The Olfactive

An Artisan Craft Perfumery

A interview

Kenneth Grand

  • Can you speak about the team that creates the brand and your roles?

I have been making natural products for over 30 years. I first started with a friend and his father making soap in a garage in West Los Angeles. The team has changed a lot over the years. Sarabecca grew out of a revelation working with natural fragrance at Earth Science Naturals. Creating a great natural perfume hadn’t been possible before, because of the limitations of pure essential oils. As interest in natural fragrances grew, advancements made the creation of natural fragrance essences possible. Because of this, it was finally possible to create better fragrances. My wife and I were interested in working with fragrance suppliers to create a fine natural fragrance and Sarabecca was the result of that quest. While I am not the nose, I am the conductor of the brand. I own and run a larger beauty and personal care products business, Earth Science Naturals. Sarabecca is an entrepreneurial project that is almost exclusively myself, but as the brand grows, the team and staff will evolve. For now, I am very hands-on in the brand, from creating the fragrance to packaging creation, to even filling bottles.

  • Are there any scent memories from growing up that you all are still drawn to?

I have always been drawn to fragrance. I remember being young and going into my mom’s bathroom and mixing-up my mom’s perfumes. That was my first dabbling in perfumery. Smell has just always been a powerful part of my sensory life. I remember fragrances as well as a picture or sequence of events. Working with fragrance, my sense of smell has gotten keener and keener. I have to remember that I can smell things that others can’t, even emotions such as fear. I can smell emotions on people.

  • How did your career or journey into the fragrance world begin?

Fragrance was a large part of my first company, Alba Botanica. Part of what made that brand was the fragrance. I started out making soaps, then gravitated to skincare and fragrance because it is more artistic. My interests have always drawn me to fragrance because it’s creative, and I am naturally inclined towards things that are imaginative.

 

  • What are the changes that you have seen in the fragrance industry over the past years?

The biggest change is the sector that I am a part of and the shift towards natural, and I hope to be a key part of the movement of making really great fragrances. The ability to make quality and diverse fragrance wasn’t possible before and I now have a chance for that.

  • Can you talk about the brand, how it began and its themes?

The brand started by smelling fragrance blends for a skincare product. The fragrance was reminiscent of a perfume. The idea of creating a natural perfume brand began to resonate. I became more and more intrigued and began to sketch ideas. My sketches were mainly of trees

and flowers. The more I thought about the brand, I realized that running a larger company gave me less of an ability to be involved. As an artist and former carpenter, I wanted the project to be my artisan craft, personal and intimate. This idea deeply resonated with me. I thought about it, and the things that came to mind were my daughters, Sara and Becca, the brand’s namesakes. The art on the original perfume package was from a painting in my house and, to me, that just seemed right. The brand is a reflection of the things that really exist in my life. I want the brand to be true, real and embedded with the creativity and life of the people involved.

  • Can you speak more about the process of creating a scent?

I work with a very fine perfumer. The process starts with expressing an idea, then letting the artist create freely. Enabling artists to create their work is a key part of the process.

  • What do you think makes fragrance such a large part of people’s life?

Fragrance is one of our animal senses, conjuring memories, moments and emotions. It helps us to find food, mates and as such, plays a really important part in our primal experience and works directly in our pleasure receptors.

  • Do you have any new projects that you are planning for the future?

Sarabecca is a creative enterprise and, therefore, we’ll always be creating and developing new fragrances. Because of my skincare experience, we’ll undoubtedly add body care to the line. My goal for Sarabecca is for it to be eternally fun and inspiring.

  • Lastly, is there anything else that you would like to share?

I am glad that natural is starting to make its way into the fragrance world. I really appreciate the work that other perfumers are doing in natural and hope that together we can make natural perfume a very robust part of the fragrance world.

  • Where can we find your scents?

Sarabecca is available on our website, sarabecca.com, and will be available in a variety of other locations such as spas, boutiques and select natural product retailers soon.

  • We may start at the beginning, has scent always been a large part of your life?

Yes, I’m grown surrounded by perfumes. My parents had a small perfumery in Turin when I was a kid and I went often there. I smelled all the perfumes in the store and in the warehouse.

  • Are there any scent memories from growing up that you are still drawn to?

Yes, the milk and coffee of my breakfast when I was a child. The grass of the football field (I have played soccer longtime), some perfumes of my parent’s store. I remember Kouros, a powerful scent.Yes, the milk and coffee of my breakfast when I was a child. The grass of the football field (I have played soccer longtime), some perfumes of my parent’s store. I remember Kouros, a powerful scent.

  • How did your career or journey into the fragrance world begin?

At the age of 21, I’ve started to work as a sale rep in the world of perfumery. I’ve done it for 11 years. Then Lancaster Group (Davidoff, Chopard perfumes…)has offered to me to become a trade marketing manager, a role that I’ve covered for 3 years and then I’ve been the general manager of Orlane. In 2001 I’ve created with my wife the Kaon, a distribution company specialized in niche brands.

  • What inspires you?

Almost everything. A picture (Kashnoir) , a word (Patchouliful) , a trip (Cozumel, Alkemi). The most important thing is to be attentive, to try to catch what is around you, what happens to you. To look at your life trying to be permeable. It’s an attitude.

  • Can you share words about the projects that you have created?

Wow, so many perfumes…. I can tell you about Patchouliful. This perfume is born for a word that I’ve found in the web, at Urban Dictionary, in 2010. The word of July 21, 2010, was Patchouliful that means “more than beautiful, the pinnacle of beauty” I’ve loved the word and I’ve decided to create a Patchouli perfume with this name. Easier to say than to do. It takes 3 years to have the right one thankful to Cecile Zarokian that has been able to understand the way we wanted to have our Patchouli. The king of Patchouli, a hippy king.

  • What is your view of the fragrance world and how it is changing?

If we talk about niche we’re now in a big change. Too many brands, too many points of sale, too many distributors. All this means a decrease in the quality of the offer and the risk is that we can lose the customers that were approaching our market. I see too many brands that are not coherent. Not creative scents and not quality ones in nice bottles sold at a huge price. The price is a very important issue and we’ve always to respect the consumer.

  • What is view your advice to anyone seeking to follow their creative side?

As I’ve written above, is very important to be attentive, to try to catch what is around, trying to be permeable. I didn’t think to be creative, I’ve discovered my expression of creativity with the perfumes and now I love to look at everything in a different way, with the curious eyes of a kid.

  • Can you speak on your companies and brands?

We’ve 3 companies. Two are distribution companies, Kaon, and Kaon Cosmetics. The Kaon is focused on niche perfumes and Kaon Cosmetics in skin care. Then we have the Kaon Lab that creates perfumes. Actually, in Kaon Lab, we create Laboratorio Olfattivo, Jacques Zolty and one private label for an important Italian store.

  • Finally, how may we find your brand and is there anything else that you would like to say?

Well, the brand now is in 30 countries in the world. We’ve distributors in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, South Korea; we work with agents in France, Spain and Portugal and we sell directly to stores in many other countries the USA, England, Ireland, Thailand, Philippines, Romania, Poland, and others. We’re present in perfumeries, concepts stores, fashion stores, where the passion of the perfume can make love our creations.

Interview With

Loreto Remsing

 

  • What is your background?

I am completely self-taught, I started making perfume about 18 years ago while studying aromatherapy. I was collecting essential oils and learning about their healing properties. I stumbled upon the rare and precious oils which were more in line with the spiritual and sublime realm of aromatherapy. While immersing myself in these practices, I discovered and read many texts on the traditional extraction methods used by herbalists and perfumers of the past before the advent of synthetic perfumery.

At first, I only made natural perfumes but soon began introducing fragrance oils into some formulas in order to add mixed-media perfumes to my line. About 5 years ago, I began exploring the world of aroma chemicals and began making my own synthetic key accords, completely eliminating fragrance oils from my formulas.

  • Was fragrance a large part of your life growing up?

Fragrance has always been a huge part of my life, since childhood. When I was 5 years old, I asked my parents to buy me the Barbie Perfume Making Kit but they declined. I also tried my hand at boiling rose petals in a futile attempt to make perfume. I was obsessed with scratch n' sniff stickers, scented erasers, Strawberry Shortcake dolls and the flowers I'd pick on my way home from school (velvety deep purple petunias, golden daffodils, white watsonias, roses, etc.) When I was a teenager, I started wearing and collecting perfume, hoarding bath oil pearls, soaps, lotions, and incense cones.

  • What are some of the things that you were involved in before the perfume world?

I studied graphic design because I've always loved drawing and making art. I also grew up in a crafty household where I learned to knit and sew at a young age. My dad is a farmer and my mom has a green thumb so that played a huge role in my love of natural things and gardening. 

  • Where are you located and does the local culture reflect in your work in any way?

I lived in San Francisco for about 17 years but moved up north to Marin a couple of years ago. I would say that the local culture is definitely reflected in my work. I am constantly inspired by the natural beauty of the Bay Area, as well as the vibrant diversity of our local people, the art and music scenes, and of course, the DIY movement that has exploded in the last decade.

  • Starting something new can be hard, can you talk about the process that you took to learn how to create perfume?

As I mentioned above, I learned how to create perfume by reading books, experimenting and through lots of trial and error. For me, perfumery is an art as well as science unless you want to work as a chemist at one of the major perfume manufacturing companies. You don't need to have formal training, just a lot of passion. There is a lot of information out there available to the novice perfumer, on the internet and via books. You have to be a sponge and soak it all up. Many perfumes, like myself, teach workshops and classes which are crash courses in blending techniques. Everyone has their own methods, but it's up to you to figure out what type of perfumery you want to learn and seek out the appropriate information you need to get started.

  • If you were not a perfumer what would you be doing?

That is a great question. If I weren't a perfumer, I would probably be a fine artist or calligrapher. 

  • Growing your brand, can you talk about both the difficulties and also the wins that you had as you grew the L’Aromatica Perfume brand?
    In the beginning, the difficulties I encountered in growing my brand were balancing my graphic design career and family responsibilities. After burning out in the corporate sector as a freelance designer, I lived off my savings for a year to figure out what my next venture would be. Since I loved perfuming, I decided to give that a chance to see if I could make a career out of it. I have tip-toed my way forward with the brand, never taking any huge risks, just growing it little by little and getting it to a point where it can sustain itself. 

  • Do you have any other things that you would like to share?

I do want to express my gratitude to all of the wonderful artisan and indie perfumers I've met through the years who have been so supportive throughout this journey. I've always been extremely shy but was fortunate enough to have been coaxed out of my comfort zone and thrust into a network of amazing perfumers and fragrance lovers who have inspired me encouraged me, and that I have the privilege of calling my friends.

Loreto

Al Faransi® is a perfume house founded in 1434(H) - 2013(CE) by the French perfumer Abdul Karim Al Faransi.

Specializing in oriental fragrances, the brand has been quickly distinguished by its quality offering of fine and rare Agarwood oils (Oud), Musks and Amber. Since the beginning, priority is placed on the quality of products rather than quantity, to create unique and evocative scents, using only the finest ingredients within the World. The House of Abdul Karim Al Faransi is built upon the love and the know-how of the Muslim world and Arabia. Perfume creations by Abdul Karim Al Faransi have emerged here adding originality to the quality and nowadays the brand is among the leaders of the Arabian ‘Niche’ market for those individuals who know and appreciate their perfumes. 

 

  • We may start at the beginning, has scent always been a large part of your life?

Yes, I’ve always appreciated pleasant fragrances, whether it’s incense, perfumes or simply the smells of nature. I’ve always found it a very calming experience.

  • Are there any scent memories from growing up that you are still drawn to?

I remember coming across some patchouli essential oil a few years ago. For some reason, I was drawn to this particular fragrance. It reminded me of my childhood. I talked to my mother about it, and she explained that she used to wear patchouli perfume when I was younger. For me, patchouli brings my memories flooding back. Lavender reminds me of family trips across southern France. Smells have a really powerful effect on memory!

  • How did your career or journey into the fragrance world begin?

Ever since I became interested in the world of perfumes, I’ve always had a preference for Oriental fragrances. So I began my quest for the famous “Dehn al-oud” – the essential oil from agarwood. Over time, I also discovered musk and amber. Through a series of chance meetings, I started to take an interest in the mukhallat concept – the Arabic word for “mixture”. Through theory and practice, I learned how to mix different notes to create my own fragrances.

  • What inspires you?

I’m inspired by the history of the world’s civilizations and cultures. This fascination is reflected in the names of my perfumes. Baghdad is inspired by Arab culture, Mukhallat At Tabari by Persian culture and Bosaso by Somalian culture, for example. Our history and heritage are sources of vast inspiration. Every nation and group has its own culture – a culture that opens the door to an almost infinite array of sensory combinations.

  • Can you talk about your creative process and your team and how everything works together to create your art?

We’re a traditional, family-run business. Our ideas come from current affairs, history, and conversations with others. We then conduct research to try to build on these ideas, before looking for the perfect ingredients. This is the start of a lengthy process, in which we seek to create the perfect formulation and produce a truly unique perfume. When I think I’ve got it right, I always consult my wife. We then work together to settle on the final formulation before releasing it for sale. In my view, her opinion is crucial.

Can you share words about the perfumes that you have created?

Each of my perfumes is unique. The fragrances change over time as you wear them. My ambition is to create perfumes that take the wearer on a journey. I also use musk, dehn al-oud or amber as my base – these are the three most important bases of Oriental fragrances.

 

  • What is your view of the fragrance world and how it is changing?

In my view, there are two separate worlds: the mass perfume sector and the niche sector. Today, I think there’s a growing interest in niche perfumes. This reflects the renewed interest in fine-quality fragrances, and in perfumery as an art form.

 

  • What is view your advice to anyone seeking to follow their creative side?

In life, you should never put something off. It’s better to make mistakes than to live with regrets. Nobody else is going to follow your dreams for you.

  • What is something that you would like people to gain from your works?

As I said before, I like to create perfumes that take people on a journey and allow them to explore new cultures. My work is proof that you can genuinely create something out of nothing.

  • Finally, how may we find your brand and is there anything else that you would like to say?

Our first boutique is located in Birmingham, in the UK. Otherwise, you can visit our website www.alfaransi.com and order online. We deliver to anywhere in the world!  I recommend you give the Oriental perfume a try. If you’re not already familiar with it, it’s guaranteed to transport you to another place!

 

 

Q&A

Stephanie Poulage

  • Can you speak about your background?

I started to learn with Rochas and different creations studios in Paris and New York worked for Procter in different countries then went independent with my own lab and created with my associate Gaétan Ferté, the fragrance brand Poulage Parfumeur. His creativity was a big part of your life. I have always been creating since I was a child. Creating is fun to me. In France at nursery school, I did only this, all day. What a time!

  • How did you find your way into the scent world?

At 13 I wanted to become a perfumer or an astronaut. I went to learn at ISIPCA School in Versailles after studying pharmacy and chemical engineering.

  • Can you talk about how the concept of the brand?

The concept was to create fragrances that take you into a dream of space and time, so we are out of trends. Also in order to sublimate the skin, I wanted to get into very natural perceptions, thus the use of substantial quantities of naturals!

  • Can you describe your process of scent creation?

The essential part is the destination. Once I know where I want to go then I start to find a way. Not any way through but a beautiful way. No overused pathways, no easy shortcuts. Sometimes it means years of work!

  • What are your inspirations?

They come from the inside, the emotions, my love, my life.

  • Can you talk about the scents and their character?

You can wear each of them in every season of the year and they belong to different olfactive territories. These are feel good perfumes and they wake up your senses especially Suprême Orient. Their characters are unique on the market.
Ubiquité is a longlasting Eau Fraîche that reminds of summer in the countryside; Liquid Time is a fresh vetyver , green spicy wood and amber , each facet working like a watch-making complication; Odora Di Femina  works on you like you are in a bouquet of roses and Suprême Orient is an Oriental and Origan type with an aromatic top note.

  • How has the scent world changed in your view?

The big perfume launches are no news anymore, too many launches with no ambition. But as the growth in the industry comes from niche perfumes now, a shift is happening. Intentions are not always sincere though.

You will find the updated stocklists on http://www.poulageparfumeur.com/. For the US watch the space.

 

Co-Founders

YINKA and SOLOMON

  • Can you begin at the very begin, both of your histories and how you found your way into the fragrance industry?

Our passion for perfume started at a very young age. Yinka and I had always been avid perfume wearers; to the extent that Yinka recalls when he was younger, he would frequently sneak into his brother’s room to grab a spritz or two of his favorite cologne Cool Water By Davidoff.  Apart from our younger days, the saga actually began during our travels. We had the opportunity to work in the Middle East – You know the kind of opportunity not to be missed, private compound, free travel, and a fantastic work environment. Whilst we were there we couldn’t but notice the locals stark obsession for perfume - I mean it was absolutely surreal. You’ll walk around the shopping centers and find a scent tsunami sweeping the corridors everywhere you turn. The men wore headscarves in which they’ll purposely spritz perfume onto it, effects of which were evident when walking behind them. However astonished we were at the sheer magnitude of their perfume wearing, it wasn’t until one momentous occasion, which gave birth to Signature Fragrances London.

Yinka and I were returning back to London, so we wanted to buy some gifts for family and friends. We visited a popular market called Bat’ha, where we accidentally stumbled upon these row of shops that all sold perfume. We went into one store in particular and the scenery was extraordinary. There were massive decanters hanging on shelves with these long pipes connected to them. It was a scene that we had never seen before, full of experience and fantasies, I guess you could call it a ‘’scent utopia’’. However, what fascinated us most was the fact that they sold only oils, pure oils unrefined and exceedingly pleasurable to smell. We got back to our flat that day and I guess our minds were already made up – we wanted to share with the world the experience we had encountered.

  • Was there always an interest in fragrance or was it something that developed over-time?

As I said before, we had always been keen on perfume. I can clearly recount before going to school my mother would drench us in one particular Avon cologne, to my teacher’s disapproval of course. Perfume has traveled with me throughout my life; it gives me more confidence and acts as an imaginary friend.

  • Is there any scents that are in your memories from your childhood?

For me, it would have to be Jean Paul Gaultier, the one shaped like a torso. To this day, I still relish it. On the other hand, from a very young age, Yinka fell in love with Cool Water by Davidoff, in which he would frequently take trips to his brother’s room for a spritz or two.

  • Where is the brand based? Has the culture effected the creation of the scents in anyway?

The brand is based in London; however, I can truly say that it has been affected by the culture in some way. Being born to very glamorous and flamboyant parents I have always enjoyed extravagance in anything, from fashion, cars, interior design, and perfume, so when it came to creating our scents we had one principle and that was to create perfumes that made a statement, reminding us of that 1940s era when it was all about glitz and glamour. We live very closed lives nowadays; people tend to hide their craziness out of sheer fear of other people’s reaction. We believe that your perfume has the right to be smelt by others, but not any type of perfume, the pure perfume that captures the aromatic detail of the ingredient and gives you a more natural experience.

  • As for the brand can you describe the themes or ethos behind it?

Our perfumes are categorized by four of the most popular fragrance families in the world (Floral, Fresh, Sweet, and Oriental Woods). Inspired by different cultures, we wanted a collection that everyone could relate to; as we felt that these families are found all over the globe and people tend to be familiar with one or the other. But the main uniqueness of the brand is the oils. Pure perfume is a very classical olfactive experience, yet the most captivating. Due to the fact that we do not use alcohol in our blends, you’ll find that the scent harnesses itself close to the skin without evaporating and as a result, allows the scent to last tremendously long.

  • What does the creative process of scent making and design mean for Signature Perfumes?

Our perfumes are created at an indulgent pure perfume strength, the highest form of perfume. Each blend has a superior concoction of high-quality materials and essential oils; a unique composition that allows the scent to project an intense natural aroma.

  • What was the process of creating the brand like?

The beginning stages were absolutely manic! We are not perfumers, so working with others proved quite a difficult task as the scent is very abstract, only you understand what you are looking for, so communicating this abstract language of scent was rather exhausting. We also had to literally educate ourselves about the whole fragrance industry and determine what value we could bring to the table.

  • The scents seem very unique, and they mirror a older time of fragrance by forgoing the spray and your choice of bottles, can you speak on you bottle and other design choices?

The perfumes we create are ‘statement fragrances’. We want to galvanize and intrigue by rebirthing a time when perfumes were symbolic, a historic period when your fragrance spoke for you. The flacons were designed by Yinka and were inspired by our masculine and gender qualities. For example, the bottle of Nouveau has a broad masculine appeal to it; whilst the diamond shaped bottle shows adornment usually experienced by women.

  • Where can we find the STOCKLIST for Signature Perfumes?

At the moment, we are currently stocked in various boutiques across the Netherlands and Belgium; however, if you are not in those locations then you can find us at signaturefragrances.co.uk – we ship internationally as well.

Finally is there anything else that you would like to share about the brand, yourselves or where you feel the fragrance industry may be headed.

We just want to fascinate and intrigue our customers by gathering all the facets of luxury in one, with the hope that we satisfy the ego. People want a scent that lasts and are unique and that’s what we have done.


Rachel Deane Binder

 

  • Rachel what is your background?

I have been a professional actor for most of my adult life, working both in theatre and film. I was fortunate to study with a grand dame of the theatre, Salome Jens, for a number of years and a great deal of that training is known as Sensory Work. While most of that work isn't of olfactory origin, she did help shift me as an artist to one who lives through the experience of the senses and to try to approach that experience (that scent, that damp heat, that cool breeze…) as if for the very first time. This is so key as a natural perfumer because materials can change from season to season and you really have to be open to that and to smell something new.

  • Was fragrance a large part of your life growing up?

I moved a great deal when I was a kid and even when we did settle down in Northern Maine, we spent our summers in California. What could never be taken away was the olfactory imprint of each locale: the honeysuckle and near wet heat of Richmond, the smell of ripping into sourdough bread on the beach in Bodega Bay, the muddy smell of spring wildflowers and first grass in Northern Maine or the pungent seaweed smell of Bar Harbor. When I was older and was finally able to travel to Southern France, someone told me to pick out any perfume I wanted. I was shocked at how many scents smelled plastic to me since I didn’t yet understand that they were all synthetic. Even when I was a teenager I would make my own concoctions out of oils and I recall wondering if I could track down a “higher quality” sandalwood, so there were signs along the way that scent might be my calling.

  • What are some of the projects that you are involved in?

I do try and take part in any activities put on by the Institute for Art and Olfaction, but I just had a baby so I have missed out on quite a lot of great stuff.

  • What is your favorite scent or note to use in perfume making?

I think white florals are grossly misunderstood! A synthetic white floral is inevitably very“pretty” but reveals none of the ripe or dirty qualities that make them so incredible. I think it will take a lifetime trying to begin to express the underbelly of a gardenia. I don’t think it is the job of an artist to get anything perfect, but to lead with questions. I have a lot of questions about the ‘ugly’ side of white flowers which helps unpack all that we love about them.

  • Did you receive training in fragrance?

I am a huge fan of Mandy Aftel and wanted so much to study with her, but she also expresses in her books how akin self-study is the perfumery. I decided to put all the extra money I had on materials to study on my own and have been exploring ever since.

  • How did the idea of your current project start and what are it’s inspirations?

Pomare IV was the last quote; Queen of Tahiti and when I was little my mother told all sorts of stories about her (my alleged great great great grandmother) and how France stole Tahiti from us. In my family we never let the truth get in the way of a good story and in one of my favorite tales she got sent out to sea with her lover just before a storm hit. The French had sabotaged her boat in an effort to assassinate her knowing they're so was easier to control due to his weakness for cognac. While this is pure fiction, it was one of those family legends that I took very seriously and imagined over and over. The truth as I now understand it is far from that tale. We do know that Pomare fought against the French intervention of Tahiti wholeheartedly and exiled herself to Raiatea in protest. The name “Pomare’s Stolen Perfume” represents the French ‘stealing’ of Tahiti and the surrounding islands, but it also speaks to all that can never be stolen. There are flowers and plants that grow in Raiatea that no matter how botanists try, cannot grow anywhere else. The name came to represent to me all that became stolen during colonization for Tahitians and for all first nation peoples. The history of perfume is irrevocably intertwined with our human history and that of this earth. Often when I think of the plants, resins, and flowers that make up beautiful scents, I think of how these things traveled around the world and changed our natural landscapes. Eucalyptus, which will always remind me of coastal Santa Barbara, is actually an Australian native. Vanilla, often associated with Tahiti, is in fact from Mexico. As a natural perfumer, I like to explore the origins of where we came from, including a sensorial exploration of cultures, peoples, and plants.

  • Yoga, does it affect your fragrance work in any form?

In some regard it does- a person who wears a truly natural and elegant scent should be able to wear it at any time regardless of how active their lifestyle. Perfume shouldn’t be so “loud” that it enters the room before you do. Also living at the beach, I wanted to create something you could equally wear after surfing or doing yoga as you could for a nice meal out. I also think that carrying a natural scent around with you and re-applying it throughout the day creates a sensorial opportunity to take a moment for yourself and be present. Whose day isn’t made better by the smell of real jasmine for stress reduction and euphoria?

  • What are your thoughts on creative works and following your dreams?

I think that following your bliss needs to be central to a creative drive, but it needs to be balanced with the courage to face the unknown along with your own fears.

  • Do you have any other things that you would like to share?

I was truly inspired by all of the artists at this year’s AIX Scent Fair at The Hammer here in LA-both by the incredible unique voices that are emerging from the niche perfume world, and by their kind inclusiveness and camaraderie. 

КОНЦЕПЦИЯ : CONCEPT

Большие города живут возможностями. Здесь раскрываются таланты, строятся блестящие карьеры. Здесь в сумасшедшем ритме добывается успех. Но часто мы платим за этот успех утратой эмоций. Вы замечали, как люди рядом с вами, а может быть, и сами вы переставали радоваться, восхищаться, удивляться? Как мир покидали чувства, оставляя людей равнодушными, а пространство вокруг – ровным и бесцветным?

Коллекция духов и аксессуаров SWITCH. PERFUMES & MORE включает элементы, способные помочь «разбудить» чувства.Это вещи очень личные, предназначенные в первую очередь для вас и только потом для окружающих.Ароматы, созданные Анной Зворыкиной, которые будут радовать и наполнять пространство запахом вашего настроения.Орнаменты платков и масок для сна, созданные Ириной Батьковой, несущие цвет и символы.Фотографии, которыми Евгения Чудакова проиллюстрировала концепцию коллекции, вдохновляющие на мечты и фантазии. :

To SWITCH. PERFUMES & MORE collection creative director Julia Aleshkevich included elements capable of “awakening” the feelings. Those things are very private intended first of Ornaments of scarves and sleep masks created by Irina Batkova that bring color and symbols. all for you and only then for people around you. Fragrances created by Anna Zworykina that will bring joy and fill in space with the scent of your cheer.

