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Pierre Guguen

France

“I decided to try and give more emotion and maybe a new experience to the people that were coming to see us on stage. So, I went to see one of my friends, who was a perfumer and I asked her let’s make the perfume of a song.”

Entrepreneurial stories come in many different shapes and styles, but they all have that one element in common: finding inspiration that turns your dream into reality.

Pierre’s entrepreneurial journey started when he moved to Barcelona. He had studied marketing in Paris and quickly found a job working for a well-known perfume company. Working there, Pierre was privileged to be in contact with some of the best designers, perfumers and fashion icons in his sector. He loved the role and developed a real passion for perfumes. However, it was another one of his passions which pushed Pierre into starting out on his own.

Whilst studying Pierre also played in a number of bands and he carried on doing this in Barcelona, however he sometimes found language a real barrier in the way the audience experienced the music, so he resolved to find a solution, something new and experiential. Pierre asked one of his friends who was a perfume designer to create a fragrance that could tell the story of their song. At their next concert, Pierre made the people smell the fragrance while listening to the music and the crowd’s reaction was just amazing.

“The crowd told us they loved the new experience, it then I realised that the synergies between perfume and music were real and that we had to dig deeper into this.”

After almost a decade working in perfumery, Pierre decided it’s time to take a leap of faith and started his own company, L’Orchestre Parfum was born. Pierre’s brand combines music and fragrance to deliver unique experiences for people attending events and various functions.

Like many new entrepreneurs, Pierre initially found the transition from working in an office to starting up his own business very daunting. Pierre explains: "When you work in an office you are always surrounded by your co-workers and that gives you a certain rhythm.”

Fortunately he had enough experience to know he needed to find help. He then began attending events and meetings about starting and developing a business. Whilst attending a conference in Paris, Pierre was introduced to Positive Planet France, Youth Business International‘s member in France, in partnership with the Citi Foundation.

Pierre discussed his business plan with individuals who were able to help him develop a clear strategy for every stage of his business. He found the advice, skills training and financial support that Positive Planet were able to provide incredibly valuable and knows they played a crucial role in the success of his company. 

For Pierre, the best part of starting his own business has been the opportunity of creating jobs and contributing to the local community. Helping young people get their first job is one of the driving forces behind his entrepreneurial aspiration. The uniqueness of Pierre’s business idea is another source of motivation, for not only does he get to combine two of his greatest passions, perfume and music, but he also gets to create a unique product that can successfully fill in a gap in the market.

Looking back at the challenges he faced in the early stages of setting up a business, Pierre thinks every entrepreneur must: 

“Find the right partners and advisors to help you. Also, before you start your business be sure you know the market and share your idea with people you trust.”

Positive Planet France is part of the Youth Business Europe programme, a regional initiative supported by the Citi Foundation to help young entrepreneurs to start or grow a business.

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