Scent is a finicky thing. Nicolas Cloutier, a Quebec City transplant now living in Paris, knows that personal fragrance is not something to be sniffed at. With a marketing degree from HEC Montréal in his pocket and his heart on his sleeve, the 37-year-old entrepreneur opened Nose, a one-of-a-kind perfume concept store that’s catching wind in the City of Light and beyond.
The concept at Nose is based on their inventive perfume-recommendation technology. To do this, Cloutier worked for two and a half years to qualify some 6,000 perfumes and develop an algorithm that “defines the olfactory portrait of a person.”
Part of the data assumes one’s date of birth and, even more significant, the last three fragrances worn. Five scents are then presented to you, which you rate from minus five to five. “Five is you want to take a shower with it. Minus five, you hate it like hell,” says Cloutier, who is the front man of a group of seven founders. From this, another five fragrances are fine-tuned just for you. The results are “not an end point, but a starting point.”
The beauty of Nose, at 20 rue Bachaumont, is that customers can walk out with a fragrance as individual as they are, making their selection from about 45 niche brands, such as Creed, Miller et Bertaux, and Juliette Has a Gun (created by one of Cloutier’s partners, Romano Ricci—grandson of Robert Ricci, the founder of Nina Ricci fragrance). Underlining the luxury in such a service, Cloutier connects the dots between fragrance and fashion, painting the image of 100 people in a restaurant with 30 of them wearing the same outfit. “Wouldn’t it look strange?” he asks. Indeed it would.