The collection inspiring to dreams and fantasies.

Photos that Irina Batkova used to illustrate the concept 

Talented Russian artists were involved in creation of perfumes, accessories and photos from SWITCH. PERFUMES & MORE collection.The fragrances were created by the natural perfumer Anna Zworykina. The packaging design of the collection and ornaments of scarves were developed by Irina Batkova - the artist and brand designer. Photographer Evgeniya Chudakova illustrated the concept of the collection with a series of photos. I hope that synergetic effect of their creative work will help to make the world more harmonious. -Julia Aleshkevich Creative Director SWITCH. PERFUMES & MORE

 

Laurie Erickson

Q&A

 

  • What has been your creative background and history before entering the fragrance industry?

I earned a B.S. in Environmental Earth Science and M.S. in Geomechanics at Stanford University and then passed the oral exams for the PhD program. At that point I took time off to work as a technical writer for Sun Microsystems while contemplating possible careers. I started blending essential oils and studying perfumery for fun, and what began as a hobby gradually bloomed into a business. Perfumery had an instant appeal for me because I like work that combines technical and creative sides. I learned to appreciate artisan products when I was young, and I always had numerous crafts projects in progress. I also loved gardening with fragrant plants, so the combination of my interests and skills fell into place later in life when I discovered perfumery. My educational background might not seem pertinent to what I do now, but I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to be in the University research group to learn thinking skills from amazing professors. A diverse educational background is actually an advantage because running a small business requires skills in many areas.

  • Can you describe your journey into the perfume world?

I was looking for perfumes with more natural ingredients than what I had found at department stores, so I began experimenting with natural essential oils. I became involved with fragrance boards online, trying many niche lines and swapping samples with other people In the fragrance community. I then began to purchase small quantities of aroma chemicals online. I tried many niche perfumes, studied many raw ingredients (both natural and synthetic), read perfumery books, and then finally started blending more seriously.

  • How has the location of the wine country influenced the creation of the brand or scents?

 The Sonoma Scent Studio branding evolved from my location and my personality. I wanted to create a brand that was nature-inspired, true to my love of the California outdoors, and that would reflect the high-quality artisan associations one has with the wine country. I use many beautiful natural ingredients, I designed custom packaging that is classic in style, and I created imagery for the website using photos that I have taken myself of local landscapes and flowers.

  • Perfumers are now well into the forefront of their creations. Have you seen a shift in the public view of scent?

I see several trends in the public perception of scent. A large group of fragrance lovers have found each other online and created the fragrance community; members of this group view scent as an art form and build personal collections rather than wearing only one signature scent. On the other hand, we have an emerging group of people who dislike fragrance, often based on negative experiences without knowing that there are many options beyond what they find in their local stores. Some of these people look to natural artisan scents as a softer, less diffusive alternative, but others have given up on scent completely or simply don’t have an interest in fragrance. We also have increasing regulations based on potential ingredient allergies, which brings up issues of safety and further complicates the public perception of scent. It will be interesting to see how we find a balance between these factions as perfumery moves forward.

  • Can you speak on your creative process?

I start with an idea for a scent and then write an initial formula on an Excel sheet that computes the percentages of each ingredient based on the amounts and dilutions used. I don’t usually split formulas into top, middle, and base because some ingredients serve multiple roles. Sometimes I will put dabs of ingredients on paper strips to experiment with combinations while working on the Excel formula. I then make a tiny batch, just a few grams, and smell it on my skin. I adjust the formula and make another small trial batch. When I have something I like, I’ll send a tester vial to a few friends to invite some feedback. Some formulas come together quickly and others take many trials. I seem to always have more ideas than time, so there’s no problem thinking of new projects!

  • What inspires you?

The inspiration for many of the scents is either a note (like Incense Pure or Tabac Aurea) or an outdoorsy theme like a forest path (Forest Walk) or a summer afternoon (Jour Ensoleille) or a night by the campfire (Fireside Intense). Sometimes the inspiration is a concept such as with Nostalgia when I wanted to create a more modern version of a vintage scent style. Once I have an overall idea, the ingredients inspire the details. For example, in Forest Walk, the hemlock and fir absolutes are amazing and dictated my direction with that scent. Outside of perfumery, I find many things inspiring, from a beautiful blue sky to the kindnesses that people bestow on one another.

  • Finally is there anything else that you would like to share?

I’d just like to say that it’s been a joy to take part in the online perfume community. The people are creative, intelligent, passionate, and kind-hearted. If you’re new and thinking of joining in, I hope you’ll jump in and have fun!

 

 

 

Elise Juarros and Rosa Vaia

 

Elise Juarros and Rosa Vaia can you speak the begining of your journey into perfumery?

(Rosa) We met about ten years ago in Paris and that moment was the beginning at first of a long-lasting and honest friendship. Elise was experiencing an internship at Yves Saint Laurent and was already dealing with the universe of fragrances. That was instead my first approach to the opportunity to create a perfume.

What are your histories and backgrounds?

(Elise) I was born in Strasburg and then I moved to Paris when I still was a child. After attending foreign languages studies there, I moved first to Great Britain and then to Spain. The experience at YSL offered me the chance to come back to Paris and entering the universe of fashion and perfumes, where I met Rosa. And after our cooperation started, I finally decided to move to Italy where I still live by now.

(Rosa) I was born in a little city close to Naples but I attended university in Milan and NYC with an economical and marketing orientation. I approached the universe of fine fragrances by chance in Paris, driven by people who recognized in me the talent for notes and natural scents.


 

Had there always been a interest in fragrance or was it something that developed over time?

For both of us, the connection with perfumes has always been passionate and curious: through the universe of fragrances, we believe it is possible to fix memories and bring them to life again and again.

Are there any scents that last in your memories from your childhoods?

(Elise) My olfactory memory is deeply connected to my childhood and to the classical French fragrances universe: the strongest memory concerning perfumes is the white flowers atmosphere I used to love at school. When I smell tuberose, gardenia, and ylang-ylang I always think back at my French teachers since they introduced my nose and my attitude to these peculiar and over warming flowers.

"Tudor" by Coquillete Paris Director Thom Rever Production Linda's Studio Soundtrack Ken Holland Art Direction Rosa Vaia Model Enrie Scielzo Cinematographer Maria Chiara Centomani MUA Laura Portomeo Assistant ph. Luigi Sgambato

(Rosa) To me, one of the stronger olfactory memories is deeply connected with Naples’ coast and seaside I used to walk when I was a child: the smell of pine, wild fig, and local summer trees. That’s my personal idea of freshness, the sensation of air when summer ends.

How did the brand begin?

It was the end of 2012 when we decided to build up our own line of perfumes. After creating so many different perfumes for other brands, we experienced the desire to launch something which would have been our creation: a sort of a family affair. The journey started with Herat and Sulmona and kept going on by mixing abilities and looking for extremely peculiar notes coming from nature.

Can you speak about your team, and how everyones area of creativity merges to create the brand and scents?

That’s kind of the same point: we suppose consumer have to love perfumes for what they are and it won’t be necessary to understand the company policy and organisation. Hope you would agree on that too.

Can you speak on the design of the bottles?

The unique velvety black package is not just the pursuit of beauty and exception but it has a technical reason: since all the fragrances are Extrait de Parfums by boasting a 20% concentration of perfume, they need to be protected from direct sunshine light. Besides, it is the final packaging without any further box to point out the idea that a perfume needs to be simple and to speak for itself. The consumer will receive it with final cellophane on it.

Can you speak on the concept of the line?

As anticipated the line is conceived as a journey, a developing approach: every single perfume can boast a peculiar and unique ingredient or more. Starting with Herat you can experience Tobacco Cuban and wood amber Afghan hashish mixed with jasmine and incense for a perfect blend inspired by a poetry contest for young women in Afghanistan. The second step is Sulmona, a pleasing gourmand perfume made unique by the bitterness of Sicilian almond, specially created for Elise’s wedding. Moramanga features the most unique white flowers mixed with benzoin and opoponax in order to create a exotic tuberose not indolic at all: the result is a gourmand mix of white flower without any animal or ink smell influence. Sumatera is the spiciest fragrance where cinnamon is mixed with a very unique ingredient: the green patchouli from Sumatra.

Different from the common patchouli, this is the only fragrance in the world performing it and it has to be extracted by local people who have been thought how to extract it by using glass. The result is a surprising fragrance with a strong personality. Tan Tan is the symbolic port city in Morocco, the place where the journey ends: pine and absinthe are blended with sweet fig and coconut milk. This is to Elise and Rosa the idea of freshness and the olfactory sensation are linked to summer ending in Italian seaside. Finally, Tudor: a symbol of the end of the Hundred Years War, it also signs the end of the line with the most common olfactory pyramid and a very unique ingredient. The last step is the most demanding, featuring benzoin, lily of the valley and rosewood instead of rose petals to create something with a great personality and the idea of long-lasting beauty.

Where is the line of fragrance sold?

It is sold both in Italy and abroad in niche perfumery stores and luxurious concept stores following the philosophy of luxury.

Finally is there anything else that you would like to share.

Sure! We would be proud to announce our brand new projects for 2016. On one side, the line will be enlarged by introducing the seventh Coquillete and the aim is to point out our idea of creation and uniqueness: since we are producers and not just noses, we decided to express our ability to be flexible and blend unique notes to create fragrances. Our approach as artisans of the perfume will be expressed by focusing on the perfume store: the seventh fragrance of the line will be entirely customized on the shop with the chance to decide both for the name on it and for the olfactory approach, working together with the creators of the perfume. The package will be exactly the same, in the velvety black box our consumers already love and it will be something very special since it will be sold just in that precise point of sale. Esxence 2016 will be the opportunity to launch some new fragrances of the line and give the opportunity to the stores to be known all over the world.

Besides, the other news is about a unique Home Fragrances line: six different scents for your home sold in a ceramic box with sticks but also a little refillable spray packaging. The point is that you can refill it and spray on your own skin to create a complete atmosphere with your home during dinners or events for instance. The idea we would like to convey by creating home wearable fragrances is that: you are your home and that’s exactly the place where you can feel at your ease.



 

A interview with

Hans Hendley

  • Can you tell us about yourself and your life growing up?

My life has been pretty interesting and non-traditional thus far. When I was young my parents decided to leave city life behind and move to the countryside to build a home. I was home-schooled and allowed much freedom and exploration. I left home for college to study art and photography. After school I spent several years in the commercial photography world, working on all kinds of shoots and productions while making music the side.  Wary of commercial photography and in need of a change, I moved to New York with only what I could fit in a rental car and some gracious friends who let me stay with them while I found a place to live and some work. In the years following I had some fantastic gigs working with spirited small brands in New York and traveling all over the country. But most importantly, it was during these NYC years that I rediscovered my love for perfume.

  • Have you always had a interest in perfume or smell?

As a young boy I would make tinctures of citrus, cloves, cinnamon sticks and pine needles in rubbing alcohol in feeble attempts to make my own cologne. I typically kept a small collection of fragrances as a teenager too. Most guys I knew had one perfume but I recall periods of keeping several to wear for difference occasions. Never did I imagine that later on in life, perfumery would become an unwavering obsession. 

  • Do you have any strong scent memories from growing up?

The smells that feel very evocative or nostalgic to me are mostly natural or environmental things, pine, cedar, oak, forest floor, daffodil flowers (narcissus), honeysuckle, sage, tomato leaf, fresh bread, sawdust, smoke and the secretly amazing smell of gasoline!

  • When did you begin to discover a love for the art of fragrance and scent making?

Thinking about making perfumes seriously didn’t happen until a friend introduced me to some of the interesting stuff that was happening in the indie world and my mind was blown! I didn’t know there were perfumes like that available and it really opened up my curiosity of learn more, which lead to me obsessively learning how fragrances are made.

  • Were you self-taught or did you enroll in classes to learn the craft?

The self taught category is one that I’m very happy to be in. Early on, the general lack of solid information readily available about how a good perfume is really made kind of intrigued me. The opaqueness of the industry motivated me to work harder to learn how to make the things I wanted to make.

  • What is a personal motto or promise that you keep for yourself and brand?

The most important personal promise is that the perfume itself must always be the the most important part. This means things like not compromising on raw materials or getting caught up in marketing to a point of compromising quality.

  • How and when did you start the brand?

Once I finally built up the confidence to openly share some of the perfumes I had been working on, the positive response really gave me the confidence I needed to think about my secret hobby as something I could do much more seriously. I spent a long time on what the aesthetic and overall vibe would be, but mostly really working hard on the perfumes. My e-boutique and and first collection of perfumes launched in October of 2014.

  • Did you have any fears starting out?

That’s a trick question right?! Of course I had so many fears, and still do sometimes. I’ve learned that many creative people are often plagued with doubts and fears. Especially with presenting something personal to the public. In the beginning I was worried that nobody would like my perfumes, or that they would somehow get broken or lost during shipments. It can be nerve racking, really!

  • Where do you see the future of the fragrance world headed?

We seem to be experiencing an unprecedented saturation point of fragrance products. It’s actually kind of a weird conflict for me to even be contributing to the thousands of perfume launches each year. I think the market will continue to fragment for a while before things swing a new direction. I think we will see good bit of attrition in the niche perfume world.


 

On the outskirts...a curious discovery awaits.


 

unnamed.jpg

Laura Lecce


 

  • Can you tell us of your background?

I come from the world of contemporary art. I am a curator, that means I choose theme paths of research and I involve artists that I appreciate for exhibitions or collaborative projects. I studied philosophy and theory of art and I started working for galleries and museums since I was 20, now I have my own space in Milan with other curators and artists, and I’m on Pelagica a project about Mediterranean area.

  • Have you always wanted to be in the fragrance industry?

I never considered it seriously, it was a big passion I had for many years. Now I’m beginning to discover this interesting world.

  • Was perfume or scent a large part of your childhood?

I come from the south of Italy and I grew up between seaside towns and beautiful countrysides. My mother is also a very good botanical and she always made me smell all its plants at home. A lot of scents have left their mark on me: all the citrus, all Mediterranean aromatic plants, the smell of pressed grapes in our cellars, saltiness of the sea places. But those with whom I have always dreamed of faraway worlds are the aromatic woods and spices, my olfactory imagery is always turned to North Africa and the Middle East.

  • How did your journey begin?

When I was growing up like all children I was attracted by the scents of my mother. I also ask for present a game to create real perfumes! But I would say that the journey actually started around six years ago when a night, I smelled for the first time an incense scent. It 'was a real initiation smell, it struck me!

  • Tell us a little about your work.

I started a blog called Enscent.me where I tell perfumes. On Enscent I try to tell all the world of references and inspiration behind a fragrance. Mainly I choose stories of niche perfumery but I do not preclude anything.

  • What is the creative process that you follow if you can share?

I do not follow the same mood for all the posts, sometimes trips, books or artists inspired me and I talk about a scent even if it is an old fragrance. But I write a post also if there is a new release that I like telling what I think. I focus a lot on ingredients and what the creator wanted to evoke, I focus on the concept of the scent. Then I do a very accurate images research because on my blog images must strongly communicate the universe of a fragrance.

  • What would be your dream project?

I'd like simply to help people meet new olfactory experiences with my blog! It would be enough!

  • Finally is there anything else that you would like to share?

Just visit my blog and I hope you enjoy it!

 

10.09.2015 Milan Italy
 

download.jpeg

J.Hannah Co.

J.Hannah Co. is a natural perfume company owned by Jessica Hannah who runs workshops and blends signature scents with private clients.

  • Can you tell us of your background?

I have a background in film, performance, and interdisciplinary art. I had an artistic awakening while earning my masters at Columbia College Chicago alongside bookmakers, painters, performers, and many other experimental makers. Experiential artwork that truly engaged the senses became a strong interest of mine. In an effort to create a platform for such work I teamed up with Ania Greiner to co-curate Food & Performance in Chicago. This showcase of performance art involving edibles brought out some incredibly creative minds during the three years it ran. During this time I was working on building my perfuming skills and then launched my perfume business J.Hannah Co.

  • Did you have an interest in fragrance growing up?

I grew up with a strong appreciation of scent. I was surrounded by the smells of the earth in my small mid-western farming community. Much of my childhood was spent climbing trees and tagging along with my two older brothers, as we rode bicycles all over town, stopping to smell and eat honeysuckle nectar. In the summer evenings, my mother would take us for long walks in the neighborhood, stopping to ask elderly neighbors if we could sniff their rose gardens. In farming communities, you can’t bypass the smells of manure, fresh hay, and the churn of agriculture. So yes, there is a core aspect of my early childhood revolving around scents and many of these are the materials of natural perfumes.

  • How did your current journey into perfume begin?

The pivotal moment that took me deeper into the art of perfuming came while I was earning my MFA and being surrounded by brilliant makers. That time ignited a very strong interest in sensual arts and specifically olfactory explorations. After graduating, I began studying alchemical processes in books and taking workshops to explore the materials in aromatherapy and perfume. I created a lot of horrible perfumes while learning, but for me the final goal was to be skilled in differentiating between a good perfume and an exquisite perfume.

I wanted to share these materials with people, so I started to teach natural perfume workshops and private blending with clients. I am fully committed to a collective experience. Teaching allows me to be a tour guide and curator. I often meet people in my workshops that are unable to experience the luxury of international travel. It’s a gift to share places like Morocco, Spain, France, Oman, and India distilled in little bottles, like passports to exotic and mysterious lands. I do hope that people will step away from the noise and experience something beautiful in their lives.

  • Where would you say the fragrance world is in at the moment? What are your thoughts for its future?

Right now is an exciting time for fragrance! Artisan perfumers have a wonderful opportunity to find an audience for their work. The Art and Olfaction Institute, for example, is absolutely taking the artisanal perfume industry by storm. Their Awards, which I won in the independent category for a collaborative perfume called Skive, is a no-nonsense double blind judging process that brings out the best in the field. It’s thrilling to be apart of this movement. I am also glad to see natural perfumes moving into a more mainstream market. For me, the natural materials trace back to the root of perfume.

  • Can you explain in your own words one of the major differences that people may notice with natural perfumes?

Natural perfumes really evolve during their dry down period. They aren’t going to last all day, so if someone expects that, they might not appreciate naturals. However, natural perfumes are like wearing a quietly shifting piece of artwork. The pallet of materials is much smaller than synthetics, but gorgeous complexity of natural materials cannot be replicated.

  • What would you say is your creative process?

I spend a lot of time sniffing essences and doing hands-on work. I might work through a concept in my mind, but when I begin opening bottles there is an unexpected path that leads down a rabbit hole of new discoveries. I work on a perfume for some time before I feel it is ready.

  • Do you have any advice for those that may want to become a perfumer or anything that is creative in general?

The olfactory arts are filled with endless possibilities. It’s important to enjoy the process and dedicate time and resources to perfuming or any artistic practice for that matter. It’s important to be comfortable with the “not knowing” at first, taking time to fail, and being very honest with your definition of success.

 

 

 

An unparalleled collection of perfumed necklaces, which are like talismans, carriers of an uncommon energy.

Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima is for those searching for something “more”; for something that will give them a profound sense of individuality.

Founded in 201 by Stefania Squeglia, Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima is an artistic perfume House, based in Italy. Unconditional passion, love for artistry and craftsmanship, high perfumery, Italian artisanship: Mendittorosa’s identity is forged by a quest for distinctiveness and significance. The House makes no compromise on quality and authenticity. Only the finest ingredients and most genuine materials are used, and everything is handmade in Italy. Because we believe that a perfume is a “scent of the soul”, a way to express or reconnect with our deeper self, we create feisty, conceptual and genderless fragrances that encapsulate deep emotions and meanings. Each olfactory harmony has a proper story and a message to tell, while evoking specific references or memories. An unparalleled collection of perfumed necklaces, which are like talismans, carriers of an uncommon energy.

Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima is for those searching for something “more”; for something that will give them a profound sense of individuality.

 

Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima / Scents of the Soul

Stefania Squeglia - Creator

 

  • Stefania, can you speak about your background? And where you grew up and if creativity was a big part of your life.

 

I’m an Italian woman constantly searching my own way in life.  

I grew up in my birth town Naples (Southern Italy) in the very traditional family, however always cherished my artistic passions- painting and writing, religion, poetry, art, books, Tarot, mineralogy among others. But at the end, family pressure won and I took the classic way of studying.

 

  • How did you find your way into the scent world?

It is all connected to moments from my childhood, to the reveal of a forgotten memory: the power of volcano Stromboli and its lava, to the sudden discovery of well hidden treasure. Let me explain it better: I visited unique island called Stromboli which is in fact the still active volcano,  1000 meters above the sea and 2000 deep down. Big black lava mountain in the middle of Mediterranean sea. I have been there several times feeling especially connected to this place where lava is still blown from the volcano, every day and every moment, but instead of bringing destruction it goes directly to the sea leaving 300 people, 300 souls with their normal fishermen’s life. You can truly feel special energy while visiting Stromboli.

Being on that island I had flashback: one day I saw myself as 5 years old girl making perfumes by just blending my secret potions in my mother’s and grandmother’s jars, putting them in the darkness and waiting… I felt big hope back then, the real sense of magic and happiness while waiting for my “perfumes” to transform. It was innocent, pure experience, almost talking in another, silent and deep language. Why did I forget it after some years, why it suddenly came back to me? No idea, but this regained memory, lost vocation persuaded me to take the new path in life and to follow my true self (which is in fact the main message of one of Mendittorosa’s scents: LE MAT).

 

  • Can you talk about how the concept of Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima brand began?

It is result of this experience I have just talked about. The Stromboli (nicknamed Iddu- ID) volcano power that reminded me my childhood passion and innocence. I have decided to start completely new life around my forties leaving previous “high-level” position in the event management and that how is Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima was born. I was re-born with our first scents: The Trilogy. Alfa and Omega – symbols of rebirth, opposites, changes, of walking through this life, expressing yourself. I have made Stromboli volcano – ID the third element of Trilogy, the symbolic guardian. Mendittorosa is not a brand for everybody, these are authentic scents conceived for the souls, far from the classic beauty approach, with limited distribution. We are warranty of being truly niche, artisanal, independent and philosophical.

  • What are the inspirations behind the brand?

My life as such – my new artistic path and philosophy, not the one which my family wanted for me. I am inspired by Tarot, astrology, poetry, our emotions… than, with help of Flair Paris lab and its noses Anne-Sophie Behaghel and Amélie Bourgeois I am translating those feelings and experiences into scents. Scents which talk in the souls’ language.

  • What inspires you?

Richness of life and our soul. Constant research and looking for raw materials. Mendittorosa’s scents are created without looking at marketing trends, we are patient, we have time to achieve the desired effect, or accord. For example, in case of Sogno Reale the whole process of trials and experiments took us more than one year. The message of each project is important. I talked about The Trilogy already (new beginning is the end of something else and vice versa, ID: the volcano, place where they are totally together), than we have North and South – universe of two opposites which still belong to each other. Le Mat: leave everything and follow your true self, Sogno Reale: dream your life and live your dreams. Upcoming Nettuno scent: the passion for art and sensibility, the magnetism of a Neptune planet which represent our inner emotions. The infinite mirror of your potential.

Packaging is truly important in case of Mendittorosa. We are unique and again, far from what market offers. I am inspired by my country: Italian artists, artisans, hidden talents of all those small towns. I look for them to express my visions and message through proper packaging. These people are part of each Mendittorosa final product: their hands, their minds and efforts. We use special wooden boxes reflecting those used to carry art pieces, we use stones, metals, rope, plombs, terracotta, raku ceramics, gold leafs, mosaic, mirrors… and who knows what future brings.

  • What are your thoughts of the independent fragrance world?

It’s difficult field where market pressure is exactly the same as in every other sector. I think that we are surrounded by so many niche projects, but between truly artistic and passionate niche labels there are some which use just proper marketing and positioning. But I do not want to focus on it, because I don’t like to be and feel negative and to criticize. Customers have choice and I believe that Mendittorosa’s message will reach them as we are authentic, independent and brave, without compromises, without large numbers of stockists. It has good and bad sides, of course – but this is idea I strongly believe in.

  • Where can we find your STOCKISTS?

We are in several countries and cities, like London, Berlin, Rome, Warsaw, Moscow, Dubai, Ryhad, Milan, San Sebastian, Turin, Kiev, Odessa, St. Petersburg, Bruxelles, Istanbul, Nicosia, Baku, Vilnius, Naples… Please contact us directly to get more detailed information. I also do encourage you to visit official e-boutique. We offer free international shipping and also possibility to acquire Discovery Kits to get know our art better.

  • Lastly do you have any other words that you would like to share?

I would like to leave important message: scents could really be a language for expressing and reaching our souls. That is really a complex and ancient art and it is  possible to approach it with high dignity and respect. Independent artistic perfumery - as we and others few do - deserves attention and could really be treated as « artistic » expression of life. I feel that I will experiment further with such different, high profile and artistic way to offer something special to the world. It feels amazing and it fills every second of my life with joy.  And of course, thank you, Joshua for the interview – this invitation made me happy as The Olfactive is special place for expressing the art of perfumery. Wish you best luck with your magazine and your special future projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love has its Perfumes

Everything has started with the magical encounter between two persons on the streets of Paris… An encounter between two cultures, two continents, two passions, two souls… 

  • What is your histories and backgrounds?

I like to think myself as a world citizen. I grew-up in Romania in the beautiful Carpathian Mountains region and specific circumstances brought me to New York City when I was still a teenager. Here, I finished my superior studies and entered the beauty industry, reaching high-level management and holding Top Executive positions for most respected companies in the field. After several years down the road, I had the chance to come to Europe to experience and get acquainted with the French industry and its « savoir-faire ». And this is the moment where I’ve unexpectedly met Julien. This “coup de 

foudre” has completely changed my life, as I left Manhattan for Paris and nine months after our first encounter we were married! A new life stage has begun here, and, after few years spent working with two of the most prestigious fragrance companies, I decided that the time was perfect to launch my own, this being something I always wanted. Julien’s portrait and experience are quite different. Parisian-born and travel enthusiast, he was drawn to the scientific field, where he started his professional career as a neuroscientist, specializing in the research on the sensorial mechanisms of the brain. He quits the scientific field after several years in order to dedicate his career to new technologies and communication and founds different communication companies specialized in the scientific field. And, when the JUL ET MAD Paris becomes a reality, he naturally joins this fantastic adventure, as co-founder and co-owner, and dedicates all his time and energy to this fascinating and exciting industry, although new to him. But his passion and curiosity allowed him to fast become a specialist in the field, coupled with his entrepreneurial background, which greatly contributed to the actual success of JUL ET MAD Paris. 

