The Olfactive


A libertine is one devoid of most moral or sexual restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behavior sanctified by the larger society.

 Creator Joshua Smith

  • Has scent always been a large part of your life?

In one way or another scent has played a role. For most of my life, I have been an informal adorer of scent, enjoying the perfumed world around us.

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

The clearest memory related to scent from my childhood has always been the scent of lilacs in bloom. My mother lost her entire sense of smell in her 20’s but always pointed out that lilacs were her favorite flower because of her memory of their aroma. It made me consider scent as something important and not necessarily a constant, so it became something to take notice of rather than take for granted. If the memory of the smell of lilacs could still make my mother treasure them so much I thought their scent must really be important.

  • How did your career into the fragrance industry begin?

I began researching and playing more seriously with fragrance composition while in school for my bachelor of design degree. Design is all about consideration to tiny details and beauty and function but it is entirely visible. Perfume became an outlet because of it’s incredible creative similarities to art or design but while being entirely invisible. It then seemed like a good idea to marry the visible world of design with the invisible world of perfume and conceive of a perfume brand.

  • What inspires you?

I am primarily inspired by duality. Both the dual nature found inside people as well as the world around us. People are both intellectual, moral and rational and at the same time, we are all animal, emotional and driven by instinct.

  • Can you talk about your creative process?

My design process is fairly structured so I allow myself to be a little more free when composing fragrances. As I find great satisfaction in duality and complexity I like to try to unify “opposing” sort of elements. I usually pick an ingredient or family of ingredients and juxtapose it with very opposite aromas.

A libertine is one who takes joy in life’s sensual pleasures.

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

I try to create perfumes that are definitively unisex and do this as I just mentioned by juxtaposing different types of aroma types together. My best example of this is my fragrance “Soft Woods” which joins sharp coniferous notes of juniper and balsam fir over top of a softer rounder base of rose de mai, frankincense and vanilla. It starts like a sparkling woody scent and isn’t until halfway through you realize it is also heavily floral.

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

To be totally honest I knew very little about the fragrance world prior to a few years ago. The world of big name perfumes held very little interest for me. I think as niche brands have become more and more recognized the world of perfume has become a little less stuffy. Niche brands can take risks that a lot of bigger companies simply wouldn’t take and the landscape has become more varied and interesting. I think the fact that there seem to be so many more small brands creating really beautiful fragrances it has opened the eyes of the general public as to how perfume is made, which I feel is positive.

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

As someone that has tried many different creative avenues I think the most important thing is to focus more on the act of doing than the outcome. It is important to find something that you can enjoy the time spent doing that thing rather than being focused on the final product because especially at the start a person’s skill rarely matches their good tastes. It can be hard to persevere until you are skilled enough to create things you truly love if that is the only goal.

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

I mainly would like for people to find a scent that brings them joy. A libertine is one who takes joy in life’s sensual pleasures. It just makes me very happy when people enjoy my perfumes and bring it into their lives because it brings them pleasure.

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

Being Canadian, I am at the moment carried in stores across Canada. For the rest of the world, Libertine is available on our website.



Libertine Fragrance creates distinctly unisex fragrances in small batches in Edmonton. Everything is done by hand blending, mixing, packaging, everything.