The Scent of Success


Ramdane Touhami, the man who revived candlemakers Cire Trudon before launching his new scent and skincare brand Buly 1803, reveals his golden rules of brand-building...

Featured in the Senses Issue


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For me it’s always this obsession of trying to do the best thing, which makes my life much more complicated. If you are making something, you become a slave to that thing, and you have no choice but to do your best.

There is a fantastic word in Japanese: ‘honmono’. It means ‘the real product’: the guy who created it is happy about it; the guy who produced it is happy to produce it; the guy who buys it is happy to buy it; the guy who sells it is happy to sell it. Everyone is happy. If that happens, then success is guaranteed!

People say they’re always busy today, but there are lots of people in offices who suddenly became busy when Facebook and Instagram were invented.

For Buly, I have decided to have one canvas that I cannot go beyond and the 19th century is my canvas. So that limits me in terms of my creativity, but within this canvas you have to be megacreative.

If you go into an area of expertise where you’re doing exactly the same as other people, I’m not interested. I want to change things.

I’m the guy who put jars over candles. Everyone does that now: I invented it! It was to protect the candles from dust. It wasn’t for the smell; that came after. We went to a dinner party and I saw this jar over the cheese and I asked if I could borrow it, because I had an idea. And now everyone does it. But that’s fine. It proves it was a good idea.

Look at nail polish: people have done it the same way since the Sixties. It works, people buy it, so no one changes the formula. But for me it’s a disaster. First of all, it smells! So we found a paint with no smell, and it has become a revolution.

I call marketing ‘the cancer’.
It’s metastasis. We don’t have a marketing office here.

People may not take you seriously at the start if you do things differently. But five years later, everyone is copying you!