Pauline Rochas—the granddaughter of fashion maven and fragrance creator Hélène Rochas—and Carole Beaupré, longtime Hamptons residents and the duo behind the new scent, Le Premier Parfum, talk about love of the Hamptons, fragrance and photography.
You’re longtime East End residents. What attracted you to East Hampton in particular?
East Hampton to us is beautiful. Its light, its energy, its history, its pristine land and waters…you get everything!
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and Coolife?
Seventeen years ago we met and discovered that we not only shared a love of design, fine art, music and photography, but a tendency toward perfectionism, a wry sense of humor, and a visual sensibility predicated on classic compositions and boundary-breaking concepts. On the strength of that partnership, we founded our still life and beauty photography studio, Coolife. From state-of-the-art imaging to flawless, full-service retouching, we bring unparalleled quality to one-stop production services. Plus, a comfortable full-service studio environment. Throughout the years we’ve garnered international recognition as a result of campaign work for clients including Elizabeth Arden, Estée Lauder, Prescriptives, Origins, Lancôme, L’Oréal, Chantecaille, Essie, 7Up, Cuervo, Moët & Chandon, Grey Goose, Smirnoff, Shiseido, Nicole Miller, Furla, David Yurman, and Reebok.
Given your backgrounds in photography, do you find yourself inspired by the Hamptons? Do you shoot a specific area frequently?
Yes, we love shooting on Gerard Drive [in East Hampton]—the bay is so beautiful—we have the most incredible collection of sunrises. We love the nature, foxes, different species of birds, deer, wild turkeys, swans, and the purity of the water. After Sandy we remember picking up oysters and sea scallops in Accabonac Harbor with our own hands while paddleboarding, it was unplanned and so cool.
When did the idea for a fragrance first come about?
Two years ago, but it was always in the back of our heads. It happened very organically. The need to register sensuality in the olfactory dimension, but also to balance the second chakra attached to sensuality. We both had experienced the healing properties of essential oils through shamanism, yoga, etc.…Le Premier was conceived with attraction in mind to act like a pheromone—in the way plants produce essential oils to lure pollinators with their irresistible fragrance.
How did you set out to put your dream of creating a fragrance in motion?
In a spiritual way—after my grandmother passed away, we met Patricia Choux (the nose) and Marc Atlan (the packaging designer) both French, who loved our idea and collaborated on this creative project of creating Le Premier Parfum.
What were some of the biggest challenges?
Finding vendors that would meet the need of a start-up company with a first limited run (production under 1,000 bottles) rather than 50,000 or 100,000.
Can you tell us a little bit about the notes that make up the perfume?
Woodsy, floral, and oriental. It’s nonconventional—there is no base, no heart, no top notes—it was created as a contemporary intellectual piece of art. We used only seven ingredients. We also noticed that nobody had approached chakras in perfumes and felt the need to help people balance their chakras.