The luckiest of children are those who are freshly-bathed nightly and tucked into bed by a grandparent, preferably one who smells like lilacs and tells bedtime stories of good children and bad children and children who are rewarded with sweet oranges and mangos and juicy pineapple.
If your childhood includes such idyllic nocturnal scenes, then you'll appreciate the motivation behind Make Perfume Not War, a limited edition fragrance created by Gérald Ghislain, the perfumer and founder of Histoires de Parfums.
"A fragrance manifesto for childhood, peace, and sharing," Make Perfume Not War is Ghislain's first charity-oriented fragrance, with a donation of $50 to children's charities for each bottle sold.
Make Perfume Not War opens with a citrus punch - like a squirt of grapefruit or pomelo right to the face that makes you smile. The orange and lemon is followed by a tropical fruit salad of peaches, mangos, and pineapple. You can almost taste the juice dribbling down your chin.
An ode to childhood summers of fresh fruit and cut flowers, Ghislain has created a fragrance that replicates the olfactory memories of a summer's evening when the sun has not quite set - and yet still it's your bedtime. The windows are open, a stalk of pink freesia on the bureau. You finish a glass of milk and kiss your grandparent who leaves behind a trail of lilac and musk. The taste of milk mingles with a hint of vanilla as your head sinks deeper onto the pillow.
Customers making a purchase of Make Perfume Not War choose one of five different areas of charity for children, including education, arts, sport, technology, and microcredit. The children's charities focus on projects such as the building of playgrounds, microcredit for mothers, and the purchase of bicycles for cycling to school.
A limited edition of 1,000 bottles, each bottle of Make Perfume Not War is identified with a number on the Yves Klein blue label. The first and last bottles of the unisex fragrance will be auctioned on November 20, 2013 in celebration of Children's Rights Day, with all proceeds going to charity.
Make Perfume Not War is not the first time that Ghislain has focused his fragrance acumen on childhood and imagination. Working alongside perfumer Magali Sénéquier, Ghislain also created the gourmand line Alice & Peter, an olfactory homage to the youthful protagonists of Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Irresistible and fun, the Alice & Peter fragrances represent our inherent duality: the desire to witness the world deep within the rabbit hole, while also forever remaining a child.
A father of four, Ghislain utilizes the words of Mahatma Gandhi to introduce his new charity-based fragrance project: "If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children."
Founded in 2000, Histoires de Parfums has been synonymous with luxury and creativity - and now with altruism. Make Perfume Not War is Ghislain's idea of perfume as a call to action, complete with a pop-up installation on rue du Roi Doré in Paris.
For many aficionados of Histoires de Parfums' collection of perfumes based on illustrious characters, a Ghislain fragrance is often the next best thing to time travel – and a fine way to live out the fantasy “If you could live in another epoch, what would it be?”
With Make Perfume Not War, Ghislain offers a return to childhood, while enabling children in need to have one.