  • Had there always been a interest in fragrance or was it something that developed over time?

I was always naturally drawn by the fragrance industry and the magic and mystery behind every olfactory composition. This is the reason why I dedicated my superior studies and my professional career to the beauty industry, without hesitation. During my 15 years as an executive in the industry, I had the unique chance to “experiment” both, fragrances and cosmetics. But I always came back to perfumes, as I understood them better, as I felt a real connection and fulfillment whenever in contact with them. And this is how JUL ET MAD Paris was born… a natural step, allowing me to put forward the best of my acquired knowledge and experience through the years. I am very aware and I actually feel very lucky to have the opportunity of transforming this instinctive passion into my professional career. 

  • Are there any scents that last in your memories from your childhood? 

I had the chance to grow up in a very small town surrounded by mountains and magnificent forests. Naturally, in such places we are always surrounded by wonderful and rich scents offered by the splendor of nature, and always changing with every season. I was particularly attracted to the smell of the freshly cut grass in the springtime, the heavenly-smelling hey mixed with dried wild flowers in the summer or the impregnating, addictive fragrance of humid oak leaves in the fall… But, the first actual perfume I fell in love with and, in my opinion not yet matched today, was my great-grandmother’s scent, a 1930s composition with a predominant note of iris, made especially for her by a local « druggist », which she kept and wore all her life… and which I dream recreate one day…

  • What is the story of how you both met and the creation of the scent

At some point in my career I had to go to France and, before I realized what’s happening, I fell in love with a young, very handsome Parisian. It was love at first sight at this famous café terrace in St. Germain-des-Près.  This amazing and fortunate encounter completely changed our lives, as only few weeks later I decided to leave everything behind and move to France. The perfume “Terrasse à St-Germain” evokes exactly what we felt at the time, is the essence itself of our “coup de foudre”. And this fragrance is maybe the one that, in our opinion, bears the perfection in its structure, scent and balance of composition. Dorothée Piot has truly understood the « essence » of our love and, with her creative genius and extraordinary talent, she managed to transpose this into a fragrance. And its splendour and perfection was also recognized by the industry, when it was awarded by the Fragrance Foundation in NYC with the FiFi Awards prize for the Indie Category only few month after its launch. 

  • How has the theme of love effected or help to craft the brand?

The idea of telling our story through fragrances came very naturally, as the brand JUL ET MAD itself is all about passion and celebration of life. We feel so lucky our two souls succeeded in meeting and recognizing each other, regardless the distance, the culture, the language, and we are amazed to see how our romance gives strength and belief to people around us. Moreover, every time we were asked how we met and after telling our story, the reaction was the same: “This is so beautiful, you should write a book!” So, what better way to tell our story, than by simply replacing the words with fragrant notes? 

  • How do your channel your creativity?

Inspiration is all around us! From a walk in a park, to a most romantic city, to a beautiful painting, to the smell of a flower that simply surprises us, to a beautiful encounter, to a specific moment that marked as in a way or another… The choice is infinite!! Whatever the inspiration may be, as JUL ET MAD Paris is deeply attached to the French traditional perfumery era where every perfume was presented as a unique, rare work of art, our goal remains to create a Perfume Collection that will simply last over the years, elegant and extemporal, classic and modern at a time, as Love. Love and its beauty is not a question of fashion or trend, it’s simply ageless. 

  • What did you want to bring different to the fragrance world?

There are several points that allow us to distinguish ourselves in today’s Artistic Perfumery Market. One main differentiating point is the JUL ET MAD Paris offer itself, developed in the respect for the French perfume tradition and know-how. No compromise was made in the choice of components, from the packaging to the formulae, which were specifically imagined with one objective: the renewal with the emotional creativity, free and instinctive, valorizing the originality, the inventiveness, and the quality. Another, very important point to be mentioned is the “completeness” of our offer, which clearly differentiates us from our competitors. Every JUL ET MAD Paris luxury case offer includes a perfume bottle which is naturally accompanied by its rechargeable Nomad Spray, which is filled and ready-to-use (and reusable), as we find it normal and essential to be able to have the favorite perfume on hand at all times. And last, but not least, what sets us apart is the concept itself and the beautiful love tale behind the brand, JUL (Julien) and MAD (Madalina) being real people behind real stories. We address our consumer directly, sharing beautiful and precious moments in our lives. Julien and I come from different cultures and backgrounds, and we are lucky to have lived and traveled in many different places, so there are many stories yet to be told. Every special moment, memory or life experience, can easily become an inspiration for a perfume, and we are eager to share as many as possible with our public. In fact, we like to think that our story can be anybody else’s. One can easily recognize himself in every story we tell, as, after all, JUL ET MAD is simply about celebrating people and life.  

  • Finally is there anything else that you would like to share.

Definitely, one thing I cannot repeat enough, is to advise the potential clients to really take the time to test a fragrance, especially when searching for a new signature scent. And to always test it on the skin, as every person wears a perfume differently. This is especially true in artistic perfumery, where the concentration of natural raw materials is significantly higher than in mainstream perfumery. And, most important, never let anyone tell you what to wear. Choose a perfume because YOU like it and because it represents you, not because someone else recommends it.

Thank you very much


 

 

 

THE CREATOR  Gabriella Chieffo, eclectic and restless spirit, starts her research in the world of artistic perfumery to create the right formulas for fragrances rich inemotional energy. Her rebellious and unconventional soul leads Gabriella Chieffo to innovative, structurally different projects in art, design and engineering. The covalent bond between art-environment-energy shapes her inner life and pushes her towards new and ever more distant goals. Her artistic perfumes are unique and unparalleled and express the need of the more profound aspects of perception and memory. The same need that is also the desire to freeze time, to recall the things that matter. The scream of utter simplicity, together with the use of natural and primordial materials, are a constant and unique stimulus for Gabriella Chieffo to anticipate time.

THE CREATOR

Gabriella Chieffo, eclectic and restless spirit, starts her research in the world of artistic perfumery to create the right formulas for fragrances rich inemotional energy. Her rebellious and unconventional soul leads Gabriella Chieffo to innovative, structurally different projects in art, design and engineering. The covalent bond between art-environment-energy shapes her inner life and pushes her towards new and ever more distant goals. Her artistic perfumes are unique and unparalleled and express the need of the more profound aspects of perception and memory. The same need that is also the desire to freeze time, to recall the things that matter. The scream of utter simplicity, together with the use of natural and primordial materials, are a constant and unique stimulus for Gabriella Chieffo to anticipate time.

Gabriella Chieffo

  • Can you begin at the very begin, your history and how you found your way into the fragrance industry? Had there always been a interest in fragrance or was it something that developed over time?

Since I was a little child I felt a great passion for perfumes and smells, I was always an eclectic and restless spirit, so, although I am an engineer, the inner part of me, my rebellious and unconventional soul, enriched my desire to start a deep research in the world of artistic perfumery. For me it was the right way to create something that represents me deeply, something rich in emotional energy. My fragrances, in fact, express the need of the more profound aspects of perception and memory. For a person like me, in love with perfumes and smells, creating my own personal collections of fragrances was the natural development of my personality.

  • Are there any scents that last in your memories from your childhood?

My childhood is full of olfactory memories: the smells of my grandmother kitchen: the caramelized tomato, the intrigue of black pepper that tickles the nose and the mind, the tactile freshness of basil leaves. And when the taste has been assuaged, that mixing of festive flavors, that have now become light and gentle, lingers in the air. But I remember also the smell of the clothes just hung out drying by the sun. I really can say that the most important memories of my life have an olfactory identity, that’s why each of my perfumes is an olfactory piece of my life in an ideal travel inside myself.

 

  • Where is the brand based? Has the culture affected the creation of the scents in anyway?

My brand is based in the South of Italy and of this land has all the inspirations and beauty. It’s impossible to prevent your own culture to be deeply in your creations. For me Italian culture has a great importance, both in design and in the formula of my fragrances. In my creation there is always a strong link to the art and design, that’s why all my olfactory emotions live in a pack that tells the story of harmonious antinomies encountered along the way: the stone becomes the shelter of the modern fragility of the glass; the hard line of perfect cubes softened by the drawing of transparent waves of fragrances that tell about life.

 Lye, represents the childhood and its purity....

  • What is the most important idea that you would like to convey through your scents?

Through my perfumes I want to evoke faraway places living in our visceral memory , fragrances able to bring to the surface emotions and feelings hidden in our deepest self. This idea in 2014 brought to Lye, that represents the childhood and its purity, then to Camaheu, that represents my College period, looking for the levity that sometimes is necessary to find your balance. Camaheu was followed by Ragù, the fragrance of today, but also of yesterday and tomorrow, the warm scent of family, inspired by my Neapolitan origins. The 2014 collection is closed by Hystera, that represents the choice, my hard choice to have a baby at 17, and after this kind of choice your life will never be the same. It is something born in the depths of the soul, a hollow soul that fills with the flow of life. It is pain and birth, union and separation, melding and tearing, and heartrending love that creates and continues its own self, giving new meaning. From the discovery of these inner perceptions came the almost natural need, in 2015, to create a new fragrance able to express everyone's personal olfactory contemplation: Acquasala. An intimate yet universal introspection, amiably compelling the individuals, transported by the marine smell, to wonder about life, to enhance and investigate their wisdom to fully understand what was and what still is. 

Camaheu, represents looking for the levity that sometimes is necessary to find your balance...

The olfactory journey in search of lost time then brought to Variazione di Ragù, a different fragrance, smoother, more captivating, warmer than the original Ragù. Variazione di Ragù is a missing tile, because in my olfactory memory a piece was missing…there is a kind of food that experts wouldn’t even compare to Ragù, but it is so meaningful to me that I could not omit it.

My grandma Angela used to cook a very simple tomato sauce with Corbara tomatoes that had nothing less than the classic Ragù and can be considered as a variation on the classic recipe! Maybe not everyone knows that Corbara tomatoes grow on the Lattari Mountain chain and their peculiarity is the one of absorbing the sour salty taste of the sea giving sauces the penetrating aroma of sea food. Variazione di Ragù is my personal interpretation of the sauce of the past made with poor ingredients but rich in tastes and odors, odors that maybe do not exist anymore. A sort of augmented reality of flavours’ perception, an amplified feeling of taste experience in terms of intensity and duration, an alchemy giving birth to a universe suspended between the past and the future. And the olfactory journey goes on and soon there will be a surprise for all the people that love my fragrances and my olfactory universe.

Ragù, the fragrance of today, but also of yesterday and tomorrow..

Where can we find the stockist for Gabriella Chieffo Perfumes?

On the following link you will find all the niche perfumeries that sell my brand. I’d like to underline that we adopted selective and rigorous criteria in the choice of the boutique that will sell my fragrances, in order to preserve the uniqueness and exclusivity of the products. That’s why very often I personally meet the niche perfumeries.

 



showroom_Bd-29.jpg

Interview with

Celine Ripert

  • Can we start at the beginning? What is your history and background, how did your journey into fragrance begin?

La naissance du projet s'est faite en douceur, très naturellement. J'adore créer pour les autres car l'échange d'idées, d'expériences est synonyme de créativité et de richesse. Mais l'envie de créer pour moi est devenue petit à petit irrésistible. J'ai eu un désir de retranscrire dans ma gamme ma PATTE olfactive, ma passion pour le parfum, le savoir-faire grassois. J'ai tout simplement eu l'envie de faire un projet qui me ressemble à 100%, de mettre en scène mes coups de cœur. Développer ma gamme, un rêve que j'ai voulu transformer en réalité. Cette idée a muri pendant 4 ans, version après version, elle s'est précisée, affinée, enrichie, embellie. Le fil conducteur: rester fidèle à mes idées, mettre en forme mes gouts olfactifs, mes matières premières fétiches, celles qui m'évoquent du rêve, du plaisir. Quand on a la chance d'exercer un métier de passion, on a envie de le partager.

 

  • What are the inspiration behind NANA.M?

Grasse, et sa riche histoire de Capitale Mondiale du Parfum. Nous avons tous dans la région des ancêtres qui travaillaient dans la parfumerie. C’est en puisant dans le savoir-faire grassois, la culture de la matière naturelle et le terroir que j’ai créé ma ligne de 8 parfums de niche à forte signature olfactive. Des fragrances uniques pour une Parfumerie alternative, haut de gamme, Où  se conjuguent luxe, rêve, passion, modernité et tradition.

 

  • Can you describe what the creative process is like with a team of creative people and how everyone roles fit together.

Tous les détails sont importants, tout doit être très cohérent, tous les aspects de la création doivent aller dans le même sens et raconter la même histoire. Pour moi, le savoir-faire grassois (depuis plusieurs siècles autour des parfums) et le savoir faire de Biot (la verrerie) devaient être mis en avant. Pour le flacon, nous avons travaillé avec le verrier Christophe Saba, sur l’effet matière (que l’on retrouve aussi dans mes parfums), sur la féminité et sur la rondeur. De plus, les couleurs rouge et noir étaient aussi très importantes. Tout le monde à donc travaillé dans ce sens, en suivant ces idées.

 

  • Where is the brand based does the location influence your work?

Je voulais qu’il y ait un aspect tradition dans ma marque car la place de Grasse comme Capitale mondiale de la Parfumerie est très importante.

 

  • Where do you see the fragrance world moving to?

Il y a un vrai retour à la qualité et aux jolies matières premières, riches, profondes, aux parfums créatifs et qualitatifs. L’art de la Parfumerie est de plus en plus mis en valeur.

 

  • As for the line, what effect would you like the scent to have on the wearers?

Pour moi, le parfum doit faire corps avec la personne, il fait partie de sa personnalité à tel point que si vous sortez en ayant oublié de vous parfumer vous ayez comme l’impression qu’il vous manque une partie de vous. Par exemple, pour faire une comparaison plus ludique avec notre époque, c’est comme quand vouse oubliez votre téléphone portable !

 

  • How would you describe your scents?

Des parfums avec une forte signature olfactive. Je veux simplement proposer du beau, donc du rêve.

 

  • The bottles are also very bottles can you speak on the story of the bottles creation?

C’était important pour moi que la bouteille soit très féminine et qu’on retrouve la même notion de matière que dans mes parfums. On a donc un fond très épais et très délicat en même temps avec ses petites bulles. De plus, chaque bouteille étant soufflée à la bouche, nous avons un caractère unique pour chaque pièce. Le fait que la bouteille soit rechargeable était aussi un facteur très important pour moi.

 

  • Where can we find the stocklists for your scents?

www.nana-m.com et sur OSMOZ et FRAGRANTICA

 

  • Finally is there any else that you would like to add?

Ce qui est vraiment important pour moi est de donner du RÊVE !

 


"Frazer Parfum creates organic and natural perfume products, handcrafted while collaborating with local artists. Founded in 2008, “each perfume is composed at a particular time in my life inspired by expeditions traveling to the source of the raw materials”. Tammy Violet Frazer, perfumer, who works only with the finest quality raw materials celebrates art and design while spearheading African luxury.  Tammy is the granddaughter of Graham Wulff, inventor of Oil of Olay. Following in his footsteps single-handedly launched her personally handmade perfumes in eclectic retail environments in Europe, North America, UK, Ukraine, Oceania, Nigeria and South Africa. Discovering the arts, Tammy’s exploration of scent portraiture, “Skin Portraits”, was catalogued as the first-ever scent “novella” at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art. Read more about Tammy’s journeys in her column “Making Scents”, published every Friday in the Mail & Guardian newspaper."-FP

"Frazer Parfum creates organic and natural perfume products, handcrafted while collaborating with local artists. Founded in 2008, “each perfume is composed at a particular time in my life inspired by expeditions traveling to the source of the raw materials”. Tammy Violet Frazer, perfumer, who works only with the finest quality raw materials celebrates art and design while spearheading African luxury.

Tammy is the granddaughter of Graham Wulff, inventor of Oil of Olay. Following in his footsteps single-handedly launched her personally handmade perfumes in eclectic retail environments in Europe, North America, UK, Ukraine, Oceania, Nigeria and South Africa. Discovering the arts, Tammy’s exploration of scent portraiture, “Skin Portraits”, was catalogued as the first-ever scent “novella” at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art. Read more about Tammy’s journeys in her column “Making Scents”, published every Friday in the Mail & Guardian newspaper."-FP

Q&A with

Tammy Frazer

Founder and Perfumer of

Frazer Parfum

 

  • Can you tell us about yourself and your life growing up?

I grew up in a small tropical beach town called Durban in KwaZulu-Natal on the east coast of Africa. Growing up in a fairly uncomplicated place (think The Wonder Years), what was nurtured was my imagination. I now live in Cape Town, voted as the Design Capital of the World, and people often note that so many of the creators and designers living in the design capital, herald from KwaZulu-Natal. Being an observer of my grandfather’s tremendous success with Olay, from creation of the formula to building the business, was also a powerful memory growing up. The fact that someone close to me had been so successful in the beauty industry… it was as though it gave me permission to believe I could do the same.

  • Have you always had a interest in perfume or smell?

I have always had this ability to look at things with a micro perspective, which I feel is my x-factor. What I mean by that is I take in the smallest of details and I feel them acutely, whatever they may be: the scent of clover in cut grass is ever-present in my memory, or warm fruit on a mulberry tree and acidic radish leaves in the flower-bed under my window. All became lexicons for what I understood things to smell like.

But there was always a disconnect for me between packaged synthetic perfume and the scents I loved in nature. From young, a strong sense of smell - with my nose as my primary sense - raised my curiosity when it came all beauty products, especially with having had so much exposure to the industry growing up.

  • Do you have any strong scent memories growing up?

In my early teens, I experienced the rite of passage of selecting my first scent - it was Clarins Eau Dynamisante, perfectly appropriate for that age. But soon I experimented with layering the body milk and the fragrance. Each had its own identity, but they complimented as a unison when paired. Understanding how the scent in each product was constructed for its unique medium piqued my creative inquisitiveness.

 In my 20s, I found an apothecary in Prague - Hortus Botanicus - it had a sublime chamomile flower fragrance. The way they muddled fresh sweet basil tones plays a role in the way I compose perfume today. My first trip to a French perfumery was a glorious engagement with a fragrance by Jean Claude Ellena - it was inspired by the scent of baking bread!

  • When did you begin to discover a love for the art of fragrance and scent making?

I’ve always been late bloomer. But not knowing what I wanted to do until I was 29 allowed me to study many things, from fitness, writing, make-up, finance, computers, design and then finally a Masters in Communication. All of this equipped me to organically grow a business that holds true values like community, collaboration and a grassroots approach to sourcing. 

For me, becoming a perfumer, happened as an epiphany, overnight on a Sunday. When I realized that I wanted to be perfumer for the rest of my life, this was my calling. I was living in Australia, working in a bank and overnight I just knew my true calling. With haste I resigned on Monday and prepared to move back to Africa.

 

  • Were you self-taught or did you enroll in classes to learn the craft?

I am largely self-taught. When I decided to become a perfumer, in 2007, I visited ISIPCA in Versailles and spent time with the Dean, but they only offered a week long course in naturals, so I felt it was not the place for me. I promptly boarded the TGV for Nice, hired a car and visited as many perfume houses as would see me, in the quest to find farmers, and learn directly from them about the precious botanicals, their harvesting methods and distillation.

So, I am self-taught, but many important people contributed to my career as a perfumer that should be acknowledged. A man who remembered my father from when he worked at Givaudan allowed me to come to Switzerland for some training; a perfumer in Grasse at the natural division of IFF (Laboratoire Monique Remy) showed me her store of ambergris and suggested to me a trip to find the wild harvested Narcissus in the Provençal mountains; a buyer of aromatherapy oils invited me to Madagascar with 30 Japanese botanists to learn about what the island has to offer.

Each of my journeys and adventures equipped me with memories and an education that I could instill in my fragrances.

  • What is a personal motto or promise that you keep for yourself and brand?

Collaboration is key to my success. Being able to cross-pollinate not only information but craft and design. Allowing an artist or artisan from another field, to think in the medium of fragrance is very rewarding personally - like my glass-blower, or my porcelain artists, the sustainable forestry organisation we use; or a photographer or advertising agency. It sets Frazer Parfum apart. Showcasing African luxury and local design to the rest of the world has been part of my story and, sometimes I almost feel like an ambassador for the continent, for natural raw materials and for sustainable business.

  • The art style of your designs are both beautiful also they seem to be in touch with nature yet modern. What effect does the culture of Africa effect your work?

It influences and runs as a thread throughout every aspect of my aesthetic. Leaving Africa in my 20s and then returning a decade on, gave me a unique perspective and appreciation, an objectivity in the beauty of what Africa has to offer and I celebrate this through the talented people that live and breathe this continent. Many people forget that Africa itself is a mix of the modern and the traditional; of 21st century technology with human - even tribal - based solutions.

 

 

  • How and when did you start the brand?

1 January 2008, I launched with a small stand at Design Indaba, which is one of Africa's most prestigious design expo, and a conference with speakers, delegates and visitors from around the world. My first stockist was Harrod's of London, in their perfume atelier. I launched a small lab and shop in a space that used to be a storehouse under a National Monument.

 

  • Did you have any fears starting out?

Not one. The momentum I felt and the thirst for knowledge I needed to satiate was contagious.

 

  • Where do you see the future of the fragrance world going to?

I think that, driven by the consumer, the industry will become more conscious about the ingredients that are used. More and more people are searching for authenticity, and this will extend also to fragrances. Good fragrances will be set apart by their scent and their provenance, not by manufactured marketing. Synthetics will start to incorporate more naturals (hopefully!).

There will be a divide, a definite line between what I like to call ‘airport fragrances’ and the fragrances of creative perfumers. It will be a different market and a different shopping  and customer experience. Interestingly I believe the traditional houses - like Geurlain - will fall in the category of creative perfumers.

  • Finally do you have anything that you would like to share?

I’m about to embark on the journey of being a mother for the first time and this will coincide with launching a perfume for children. An African fragrance that will have appeal for mothers all over the world, born from the gentle nature of natural and organic raw materials, and inspired by the beauty and captivating time in a woman’s life when everything changes - forever. It will be called “Bok”. Watch this space!


Robyn Nakamoto McUsic

Perfumer and Owner at Reliquary Perfumes

 

HANDCRAFTED FRAGRANCES

INSPIRED BY ART

 

Robyn Nakamoto McUsic of Reliquary Perfumes

 

 

• Growing up was scent a large part of your life? 

It was a part of my life, but I didn’t realize it at the time. I was born in San Francisco with the heavy smell of damp fog rolling in over the bay, and the colorful aromatics of Chinese cuisine wafting down the street.  I was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii with its heady white florals, and lush green foliage dripping with morning dewdrops.  I lived in New York City with the aroma of steaming metal, sweaty subway cars and fragrant candied cashews on 5th avenue.  Now, my husband and I live in Santa Monica, California, surrounded by the salty ocean air, where I create my own perfumes, but all those places I’ve grown up in and lived have a bearing on my scents.

Fragrances have a magical quality being intangible, but extremely evocative at the same time, which I find fascinating.  It’s the sense you cannot “see,” “touch,” “hear” or “feel,” but once you experience a fragrance, it’s imprinted on your memory in a way that none of the other senses are and is something you will never forget. Like everyone, I have been collecting these scent memories my entire life, through different experiences and travels, and continue to collect them as I move through life. I know the scents I create ten years from now will be different from the ones I create today. That’s what makes perfuming so very personal.

 

• What is your background and how did you begin working within the fragrance world?

I had the good fortune of studying perfuming at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in France.  But before that I was very much self-taught. I’ve been a self-taught visual artist my whole life, primarily using charcoal and graphite for my realistic-surrealist works, and went on to study Art History at the University of Southern California. I focused on ancient art with an interest in Renaissance and Impressionism.  In the years after I graduated, I took an interest in aromatherapy which later transformed into perfumery.  I was obsessed - reading, researching, and finding my small perfumer’s organ rapidly expanding as I obtained more and more raw perfuming materials.  I played with tincturing and extracting my own botanical essences, experimenting and creating endless fragrant combinations.

This passion for creating and perfumery eventually made me realize I had to take classes in perfuming which led me to southern France. I remember being so excited when I arrived. This was the very birthplace of perfume! My time in Grasse was informative and incredibly inspiring.  I carried that experience and knowledge home with me and created what is now Reliquary Perfumes.

 

• Tell us about your work and your brand?

What started as a kind of personal art project (attempting to create olfactive interpretations of visual works of art) turned into an incredible journey into the world of perfumery.  This endeavor eventually blossomed into what is now Reliquary Perfumes. My process for creating all the perfumes in our Gallery of Fragrances starts with extensive research into the history and symbolism of the chosen painting, noting fragrant story-telling components that play an important role in the work of art, as well my own artistic interpretation when choosing which notes to include in the final fragrance.  When composing and structuring the perfume, I constantly ask myself, “What would I smell and feel if I jumped into the painting at this very moment?” What is the story I’m trying to convey?

As Reliquaries are shrines that house sacred objects, precious items from another time, place or culture - Reliquary Perfumes is a niche perfume line, home to these unique bottled fragrance “experiences.”  I wanted to create fragrances that were not only pleasing to the nose, but also bottled artworks that transform paintings into intimate sensual experiences, plunging the viewer/wearer into the works of art themselves.

 

• How does background or culture play a large role in your work?

I think it would be difficult for a perfumer not to be influenced by their background, either consciously or subconsciously. My background plays a huge role in my perfuming. I’m of Japanese descent, so I have scents like “Sakura” which seek to capture the perfect cherry blossom perfume. And I grew up in Hawaii, so I have scents like “Tahitian Eve”, where I explore my own childhood. Scents like the more masculine-leaning “Debonair” are a nod to my love of France.

 

• What would be your favorite smell?

Night blooming jasmine is my favorite botanical fragrance.  When studying in Grasse, I remember walking the town’s narrow cobblestone passages in the evening, and the sweet, narcotic aroma of Jasmine blossoms filled the balmy summer night air.  It was magical, and the scent of Jasmine transports me back to Grasse every single time.

 

• Where can we purchase your scents?

Reliquary Perfumes fragrances will soon be available on our own website, but currently we are available on Etsy - an online retailer for handmade items.  I love taking an active role in every aspect of perfumery - from the graphic design and packaging to the hand-blending, bottling and gift wrapping.  It allows me to have a personal connection to every person that purchases a bottle of perfume, which I really enjoy.

 

  •  At the moment fragrance is an artform, how do you feel about arts in all forms importance in the life of a person.

I greatly appreciate and place the highest importance on all forms of Art, whether it’s music, dance, dramatic, visual or even culinary.  A common theory which I agree with wholeheartedly is that creativity, imagination and the creation of Art is what sets humans apart from all other species in the animal kingdom.  Imagination and creativity make each person unique - and uniqueness is what makes each person interesting.

