the amazing scents of spices and flowers but one ingredient in particular really captured me, it allowed me to create a fragrance I have been keen to work on for some time. The wait is nearly over so I won’t give anything else away.  

Read my column on Jo Malone in The Hindu here
Jo Malone is now open at The Palladium, Mumbai.