Where I do come from?
I'm Marta Garcia-Pons and I was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain. But I must be concrete, I was raised in a district of Barcelona called Guinardó. There aren't many houses here, I actually live in a penthouse (for what I'm very grateful, because I can have plants) and most of the people lives in flats. But not when I was little in my neighborhood, nop! I grow up in my great-grandmother's house, actually built by my g.gfather in 1921. Nothing extraordinary in those days but, nowadays, it would be something very privileged. Anyway... I grow up in a house in the middle of a city, and surrounded by the traffic sounds, was our garden, very big indeed. It was like an oasis of tranquility. My grandmother showed me how to take care of the garden and introduced me to the world of botanical perfumery, without even know it! If you add a boundless passion for perfumes and cosmetics... well, you can imagine. She had a lot of Myrurgia's stuff in her boudoir (one of the most greatest maisons of perfumery in this country) and I remember very clearly some things from those days... the fragrant of our mimosa tree when it was in bloom, the narcotic lullabies of our jasmine, the freshness of the lemons of our lemon tree, the roses, of course, and the powdery smell of Maderas de Oriente... almost like an ancient smelling jewel. My mother was a perfume lover too, she was the one who loves roses... Since I can remember I have played with odorant materials... flowers, woods, perfumed oils... A all-life-friend told me not long ago "you were always mixing oils"... so, I suppose that was the beginning.
Everything of what I just told you, vanished... The house was sold and the garden was gone. Then, a few years ago, when my mum passed away, I just felt I needed to be in contact with these emotions again, so, when the trend of DIY cosmetics arrived in here (cosmetics but not perfumery) I could reach for materials. However, what I could get here was very limited, so I started searching in other countries... and then... I searched and searched... and I discovered all the movement about Natural Perfumery in the US.
It was amazing for me. Nothing in here can compare... There are a few natural perfumers but there are not diffusion at all.
So I begun to make my mixes, they were something to smell, and, I suppose one day, they became perfumes... my closest and my circles of friends enjoy them... people ask about them... I went to Barcelona Activa, an institution that supports entrepreneurship to follow my dream. My project was selected and I had their help in my business plan. However, I couldn't legalize my perfumes because the legal requirements were too much for me in that moment...but, with the indemnity of my dismissal I could do something... A shop of raw materials for botanical perfumery.
I decided to take a "formal course", and I did. It was very hard to find (a lot of aromatherapy, but not perfumery), but I finally found a perfumista, here, in Spain who made workshops. He was very classical, and told me I will have it very complicated without Chemical career... but...I like complications, so I insist and insist in my search and I found a lot of courses in the US...Which one to choose was very complicated... Finally I decide to learn in NPA, lead by the kind and lovely Ruth Ruane. My mentor was the amazing, wonderful and wise Justine Crane (The Scented Djinn) and the charming Shelley Waddington (En Voyage Perfumes) teach us about natural isolates. Joining the NPA was very lucky for me. I learned a lot, I was surrounded by nice people and it was like discovering a whole new world... Justine has encouraged me a lot and give me the self confidence to keep the project on. She is always there and I feel blessed for that. I have no doubt choosing Natural Botanical Perfumery for my creations.
It's been very hard and difficult. Step by step I had increased my knowledge in the sector and, thanks to the Barcelona Beauty Clúster, another institution who has helped me, inviting me to different seminars related to cosmetic industry and I had some network with the sector.
Elephants and Flowers Botanicals
So, finally, Elephants and Flowers Botanicals is almost here (Oh! The lovely elephant is from the young artist Laurianne Macron, everybody loves it!). Maybe I will need a little more time, but it probably will be operative in a couple of months. We will sell raw materials, but we want to share what is Natural Botanical Perfumery in here! So I will start making workshops and courses and that will open a lot of doors to the people... not only for making their own perfume but for knowing about this art and the artists. It is a great tool for expressing and for letting go your creative, so this workshops may have several readings.
Based on the Japanese Shinrin Yoku relax technique, I had developed a project, and, with a group of therapists we are going to include natural odors in meditations (recreating the natural environment) and we will be offering this holistic experiences very soon.
As a Perfumer...
As for my creations, they will have to wait even a little more, but the project is starting. It had begin as Mistica Perfumes, but I have changed the name to La Louve the Nuit Perfumes... I don't know yet if the name will still being the same, but for sure they will be in the market, I hope in a reasonable lapse of time.
My influences and my tastes lead me to create oriental, spiced and opulent fragrances. I link the exotic resins, the sumptuous balsams and the enveloping and warm vanilla to sensuality, not just in a "sexual" way. The sensuality I want to express goes to the development of all the senses, and therefore it is a path to follow if you want to know yourself better. Anyway, I tend to create perfumes with a lot of presence. That's why understanding the history of Barcelona and Catalonian perfumery has helped me a lot to connect more with the local likes. This city has a lot of humidity in the air, and it is warm almost all year. People like hesperidian notes... because they want to feel freshness...and if we take a look into the local perfumery, we will find there is always a balance between heavy and light notes. Adding "Barcelona" as one more factor to count with when I'm formulating perfumes, has been a very good idea. So until the moment, I'm currently finalizing my own line, putting the finishing touches with all this in my palette.
Meanwhile, I have a project as a composer for an indie house, and I hope it will flourish.
My mentor, Justine, asked what was being a Natural Botanical perfumer for us... Perfume is a form of art, and, as any art, requires technique, practice and creativity... but when you reach to express a history or an image or a feeling with aromas it is marvelous. But, for me, it is even better when you use the words of mother nature... the elements are alive and the magic is the bottle, two plus two are five and your bench it's in an old alchemist atelier... what a feeling!