Kimberley Sibrie of Siberie Perfume
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?
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!