My favorite poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, “Where I create, there I am true.”

Interview with a creative

Olibere Marjorie

  • Can you begin at the very begin of your journey into perfumery?

My journey into perfumery began when I was a child. I used to live in a small village in the South West country side and I spent a lot of time with my grandparents as they had a very big garden full of vegetables, fruits and flowers. I learned a lot with them, that experience would lead me later very naturally towards fragrance.

  • What is your history and background?

I am passionate and curious about life. I can say that so far I have had three lives. The first was a passion that I had for basketball. I started when I was the age of four and it became a big part of my life until University. While in high-school I also joined a cinema class, and that was also the beginning of a second passion. But one day while training, I broke my knee ligaments. As I remained immobilized for a certain time, I started to think about what I really wanted to do professionally and so I realized that I wanted to travel and discover the world.

 From that time on, many of the decisions I took brought me to travel, either for my studies or for work. It became a lifestyle. I took different classes based on my interests. Communications, marketing, and management even TV production. I worked for Walt Disney World in Orlando, then I worked for Business France in London, and after that experience I moved to Asia where I stayed for almost 10 years. I also ran a TV production company based in Singapore that specialized in economic documentaries that were aired via CNBC, Channel News-Asia…

I was not making movies but it was close enough. I was able to discover many countries and cultures along with projects in Eastern Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Meeting with heads of State, ministers, top CEOs made life a adventure. I spent the most time in Malaysia and I even bought a flat in Kuala Lumpur, facing the Petronas Towers. But after all those years, I started missing my family and I thought that I wanted to do something more creative than business news, fragrance became an evidence. I went to the cosmoproof exhibition in Paris in 2012 where I met for the first time Valérie Vanier (Mission Beauté). She told me that it was a very hard and competitive industry, but somehow in spite, I felt it was this that I had to do. So after our meeting, I decided to sell my flat and move back to France to start the artistic fragrance brand OLIBERE. 

  • Had there always been an interest in fragrance or was it something that developed over time?

I was very fortunate to work with Aurélie Dematons and Valerie Vanier. Aurélie introduced me to master perfumers Bertrand Duchaufour and Amélie Bourgeois. Valérie helped me understand the commercial aspects of the fragrance industry. I have always been interested in fragrances, but it became an evidence much later in my life. I guess sometimes that we don’t really understand our choices right away but with time a clear pattern emerges. It felt to me that even though I was new to the industry that I had developed over the years, all the skills necessary to make this project happen.

Can we talk about destiny..

Indeed, sometimes we don’t see the obvious, Silvio Levi from Cale was the one to make me think about the meaning of my last name, He said to me "Marjorie don’t you understand that you have a magic last name ?" I was surprised by his question. How come I answered ? He stated the obvious "O in French means water and LIBERE in French means fred or freedom and O de parfum, O libre, O libérée… Your last name is a calling for PARFUMS!

"Then I recalled the Irish writer Georges Moore and it all made sense " We travel around the world in search of something and we come back home to find it. " - Georges Moore

  • Is there any scents that last in your memories from your childhood?

Many actually, growing up in the country side is a privilege as you really get to feel the change in seasons. So in the winter time, sometimes I would have a walk in the forest with my father. I recall very well the smell of oak trees and moss. In spring my grand mother would make bouquets of white roses and in the summertime, we would spend some evenings at my aunt’s house. I recall the smell of the box trees and later in August the figs. But then again, our garden was giving us fresh tomatoes, prunes, cherries, strawberries, apricots. In autumn, the smell of mushrooms were always freshly found.

  • What was your life like growing up?

As a child, living in the country side I have always had a lot of freedom because it was a different time. So I could wander off with my bicycle and discover little roads and ponds. I would share my time between my different interests reading, basket-ball and movies.

  • Where is Olibere based?

Maison Olibere is based in Paris, but my family lives in Toulouse which is an one hour flight away from Paris. Basically I share my time between these two cities.

  • Has that culture affected the creation of the scents in anyway?

My life has been a source of inspiration, as I used moments  that I experienced or witnessed to create olfactive stories.

  • As for the brand can you describe it's themes?

First, I write a synopsis around the themes of the brand love, travel and sheer chance and then I develop a fragrance and its short movie. These three themes are very important to me as I have made many decisions because of love. I also spent twelve years of my life traveling and I got to meet many different people thanks to sheer chance.

  • What does the creative process of scent making and design mean for you?

I have challenged Amélie Bourgeois and Bertrand Duchaufour to bring surprising notes into each fragrance, as I wanted to bring a more modern and newer approach with each creation. I also used different elements of the aesthetics of cinema into the packaging. For instance, the bottle is inspired by the design of a camera super 8. And of course, the lines are more elegant as I wanted to create a luxurious item as opposed to something technical.

  • What was the process of creating the fragrance brand like?

I have spent about two years working on the DNA of the brand the themes, design and packaging. I had a great time working with Amélie and Bertrand on the collection of fragrances as they understood quite quickly what I wanted.

  • Can you describe what the moment was like that set everything in motion ?

The logo of the brand is represented by a peacock this is very original and sets us the brand apart. The peacock is actually linked to the there themes of the brand :

Love : This bird is the bird of seduction and love. It seduces with its plumage.

Travel : For instance. it is the national bird of India and there it means fecundity and in china it means prosperity. For the Arabic cultures,it is a cosmic symbol and represents eternity. For the west, it is a symbol of power and repersents royality,kings used to have this bird in their gardens.

Sheer chance : Thinking about it I realized that for many years I sold a CNBC product and their logo is a peacock as well but it's done in a totally different style. It represents a link between my life before and my life now.

  • Where can we find the STOCKLISTS for the brand ?

Consumers can write to us and we will send them the retailer the nearest to them.



"Having grown up on a farm in northern NY, I've always had a deep attachment to the natural world. My fondest childhood memories were splattered with mud and smeared with grass stains. I had space to roam and each season brought with it the most glorious sensory gifts. Spring was a passing whiff of the lilac tree on the western edge of our farmhouse. Summer exhaled sour wild strawberries and sun-scorched earth. Autumn brought musty mounds of leaves and ancient apple trees hidden in forgotten hedgerows. Winter whispered plumes of smoke from spent fires and boiling sap amongst the evergreens. 

As a city dweller of late, I often find myself lost in deep nostalgia for the sensory experiences that shaped my world. This longing for connection led me to start experimenting with scent as a means to transport myself outside the city's boundaries, and into the great outdoors of my youth. Reveling in scent can be the perfect way to escape; it can bring you full blooms in a frozen tundra, fresh grass in a sea of pavement, or a lover's musk when you're all alone. I hope Thorn & Bloom Perfume can help take you where you want to go"- T&B

 

Thorn & Bloom  

Artisan Botanical Beautiful


Interview with

Jennifer Botto  of Thorn & Bloom

 

Growing up as a tomboy on a farm in upstate NY, I was lucky to have all the scents of nature at my doorstep. This instilled in me a deep connection to the sensory world and was the seed for my interest in natural perfumery. When I moved to Boston, I lost that connection to the outdoors and have been trying to get it back ever since. I studied artisan cheese making for a while, attending The Farm School in western Massachusetts.

 

While there, my interests shifted towards natural beauty products and I fell in love with botanical perfume. It had a power that no mass-market scent could match, a deep sensual allure that put me under its spell. Finding my signature scent in the world of naturals soon became an obsession. I bought sample after sample but couldn’t find the scent that was truly for me. This was my crossroads moment – deciding to make myself that which I couldn’t buy. I started experimenting and found that working with scent filled me with intense creative energy, something I had been missing for a long time; I was hooked. After completing Anya McCoy’s Natural Perfumery Course, which I highly recommend, I set out to become a professional perfumer.

 

Inspiration for the brand

Thorn & Bloom Perfume represents the dualistic nature of life and reminds us to embrace both imperfection and beauty. Natural perfume is very yin and yang, as it contains ingredients that may be considered an acquired taste by some, and also gorgeous aromatics that cannot be replicated as synthetic. In this way, Thorn & Bloom Perfume celebrates the holistic nature of botanical perfume and reminds the wearer that when experienced together, imperfection and beauty can be very powerful. To quote Anne Brontë:

 

Thorn- By Jennifer Botto

Thorn- By Jennifer Botto

 

 

Process for creating perfume

When I brainstorm ideas for a new formula, I try not to have a very specific end goal in mind. I know that many perfumers will write a very detailed brief or create a piece of art from which to draw inspiration. Personally, I don’t like limiting myself to strict guidelines and prefer to start off with a very broad and flexible framework. For instance, I’ll simply think green or smoky. This allows the aromatics to take the lead and show me which direction they want to go. I prefer to relinquish control over to them and listen to what they’re telling me. I feel that they are ultimately in charge of how the blend is going to smell and I am there as a vehicle to make sure the blend is a success. Sometimes I’ll end up with a blend very far from what I originally intended to make, which I love because it reminds me that I am not the master of these ingredients. When I sit down to blend I look at all my aromatics and think “ok, what do you want to smell like today?”.

 I take a lot of inspiration from Georgia O’Keeffe. Her examination of flowers for painting is very similar to how a perfumer studies aromatics for blending. She would move in close to see a flower’s intimate curves and became very familiar with her subject. I grew up very near-sighted and remember having to wear these huge terrible glasses on my little face. Finding them such a bother, I’d tear them off and wander around near blind. I remember crouching down to see this newly magnified world and marveling at the minute detail and rich depth of field. Perfuming, for me, is a continuation of this ritual. It allows me to inspect and appreciate the world in a very up-close and personal way.

 

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”-Georgia O'Keeffe

 

“Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time.” -Georgia O’Keeffe

 

What does being natural mean for those who wear my scents?

I love how delicate natural perfume can be. Fashion critics often speak of a garment wearing the wearer if it is too garish or overwhelming. I often think in those terms regarding fragrance. Too often, we drown ourselves in overpowering mass-produced perfume, creating clouds of scents too wide and too strong. Natural perfume is just the opposite. It beckons for close proximity and is a very personal experience.  It will not intrude into others’ personal space, nor will it linger on your clothes for 24 hours.

I like to remind my customers that natural perfume is an agricultural product and may experience a subtle change in formulation or price from year to year, depending on the growing conditions of the aromatics. Much like wine in this way, botanical fragrance can display a degree of terroir; just as Merlot grapes can exhibit a varied flavor profile from year to year, Roses will display similar nuances over time depending on the weather. Knowing this, we should approach the fluidity of natural perfume not as a curse, but as a gift that represents nature’s ingenuity. After all, the changes reflect a plant’s reaction to its environment. A plant cannot physically move to better conditions and, so, uses aromatic compounds to defend itself against predators or to attract pollinators. When we bottle a perfume, we are capturing the quintessence of that plant’s life; when we sniff a perfume, we are experiencing it’s life story.

 

Where do I see fragrance industry in next 5 years, what would I like to see happen

 

            I see more and more artisan perfumers cropping up, both natural and synthetic. Consumer tastes are trending towards the local, handmade, exclusive market, which is a wonderful thing for artists and makers. I’d love to see more organic growing methods for aromatics, as currently there aren’t a lot of options for purchasing only organic ingredients for a 100% truly organic perfume. While I enjoy offering natural perfume to consumers, I’d really prefer to give them a certified organic perfume that supports sustainable agriculture.

 

Spiky Flower - By Jennifer Botto

Spiky Flower - By Jennifer Botto


 

 

 

 

 

 

4160 Tuesdays London

 

 

Interview with 

Sarah McCartney

  • Can you speak on your background?

I'm from the north of England, and I've lived in London for over 30 years. I was school swot and played clarinet in the band. I also studied sciences.

  • Do you have any profound scent memories growing up?

I'm not sure that any of them deserve to be called profound. The best one is a shrub called southerywood, a kind of artemesia which gives off a beautiful aroma when you touch the leaves.

  • What were you doing before you became involved with the perfume world?

Before I set up 4160Tuesdays I was a copywriter, and trained people to write for their businesses. I wrote Lush Times for Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics for 14 years and learned a lot about scents, but only theoretically.

  • Can you remember the moment you decided to commit to becoming a perfumer?

Nope, I didn’t decide, I drifted into it. I was planning to be a novelist.

  • How did you know it would be such a big part of your life?

I really didn’t.

  • When you create a scent what are the things that inspires you?

Materials, people, places, events, music. It really depends on the day.

  • Can you talk about the brand, what are the themes that you use and how would you like your work to effect the person that wears it?

That's three questions. I want to make perfumes that people can love by capturing times and places that make people happy.
As well as that one, the Crimes of Passion was a theme - scents to inspire irresponsible acts of devotion. 
I'd love it if people enjoy wearing my fragrances, that's the effect I'm hoping for.

  • What would your biggest passion in life be at this point?

Just one? It's my company. I'd add fountain pens, chocolate, yoga, London, Paris and my husband.

  • Lastly where do you see the fragrance world headed?

The fragrance world is 10 million times bigger than my business, but I would say it's headed towards bespoke and customization.

  • Please share anything you like to say..

Be kind.

 



Interview with

Ellen Covey

"Olympic Orchids Perfumes was established in 2010 as a line of handcrafted fragrances inspired by the incredible variety of scents produced by orchid flowers and created by Ellen Covey, owner of Olympic Orchids orchid nursery in Seattle. The Olympic Orchids signature line was inspired by different species of orchids, but our offerings have expanded to include a variety of luxury perfumes that range from classical in style to highly experimental. These regular lines are joined by several Special Editions and 100% natural perfumes."-OOP

  • Do you have any profound scent memories from growing up?

My earliest clear scent memory is from a time when I was about 2 years old and we were preparing to move from one house to another. I was standing on the bed, sniffing the windowsill, thinking that the new house would smell different and how much I would miss the smell of this one. 
When I was older, at one point we had a garden with a lot of flowers, trees, and shrubs and I distinctly remember the fragrance of each one. I also remember my mother’s perfumes, some of which I liked and others of which I did not. 

  • You have had an interesting life and background; can you tell us about your history and work before starting the brand?

I lived many different places growing up, including several different European countries. Before coming to the US, I spent a couple of years studying stage design in Rome. However, most of my career has been spent as a professor and researcher in neuroscience, and I still continue that career in parallel with my work as a perfumer. This is why I often take a long time to get around to doing things like answering interview questions! I originally started out studying the chemical senses, so that background in chemistry and sensory processing definitely informs and influences my work as a perfumer. About 10 years ago I also started an orchid growing business, Olympic Orchids, and the perfume business grew out of that. I became fascinated with all of the wonderful fragrances of orchid flowers and tried to reconstruct some of them, or at least make perfumes that were inspired by them. 
What were you doing before you became involved with scent and the perfume world?
As I said in the answer to the last question, I have worked for many years at a major university as a professor and researcher, have grown orchids commercially, managed and participated in a small theater group, and continue to do all of those activities at some level. 

  • Can you remember the moment you decided to commit to becoming a perfumer?

I did not suddenly decide one day to become a perfumer, nor was it some sort of lifelong dream. It just happened as a slow evolutionary process, almost by accident. I’ve always been fascinated by scents and for as long as I can remember have collected perfumes and essential oils. At some point I started tinkering around with the oils and quickly realized that there was much more to perfumery than mixing some essential oils together. I decided to learn about how to do it right, and have gradually taught myself what I need to know through reading and experimentation. I am still learning. When I started out I had no idea that it would become an important part of my life, but I’m glad it is!

  • What inspired you to create the brand?

The brand name existed already as the name of my orchid nursery, Olympic Orchids. When I was debating what to call the nursery, I looked out the window and saw the Olympic Mountains, and decided to use that name. 
Where are your perfumes sold?
My perfumes are mostly sold online through my two websites (olympicorchidsperfumes.com and orchidscents.com). They are also sold in small brick-and-mortar shops in a few places. 

  • How would you like your work to affect the person who wears it?

When I make perfumes, I make them to please myself, not some mythical consumer demographic. If other people like them, it makes me happy, but if they don’t, it doesn’t bother me because I know that everyone’s taste and ways of smelling are unique. I think one thing that characterizes my brand is the unusually wide range of genres and styles, so I doubt that anyone loves or hates all of my perfumes. The slogan that I use is, “Extraordinary perfumes for extraordinary people”, and I think it expresses my intention quite accurately. I don’t just want my perfumes to “smell nice”, I want them to evoke feelings, thoughts, memories, fantasies, flights of imagination, reactions of surprise or delight, and provide a memorable experience for the wearer. 

  • What can you say about finding ones passion?

A basic rule of life seems to be that if you go looking for something specific like love, success, your “passion”, or even the right shoes for a special occasion, the probability of finding whatever it is decreases dramatically.  My take on this question is that if you are patient, open to everything the world has to offer, and opportunistic, your “passion” will find you. If you’re like me, you may find that you have multiple “passions”, so the question then is how to prioritize them. 

  • What is your view on finding a scent that fits?

My view is that finding a scent that “fits” is a moving set of many unpredictable targets. “Fit” depends on personal tastes, circumstances, mood, the weather, the environment you’re in, your budget, and a host of other factors. To me, there is no one “fit”. My best fit is a huge variety. My advice to anyone would be to wear whatever you enjoy, but don’t get stuck in a rut with just one perfume. You will build up a tolerance to it and require doses that asphyxiate everyone around you. If I’m working in my perfume lab, I can’t wear any perfume, but if I’m not I wear something different every time. 

  • Lastly where do you see the scent world headed in the next few years?

That’s a very good, but unanswerable question. What I envision happening is that the proliferation of new perfume houses and new releases by all perfume companies will decrease somewhat because right now it seems unsustainable. Who wants to keep up with it all? Who wants to buy yet another flanker of a flanker?  I know all of this proliferation of perfumes is driven by the need to constantly stay in the spotlight with new releases, but after a while it’s going to be counter-productive if it isn’t already. 
On the other hand, maybe you could think of perfume production as being like the plant that produces billions of seeds so that three or four of them can germinate and survive. What I think I have seen the beginning of is large mass-market companies copying what we artisan and indie perfumers have been doing, or gobbling up the small companies like whales sucking in krill. Whether that’s a good thing or not depends on your point of view, but there’s certainly plenty of cross-pollination going on among the different layers of the perfume world. 
Another trend that I think may develop is a move away from Eurocentric perfume styles toward more cross-cultural styles. I know that Arabian-style perfume has become more popular in the US and elsewhere, and I hope that still other non-European styles will emerge on the market. 

  • Please share anything you like to say..

What I can say is that my venture into perfumery has been a thrilling journey at every stage, and one that I hope to continue for a long time. I am immensely thankful to my customers, my colleagues, and all of the bloggers and forums that have helped build my company from nothing to a real player in the world of artisan/indie/niche perfume. 


Two brothers, following the path paved by their grandfather find the creativity bound to be reborn in every new generation.

The Rising Phoenix Perfumery

Interview with

JK Delapp

Can you speak on your background?
The road to perfumery started for me in the kitchen. I started cooking at a young age. During college, somehow I had pulled together a catering company, and also worked in a kitchen for a few years. My father worked in international business, so I was exposed to quite a few things from a young age – food, culture, languages, peoples, customs. These experiences early on helped to expand the “size” of my world – and continues to do so.
My official road to perfumery began after I had started medical school (I also happen to be a licensed physician). I attended Pacific College of Oriental Medicine – the largest of 60 or so schools of Chinese Medicine in the US. Compounding formulations and learning about hundreds of herbs…it didn’t take me long to figure out that all of these materials I was learning about formed the foundation of the Pharmaceutical, Nutriceutical, Cosmetic, Flavor, Fragrance, Incense, and other Industries. And like that…I decided to start a perfume company.
“The Family” has been in the industry of innovation for a long time. My father has taken part of shaping the optical, dental, and toiletry industries for decades. Before him, my grandfather helped shape the face of the confectionary industry at Ludens (remember those cough drops?), Mars Candy, Hershey and Cadbury – and was the man behind the mergers, as well as phrases such as “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t”. He is an inductee in the Candy Hall of Fame (I couldn’t believe that was a real thing, either! Haha). Both forefathers were famous in the world of marketing.
And so – without knowing it…I set out to make a few marks of my own on the world, following in footsteps I hadn’t initially realized were even there.

Do you have any profound scent memories from growing up?
The kitchen, for starters.
The scent of smoke and incense – I was always drawn as a kid to wood fires, the smell of burning resinous logs, Sassafras tea (we had a tree in our front yard growing up…mmm tea and fragrant fire), and incense – which, somehow, I had discovered at a young age.

What were you doing before you became involved with scent and the perfume world?
My first job out of college was as a mortgage salesman – right before the 2005 collapse. It was as fun as you’d imagine it to be.
I worked in film and television for several years – and still do, occasionally. Then I entered medical school for Chinese Medicine. I modeled all through school to help pay the bills (sound like any stripper stories to you??) I spent a little time working in 3 hospitals in Shanghai.
And while doing all of this – I started a perfume company, eventually began custom distilling various materials, including Oud, began compounding incense – and still maintain 3 days a week in clinical practice in Atlanta.

Can you remember the moment you decided to commit to becoming a perfumer? How did you know it would be such a big part of your life?
I can. Once it dawned on me that all of these materials I was learning about formed the backbone of half a dozen multi-billion dollar markets – I began researching perfume immediately. I eventually called my brother, who works in finance – and ran the idea of beginning a company together. He told me it was the dumbest idea he had ever heard…He called me three months later and told me he had done some research…and maybe it wasn’t so dumb, after all. haha

When you create a scent what are the things that inspires you?
I gravitate towards the “old school”…Sandalwood, Oud, Narcotic Florals, Ancient spices from the Spice Trade. 
I love history, and love connecting with ancient traditions. As a kid – I had wanted to be either an Archaeologist, or a Spice Trader.  Without knowing it…I kinda did.

Can you talk about the brand, what are the themes that you use and how would you like your work to effect the person that wears it?
The Rising Phoenix about says it all…
The Phoenix is an ancient alchemical symbol in both the East and the West. It is also the symbol of the Incense tradition.
The Dragon and Phoenix are considered the “ideal pairing” in Chinese culture – and my brother happens to be a Dragon, and I (a Rooster) – am a Phoenix. Lastly – I wanted to bring new life to an old practice…and what does a Phoenix symbolize? A Rising Phoenix from the ashes is the very symbol of New Life and Rebirth.

What would your biggest passion in life be at this point?
Growing my business. Raising capital to expand – I’ve got several hundred thousand dollars in purchase orders and millions in contracts that I can’t fulfill.  And Oud. Love the stuff.

Lastly where do you see the fragrance world headed?
To a place of more and more synthetics. And creativity. And Headaches. 
Working in Chinese Medicine…there are a LOT of chemical sensitive individuals out there. It’s a real thing.

Please share anything you like to say..

I’ve developed my own network of distillers across the US and SE Asia. I custom distill a variety of materials – so if you’re ever looking for natural materials that are a few steps above what we normally find out there…you know who to call. Oh – and I’ve got Opportunity knocking on my door left and right. If you know of someone looking to invest in a company looking to expand in a big way – tell them JK is awaiting their call.

  

Interview with

Liz Cook

  • Can you speak on your background?

My background is varied! I originally wanted to be a nurse, so attended university for 2 years to study nursing then decided it wasn't for me, and headed into studying social science, but that wasn't fulfilling for me at the time either! All the while I was working as a photographer to support my studies, and so then I went full time into photography for a while before deciding I needed to follow my passion in natural beauty, and I opened my first business in 2001 at the age of 25. I opened 3 retail stores over the next 6 years, then sold that business in 2007, but devoted myself to self-directed studies in aromatherapy and natural skincare. In the back of my mind I had a plan to fill a gap in the market for natural perfumery once I sold that first business, and so in 2009 I launched One Seed.

I am a natural researcher and very passionate about natural health, beauty and wellness, so this has enabled me to learn a lot about perfumery and formulation over the years, and enabled me to create products for both businesses as well as for other skincare companies.

  • Do you have any profound scent memories from growing up?

I don't think I have one specific one. But I do recall scent and taste in a very vivid way. Some of my favourite scent memories are of cut grass (still one of my favourite scents), jasmine bushes, the smell of rain on the road on a hot summer evening and my mum's peanut butter cookies!  

  • What were you doing before you became involved with scent and the perfume world?

Answered in the first question! :)

  • Can you remember the moment you decided to commit to becoming a perfumer?
  • Did you know it would be such a big part of your life?

Yes, it was when I was just about to launch my first collection of three fragrances and I was completely doubting my ability to create scent that people loved. It happened to be that my husband was very cynical about my journey into perfumery at the time, and he wasn't a big fan of many perfumes generally, and definitely not of natural ones. But one afternoon in our kitchen I asked him to sit down and sample what I was ready to launch, and his reaction really cemented in my mind that I could now actually call myself a perfumer. He loved all three of them! Not that anyone should actually base a business decision on the opinion of ones family or friends (that is often the biggest way to failure in business) but it was really his opinion that I needed at that time. I had dozens of people test the perfumes and love them, but if he wasn't able to see it too, I probably would have held off a bit longer. My journey is part of his journey too after all!

  • When you create a scent what are the things that inspires you?

So many things. Mainly for me it is moments in time, like sitting on the beach in Coolangatta(New South Wales) watching my children run and jump in the sand hills while the sun sank slowly in the distance and a cool breeze tickled my cheek. Those types of memories are profound, and while there is not a strong scent involved, I love to create fragrance that mimic the feelings I had at that moment. 

I am also inspired by words or beautiful quotes. I will always start my fragrance creation with a word and and associated quote before brainstorming what that means to me, and what notes might reflect those sentiments or feelings.

  • How would you like your work to effect the person that wears it?

Yes, One Seed is about the beauty in life and the uniqueness of each person. We refuse to be about sex or sexuality, which is very different in our industry as the perfumer world is run on sex-fueled themes and advertising. As a brand we want to connect with people on a very human level, and allow people to feel a freedom in their humanness, and a connection with the world around them.

We name our perfumes after human experiences, such as Freedom, Devotion and Courage, and each one has a beautiful quote attached also. My aim is for the person who wears a One Seed scent to feel uplifted, moved, more human, encouraged, beautiful, more of who they really are.

  • What would your biggest passion in life be at this point?

Wellness and humanity. I have a massive passion for all things natural and organic, and live an organic lifestyle. I am also studying nutritional medicine, which I absolutely love. But I also have a passion for people seeing themselves and others in a more beautiful way. I would love for each person to be able to see the beauty in the way God made them, that they were formed and birthed for a purpose. When we can see that in ourselves it also helps us to see the same in others, not matter who they are.

  • Lastly where do you see the fragrance world headed?

There is a definite move toward naturals and also niche fragrances. I'm sure celebrity fragrances will continue in a big way, but the big shift is, and will be toward using more natural ingredients.


