The Olfactive


Yanina Yakusheva


Yanina what is your background?

I was born in the South of Russia and grew up in a very multicultural environment. This is actually the only region of the country where the proximity to the subtropics is felt. The proximity to nature and its diversity and a certain freedom is in the blood of the most southerners. As a child  I was lucky to see as the difference of cultures, so their connection and interaction, their ability to exist side by side. It is mostly the merit of my family and the circumstances of that time, but it is a very important part of me.

Was scent or fragrance a large part of your life growing up?

Fragrances were not a significant part of my life, it was rather a biology and anatomy that were. Therefore, I chose a medical education. The device of the living, its structure was always very interesting for me. And today, when creating a composition, I devote great attention to its structure, the feeling of "vivacity" of the fragrance.

Well, how did you begin working in the fragrance industry?

I turned to perfumery much later, already having experience not only as a doctor. A couple of years I was looking for the opportunity to bind my work with the creative work, as I lacked it in my profession; the opportunity to go beyond. I was interested in design and contemporary art. This is why, when high-quality synthetic and natural perfumery components became available in Russia, I had already formed my attitude to art and design and now the direction of my work is often associated with them. As for the training,  it was mostly a self-study, but it also was the course of "the Art and Technology of Perfumery" in the international school "PerfumersWorld" and a period of a trainee at the Kuban Technological University - "production of perfumery and cosmetic products". Cosmetics Is another area that I am interested in. But in this case more as a doctor.

What would you imagine yourself doing if you were not a perfumer?

Not a perfumer? ) I guess I would like to get an additional education in design to combine design and work in the vivarium of medical University.


What inspires you in your work?

I'm often inspired by the friends with whom you can dream, who are not afraid of being different from the majority or go against the rules. As well as contemporary art, its different directions. Modern technologies, social problems. Russia is a very big multicultural country, with many climatic zones. If we talk about the development of perfumery in the style of artisan, it is quite active. The availability of materials, courses allow many to try their hand. It must be a very original work. Today it is difficult to talk about the influence of Russian perfumers on the world industry. But I think the fact that Russia was excluded from it as a Creator gives an advantage in the creation of authentic works, with a different style and aesthetics.

Your brand and fragrance design are different between each collection that you offer could you tell us a little about your fragrances and collections?

I have a lot of works, almost all of them are made of a limited volume, no more than 100 ml. The collections can be allocated by the materials for packaging and design, but there was no conceptual connection in their compositions. I used 3D printing, porcelain, and ceramics. At the exhibition in Dubai, there was one fragrance associated with modern sculpture. Another 4 are devoted to various social issues. 2 fragrances were created for the performance, modern choreography. Now I actively develop the direction of the interaction of perfumery and other kinds of art. Together with a friend who is an artist, we are planning one exhibition, where the perfumery is a part of the conceptual installation. Some more information about it will be available later. But, in the sequel, I would like to launch an industrial line of fragrances, not too expensive. Based not only on the quality of the compositions and concise design, but it should be a game of flavor with the mind, that provokes thoughts. Probably, it is more a message to the new, thinking generation. I'm working on an idea. 

Do you believe that scent has a role in love or courtship?

Definitely, the fragrance is related to the relations between people, but if we talk about love, then probably the flavors are more often associated with its loss, memories, nostalgia. It's a memory of something that's gone.

 Do you have dream project or collaboration that you would love to do?

Yes, I'm open to cooperation. I am very interested in joint projects with other creative people, other kinds of art. It is always a source of new experience and development. What could it be?) Anything. For example, I am very interested in cooperation with companies engaged in the introduction of virtual reality technologies. Or some social projects. Fragrances have a great future outside the traditional perfume and cosmetic industry.

Is there any advice or anything that you would like to say?

Recommendations… I would like people to be more interested in the background of the fragrance, what is the basis of the idea. This will allow perfumery to go beyond consumer goods, it will have a new role. In addition, I hope that small brands will be able to create their own collections in small quantities. This is a big problem, especially in Russia.