WAX POETIC

Each scent is inspired by a unique poem that evokes a multisensory experience. The cohesion between Wax Poetic’s fragrances and poetry evolves the typical consumption of perfume into thoughtful appreciation of olfactive art. For the fashion forward, Wax Poetic’s signature style sets it apart as truly artisan luxury. Wax Poetic is handmade, and personal. Each small batch bottle is hand dipped in wax, leaving an attention grabbing texture that invites interaction with the fragrance. Our signature stamp confirms our quality control and authenticity.

 

 

Perfumer & Poet

Jeanette Price

 

I love anything unorthodox.

I came to perfume in an unorthodox way, as a byproduct of intense immersion in a culture that adores fragrance. I moved to Morocco when the economy crashed. The year before I had studied there and had made friends thanks to Moroccan kindness. I knew that as a developing country the worldwide lull would have less effect in Morocco. At the time going there with just a suitcase and Euros from a summer job felt much more secure than the prospects of returning to America.

I loved it. I found work teaching, which is still one of my passions. I ate street food and spent afternoons wandering the medina and my French became more nuanced with Moroccan Darija. And though I had visited Provençal perfumeries, Morocco was where I began to truly appreciate fragrances. The souks sell just about everything. One stall had a wall of amber bottles labeled with their contents: rose, sage, eucalyptus, cedarwood, rosemary. The materials were of the quality that has made Moroccan oils internationally famous. It was the first tender strides in the endless journey of learning how to make perfume.

On perfume:

I appreciate all of the memories that are connected to scent. Creating perfume has a certain amount of responsibility. You don’t just wear perfume. You imprint upon it. You anchor it to a specific time, place, and setting. You also imprint upon the fragrance of others. You may remember a person solely by the smell of their fragrance. There are many artforms for taste, sight, and hearing. Perfumery is the only one exclusively for the sense of smell.

Fragrances are the essence of connection, they cannot exist in a vacuum. If you hate it, it’s a connection you create with it.  If you love it, it’s in relation to some other preference.

On Wax Poetic:

Poetry has a certain ineffable quality that is shared with perfume. It is a creative outlet that can be described and categorized, but never contained. Wax Poetic is my ultimate passion project, a brand with the premise of intersecting perfume and poetry. The debut collection features three fragrances and poems that have been created around one another. The process was very recursive, each fragrance shaped its poem and the poems guided the perfume’s revisions. Both poetry and perfume share archetypes. Ember plays with archetypes on both levels- as a poem it addresses the renewal of a wheat field after being burnt in the spring- the archetype of rebirth. As a perfume it addresses the fougère, a fragrant archetype rich with tradition and history.

Ember is herbaceous yet with hints of grain and soft smoke. Fruition’s name developed from the poem’s narrative of strength and resilience despite doubt. Fruition plays with the fragrant intersection of florals with gourmand notes. Geranium and plum are at the heart of the bouquet, representing the fruits of labor. Flight is about leaving what (and who) needs to be left. The scent grabs your attention, an uplifting green floralcy that is cool yet refined. Flight is foremostly about self-respect, and emulating it in a scent took a great amount of revision.

WAX POETIC

On independent perfumery:

The greater interest in niche and artisan perfumery is starting a more widespread renaissance of the art. Though it will never be mainstream, there is still much more potential growth. There is a greater amount of variety with independent perfumer houses. There is greater creative risk. I know quite a few people will not “get” Wax Poetic or appreciate what makes it unique, but that just means it’s not for them. That is the essence of being a niche in the market. I think the challenge for independent perfumery is finding enough of an audience that fits the niche. Consumers being more interested in independent perfume over mainstream brands means that there are more audience members for the niche perfumeries. The greater appreciation of artisan fragrance benefits all independent perfumers.



 

Link Above

LABORATORY PERFUMES

 

SCIENCE & ART =/ CREATE BEAUTY

 

Entrepreneur Aaron Firth wanted to find a new way to create scents so he formed Laboratory Perfumes in London in 2011. Laboratory Perfumes is a boutique perfume brand that creates works of olfactive art that are both complex and beautiful. Scents that truly evolve on your skin and become a part of you. 

Review of the collection coming soon

New York, New York 11222

EUPHORIUM BROOKLYN

 Perfumes and Extracts of Euphoric Transcendentalism

EUPHORIUM BROOKLYN

"Cilise Perfumer, Etienne Chevreuil, was also co-founder of the Euphorium with Graf Rudolph Komodo and Dr./ Prof., Christian Rosenkreuz in 1857. The original notebooks of Euphorium formulas have been used to recreate Cilise and other EUPHORIUM Eau de Parfums. The Euphorium's "Komodo Process" of refining and blending fragrances with neuro toxins and hallucinogens tailored to each users specific "Euphoric State" was developed by Mr. Chevreuil together with Graf Rudolph Komodo and Dr./ Prof. Christian Rosenkreuz in the early 1860's.

 A self proclaimed "Transcendental Sensualist", Mr. Chevreuil evolved theories of achieving euphoric states using resonant sound waves to harmonize fragrance elements specifically for the user. Born in Grasse, France, Etienne was the youngest child of Jean-Claude Chevreuil, also know as the Lavender Baron of Grasse and famed mentalist, Hildegard Gottscalk-Chow. His social connections and personal wealth allowed Mr. Chevreuil to both promote his theories and establish a wide reaching network for the sale of Euphorium Parfums, elixirs and hallucinogens before the onset of the 20th century."-EBP


All photos are the work of multi-talented artist Tal Shpantzer© 

 

Villa of the Mysteries is a Brooklyn, New York-based perfumery creating hand-poured, small batch fragrances out of a turn-of-the-century brownstone studio. We use the highest quality ingredients when composing our fragrances, and seek out only the finest raw materials. Our fragrances are derived from precious florals, herbs, fruits, woods, and resins, and are made with the utmost care. VOTM's handcrafted fragrances are evocative of a long-ago era of smoldering incense, fragrant woods, and lush gardens.

 

My grandmother used to make perfumes and sell them in a little shop in her village near Naples, Italy. Later, my grandparents emigrated to the US from Italy — but my grandmother never opened a shop in the US that I know of. When she passed away, I was given her perfume “recipe book” as a memento. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but I think now that it was given to me because I had always loved fragrance as a child. I collected perfumes as a child and would always ask for something new for birthdays and Christmases, but I never thought about making fragrances until later on. My kid self loved the drugstore perfumes like Jovan Musk, and I had quite the collection as a child. I used to layer Jovan Musk with my other perfumes, and make my own little compositions in that way, I guess. It wasn’t until much later that I realized how important scent was to me. 

Some years later I was between jobs and decided to focus on taking classes during my job search. I thought about what I would do if I could do anything in the world, and the idea of making fragrance was hugely appealing. I took classes and did a lot of experimentation on my own, and Villa of the Mysteries Perfume was born out of that. VOTM Perfume is based in Brooklyn, NY in a turn of the century brownstone. Currently, I sell four fragrances, all based on the “recipes” my grandmother used to make. They’re loosely based of course, as some of the ingredients are no longer accessible and some of the “recipes” needed to be a bit modernized. I use my grandmother’s compositions as inspiration for fragrances I’m thinking about making, or sometime, I’ll just put things together experimentally and see what comes of it. 

One of the fragrances that I created came out of this experimentation. I thought I wanted the composition to smell a certain way, but after a number of iterations I just couldn’t get it quite right. I realized I was overthinking the entire process. So I let go of any preconceived notions I had and left it to intuition, which in the end turned out ot be the right thing to do. I named the fragrance Fortes Fortuna Iuvat— Fortune Favors the Brave— as I thought that was an apt name for a fragrance created in such a way. I started off selling two fragrances— the aforementioned Fortes Fortuna Iuvat and Delfina in 2014 at the flea market and also on my website, votmperfume.com. I added Veni Vidi Vici and Carthago Delenda Est in 2015, and will add another two in 2016.

 

Interview with

Maggie Mahboubian of Lalun Naturals

 

  •  Can you tell us about your back ground and history?

I became interested in perfumery by way of creating essential oil blends for my skincare formulas back in the mid 90’s. I would come up with a gorgeous blend and think how nice it would be to wear it as a perfume. So I would put some on, but half an hour later the scent would be gone or very faint. Wondering how I could get around this issue was what led me down the rabbit hole.

 At first, I mistakenly thought the reason the scent didn’t last was because the blend wasn’t a perfume and that one couldn’t make perfume with naturals. So I purchased a bunch of oils which I later discovered were fragrance oils and started working with them. I ended up throwing them out because they gave me migraines and I didn’t care for their scent. I took a break from blending while I was pregnant in 2004. After I gave birth I revisited the idea of making perfume with naturals and eventually stumbled on The Natural Perfumery Yahoo group run by Anya McCoy.

 I read Mandy Aftel’s Essence and Alchemy (and a whole bunch of other books on perfumery) which I purchased from Persephenie when she was in her studio on Edinburgh Street. I wanted to take a class with her, but kept missing the dates. Instead, I attended her salons, where she introduced individual perfumers. I met Laurie Stern at one of these events. I also discovered Roxana Vila at a local Waldorf school event as I had just enrolled my daughter in the parent/child program at Pasadena Waldorf School.

 When my daughter started preschool I enrolled in Lyn Ayre’s natural perfumery home study course. I was drawn to Lyn because I loved her gentle, supportive spirit. I would drop off my daughter and spend my mornings studying perfumery in the ornate rooms at the Pasadena Public Library. It was heaven! This was in 2008 after I decided to stop practicing architecture. I applied the same rigor to perfumery as I had to my architectural studies at Harvard and began to see parallels between perfume creation and architecture. In 2009 I started a blog called Architecture of Perfume where I posted articles about the intersection between the two disciplines. It helped me conceptualize my perfumery work.


  •   When did the brand start and it's inspiration?

While on pregnancy bed rest in 2010 I decided to form my corporation, Lalun Naturals. I also created a website and an Etsy shop so that I would be able to sell my work. I worked on some simple blends using oils considered safe for use during pregnancy. I was curious to see how my hypersensitive nose would perceive scent during this time and wore my blends while giving birth to my second daughter. But it wasn’t until September 2012 that I launched Parfums Lalun at the Salon in LA. I was suddenly propelled out of my ivory tower and into the real world of a nascent and developing industry.

  • What is your process for creating a perfume?

I view perfumes as invisible constructs and apply many of the concepts I used as an architect when designing my fragrances. Base notes form the FOUNDATION of a perfume. I then work on the STRUCTURE which holds up the DECORATIVE elements that characterize a fragrance. I often use notes to CONNECT or BRIDGE and natural isolates to help SUPPORT or enhance particular notes. They help add DIMENSION to a blend. I know and have worked with conventional perfumery rules, such as the Jean Carles method, I experiment a lot because naturals don’t always behave well or as expected in a blend and cannot be relied on.

There are so many variables that it’s best to simply start from scratch each time. I actually enjoy starting each exploration without preconceived notions. I blend hundreds of accords and have them categorized. I then see how each could intersect with another but sometimes an accord lends itself to being developed into a perfume. My perfumes are actually quite complex, comprising upwards of 20-30+ notes. I think it’s possible to create coherent structures, but there’s a lot of technique and evaluation involved. I study vintage perfumes as PRECEDENTS for my projects and have quite a collection.

Recently, I’ve been familiarizing myself with the work of contemporary (mixed media) fragrance makers and would like to take a class at the Institute for Art and Olfaction so that I can educate myself on the qualities and use of synthetically derived molecules. However, I’m not interested in creating perfumes with them. I’m committed to naturals because of my background and love for botanicals. These elements are alive and subtly nuanced while synthetics come off as too strong and forceful, having what seems like the half-life of a radioactive isotope! I prefer the delicate nature of naturals, however ornery they can be.

  • What is it like to be on the independent side of the industry?

I’m a huge supporter of independent perfumery, especially artisan makers who create everything themselves. I’m the founder and curator of a yearly fragrance-as-art event called FRAGments where the perfumers present their work in a group show that is located in a unique venue in the city. It has garnered quite a following, but I’d like it to remain a small art show, not a trade event. The greatest challenge a natural artisan fragrance maker faces is the sourcing and availability of high grade materials. There are some reputable sources, but not all are cost effective. My hope is that suppliers to large perfume houses will make smaller quantities available to artisan perfumers because group buys are not always a reliable way to purchase materials needed for compounding specific perfumes. It’s a great way to purchase special materials, but then the person doing the group buy has the burden of purchasing, splitting, bottling and mailing.

  • Your line is all natural, can you explain on what that may means for those that wear your scents?

Natural perfumes do not have the silage or the staying power of their synthetic counterparts. But that’s not always a bad thing. I've heard the argument that if someone pays a lot for a natural perfume they should expect it to last a long time. However, I’m not a fan of perfumes that persist. For one, I wonder how these chemicals that penetrate the epidermis are metabolized by our vital organs if they don’t break down quickly. In addition, it means that one is committed to a fragrance for the entire day. I like to wear different fragrances at different times. My theory is that the morning nose is different from the evening nose and what works in the morning when everything is fresh is not going to hold up in the evening when the nose needs a heavier scent. Natural perfumes allow a wearer to layer fragrances throughout the day. In addition, I view fragrance as a wardrobe component that can be changed frequently, so no signature scent for me. It would be like wearing a uniform. There are just too many wonderful fragrances out there to enjoy and I believe in jumping in!

  •  And what are the locations or channels one can go to, to try or purchase the line.

Parfums Lalun is available on my website: www.lalunnaturals.com, my Etsy shop: www.lalunnaturals.etsy.com and at various stockists around the country and abroad.

  • And finally where do you see the fragrance industry in the next 5 years or what would you like to see happen?

art.jpg

The popularity of niche perfumes is certainly catching on with mainstream buyers. Just this year Frederic Malle and Le Labo were bought by Estee Lauder. I think this trend will continue as fragrance users become more sophisticated and demand products that have unique qualities. On the other hand, the wave of legislation and restrictions on materials have definitely affected the industry, leading to perfumes that all smell alike (to me). I’m hoping the public wakes up to this tragedy when they realize how destructive this has been to the art of fragrance design. My personal opinion is that the restrictions are overly zealous and mostly unnecessary. There’s no way to protect every segment of the population and that labeling would be a better recourse so customers would have the choice to purchase something or not. I also would like to see the general public become better educated in the olfactory realm and recognize the significance scent has to our well-being and pleasure. Perfumes are created for their aesthetic value alone, there are no functional requirements to fulfill. Therefore I hope there will be more material explorations and olfactory experimentation and that the public will recognize perfume as art.

 



 

 

Marta Garcia-Pons

 

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!

Interview with

Nicolas Jennings

Nicholas Jennings - cueillette sauvage lavande 2014 Herault, FRANCE

  • Can you speak on your back ground?

After studying and working in England, I traveled extensively in Asia and Africa over a 2 year period. It was during these olfactive voyages that  I discovered first hand the traditional techniques to extract essential oils and  floral waters.  I then had the good fortune to spend a summer on a French biodynamic farm in Provence. There, I wild-harvested high altitude lavender, thyme and rosemary, which will distilled in ancient copper stills over a fire. The oils were of excellent quality even though the techniques were unchanged for centuries. 
I then studied the modern techniques  of perfumery (organic chemistry and traditional techniques in perfume balance and creation (Jean Carles etc) Modern perfumery is obviously dominated by the use of aroma chemicals and I quickly realised that I wanted to bring together my own ethical and personal interest in natural oils back to world of modern perfumery. Thus in 2005 I launched my first 100% natural and organic certified perfumes. 

  • Do you have any profound scent memories from growing up?

I was always interested in fragrance and scent as a young boy but not perfumery.  I was keen, to touch and smell as a way of discovery, holding objects close to my nose opened up another world. For example, smelling old books or furniture or freshly cut grass in late spring.

  • What were you doing before you became involved with scent and the perfume world?

Lots of different interests as i worked for the British sports federation dealing in journalism and communications but this was not the deep rooted passion for perfumes that had been intimate and private since my early years. 

  • Can you remember the moment you decided to commit to becoming a perfumer? How did you know it would be such a big part of your life?

Meeting a professional from the UK perfume industry who gave me encouragement and interesting critical evaluation of my work encouraged me to take the next steps in the professionalism of my passion.

  • When you create a scent what are the things that inspires you?

Inspiration can come from anywhere and may not be necessarily scent related, Eg; a energetic mountain walk, or a lazy summer day on a beach. Experimentation and perfume creation, are however, much longer processes of trail and error, peppered with moments of creative flurry and excitement.  

 

  • Can you talk about the brand, what are the themes that you use and how would you like your work to effect the person that wears it?

Sharini perfumes are created using ethically harvested organic essential oils so people who wear the perfumes have usually a learning toward making ethical choices free from petrochemical ingredients so present in today’s perfumes. All the creations are organically certified, but that’s just a logo of confidence. What really matters to me is if they feel that the perfume belongs to them, a part of themselves. Most modern perfumes create an olfactive wall around the person and the wearer disappears behind it. Sharini perfumes are more intimate, a little extra on the person’s own identity, not a replacement. 

  • What would your biggest passion in life be at this point? 

Other than my thrill to wake up and go to work then without doubt my wife and our children

  • Lastly where do you see the fragrance world headed? 

Two distinct branches - the branded industrial perfume industry and the small niche perfume houses that sit in the shadows free from the huge publicity campaigns. The industrial fragrance industry is cleverly bringing the natural theme back into main stream perfumes albeit rather with natural molecules than genuine essential oils. Lots happening in fragrance chemistry such as vibration theories etc. Also in raw material extraction with co2 extraction and spinning cone distillation. 

 

  • Please share anything you like to say..

The art of perfume creation is certainly it’s most fun and rewarding when free from the classical structures and rules taught in perfume schools. And like any art, one should not be afraid to move away from the rational and trust in the subconsciousness

Warm scented regards

Nicolas Jennings...

Goldie Pobador :

My work is a statement. Rooted in inherited culture and personal and collective narratives of the Philippines, it is unashamed of its origins. Exploring themes of oppression, reclamation, and freedom, I use glass, scent, sound, installation, and performance to represent untold stories. My embodied autobiographical and mythological narratives take a stand for the role of eros and beauty in rewriting my identity as a Filipina woman and in 
awakening the “feeling” body in our collective awareness. It is rooted in the archetype of the divine feminine—the part in all of us that thinks, feels, and dreams. It pays homage, in particular, to the lost language of the Babaylan—the archetypal Filipino goddess gifted in healing the spirit and body. My work is sensual and erotic, based on intuition and carnal knowledge. It is about learning how to celebrate despite the pains of being alive through the seemingly mundane act of sensing. It seeks to make people aware of the unimaginable pleasures and struggles that exist in places that are not the center.I grew up in the city of Manila, in a place called the Industrial Valley.  My work is very much related to the environment and the degradation of the urban landscape where I grew up. In our age where an abundance of materialistic values are overwhelming, I often find myself in contemplation. In my work I want to awaken in the viewer a sense of his or her existence in relation to nature. I grew up in a place that is often punished by nature, but also because of man’s ignorance it. I am interested in creating an awareness of this, but also in doing this in a beautiful way. I am interested in the exploration of the senses. Often I am drawn to the olfactory sense of perception as a medium in contemporary art, and its link to the part of the 
human brain that remembers and receives memories and emotions. Because my life has been a strong experience of both, I find myself creating both beautiful and horrible things. In terms of visual medium, I am interested in the art of glass sculpting, specifically in a technique called lamp-working. When I sculpt however, it is a very spiritual endeavor, especially when I match a scent to a form or a concept or attach it to the more personal pieces that express narratives appropriated from history, fiction and personal narrative. My practice functions around a mix of personal and cultural history, and an interest in wonder, poetry and the beautiful. It often deals with issues of Identity, sensuality and the feminine body. The body enthralls me. Its form possesses me. I am motivated by a desire to express an emancipation of the body, a sense of freedom in movement and emotion and redemption. 
I explore these themes through the representation of the body as subject in sculpture, installation, performance and film. In my glass sculptures, I work from the movement of the body to shape a female nude that is moving—that is alive. In my performances I 
embody the spirit of these glass sculptures, bringing the process full circle.

Christina "Goldie" Poblador is a visual artist born in Manila, Philippines.She received her MFA in Glass from Rhode Island School of Design in 2015. She has since been. Her work has been exhibited widely in Asia, and has participated several residencies and exhibitions in Europe and the United States.  In 2013 she won the Alliance Française de Manille’s artist in residency prize. Her work explores the layered relationships between ecology, spirituality, cultural identity and the feminine using glass, scent, sound, and projections in the context of performance to represent untold stories and awaken the senses.

Nature punished my village
The smell of the essence of jasmine
The smell of the burning of jasmine
Held softly by a transparent vessel
The invitation to gently breathe in slowly and remember
Each inhalation draws one closer to self
And to another consciousness
The presence of body
With only one stroke can she create figure
To touch it, to hold it, would scar....

Works


Ambient Scentscapes

Ambient Scentscapes is an immersive scent and sound installation that creates a translation of music to scent using glass, and essential oils. In this project, one musical composition will be translated into scent “notes” that references the presence of top, middle and base notes which are present in the language of perfumery. Each note in the piece is color-coded and a taxonomy that is inherent to the piece is created that corresponds to the tempo and emotional resonance of the music played. The selection and pairing of sound to a scent and scent to color is based on the phenomenology of Synesthesia that is a chemical condition in the brain that crosses the perception of the senses with each other. Each perfume note is color-coded and dispersed into the air as the music is performed. 


 

Ambient Scentscapes : Composition 2

Ambient Scentscapes is an immersive scent and sound installation that creates a translation of music to scent using glass, and essential oils. In this project, one musical composition will be translated into scent “notes” that references the presence of top, middle and base notes which are present in the language of perfumery. Each note in the piece is color-coded and a taxonomy that is inherent to the piece is created that corresponds to the tempo and emotional resonance of the music played. The selection and pairing of sound to a scent and scent to color is based on the phenomenology of Synesthesia that is a chemical condition in the brain that crosses the perception of the senses with each other. Each perfume note is color-coded and dispersed into the air as the music is performed.

May Puno sa Dibdib ng Kamatayan


Interactive installation with perfume and sound
Installation dimensions variable
Collection of the Artist
Singapore Art Museum commission
 

Apprehending the world through sense perception often calls upon our senses to work in multiplicity and synchronicity. On certain occasions, sense data may even cross into one another, and May Puno sa DIbdib ng Kamatayan explores the phenomenon of synesthesia, in which one sense is received or perceived via another sense. A neurological condition that affects a small percentage of people (synesthetes) and manifests in differing forms, synesthesia has also long been a source of creative experimentation and investigation by artists, writers and musicians.
 

May Puno sa DIbdib ng Kamatayan examines the idea of ‘composition’ as expressed – and experienced – across two senses: that of smell and sound. Despite having no immediate obvious affinity, the olfactory and audio senses employ some similar terminology and language: musical scores and perfumes are described as comprising of high, middle and low notes, where notes are also further structured in chords or accords; moreover, both song and scent are powerful triggers in conjuring feelings and memories. Amongst the senses, smell is especially potent in eliciting emotional memory because the olfactory bulb is intimately linked to the brain’s amygdala and hippocampus, which govern emotion and associative learning respectively.

Here, Goldie Poblador has selected key songs and musical arrangements that hold deep personal and emotional resonance for her, and in certain instances, also collaborated with the musicians. Through the process, she translated sonic notes into olfactory ones, creating scent compositions that synesthetically respond to their musical sources. In the adjoining room, a ‘keyboard’ or ‘palette’ of 30 perfume notes allows visitors to recreate the four scent compositions, or even improvise their own olfactory creations in accordance with their personal choice of song.

Interview

 

  • Can you tell us your back ground?

   I was born in Manila, Philippines. My country, an archipelago composed of 7,107 islands is a tropical paradise. I only truly appreciated this when I left for a long period of time in order to pursue my dream of studying the art of glassblowing.  Living in the city however has made me a witness to the environmental degradation in the urban landscape where I grew up. This has become the foundation of my work in smell, memory and the senses. 
 

  • Have you always had a interest in art?

  I inherited my interest in art from my parents. When I was twelve years old I was fortunate enough to see Sandro Boticelli’s The Birth of Venus. This was when I decided to become an artist. Venus played an important role in the way I perceived what it means to be a woman. She symbolized a sense of strength and shameless femininity that I would grow up trying to represent in the greater conversation of art, society and  what it means for me to be a Filipina woman in the Western world. I have since devoted my life to art. I majored in Painting and Sculpture for my bachelor’s degree where I created an ironic perfume bar that depicted the nostalgic and sociopolitical landscape of the Philippines. It was my interest in creating perfume vessels that allowed me to fulfill my dreams of learning new languages, traveling an eventually getting an MFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design
 

  • Before you started your journey into scent/glass-work what were you doing?

  I was a painter and sculptor, specializing in female anatomy. I was also a musician. I played the electric guitar and sang for an all girl punk band called Death by Tampon. I believe that the mundane elements that compose our lives are what separate an artful life from one that is not.  What we cook, what we read, what we wear and how we treat our bodies  greatly affects how we treat other people and our surroundings. 
 

  • How did visual/sound-art and scent come into your life?

 My interest in visual and sound  art started from a young age. I started playing the piano when I was nine and it was my background in music that lead me to incorporate it into my artistic practice. My parents loved art, and we went to museums as often as we could.  My interest in scent however, was triggered by a very particular moment. In 2009 my village was hit by a very powerful typhoon. When faced with loss the greatest thing we have are our memories. After the typhoon I had a distinct yearning for the smell and tastes of a place that seemed to have disappeared in one instant. This was how I began to work with scent and its special connection to emotions and memories. 
 

  • Can you talk a little about your works?

 My work is a statement. Rooted in inherited culture and personal and collective narratives of the Philippines, it is unashamed of its origins. Exploring themes of oppression, reclamation, and freedom, I use glass, scent, sound, installation, and performance to represent untold stories. My embodied autobiographical and mythological narratives take a stand for the role of eros and beauty in rewriting my identity as a Filipina woman and in awakening the “feeling” body in our collective awareness. It is rooted in the archetype of the divine feminine—the part in all of us that thinks, feels, and dreams. It pays homage, in particular, to the lost language of the Babaylan—the archetypal Filipino goddess gifted in healing the spirit and body. My work is sensual and erotic, based on intuition and carnal knowledge. It is about learning how to celebrate despite the pains of being alive through the seemingly mundane act of sensing. It also explores how the sense of smell crosses over into the other senses and my current work has been an exploration of how scent translates into the sonic, visual and choreographic. 
 

  • What is your creative process?

 Showing up is the first step. Whether that means, blowing glass in the dead of winter or dancing for 3 hours in order to understand how scent affects the body. A piece always starts from something that resonates such as a Japanese haikus or a really great film.  It can also be as simple as noticing the pleasures of everyday life. When I shop for groceries and cook the recipes that my grandmother taught me, for instance, this kind of thing is a big part of what inspires me in my studio. I am interested in the exploration of the senses. Often I am drawn to the olfactory sense of perception as a medium in contemporary art, and its link to the part of the human brain that remembers and receives memories and emotions. Because my life has been a strong experience of both, I find myself creating both beautiful and horrible things. In terms of visual medium, I am interested in the art of glass sculpting, specifically in a technique called lamp-working. When I sculpt however, it is a very spiritual endeavor, especially when I match a scent to a form or a concept or attach it to the more personal pieces that express narratives appropriated from history, fiction and personal narrative. My practice functions around a mix of personal and cultural history, and an interest in wonder, poetry and the beautiful. It often deals with issues of Identity, sensuality and the feminine body. 
 

  • What themes inspires you?

I have a deep interest in music and sound. Recently I’ve been into Claude Debussy and the music of Eliane Radigue. I was able to meet her last year and ask her about her process which I have been trying to translate into scent. I am also deeply influenced by contemporary artists such as Kiki Smith, Ana Mendieta and Yoko Ono who were all working on themes of the body.  The body enthralls me. Its form possesses me. I am motivated by a desire to express an emancipation of the body, a sense of freedom in movement and emotion and redemption. I explore these themes through the representation of the body as subject in sculpture, installation, performance and film. In my glass sculptures, I work from the movement of the body to shape a female nude that is moving—that is alive. In my performances I embody the spirit of these glass sculptures, bringing the process full circle. I am also very inspired by film. Lately I’ve been into the films of Jean Luc Godard and the french nouvelle vague. 

  • Looking ahead for your work what do you see coming?

 I am working on starting a studio in New York, where I will be further exploring the art of scent distillation, perfumery and its relationship to glass. I will be showing three perfumes in this year’s Jakarta Biennale so I am hoping to do a bit of traveling as well. 
Is there anything else that you would like to share about your future plans? 
   My work has mostly been exhibited in the context of the museum but I think I will be exploring the world of retail, and I am hoping to start collaborations with perfumers from all over the world! Enough of my stories, I am excited to make connections and interpret other people’s narratives through glass and perfume. 

Thank You!

                               

Aftelier Perfumery

 

Interview with

Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes

 

  • Can you tell us about your background?

Over 20 years ago, I was working as a therapist and writer, and wanted to write a novel. Somehow the idea of having the protagonist be a perfumer struck me as a good idea - something about the mystery and allure. I began to research by getting ahold of every old book on perfumery I could find, eventually collecting over 200 of them. The one perfume class I took was at a nearby aromatherapy studio, where I immediately fell in love with all the natural essences -- so beautiful and transporting, so rich and complex, so stinky and alive! I felt completely connected and comfortable working with them, and on the spot created such a well-crafted perfume that a friend said we should go into business together. We started Grandiflorum Perfumes and got orders right away from Bergdorf’s & Neiman Marcus.

  •      Did you have a interest in fragrance growing up?

I wasn’t overly interested in fragrance or perfumes, but I did like my mother’s perfume bottles - the whole array of mysterious glass bottles on her dresser. I only developed a real interest later in life -- inspired by the gorgeous materials and by my research, I started making perfumes and writing books.

  • How did your journey into perfume begin?

After following my nose into my first perfume line at Grandiflorum Perfumes in the early 1990’s, that business quickly came to an end and I didn’t expect to sell perfumes anymore. I decided to write a non-fiction book based on all my research; I never did write that novel, but instead Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume. I realized that in the world of food, people care a lot about the quality of the ingredients. I wrote a cookbook with 2- Michelin star chef Daniel Patterson called Aroma: The Magic of Essential Oils in Cooking and Fragrance, and also gradually developed my own line of Aftelier Perfumes. I wrote 2 more books about perfume, most recently Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent, and am now working on a new book with Daniel Patterson about creating flavor.

  • Where would you say the fragrance world is in at the moment?

  • What are your thoughts for its future?

The fragrance world is an amazing place right now, especially for true artisanal brands! It’s more possible than ever to talk directly to your customer, and make the perfumes you believe in. I am concerned about IFRA banning natural materials - it’s a very worrisome situation, especially for the growers and distillers.

  • Can you explain in your own words one of the major differences that people may notice with natural perfumes.

Compared to what people are used to from commercial brands of perfume, natural perfumes come in smaller bottles, cost more money, and don’t last as long. I try to educate people about their expectations, so they’re aware that if they want a perfume that will last all day, they probably shouldn't buy my perfumes.

  • What would you say is your creative process?

The process begins with such wide-open possibilities! I always start with two things, usually high-contrast materials that seem like they will connect in some special way. I look for a secret relationship between the two of them that will be revealed by using them together in the perfume. As I proceed by adding other materials, usually working from the base notes to the top, I develop a very tight structure, and each thing that is added closes doors in terms of the possibilities that can still work. I smell the result at each step along the way, backing up a bit if there’s a wrong turn. Each piece must continue to justify itself, or it's back out, and the last final top note fits in like the last piece of a puzzle.

adasd.jpg
  • Do you have any advice for those that may want to become a perfumer or anything that is creative in general?

My advice is that it is always the best idea to do something that you absolutely love that doesn't seem like work and that you would be doing anyway. In other words, if you won the lottery and got to do whatever you want (as a pursuit or calling, not just some leisure activity) what would you do? Well, do that. Learning to work with beautiful smells is such an incredible privilege, and the interaction you have when your work finds an audience, that's an incredible joy!

  • Finally do you have any other words that you would like to share?

It's so gratifying to see the growing artisanal perfume community, in all its different facets. Such a wonderful thing to see these beautiful aromatics enriching people's lives!


Perfumes By Nature

Interview With

Ambrosia Jones

  • Can you tell us your back ground? 

I'm a professional perfumer who specializes in botanical scents. It's been my passion and obsession  for over 30 years...and nowadays I run a small indie perfume house in Byron Bay, Australia, and sell both my own stock line there, online and in shops around Australia. I also do custom design for individuals and other businesses as well as running classes and workshops on botanical perfumery in my studio.

  • Have you always had a interest in scent or fragrances?

Heavens yes. One of my earliest memories is making “perfumes” out of roses and pine needles in my mothers garden as a little kid... I later started collecting perfumes and old books and recipes on perfume and cosmetics. I used to scour museums for old texts and eventually started collecting the ingredients mentioned and recreating these mystical potions and lotions....
Nowadays I have a huge collection of oils and tinctures from all over the world, barks, tree resins and more...and I've also learned to extract some of them myself since they just aren't available commercially any more....It was quite an adventure! It took me decades to track down some of the more obscure ingredients, as they are no longer being produced or used by any of the modern perfume houses... I traveled through many countries learning and sniffing along the way, and finally ended up in Australia in Byron Bay near the beach, a land of clean air and sunshine, where I've been able to finally settle and focus on creating my own line of perfumes using the ancient perfumery skills and combining them with modern aromatherapy to create what I've always wanted to create: truly stunning beautiful natural perfumes...
It's a lot of fun...and such a sought after niche market it turns out! Modern perfumery has got a bit lost in modern chemistry and the commercial search for cheap, intense, ever different and new scents....
And many people really want perfume that smells like real flowers, without just being a simple essential oil that reminds them of a hippie shop. Actual botanical perfumery is far more complex than simple aromatherapy, and people are really craving elegant magical truly natural perfumes.

  • Before you started your journey into scent what were you doing?

I have worked in a number of different healing modalities...as a massage therapist, I also studied Chinese acupressure, aromatherapy and herbalism....Ive worked as a translator for esoteric workshops while living in German, taught meditation, energy healing, dance in various forms, and have written for various magazines on traditional herbalism and perfumery.
I worked as a nurse in emergency and also as a remote area nurse on aboriginal communities in Central Australia, where I got to see smell and hear stories about the incredibly rich history of the many amazing plants used for food and healing out in the Australian desert!. At the moment I'm in the process of writing two books: One a workbook on healing in all of its various forms and another on botanical perfumery
 

  • Can you talk a little about the works that you now have?
  •  What is your creative process?

There's two major things that usually inspire a perfume for me:
The first is usually a specific ingredient: “Death by Chocolate” was created after a friend of mine sent me a large bottle of pure cacao absolute. The deep dark brown liquid has one of the most amazing musky scents to it...it is so much more than just “chocolate-ish. It has layers of wood, almost animal musk and sweet aldehydic notes to it that were just calling out to be made into a perfume. So I created a chocolate scent that showcases these notes, by adding woods and honey and spice to accentuate the musk and depth without changing its character....no flower notes of fruits, just musky woody depth to showcase how elegant and deep pure cacao really is.....
The other is trying to create a specific effect. 
“Love Potion” is just that. It started with a request from a lonely friend, so I gathered together all the many many recipes for traditional Love Potions I had collected over the years (and boy, there are a lot! Humans seem to have focused on trying to use scent to attract the opposite sex since time began! In fact you could almost think it's the main aim of perfumery through the ages!) I took the ingredients that I liked the best, and also looked at their effect from an Aromatherapy point of view as well, and then played with them till I came up with a perfume that both smelt exciting and sexy, as well as having the aromatherapy effect of making the wearer “feel” sexy, so that was the energy they were putting out..... It's based around jasmine, the Queen of all aphrodisiac flowers, combined with spices such as cardamon and coriander that are counted as traditional aphrodisiacs. Making it a lovely oriental style perfume
“Happiness” I originally made for myself when I was living in Berlin and used to get incredibly depressed during the long dark winters there.... It combines a number of ingredients that are used in Indian Aryuveda to treat depression and anxiety, buttery soothing sandalwood and deeply comforting patchouli, as well as beautiful citrus top-notes that are lively and cheerful.... the end effect is a lovely unisex cologne that is just perfect for everyday wear... and is still one of my best sellers after 20 years.....
 

  • What are it's theme and what inspires you?

Well, the name I chose for the business pretty much sums it up: I design and make Natural perfumes, drawing on the traditional recipes I've collected from all over the world. I'm trying to resurrect the true history of perfumery, combining it with modern aromatherapy. Simply beautiful perfumes made from all of the wonderful neglected scented ingredients mother nature has given us. I take inspiration from the ancient art of perfumery in Egypt, India and also Europe. French and Italian perfumes the way they were made from scratch before modern chemistry started to replace things like real rose oil for its cheaper crude copies, freshly pressed lemon oil, real lavender from the actual plants grown in sunny fields, tree resins, extracts of fruits....
Looking ahead for your work and for the fragrance world what do you see coming? I think there is  more and more interest in “naturals”. People are tired of artificial fragrances, and are looking for alternatives. It's sill an area where we botanical perfumers have to do a lot of education though, as most people don't really understand that even the big expensive perfume houses haven't been using natural ingredients for some time. There is a HUGE amount of misleading advertising out there (such as so called “natural” soy candles that may have a natural soy wax base, but use completely artificial scent oils!).
And a number of cosmetic companies marketing themselves as natural, such as the body shop, who, again, use artificial fragrance oils. Same goes for the cheap Indian oils in hippie stores.  Many people have never smelt a true botanical perfume. 
Luckily ready access to the internet has made it possible for small indie perfumers to enter the market and start changing this! And I think this will grow more and more as people really want something “different”. It also allows us to interact directly with fragrance lovers....
I find people love hearing the stories of how perfumes are created...and what inspired each of them....and it allows me to share the knowledge I've picked up over 30 years and explain what Botanical Perfumery actually is!
It's far more like having a small village perfumery where you get to know both the perfumer, and the perfumer knows their clients.... and custom design is an even bigger market, being able to offer fragrance lovers their own special personal scent that no one else has...or ever will have! 

Interview with 

Josephine Ademi of Wild Eden Perfumes

 



  • Can you tell us of your background?

Well, actually, I am a trained beautician by profession. I learned the profession because I wanted to be a make-up artist at the Theatre later and this was desperate to advance the training as a beautician. For financial reasons, however, it was denied to me; after my training completed the dream job continue to learn at one of the few private schools.  So I decided to work in my learned profession further and founded at the age of 21, my first small business. In addition to independent work in practice, I attended various training courses on aroma and sound therapy. My main interest was in aromatherapy. Here I have my knowledge especially deepened because I noticed how my clients responded positively to treatment with essential oils. Later I began to prepare for my customers self-made ointments and oil mixture. During this period grew in me the desire to create own fragrance knew the tremendous healing properties of essential oils, I decided for me in the future to work only with natural ingredients. I loved how versatile the ethereal essences can use and what a great effect they have on us, both in the physical field as well as in the mental and spiritual field. After several years of searching, I met fortunately natural perfumer, who was my mentor. Thus began my intensive study of natural perfumery. I gave up my first company and devoted myself now to my biggest passion, compose the perfume. After an infinite series of legal requirements, my dream came true. In September 2013 my new company, Wild Eden was born.

  • Did you have an interest in fragrance growing up?

Yes, I believe that secretly wish every perfumer. But the Wild Eden fragrance creations are all lovingly made by hand, in my own little perfume factory. The scents are not manufactured on an industrial level and should remain so in the future. We want to make the niche player counterpoint to the mainstream.

  • Well, how did you current journey into perfume begin?

See above

  • What would you say is your creative process?

The greatest source of inspiration of the day, I try to draw, is nature. I love to walk in nature. It changes constantly and there is always something new happening with her. There processes I watch them and take them in me as often I can. You could say that experienced in nature promotes creative thinking, which I need for my work. At this time begins the creative part. I try my experienced and his felt to translate into the language of wonderful world of fragrance. And I love to hear music during my work, especially classical music. I think the music and compose the fragrances are very close together. In the technical language it is called synaesthesia. We are indeed often sharing the concepts. Fragrance notes, composition, chords, scent organ…. The musician and the perfumer, both act in the subtle area.

  • Do you have any advice for those that may want to become a perfumer?

Well, there are some ways to become a perfumer. The way is not always easy. Some have safely completed a course of study in France at the famous school ISIPCA. Here in Germany there is not such a training opportunity, however, unfortunately. If you have great luck finding a perfumer, who then puts his knowledge. This was the case with me. I was made to love scents on this path. If you act with patience and passion, one thing is good. Especially it is true for all creative work. Who wants to be creative, should, I mean abandoning our conventional specifications and experiment. This is the only way to create something new for my opinion.  

  • What is your brand about and what are the themes that you use?

Our idea is to produce 100% natural fragrances based on the most precious essential oils from all part of the world. In our fragrance creations only steam distilled or cold pressed essential oils are used in organic or Demeter quality. Thus, the fragrances receive aromatherapy quality. Wild Eden wants to combine the aesthetic aspects of a fragrance with health and well-being for body and mind. Furthermore, we want to be ambassadors of a millennia-old tradition. Wild Eden would revive the valuable knowledge about herbal fragrances and their healing properties and weave it into our modern era.

  • If you were not a perfumer what do you think you would be doing?

Basically, I am interested in many things at the same time. I love everything that makes me feel creative, drawing, writing, music. And I am very interested in art. I just started again to play the piano. At the age of 6 years, I started with the music and got piano lessons. This went fine until I started to become rebellious. At the age of 17, I then returned to my piano back.  If you want to become a professional musician, you need a lot of practice and discipline. I had no longer at this time, what I sometimes regret. So if I were not a perfumer, I would perhaps a pianist? J

  • Where can we find your perfumes for sale?

You can find and buy the Wild Eden scents at our online shop (www.wildeden.de/en). We have also 1ml samples which you can order. And we have a dealer from Germany called “Naturdrogerie” (www.naturdrogerie.de).  In future we hope to be able to offer the scents internationally, and to find some beautiful niche stores, perhaps also in New Orleans?

  • Finally do you have any other words that you would like to share?

I would share with you a poem about fragrances, which is particularly close to my heart and what the “inspired” by the scent so wonderfully describes:

“As it is hardly felt your scent, flown with the east wind, my heart has separated from me; I flew out to look for you. Forget it has now been long since the body that was once his home, and has also imbibed with your scent your entire being.”

~Abu Sd’id Ibn ´L-Chair~



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Natural Botanical Perfume and Herbal Apothecary

 

April Lewis of BoneFeathers

Bonefeathers: Bone \ˈbōn\ + feathers; feath•er \ˈfe-thər\, the concept of a strong foundation common to life, combined with elements of flight, from which to launch a dream into the air.


I have always loved telling stories. To tell a story, one must be able to describe and engage the senses. One of the senses that often gets left out of the narrative is the sense of smell. Little wonder, it's the hardest to decipher and the most mysterious to science. Smells affect us, often without a real awareness they are doing so. I can remember always having an affinity to things that smelled interesting. Labeling them good or bad were my least concerns, getting down to the root cause of the smell was most important.          


 Well, fast forward many long years and that wonder had not left me, but I hadn't connected the dots. Without sounding too strange, to me, smells had always had color, texture, vibrancy and they were a part of my every day awareness. I also had a keenness of nose for things others around didn't smell until it was pointed out, or sadly, they never smelled it.  I began creating bath and body products and blending simple scents that were big hits. Then, encouraged and looking for new avenues for creativity, I made what amounts to probably the worst perfume in my repertoire (long since retired), my very first perfume.

 An obsession began, pure and simple, to paint with my nose the scenes of memory, imagination and purposefully sought out experiences. What essential oils make a wet pavement scent? What flowers are actually sweet? Every perfume begins with a question. I began buying a lot and then a lot more perfume from other indie perfumers, admiring their tantalizing qualities and yearning to unveil the mysteries. I learned, I read, I dreamed.

My name is April and I am a natural perfumer..



"Perfume is the perfect expression of metamorphosis; transforming exotic raw materials into captivating fragrances, it can remove you from the ordinary and transport you to the extraordinary. It is the ultimate personal luxury; perfume is sensual, beguiling, glamorous and expressive. It has the ability to retrieve deep memories, stir the soul and yet still remain an intrinsic part of our very selves.

When Papillon was founded in 2011 it was our aim to create perfumes that are evocative and unique, using only the finest materials within the industry. Our compositions are produced using the classical methods, blended in small batches and are completely handcrafted. As a small artisanal company we are able to use rare and costly ingredients within all of our creations and have sourced these high grade absolutes and oils from every corner of the globe.

Exquisitely composed, all of the perfumes in the collection are eau de parfum strength using a very high concentration of the pure extrait.

All of our perfumes are androgynous as we believe there to be no gender boundaries when wearing a perfume."-Papillion Perfumery

Interview with 

Liz Moores of Papillion Perfumery

Papillon aim to continue the beauty and tradition of the ancient art of perfume making in the 21st century"- Papillon Perfumery.

  • Can you tell us of your background?

My background is ever so varied. I think like many creatives, in my early years I bounced around between a few industries. Deep down my passion was always deep rooted in perfume; I was always fascinated with smells (both good and bad!) and harbored an inherent interest in how to create them. My work in aromatherapy further ignited my interest in materials and fragrance, and like all great disasters, from these humble beginnings, I grew.

  • Did you have a interest in fragrance growing up?

I think unknowingly, fragrance shaped a huge part of my life. I am a firm believer that scent is very powerful in both recalling and creating memories. I recall my deepest memories through scent, and in this way it has shaped me. In my early years it was very much subconscious, but I cannot deny my eternal desire to smell delicious!

  • Well, how did your current journey into perfume begin?

I think more than anything it was intrigue that lead me into perfumery; I would wear my favorite perfumes and have a deep desire to know how they were made. Through intense trial and error, I began to realize what it was that “turned me on” in the perfume world, and for want of a better phrase, I just rolled with it! I am always learning, and that is very important to me.

  • Where would you say the fragrance world is in at the moment?
  • What are your thoughts for its future?

 

I see mainstream perfume very much following what the indie perfumers are doing right now but with heftier price tags, while small independents will continue to create the fragrances that they are inspired to create without a marketing brief and often without the cost restrictions.  As to my thoughts for the future of the fragrance world I think we will see a resurgence of lost, vintage perfumes being reformulated but with IFRA and EU regulations lurking in the wings the results would be very interesting..... I think that when the world is about to have its next big thing we always go back to the past, recreate with a modern interpretation.  There is often comfort in this philosophy.

 

  • Can you explain the concept of your brand and its start?

 

I have a long and romantic relationship with classic perfumery, but at the same time my perfumes are driven by my own personal experiences and thus take an inevitably modern influence. The butterfly motif manifested itself through my love of nature and its huge influence on me. All of my five children are named after flowers, so I think I can comfortably say I am driven by flowers, materials and nature in a huge way! I can really only say that the brand developed in such a natural way that when I am asked about it, it’s hard to give a linear explanation.

 

  • What would you say is your creative process if you can share?

 

Ideas for a perfume can come to me in many ways. Often it is through the books I’m reading or new materials I am trialing. After I have the initial inspiration I begin creating sketches and mods and I can go through SO many variations. Once I have the mods, my house will be littered with blank bottles scrawled with various numbers. I spray anyone that comes near me with the different versions of the fragrance and wear them myself for weeks at a time, evaluating how they change on me and the people around me. After I have an idea of which one is working the best, I continue working on it until I reach a stage where I take a step back and begin round two of spraying friends/family/myself and the evaluating continues. Some perfumes can take a very long time and others are thrown out completely; I know how long my creative process can seem at times, but I only want to put out perfumes that I know have had the love and attention that the wearer deserves.

 

  • Do you have any advice for those that may want to become a perfumer or designer?

 

My advice I always give is to be brave. It’s important to stay true to your vision but also to know when something just isn’t working and needs to be left behind. Get plenty of honest feedback from everyone around you, trust your instincts, and combine these two to give yourself the best chance of creating something you can be proud of. Everyone makes mistakes; in the early days basic things like ordering materials in small volumes seemed like a huge mountain to climb, but it’s been truly amazing to see how many people are so willing to help within the industry.  


  • Finally do you have any other words that you would like to share?


This is a great question because it gives me the opportunity to thank everyone who has championed and supported Papillon.  Without these great people; friends, bloggers, stockists and customers alike Papillon could never have succeeded.

Interview with

Laurie Stern of Velvet & sweet pea's purrfumery

 


      Can you tell us of your background? 

I grew up a block from the ocean in a little town called Longport, near Atlantic City, New Jersey. I still love the smell of the ocean and sea life, and the sound of shore grasses blowing in the breeze. I’ve always had my own businesses, ever since I got out of high school. Early on, I made one-of-a-kind lingerie pieces with antique lace and beadwork that I sold to high end stores like Bendel’s in New York. Later, I had a modest flower stand that grew into a wedding flower business. I have always loved making things, especially bouquets and arrangements with beautiful French ribbons. I also loved connecting with my clients and working with them to bring their visions to life. My wedding flower business was very successful, but after 15 years of winery weddings in Napa, I was ready to do something different.

      Did you have a interest in fragrance growing up? 

I have always wanted to know everything I could about flowers and their scent—I’ve been a nature girl my whole life. I remember my best friend’s mother gave me a bottle of Joy in high school and I loved it! I adored the rich, rose-jasmine smell. I also had a very extravagant aunt who would give me sensuous body powders and oils in high school, and I went crazy over them! We had honeysuckle in our backyard, and I sipped their dew. When I arrived in the Bay Area at 18, I loved wearing Body Time Muguet, Joy & Diorissimo. In my twenties, I wore obscure Italian and French perfumes I would find in the south of France, at the flea markets in Nice, when I traveled there to buy antique laces. I loved visiting the perfumeries in Grass and Eze, never knowing that I would someday be a perfumer myself!

      How did your current journey into perfume begin?

I discovered the world of perfume 15 years ago in an introductory class and I was immediately enchanted. I basically locked myself in a room for a few years and just experimented. I played with essential oils—amazing ingredients from all over the world. I read antique books, like my beloved Art of Perfumery from 1855, and that is how I taught myself how to make perfumes, eau de parfums and natural cosmetics. My perfume education is grounded in what I call the “golden age of perfume,” an era long before perfumers used synthetic compounds in perfumery. At that time, I also started keeping scent diaries of how the oils made me feel and how they affected me. This is how I developed an understanding of the therapeutic and mood-enhancing properties of different scents.

      Where would you say the fragrance world is in at the moment?  There is a tremendous amount of conversation and creation around perfume right now, and I think it’s wonderful. The public is gaining a renewed understanding of perfume as an art form. I think natural perfumes are becoming more popular because so many of us are fragrance-sensitive or have allergies, or simply enjoy the subtlety of natural perfumes. Many of my customers want cruelty-free perfumes with no animal testing that are also free of animal musks. And with some of the new technology, I think we’re going to see incredible new extractions from plants.

I think the web really opens up the conversation, too. There are many resources available for amateur and professional perfumers, and sites like Facebook where perfume lovers can connect.

      Can you explain in your own words one of the major differences that people may notice with natural perfumes.

I love how natural perfumes call on a connection to the ancient world and to our primal brains. We are so used to rushing around in our modern world and thinking and planning ahead, but our sense of smell is very present, very immediate. Scent helps us to relax and get grounded in our experience. Tapping into our old brains by inhaling an incredible scent reminds us to slow down and smell the roses! Scent can have a profound effect on how we see the world, too. Rose always cheers me up and jasmine still makes me swoon. Conifers transport me to the redwoods, where I can inhale deeply! I love to be in the forest, and I bring it into many of my products, including my new Beard Balm for beardsmen!

      What would you say is your creative process if you can share?

I get an idea, or I want to make perfume around some new gorgeous material that I have. It usually takes around six months to perfect it. But it really depends. I made my Black Cat perfume in about 10 minutes! I was in my Purrfumery before Halloween and I knew I had to make a Black Cat perfume. I was thinking of candy and vanilla and then I added cocoa, blood orange, aniseed myrtle for licorice, and ylang ylang. Fir-ever Young took me 10 years. Thats how long it took to tell me it was done! I used hundreds of woods, fir and cedars, not to mention floral scents and citrusit was a work in progress for a very long time. I was thrilled when one of my customers was interviewed for Oprah Magazine and she mentioned that she wears it.

I make all the perfumes here in my perfumery, and I also make many of the ingredients that go into my perfumes and other products. I make house-infused organic alcohols with honey, vanilla, and roses from my Perfumers Garden and I hand-tincture flower essences. I use beeswax and propolis from my own beehives. I design all the packaging and I create each perfume to be a collectors item.

My passion for animal welfare is also a big part of my creative process. In fact, my two kitties ( Velvet & Sweet Pea!) that I rescued from a life of lab testing inspired me to build my Purrfumery. After I was in business for a few years, I became Leaping Bunny certified. Leaping Bunny is an assurance to my customers that I dont do animal testing and neither do any of my suppliers. Creativity and compassion are one within these walls!

       Do you have any advice for those that may want to become an perfumer?

I don’t generally give advice because I think you have to know for yourself what makes your heart sing. I have always followed my heart, wherever that winding road has led me. I became passionate and obsessed about natural essences and there wasn’t a choice, I didn’t even think about it. I had capital from my lucrative wedding flower business, and once I knew I wanted to put my perfumes out into the world, I started thinking seriously about bottling them and creating treasure pouches to house them. I wanted every part to be as beautiful and magical as I could make it, so that each aspect is in itself a gift, from the perfume to the bottle or jewel-box, to the pouch or purse, and last, but not least, the Victorian-style scent card that accompanies each scent.

Working in a creative realm isn’t easy. Marketing is a challenge and it’s a lot of work, even if you enjoy it enormously!

       Finally do you have any other words that you would like to share?

My Purrfumery is a whimsical place—I retreat there to have fun and get carried away by scent. My Purrfumery friends feel the same way—visitors always say they feel like they step into another world when they walk through the door. My latest source of whimsy and fun is a line of men’s products to help beardsmen keep their beards under control. It’s called Mr. Whisker’s Beard Balm and it was a blast to formulate! I told you I am a true tree hugger, right? I hike a lot and I’m always hugging the trees to smell their essential oils. I love all of the rich scents of the earth, from woods and mosses to grasses and leaves. These are the elements I am weaving into my Beard Balm line. When I work on these products, I take a break from the feminine whimsy and the florals I use in my perfumes and get into something completely different. It’s a hilarious challenge to edit my packaging designs because I’m a “too much is never enough” kind of girl! This approach works really well for my perfume lines, but for my new men’s line, I’m working on simplicity in terms of design. Mr. Whiskers is a very sophisticated cat! And he likes things simple and earthy, so that’s what I’m doing. 


In the artist words

Rodney Hughes of

THERAPEUTATE PARFUMS et Apothicaires


I am a native of Louisiana, who moved to NYC in late eighties. I came to New York at the tail end of the Studio 54 and the Garage Dance Phenomena. The City was still smoking from all the partying, sex, drugs and of course the height of fashion. It was for that very last reason I moved to New York. Here I am this bright eyed young art student who had come to study at Pratt Institute. New York was so full of excitement, bizarre happenings and an element of danger.

It was the first time a really saw homelessness and mental patients turned out into the streets. It was nothing to walking down the street and see a person literally talking to an electrical pole. This place was as if the veil of all illusion had been ripped, torn and tattered. It seemed like a no holds barred kind of place to a young man whom up to this point had lived a very sheltered existence. Ever since I could remember, it was the type of excitement and fast pace I had longed for while growing up in Louisiana.It’s funny how the grass seems greener on the other side. After living in NYC for nearly 30 years, I would have to say its current gentrification has wiped away a lot of the dinginess, glitter, excitement. Sometimes, I feel like it’s not the city that once excited and gathered an amazing array of artists. However, I have no regrets, this experience has been life changing.

Living and working in this city has allowed me so much excess to the inner workings of living a creative life. Fresh out of Design School in 1991, I started a Men’s Activewear line with my best friend. We spent the next 6 years designing and selling in across America. This was a great experience and really set me on a path of entrepreneurship. So even after the we retired the collection and I retuned to the corporate sector of fashion, but maintained this spirit as a freelancer.Fashion taught me some great lessons through my interaction in a highly creative environment where deadlines were super pressurized and travel overseas meant playing as hard as we worked. I even have a pair on pants I split on the dance floor while in Sri Lanka to prove we went hard. 

The title  Therapeutate refers to the Egyptian Therapeutae  a sect of Healer Priests started by Pharaoh Tuthmose III of the 18th Dynasty. 

The title Therapeutate refers to the Egyptian Therapeutae a sect of Healer Priests started by Pharaoh Tuthmose III of the 18th Dynasty. 

Therapeutate Parfums began in 2007 about the time I started to consider what my future in fashion should be. Earlier that year my partner and I had opened a very unique community hardware store. It was everything home repair, custom paints and a highly curated selection of the best in green home and leisure care products. We were known as the boutique hardware store because of its interior design and approach to selling tools, gardening and home products.By the next year, I left Fashion to concentrate on the business and to launch Therapeutate Parfums. In just two years the hardware store grow so fast, we were moving into a larger location, while the previous store would be developed into another retail venture. This began the project of Liquid Oz Cafe and Wine Bar. So as you can see things were happening so fast something was bound to suffer. This meant my time on TP was very limited, but I kept this dream live by developing a private following of devoted lovers and becoming a nose/contributing writer for Ca Fleure Bon. 

When I am thinking of the creation of a perfume, I thinking of what I want to say and what should this new fragrance represent about my life and its experience. Being an artist my goal is to paint a landscape that will take ones scent perception through a guided tour of my personal experiences. An example of this would be fragrance I once created to represent how I felt walking in NYC on early spring while the cold crispiness of winter still loomed over the city. Its goal was to capture all the anticipation of spring I could sense in the air.Exotic Flower the fragrance you feel drawn to had a very different approach. This perfume came out of my desire to create a rich, dark Chypre full of incense and white flowers. It was an exercise is narcissism, to see if I could defy convention.

It was originally to be called, The Blacker the Berry, the Sweeter the Juice. Its infused with black and blueberries with many references to the Isle of Cyprus and its female cult of fertility.To be an Indie Perfumer is challenging, but I don't know any other way that allows me to feel the freedom I have created for my life. I can look at what’s truly great in the market place and separate what’s just another pretty covering, but smells like everything else. This helps me define my place in the crowd. Do I come dress like every one else on trend or do I make an entrance that’s lasting? That is the question.I prefer working in naturals and botanicals because I approach life as a healing process.

I am a Reiki Master, my intention is to live a healthy, balanced existence. This for me means maintaining a deeply spiritual connection to all parts of myself. However, I am not walking around with blinders on, I know that the market place is dominated by an array of approaches. Its important to have choices, its all relevant. For that reason, I have familiarized my palate with isolates (“considered natural”), aroma-chemicals and animal by products, so I get it. What I don’t get is when a “nose” tells me the only way for a perfumer to achieve depth and layers is to apply the latter. I say rubbish, Therapeutate Parfums’ depth and layers can hang with what’s considered the best by standard. I have been wearing some of the very best niche and commercial fragrances for years, before I began creating perfumes.

However, I love being a natural perfumer and the work is informed by my spiritual life, travels and insights into history. Currently the line is available on etsy.com or by directly contacting me at therapeutate@gmail.com. The line has just undergone a facelift and re-branding and will be available soon via website and a Flagship store to open in New Orleans in early 2016. The top industry reports seem to think and have projected huge growth in the areas of commercial application to enhance a shopper’s experience and drive the retail bottomline, they predict growth in areas of healing and naturals, men’s grooming, pet adornment and children. Personally, I see naturals and botanicals taking center stage as consumers become better educated. When shopping for food, we are moving towards free range, minimally processed, organic, local and fair trade. This is were I see every area of our lives “leaning into being.”


 

Norrland (Northland) is one of the three lands of Sweden (landsdelar), the northern part, consisting of nine provinces..........

NorraNorrland

 

Interview with 

Eva Henriksson

  • What is your back ground and history?

I was born in an entrepreneurial family in northern part of Sweden, in a little village called Älvsbyn. Right through the village is the clear water river Piteälven. A river that lives its own life, depending on the season. Älvsbyn in English is River Village. Looking at statistics from 2014, Älvsbyn had 8 224 inhabitants and 1 535 registered companies. This is one company per 5,4 inhabitants. So having a company, doing business and an open mind to entrepreneurial ideas has always been natural to me. It is not always an easy way of living, but somehow the mind is set from childhood to test and try chances, dreams and opportunities that comes along the way.

I grew up in a baker family. I have always smelled, and tasted bred and fine bread. In bread the spices are very important as well as yeast and flour. Just by smelling bread I can tell what is will taste like. This might be the reason why I find scents exciting!

  • Have you always had an interest in scent and fragrance?

No I have not. But not for the reason that took s did not like fragrances. Perfume and fragrances where not a big part of my life during the childhood. The interest has grown when I had the opportunity to go to flight shops and spend “hours” of testing when waiting for flights in my job. I took a Masters in International Marketing and a Bachelor in Financials in late 1990´ at the Luleå Technical University and graduated in year 2000, 30 years old. I have now been working for a mining/smelter company for more than 10 years and in that job as Market analyst/Business Intelligence have had many hours spend at airports. For me a perfume is not only the scent and the components of the fragrance. It is also the bottle, colors, box and text. It is the whole package that will sell a product. No matter if I only love to design boxes to perfumes or create a perfect scent, it will not sell without the whole package.

  • How did you first start becoming involved in the perfume world?

The very first scent that was given to me was a box with Jane Hellen products in 1983, if I remember correctly. I was 13 years. My uncle Stellan gave a box to me and a box to my twin sister. This is the first memory I have of having a scent at all. However, being involved in the perfume world has started this late winter when I created my first scent; Scent of Aurora. Sourcing the best production plant for my start was the first time I had to do with people within the industry. This world is all new to me. There is a lot to learn and I look so much forward to it.

  • Tells us about your brands theme and character.

When you give me this question I know I have to hold back, I can talk for hours! First of all, I have chosen to call the brand NorraNorrland. This is actually two words in Swedish “Norra Norrland” or Northern Northland. Norther Northland is the two most northern landscapes or “states” in Sweden. I was born in the most northern and today I live in the second most northern. So, the brand is connected to the area where I was born and where I live.

The name Scent of Aurora comes from the Nordic light, Aurora Borealis. The beautiful and sparkling light that travels over the night sky wintertime. I recommend every person who has not seen the Nordic light in Norther Sweden to do it at least once in a lifetime. On rare occasions there is also a sparkle that can be heard! Since I want to capture the norther part of Sweden in my brand, I have also added two extra illustrative in the bottle; 24K gold and red small glass pearls.

The gold represents the richness that we have in the ground and in the forest. The value that can be found in the ground and on the ground have a large impact of being able to stay and live up here in the northern area. A lot of the jobs and the income come from years back from these industries. Today there are more industries, not at least within IT. Facebook have for instance large storage here for storing data. One of the reasons is the cold! The long and cold winter in Luleå are holding energy costs down.

The red glass pearls represents a berry called arctic raspberry (Åkerbär). Arctic raspberry is very rare, exotic and exclusive and also as unique in taste and scent as for instance saffron. Saffron on the other hand can be sold in large volumes, but arctic raspberry cannot. It cannot be re-created. It grows in a specific flora and some seasons they don´t grow at all.  I took part in a study at a university in southern Sweden not long ago, where they asked me what the berry tastes like. Even I have had the berry on the table during my whole childhood; I was not able to put it into words. It is so specific that there are no words for it. It is just irresistible!

  • Your brand is the first from your area of the world; it’s said to be very beautiful. Can you talk about how and if it inspired you?

When I decided to create a perfume and start a business with the brand I wanted to capture the area in the bottle(s). When I went to the factory to start to bottle I brought actually 3 things. The gold, the glass pearls and a bottle of water from the Piteälven. There is a water tapping factory in the village. I wanted to add at least one drip of water from the river into the bottle. In that way I would also had captured the whole river that goes from the Alps to the sea. Sadly to me, this was not possible. The factory did not want to add it for some reason.

There are so many beautiful and area specific things form this Northern Northland that inspires me to create so many more scents. We have the clear water, the cold winter, the dark days in winter time, and the light nights in summer time, and the flora off course. And the five seasons off course; winter, winter-spring, spring, summer and fall.

  • What are your views on where the perfume world is now and where it’s headed?

Since I am rather new in this business, I look at it from a consumer’s perspective. I see a lot of commercial from rock stars, actors, and athletics. It is not only one fragrance but 5 -10 or more produces in their names! It is big business. This is new the last 15-20 years. But this is also going on in the wine industry for instance. On the other hand this might open up for more people from outside the traditional producers to enter the market. Changes are good. There is no development without changes! Hopefully there will be even more niche fragrances in the future and more people who go for their dreams to have their own line of products.

  • What were your fears if any when started the company?

I started first company 1992. I was 22 years and saw only opportunities. This was before I went to the university. Now, when I am a bit older and have a little bit more experience, I think more long term, more strategical and evaluate every step in investments more carefully. The fear is more of factors that I cannot impact. For instance, I am vulnerable to the suppliers of the material I am adding into the bottles. I don’t want anything to happen to their business.

  • Finally, do you have any thing you would like to share?

I like Nikes slogan Just Do It. If I could inspire just one person to take the steps to fulfill an entrepreneur dream like I have done. Do it. Just do it.

 

 

 


Marine Futin




  • Can you tell us of your background?

I am French, and i have been living in NYC for 4 years now. I have been playing music forever, starting this project 10 years ago with the first songs I wrote. I arrived to New York because I was very curious about the Jazz scene, and the energy of the city. I wanted to record my debut album here. Which I just finished ! It will be released April 28.

  •  Did you have a interest in music growing up?

I did, I started playing piano when I was 6, and then switched to guitar at 20, when I left home and I had no piano anymore. I haven't touch my piano since then, and wrote all the songs with my guitar. As I travel a lot, the guitar is super convenient ! You can have it with you everywhere, and write songs from all around the world ;)
 

  • What would you say is your creative process if you can share?·        

I got inspired by life and moments. I write a lot during nights, when it is all quiet. It is one of my favorite moment to create. I feel very free ! Usually, music and lyrics come all together, I can't separate them, they are a combination of emotions. The rhythm inspires me words, and words inspire me melodies.

  • Do you have any advice for those that may want to become an perfumer or designer of scent or anything that is creative in general?

Follow your heart whatever it takes. It is a long road to get a project/idea mature and ready, to meet the right people, but its worth the sleepless nights. Never give up ! 

  •  Finally do you have any other words that you would like to share?

Get my debut album on iTunes or Amazon on April 28 ! :)

Thank you all again!

 


Victoire Oberkampf /// http://www.victoire-oberkampf.fr Marine Futin /// http://www.marine.futin.fr https://www.facebook.com/VictoireOberkampf http://victoire-oberkampf.bandcamp.com/album/diario-do-ver-o http://www.facebook.com/marinefutin



Marine Futin performing "L'alphabet" Brooklyn, NY www.marine.futin.fr Kenji Herbert on Guitar Peter Kronreif on Drums Shooting : Jiye Kim Editing : Marine Futin and Jiye Kim


Interview With 

Justin James of James&co Perfumes


  • Can you tell us your background who you are and when did you first took interest in perfume?

My interest in perfume was not always in the forefront of my mind. I am actually a Graphic Designer and my main passion has been Design from a very early age. I grew up in a small seaside village called Somers on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. Growing up I had a mother who suffered from migraines, so I didn't really have much to do with scent (except the one she was able to wear which was “Vanderbilt”) until much later in life.

My sister and I, now that we think back, have always had excellent scent memory retention, both having a great scent vocabulary and an ability to colour code scents in unison. So I do find that I respect her thoughts on my creations very much. As a younger man, one of my favorite pastimes was trawling the department store fragrance sections, smelling everything they had a tester for, pin pointing the notes in each of the fragrances to the best of my memory, or researching those I was yet to memorize.

 

  • How did the idea behind James&Co first come about?

After many years of my fragrant expeditions to the department stores, I had begun to construct in my mind a masculine scent. Using the memory of notes from many other fragrances, I started writing down notes and accords which I felt would work in a completely new composition. My concept was to put together notes which would bring back a scent of masculinity which I felt was being lost. So after many years I finally found myself in a position where I had some money and some time to not only do some study in Perfumery, but also afford to buy the necessities to bring my creation from the depths of my mind and into reality. Thus “Seven” Eau De Parfum was born, and very soon after, JAMES&CO. That brand name being my name obviously, and a small homage to those who have helped along the way in the “&CO”.

 

  • What stage is the brand in now and what is your vision for the next five years?

I have been putting things with James&CO in motion for the last 3 months, in terms of the actual business, getting our look right, and of course fine tuning our first four fragrances, but I am still in the construction mode at this stage. February/March will essentially be our first “launch” if you will, into the public eye. We have experimented with some different bottles, but have now finalized our bottles and how we want them to look. It is a sad truth that the bottle is practically just as important as the fragrance inside these days, so we have tried really hard to get something together that both looks great and is sustainable to our business.

Although we do have our pretty pictures and our branding, we are not about mass marketed fragrance which relies on consumer testing. I create fragrances from my mind based on a concept, not on a demographic. Our scents will be artistic expressions which we can only hope people will love as much as we do! So over the next 5 years we will be creating new and interesting fragrances for men and women and just building a reputation and a name within the niche market.

 

  • You’re a self taught perfumer please tell us about the process that you started to learn the craft?

Firstly, I would never call myself a “perfumer”, a perfumer is a professional chemist with years of training and experience. This is probably better answered in your next question, but I think the only bad thing about all the new niche companies popping up is the misconception that anyone making perfumes is a perfumer. Although I have taken it upon myself to do some training in Perfumery, I am not a chemist, and I do not know enough to considered a “perfumer”. I am simply an artist who makes perfume…..

In addition to training, I have and continue to do copious amounts of research both scientific and artistic on both perfume ingredients and the use of each in compositions. I also do many experiments, both in concepts and wearablilty. I am constantly learning and being taught by many different people within the industry and outside of it.

 

  • Finally what are your views on the independent perfume scene and the new brands that are emerging?

As you can imagine I read many interviews with Perfumers, both in high-end magazines and in the myriad of perfume blogs out there on the web. The one thing which seems to be constant is that Perfume as an industry is becoming more and more “paint by numbers”, perfumers are now so restricted by the companies they work for to create exactly what the market research has dictated, that the industry is losing its originality….Can you imagine if Monet had worked for a company and was told to only use red and green paint? The many Niche Companies popping up are almost like a rebellion against the industry. These small outfits are able to use perfumery as an art form as it once was, which I think it fantastic. It will be these small perfumeries like my own, which keep the art alive.




Seven eau de toilette | 100ml | Masculine

 

Notes | Bergamot, Pink Peppercorn, Fig Accord, Tobacco, Leather, Civet, Clear Wood

 

Mood | Seven does nothing quietly.  A sweet bright beginning leading into a dark, mysterious and brutally masculine story. Visions of a man sitting upon a high backed leather chair, his sweet pipe smoke still lingering in the air.  He speaks with confidence and power, a cheeky smirk hints at his sweetness and sex appeal.

 

 


Winterosa eau de parfum | 50ml | Feminine

Notes | Verbena Mint, Steel Rose, Gardenia, Clean Amber, Green Wood, Fig Accord

 

Mood | Where traditional florals exude a warm and powdery appeal, Winterosa turns the appeal around 180 degrees to give coolness and a crisper take on the traditional floral fragrance.  From the creamy headiness of Gardenia, to a cool dewey Rose. With the additions of Mint and Fig lending a freshness and sweetness respectively, making Winterosa a unique scent for the floral lover after something a little different.

 

 


D'Azul eau de toilette | 100ml | Unisex


Notes | Green Tea Accord, Peppermint, Bergamot, Absinthe, Bluewood, Fig Accord

 

Mood | D’Azul (loose translation ‘The Blue”) takes the bare bones of a blue/ocean scent, and adds just enough intrigue to create something altogether unfamiliar yet immensely appealing.  Taking the clean coolness of absinthe and adding the sweetness of the Green Tea Accord has you walking a fine line between a dewey green forest and the crystalline blue ocean of the Costa Del Sol.

 

 


Elegancia eau de parfum | 50ml | Feminine


Notes | Mandarin, Peppermint, Bergamot, Green Rose, Clear Wood, Floral Accord


Mood | Elegancia is delicate, fresh and alluring.  Imagine a fresh green rose, covered in morning dew, floating on a crystal clear pond.  The air scented with sweet mandarin and peppermint.  The scent evokes an image of a woman in white, bare feet on moss by the pond, the light breeze shifting her dress ever so slightly.


sfu·ma·to

sfo͞oˈmätō/

noun

ART

  1. the technique of allowing tones and colors to shade gradually into one another, producing softened outlines or hazy forms.


Sfumato Fragraces


"Sfumato fragrances is the husband and wife team of Kevin Peterson and Jane Larson. We formed this company to provide scents that emphasize subtlety and complexity using entirely natural materials. Kevin is the nose of the company, engaging the olfactory skills he developed studying culinary arts to blend each of our compositions. Jane is the eyes using her background in art and design to conceive the brand’s visual aesthetic. Together, sfumato fragrances was created. Our hand-blended scents combine individual ingredients, or “notes”, each with different evaporation rates, to produce a fragrance that evolves as it unfolds in time. The top notes evaporate quickly and are smelled first. The mid and base notes follow more subtly in time. Graphing this concept shows the framework of both our scents and 
our logo: 

By balancing the notes and creating harmony, we formulate our beautiful scent compositions.

Breathe deeply and enjoy the unfolding."- SF


Interview with 

Kevin Peterson and Jane Larson of Sfumato

  • What is your back ground and history?

Our company was formed about 2 years ago.  I have a background in both culinary arts and physics/engineering, and Jane has a background in studio art and graphic design.  Through our powers combined, we had just enough skills to start Sfumato.  Many years ago while I was studying engineering, I read “Jitterbug Perfume” by Tom Robbins. The book is fiction, but talks a lot about scents, and I became really intrigued by the relation between aroma and cuisine, and with how hard it is to quantify and categorize smells.  Playing with scents became a welcome relief from the heavy mathematics I was working with daily.  After having the hobby for several years, giving away lots of samples, and making friends rate each new creation, Jane and I created Sfumato.

 

  • Have you always had an interest in scent and fragrance?

I wasn’t around a lot of scents growing up, but as I grew older and started discovering how to use my nose to experience new aromas and flavors, I was totally entranced.  It was an epiphany, and the scales fell from my nose.  Simple things like the smell of raw garlic, or being able to identify an herb by crushing the leaves and smelling just blew my mind.   Now scents are a huge part of my life.  I start each day by opening the desk where I keep my essences and smelling a few bottles to get my fragrant brain moving, I ask strangers what scent they are wearing, and I have no shame about sticking my nose into various plants and flowers wherever I happen to be.

 

  • How did the project begin?

The seed was really planted during a random walk through our Detroit neighborhood when I met a fellow named Jon Koller, owner of the Beard Balm company.  He thought I was lost, and when it turned out I was just wandering aimlessly, we started talking a bit. He is an engineer that started his own company, grew it to having national distribution, and now has several employees.  I was very inspired by his passion for his product and wondered if we could sell our fragrances in the same way.

  • Tells us about the brand, its themes and character.

There are two beautiful ideas we constantly in search of: harmony and resonance.  Resonance occurs when two objects share the same natural frequency, they are literally on the same wavelength.  Harmony is interesting interplay between vibrations, whether they are musical, aromatic, or otherwise.  Sfumato is a search for harmonies between fragrance notes, especially the unexpected ones, and also harmonies that unfold in time.  It’s a search for resonance, finding scents that resonate with us, with each other, and ideas that resonate and create a beautiful symphony all based around fragrance.     

 

  • What are your views on where the perfume world is now and where it’s headed?

The best analogy I can find is beer.  If you go back a few years, most beer was sold by a few large brands, and it all tasted pretty similar, and none of it was particularly unique or thought-provoking.  Then all these micro-brews showed up and suddenly there’s a huge focus on quality, sourcing, character, each one is doing something more bizarre than the last, and it’s a marvelous time to drink beer because even the small Mexican grocery store near our home has 25 kinds of delicious beer I haven’t tried.  Now, most fragrances you find at the mall come from relatively few, relatively large companies, but the fragrance industry is about to see an explosion in the selection and availability of small-batch scents.  It’s a marvelous time to explore the world of fragrance.   

  • What were your fears if any, when you started the company?

Whenever I create a scent, I start from an idea and combine notes and go through many trials until it exactly matches what I had in mind, the closest earthly approximation of the Platonic ideal.  This part of the work is complete joy.  It’s when put the scent in front of other people that fear comes in.  Will they smell it the way I do?  Will they feel all the small details and appreciate the nuances?  Once I’ve invested enough time to create a scent I think is complete, it’s a part of me.  If people don’t understand a particular scent, it’s terrible, but when they just start nodding their heads, smile, and they get it, that’s the best feeling in the world.

  • How has the company being based in Detroit effect the company or yourself?

Scent Pairings...

Here in Detroit we have met a lot of people that are exploring unconventional ideas, just throwing themselves into unique and strange endeavors.  That spirit is the reason we’ve stayed here and the reason we take on so many bizarre side projects that involve scent.  For example, we re-created the smell of outer space for a party commemorating the first human in orbit, we hosted a dinner pairing scents, cocktails, and culinary dishes, and we are working on a project using fragrance to link the memories of complete strangers in our favorite bars.  Although not without its hardships, the scene in Detroit is very open to new ideas right now, which is perfect for us.

Where can we find your perfumes for purchase?

Sfumato Fragrances are online both on our website, sfumatofragrances.com, and in our etsy shop, https://www.etsy.com/shop/SfumatoFragrances.  If you are in Detroit, we are carried at El Dorado General Store in Corktown (eldoradogeneralstore.com), Savvy Chic/Savvy Gents in Eastern Market (savvychictrends.com), and Detroit Fiber Works on the Avenue of Fashion (detroitfiberworks.com). 

  • Finally, do you have any thing you would like to share?

I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse that scent cannot be transmitted online.  So much information comes to us through computers or smart phones, yet for all the words and pictures, I have not breathed a single smell directly through an LCD screen.  There’s a bit of sadness that I can’t simply smell all the wonderful creations from perfumers around the world instantly by connecting to the internet, but there’s also a certain beauty and intrigue that scent can still only be experienced alive and in person.  I think the fact that scent has remained so elusive to quantification and digitization is a wonderful thing. 

 


ENSAR OUD 

"A whole new world of olfactory wonder. The rarest aromatics in the world, infused with artisanal Oud oil. This is niche perfumery taken to a very different level."-EO

Agarwood, also known as oudoodh or agar, is a dark resinous heartwood that forms in Aquilaria and Gyrinops[1] trees (large evergreens native to southeast Asia) when they become infected with a type of mould. Prior to infection, the heartwood is relatively light and pale coloured; however, as the infection progresses, the tree produces a dark aromatic resin in response to the attack, which results in a very dense, dark, resin embedded heartwood. The resin embedded wood is commonly called gaharujinkoaloeswoodagarwood, or oud (not to be confused with 'Bakhoor') and is valued in many cultures for its distinctive fragrance, and thus is used for incenseand perfumes.

 

Interview with

Kimberley Sibrie of  Siberie Perfume

Interview with

Kimberley Sibrie of  Siberie Perfume


I have a background in fashion retail and natural skin care formulation. For several years, I owned a women’s fashion boutique that showcased emerging designers that were fresh out of fashion design school. I had a section in my shop for natural beauty products and perfumes and this is when I really started to become more interested in the ingredients that went into the products I used. My new found love of natural, vegan and organic beauty prompted me to take courses on cosmetic formulation so I could learn more about the benefits of essential oils and start creating products that I wasn’t able to find in larger commercial stores.

 

•           Did you have a interest in fragrance growing up?

                      

I always had an interest in fragrance growing up. In fact, I can remember being in my mother’s garden at the age of 10 years old and soaking the petals of pinkpeonies in water and then bottling it up as I wanted to make perfume. It was one of my first introductions to alchemy!  I also have vivid memories of my grandmother and how she introduced me to some of the finer classic perfumes such as Chanel #5 and Joy by Jean Patou. My own introduction to commercial perfume started as a teenager and my first purchases included  Coty Wild Musk, Revlon Charlie and Love’s Baby Soft.

•    How did your current journey into perfume begin?

                       

My journey began with my interest in formulating natural skin care products such as facial creams, masks and cleansers. I also created healing balms from herbs from my own garden. While using natural essential oils in these products and learning about them, I discovered that many of them such as Ylang Ylang, Bergamot and Rosewood smelled amazing when blended together. I started blending these oils and creating my own solid perfumes and eventually expanded to blending perfume oils. Often my friends and colleagues would ask me what I am wearing and if I could make a perfume for them.Things sort of took off from there and I decided to offer my collections on Etsy and develop my own website www.siberieperfumes.com

•           What would you say is your creative process if you can share?

                     

My creative process is a blend of my own mood at a particular moment or inspiration from places I travelled to or historical legends. Some of my perfumes are also named after friends and family. Mostly, they are named after strong women in history. I find the seasons often inspire my fragrance blends. In the summer I often gravitate towards marine or floral fragrances whereas in the winter I often find myself blending more gourmand fragrances with notes of vanilla,honey, caramel and labdanum. I am a huge history buff, especially from the Tudor era. My favourite perfume I ever created is called Boleyn which is very decadent gourmand fragrance. I often imagine myself back in time and how that person would have smelled. From there, my process usually begins with my base note and from there I try to incorporate middle and tops notes that blend harmoniously. Before I launch a fragrance, I have my loyal and honest friends test my prototypes and give me feedback.

 •           Do you have any advice for those that may want to become an perfumer or designer of scent or anything that is creative in general?

My advice would be to always follow your heart. Believe in and love what you are doing and most importantly, be patient! Perfume is so personal and subjective . What one person likes, can be disliked by the other. I think I must have thrown away about 30 prototype blends before I created some of my fragrances.Researching and blending fragrances can be quite challenging. Reading any publication by Mandy Aftel is also an excellent place to start. Her book Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume fuelled the fire in me and gave me the creative drive I needed to get started in this magical world of scent and science. 

•           What is your brand about the themes that you use?

Sibérie perfumes is artisan perfumery that caters to individuals who do not want to smell like everyone else. They are seeking something extraordinary that will embody a feeling or emotion in that exact moment they put their perfume on. They are seeking a deeper meaning in their perfume and connecting with all the aroma notes. My mission has always been to create a healthy product that has no phthalates, parabens and is vegan friendly. With the use of imagery and art on my website, I try to capture what the essence and emotion of the perfume is.

 •           If you were not a perfumer what do you think you would be doing?

 

I would most likely be a personal assistant of some sort. I like things to be organized, I like lists and I like schedules!

•           Where can we find your perfumes for sale?

You can find my whole fragrance collection on Etsy or on my website www.siberieperfumes.com

            •          

Finally do you have any other words that you would like to share?

 

I am so thankful and grateful to be interviewed on your lovely website! Thank you for featuring such an array of inspiring artisan perfumers!

 

 


Sanae Barber


"Hand-blended natural botanicals.These alluring parfums are inspired by music, lovers, naps, dreams and mind altering experiences."-SI



"Fleurs du Mal ('Flowers of Evil') makes natural botanical perfumes and apothecary products, taking inspiration from such things as weeds and flowers, sunshine and shadows, laughter and poetry to create strangely beautiful scents. All-natural and hand-made in very small batches in Waiake, Auckland, Aotearoa/NZ"-FDM

 

Beautiful       Mysterious     Evocative 


Manifesto

"We believe in NZ-made. We believe that the mass-market model is a dinosaur. We believe that hand-made is true luxury. We believe that luxury is not necessarily expensive. We believe in brave indie makers, artisans, and craftspeople, including ourselves. We believe in brave critics and curators.  We believe in beauty. We believe in quality. We believe in dreams. We believe that perfume is art. We believe that art can change the world."- FDM

 


Interview with

Vanessa York of Fluer du Mal

 

  • What is your back ground and history?

I did a postgraduate degree in English literature, but never finished my doctorate – it took me far too long to realize that I simply wasn’t cut from scholarly cloth. After university, I worked in a library for a couple of years, then I sort of fell into publishing, as a children’s education book editor. I spent quite a few years doing that; it was a nice job. But it never felt like it was my real path. I had an epiphany when I discovered natural perfumery about five years ago. I knew that I wanted to create scents using natural materials. There’s something so mysteriously alive about the essences.

If there’s a common thread between editing and perfumery, it’s the fact that they’re both an art and a craft – they’re both intensely practical occupations, requiring skills that can be learned. But every individual brings their own personality to the work, too, and there’s the art, and the magic. Knowing what to add, and what to leave out, gauging the effects… these are also strangely – I could almost say synaesthetically, though I’m not sure that that’s a word - similar across both fields.

 

  • Have you always had an interest in scent and fragrance?

Yes. My mother, of course, was my first influence – she wore Lubin, Guerlain, and Hermes, and from an early age she impressed upon me the glamour and importance of perfume. My father, though, was also a big influence – he was a builder by trade, but he was always immaculately groomed, including cologne- Paco Rabanne, Eau Sauvage – we used to tease him about it! He changed careers when I was about 11; it turned out that he was very good at selling perfume... and he often brought home tiny sample bottles to us girls - Je Reviens, Ma Griffe, L’Air du Temps... That was in the early eighties.

 

  • How did you first start becoming involved in the perfume world?

I became a student of natural perfumery. I did a lot of study on my own, then I took Anya McCoy’s course with the Natural Perfumery Institute, which gave some much-needed structure to my practice. I still read everything I can. And of course I am experimenting all the time. I think it’s important to retain an inquizitive mind, especially when one has strong opinions.

I’ve found artisan perfumers worldwide to be a generous and supportive community. I feel very privileged to be part of it, and I also feel a responsibility to contribute to that culture in any way I can.

  • Tell us about your brand’s theme and character.

I get asked quite often about the name, Fleurs du Mal ('Flowers of Evil'). I wanted to call my botanical perfume house something that made a strong statement, and that didn’t allude at all to the fact that it’s natural. And, I love Baudelaire’s brilliant collection of poems of that name. The fact that it’s a French name is also nicely ironic, because we’re still fighting a perception in some people’s minds that any perfume that is ‘real’ or ‘good’ must be made in France.

In my perfumes, I love to evoke dissonances as well as harmonies. I get inspired by the weeds as well as the flowers, the shadows even more than the sunshine. The plant names of our perfumes capture this twist. Fleurs du Mal perfumes are not for everyone. But some people like them very much.

 

  • Has your home country affected your art?

Yes, very much so. Aotearoa/New Zealand (Aotearoa means ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ in the indigenous Maori language) is a small country of only 4 million people, and we are a long way from most places. We are surrounded by sea - you can buy ambergris here. (Or go look for it yourself on 90-Mile Beach.) Until the last few decades, we imported most of our culture from Europe and America. Times have changed, and we are proud of our unique sensibility – you can see it in our writers, our musicians, our designers, our fashion – and our perfumers.

I have a dream that we’ll eventually have a flourishing perfume industry here in NZ, with more growers as well as perfumers able to make a good living, creating scents that convey the character of here.

Of course, I use locally grown plants and flowers in my perfumes whenever possible.

 

  • What are your views on where the perfume world is now?

It’s an exciting time for artisan perfumers in general. I really do think that mass-market perfumery is a dinosaur, lurching along, propped up by enormous amounts of hype and money; I don’t think it is a sustainable model in this day and age. I believe that a lot of people are seeking more substance, and choosing where they spend their money accordingly. The New Luxury movement seems to me to be very timely.

 

  • Did you have any fears if any when starting?

Yes of course, many! And I still have days when I can’t believe my own audacity. But mostly, I can’t believe my luck – it’s a joy and a privilege to be able to do what you love, the struggle is worth it.

 

  • Finally, do you have anything else that you would like to share?

Can I share Fleurs du Mal’s manifesto again? It really sums up why I jump out of bed every morning.

We believe in NZ-made. We believe that the mass-market model is a dinosaur. We believe that hand-made is true luxury. We believe that luxury is not necessarily expensive. We believe in brave makers, artisans, and craftspeople, including ourselves. We believe in brave critics and curators.  We believe in beauty. We believe in quality. We believe in dreams. We believe that perfume is art. We believe that art can change the world. 

Thank you so much for this interview!

Interview with

Sophia Fannon-Howell

  • What is your background and history?

History is very important to me. I believe that you never really know a place or a person until you understand their history.  My family has traced their genealogy back quite a long way and I come from a line of interesting characters including John Wilmot Earl of Rochester and Grace O’Malley the Irish Pirate Queen.

I was born in Surrey, UK and have lived in England all my life. I studied Geology at University and history at college and I am fascinated by history, all things old and vintage. I am a Dr of Geology and worked as a Consultant in oil and gas industry for over 17 years.  In 2004 I started learning about skincare product formulation, natural ingredients and essential oils in my spare time.  I began blending essential oils for the natural skincare products I was creating, for their therapeutic benefit and their fragrance.  My interest and hobby grew and I launched a skincare brand in 2011, selling luxury natural products online.

 

  • Have you always had an interest in scent and fragrance?

I have been in love with fragrance from an early age. I used to collect scented soaps, scented pens and pencils and fragranced stickers when I was a child. 

 

The first perfumes that I ever bought were Avon fragrances, because they were accessible and inexpensive. My first premium perfume was Dior's Dune followed by Lancôme’s Tresor.  My love of vintage scent really started after I bought my first bottle of Chanel No5 in 1992, which has been my signature scent ever since.  Once I started exploring essential oils in 2004, my passion for fragrance really took off as I began to understand more about the components and chemistry behind perfume.

 

  • How did the project begin?

The idea for Deco London evolved over the last 10 years. Id always wanted to create a brand with a historical bias and I used the idea of vintage design for my facial skincare products.  However, the facial skincare market is extremely busy and I found it hard to stand out from the crowd. I learnt quickly that people tend to buy skincare products based on the smell, rather than the quality of the ingredients in the product. This was disappointing, but ultimately it led me to think more about the fragrance and how I could create complex vintage fragrances.  Whilst I knew a lot about fragrance and natural ingredients, I was not a perfumer, so I sought help from some of the best experts in the business. Through talking to them, I began to understand what was possible and the vision of Deco London the fragrance house was born.

 

  • Tells us about the brand, it’s themes and character.

Deco London creates perfumes inspired by history: the exuberance of periods of history and the perfume trends of the time.  Our first range of perfumes is inspired by the 1920s. 

There are periods of history that stand out for me and the 1920s is one of those times. It was an era of great social change, new modernistic design and an explosion of fragrance creativity, with the invention and introduction of various synthetic molecules.  Many great perfumes were launched in the 1920s.

The idea is to introduce classic perfumery to a modern audience and to create easily wearable fragrances that have a distinctive vintage feel. I love vintage perfumes and the slightly ‘old fashioned’ smell that they have, but I realised that there are a lot of people who don’t and perhaps wouldn’t want to wear them. So Deco London is looking to bridge that gap and create fragrances that embrace the past and the present.

I have given each of the Deco London perfumes a name and a personality, to help people identify with them, but also to add a little humour to the brand and make people smile.  Perhaps on Monday you might feel like being Loretta, the dreamy bohemian, or on Tuesday the vivacious Constance, or perhaps the witty, debonair Quentin on a Friday.  There is a personality for every mood!

 

  • What are your views on where the perfume world is now and where it’s headed?

I think it’s a very exciting time for perfumery as there is a lot of creativity out there. 

Not everyone can afford £100 or more for a bottle of fragrance, but they still want an aspirational purchase. I think its safe to say we will continue to see releases of inexpensive celebrity perfumes that cater for that market. I would like to see the big fragrance companies release a smaller number of better quality offerings that can stand the test of time. 

The niche market is predicted to grow, as there is always demand for the unique and exclusive.  But many niche brands are not ‘niche’ anymore and are readily available worldwide in the prestigious perfume shops and department stores.  Perfume exclusivity is dictated by price, not really by how rare the perfumes are.  Once a niche brand gets to a certain size, they may be acquired by one of the bigger global companies who need to expand their portfolio and reach new customers.  That seems to be the natural way of things and it happens in other businesses all the time. It’s the circle of business! Niche is where the real creativity is and will continue to be and I am sure we will see more ‘niche’ brands enter the market offering the customer something really different and unique… until it goes global!

For many years we have seen the release of modern fragrances based around new synthetic aroma chemicals; Iso E Super is one example.  I am not keen on extremely synthetic smelling perfumes, as I prefer a perfume to have a balance between natural and synthetic ingredients.  However, if restrictions on natural ingredients continue, there will be increasing demand for perfumers to accurately reproduce natural aromas with a combination of synthetic components. Making a natural smelling synthetic fragrance could well end up being the skill most in demand.

 

  • What were your fears if any when started the company?

The biggest fear for me is the financial risk of starting a business.  My family are putting a huge amount of faith in my abilities and trusting me with their investment, which is a massive responsibility. I have looked to mitigate risk by choosing suppliers who can provide me with scalable solutions.  I have worked in business a long time so I understand risk and how to manage it, but even so its one thing managing a corporation’s budget and quite another managing your own investment.

 

  • Where can we find your perfumes for purchase?

The perfumes will be launched in October/November this year.  I will be selling the fragrances through premium retailers in the UK and Europe to start with.  I cannot divulge the retailers yet, but as soon as the details are finalised I will let you know!

 

  • Finally, do you have any thing you would like to share?

I have met some truly amazing people during my perfume journey. The suppliers, perfumers, retailers and perfume enthusiasts that I have had to pleasure to work with have been so kind, helpful and supportive.  It is wonderful to meet so many people who really love what they do. 

Contact

Aroma M Perfumes


"Steeped in the ways of ancient Eastern fragrance traditions"

Interview with 

Maria McElroy of Aroma M Perfumes

Interview

 

●        Can you tell us of your background?

 

After receiving an MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute I continued my studies in Australia and became a Certified Aromatherapist. During that time I was living in Japan, where I studied Kodo, the ancient art of fragrance, Ikebana, Japanese flower arrangement Koto, Japanese harp, Shiatsu massage and Zen Buddhism. This seven-year journey, rich in Japanese history, romance and mystery, became the genesis of aroma M and the inspiration for my signature Geisha fragrance line. Aroma M is based in New York but is now known worldwide and is in its’ 20th year.

 ●        How did your love for perfume begin?

 My earliest recollection of fragrance is that of the tantalizing aroma of Greek pastries that would cover the linen tables cloths in my childhood home. These are delicacies doused in honey syrup and nuts delicately spiced with cinnamon nutmeg, clove and crushed almonds. These were the treats my mother, Opium clinging to her leopard silk blouses, would give my adoring, five year old self on sunny afternoons.
I have an Aromatherapy background, and am actually a licensed Aromatherapist. I would say my olfactory love came from this as well as from Kodo, the Japanese Incense Ceremony. Kodo is like a very elegant game from the esteemed Heian era. One smells the burning incense in a small brassier and must describe the perfumed elements in poetic language, creating art from olfactory art.

 

●        Also can you tell us about your brand?

 

The inspiration for aroma M is Japan and the Geisha. I am very influenced by Japanese culture and the wonderful years I lived there. The tradition of Geisha is all about beauty, elegance, glamour, mystery….this is the allure for me. This is what perfume is all about. We want to wear a perfume, and feel beautiful, powerful, and sensual. I want you to try on a scent, as you would slip on a silk kimono. One may be white, and pure and delicately embroidered with gold, while another is black, and adorned with bold designs, brocaded and resplendent with a sort of mystery. My fragrances are like this. Noire or Rouge is that black Kimono; it envelops you in sensuality, and makes you feel rather daring. Blanche and Pink is like the white Kimono, one worn by a young girl (Maiko) or a bride. It is flirty and a bit shy. We all have a bit of the Geisha inside of us. Aroma M allows us to explore that mystic. Aroma M perfumes are both modern and ancient, delicate and bold…a true dichotomy of olfactory exploration. 

In 2012 I launched aroma M Beauty, an organic Camellia Oil Beauty line comprised of five products a Face Oil, Hair Oil, Body & Bath Oil, Cleansing Oil and of course an all natural Camellia Perfume. My appreciation for Japanese culture and aesthetics in addition to my extraordinary experiences in the secretive world of the Kyoto Gion Geisha’s, have been the bases for aroma M’s Beauty products. The Gourmand combinations are a direct influence from my Kyoto born chef husband. Tuberose and Rosemary, Jasmine, and Frankincense essential oils are designed to smell beautiful and simultaneously enchant the mind, the soul, and the skin. Drawing on my Aromatherapy background, I have conjured elixirs that will satisfy all your beauty needs.

 

●        Did you have any fears starting out?

 After spending seven years in Japan, I returned to the US where my newly found adoration of fragrance led me to experimentation in my own home. Imagine bottles lining every surface and essential oils wafting through the rooms cluttered with hand- printed Japanese papers and cherry blossoms (my flower of inspiration)! I started creating perfume; bottling them in delicate glass adorned with silks and velvet and friends started asking for more and more them. The next thing I knew we were launching the first three Geisha Perfumes o-cha, hana-cha and nobara-cha in New York City at Bergdorf Goodman and in London at Harrods. Aroma M started without much thought, it was organic and fun, and I really did not have any fears.
 

 

●        If there was one thing you could change about the fragrance world what would it be?

 

As I have been in the industry for over 20 years I have seen many changes. I think that with every turn, the industry has become better and more interesting. The only thing that I would like to see is a more clear understanding of the categories of perfume companies Niche, Independent and Artisan. It would help the industry and all of us involved to have the differences clarified.

             ●        What are some of the themes that you use in your brand?

 

Japan and the Geisha most definitely are aroma M brand themes. The Yuzen papers from Kyoto that adorn our bottles are also a recognizable theme. In addition, I always include notes that reflect Japan in each Geisha perfume. Like Lychee in Geisha Blanche and Camellia, the namesake of my Camellia Perfume, have become aroma M signatures.

 

●        Can you name a few things that inspire you?

 

So many things inspire me. Living in New York City, I am able to see amazing art exhibitions and fabulous theater and dance. I love flowers and relish my weekend visits to the farmers market where I get our weekly bouquets. My husband is a chef, so food and the art of Japanese cuisine is a big influence and inspiration to me. I adore fashion, and NYC is the center of style. I also travel to Tokyo once a year where I get a big dose of cutting edge Japanese fashion trends. I am half Greek and have an affinity to the Mediterranean. I love traveling through in that part of the world and recently have added Morocco to my list of places that I must travel to as often as possible. It is such a magical place full of olfactory riches, the ultimate inspiration for a perfumer.

 

●        What is a word of advice you can share with someone wanting to enter the fragrance world as a perfumer or nose?

 

The only advice I would give is that you must really have a passion for perfume because it is very competitive. It really takes a lot work and time to create a successful brand. You must be up for a challenge. It is important that you love fragrance because that energy will help get you though the tough times, which are inevitable in any industry. Ultimately have fun, enjoy yourself. It’s such a privilege to be able to create without restrictions, be brave and follow your vision.

 

 

●        Where can we find your perfumes and works for retail?

 

Aroma M products are available on our website www.aromam.com and www.luckyscent.com, the Scent Bar in Los Angeles, Tigerlily in San Francisco and Twisted Lily in New York.
 

    

Follow me... touch here

Follow me... touch here

Interview with 

Amanda of Esscentual Alchemy

 

  • Can you tell us about your background and history?

I like to say that I've been into natural scents my whole life, having grown up on an Iowa farm.  I loved perfumes as a teen – I had many different types.  One I remember was actually meant to be layered, though it wasn't called that.  I thought it was really cool to have two separate fragrances, that became something new when put together.  I used to go to the perfume bar at Garden Botanika when I was in college.  I thought it was such fun to take an idea, mix it up, and see what resulted from your inspiration!  I came in so much they eventually offered me a job there, but I was too busy with my vocal performance degree to accept.

 

  • When did the brand start and it's inspiration?

I guess you could say the event that really got me started more seriously with perfuming was a DIY kit that was a gift for my birthday from my husband.  That led me to google indie perfumery, and to natural perfume.  I was in the middle of reading Essence and Alchemy by Mandy Aftel, and found the picture of Septimus Piesse's Odophone (From The Art of Perfumery And Methods of Obtaining the Odors of Plants).   That was my light-bulb moment.  I remember thinking, “I already know how to do this!”  As a music major, you are required to take many classes on music theory, music history, composition of music, orchestration, and even counterpoint.  There are many similarities between composing music, and perfume. Each have notes, and chords. You want your composition to be balanced nicely, and "don't end on the seven!" A music joke meaning you want a harmonious resolution. I feel that my music training has enriched my perfume artistry, and adds another layer of complexity to my scented compositions.  That's why I say, “I compose music for your nose.”

How did I come up with the name for my business, you might wonder?

These three words:

Essential: refers to that which is in the natural composition of a thing.

Sensual: the enjoyments derived from the senses, especially from the gratification or indulgence of physical appetites

Alchemy: any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value.

  •    What is your process for creating a perfume?

I get inspired from many things in life – often my ideas come from literature, music, visual art, sometimes it's just a word that intrigues me.  I write them all down in my journal, and wait for the Muses to whisper in my ear.  Sometimes I'm invited to participate in a group project.  My latest release, Pro Fond, was the result of a scented dream that I had.  What I do my best to convey to people when they wear my perfumes is emotion in a bottle. I like to tell people a beautiful natural perfume should take you someplace emotionally, and make you think. Similar to art you can't stop looking at to try and discover the meaning behind the piece. Music that is so beautiful it makes you cry, or the book you can't put down until you've finished it, because the author crafted such a compelling story. When I create a perfume, those things are always part of my vision for the final product.

I love this quote about fragrance.  It sums up my creative process:

"Fragrance takes you on a journey of time. You can walk down the street and pass someone and get taken back 20 years. It's very Proustian that way." ~ Daphne Guinness

  •  What is it like to be on the independent side of the industry?

Being an independent fragrance line gives me a great deal of freedom to create whatever I choose, however I choose.  I'm not bound by the marketing department's idea of what's best for the next quarter.

  • Your line is all natural, can you explain on what that may means for those that wear your scents?

Natural perfumes are made by blending pure essential oils and absolutes (derived from plants, flowers and resins, not synthetic fragrance oils) in a base of alcohol or jojoba oil.  Natural perfumes help people connect with the natural world around them.  Natural perfumes are an aroma-therapeutic experience, since our sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses we have.  Another wonderful thing about natural perfume is that each person's unique body chemistry fuses with the perfume differently, creating a unique signature scent that no one else will be able to perfectly achieve.       

 

  • And what are the locations or channels one can go to, to try or purchase the line.

You can find my complete line on Esscentual Alchemy's website

  • And finally where do you see the fragrance industry in the next 5 years or what would you like to see happen?

That's a great question!  I think with the internet, we'll see more and more indie perfumers.    People who want to create according to their own imagination and vision.  This is a benefit to the perfume industry, since it allows you to connect directly with your tribe, and also to share with the perfume community.  

Interview with

Julie Nelson


  • What is your background and history?

My background in perfume officially started 20 years ago when I completed my diploma of Aromatherapy. I discovered essential oils in a quaint little new age shop around 1990. The first essential oils I purchased were Geranium, Patchouli and Bergamot. I was so taken in by how they made me feel and how I immediately experiences my self transform emotionally! I bathed in them, I used them in an oil burner and I made body oils and sprays to wear. It very quickly became apparent to me that these natural beauties had a powerful uplifting affect on me. It was then that I decided I wanted to study aromatherapy.

  • Have you always had an interest in scent and fragrance?

For as long as I can remember I have loved beautiful aromas. As a little girl I loved to sneak my mothers perfumes and adorn myself with her jewels, I had a real thing about wearing rings and longing to be grown up so I could wear make-up have my own perfumes and all of the fashion accessories that a woman could dream of. Of course we always got perfumed talcs and cheap bottles of scents, we thought this was so grown up! I did have 4711 as a young teen!!!

Before I discovered botanical essential oils I had a few favourite perfumes that I indulged in. Givenchy 111, Anais Anais, which I was loyal to for many years and then…I landed a job in a pop up perfume bar in Sydney in the early 80’s, I was in my element. It was owned by a French woman and you know I just can not remember the her name or her perfume bar name, I think the word Paris was in there somewhere. I didn’t last long there she was quite the tough one and I was not worldly enough to deal with her…A couple of years later I started working for Guerlaine as a perfume rep, I loved those perfumes. My favourites were Chamade, Shalimar, Jardins de Bagatelle and although I never wore it I absolutely loved L’heure Bleue

  •  How did the project begin?

My professional perfume journey began when I had my beautiful daughter in 1988. She was born with a life threatening congenital condition and 6 months later diagnosed with a second life threatening condition. I was 30 and wanted to find my niche’ my passion. I was a desperate Mother feeling so much helplessness and wanted to do more for my daughter and as mentioned earlier when I discovered true botanical essential oils I was hooked, I felt instantly connected to them and I realised that I could use these small bottles of beautiful scents to support us both. The more I read and experienced essential oils the more I wanted to know. So I went and studied my Diploma.Aromatherapy. I never wanted to be a massage therapist, I wanted to teach and was more interested in using the essential oils for healing on all levels through the power of smell and topical applications.

  • Tells us about the brand, it’s themes and character.

My brand is about healing the body, mind and soul. My clients receive beautiful quality handcrafted custom products that meet their needs. I chose the colours of my branding for the energy they hold and the name Aromatique Essentials reflects exactly what they are.

  • What are your views on where the perfume world is now and where it’s headed?

Personally I feel it has a long way to go in some areas. By this I mean that many perfumes available today are made up of synthetic ingredients and more recent research is finding that these ingredients are either causing or contribu