JUS perfume interview
Your name – Lena Brombacher
Your work – olfactorialist.com
- What first attracted you to the world of perfume / scent / fragrance?
It was the search for the ‘perfect scent’. I haven’t found it yet.
- What perfume would you rescue from your collection if an evil perfume tax collector came round and said he was going to take every scent but one?
He can take everything, I have them all stored in my mind. But please don’t take ‘Rosenlust’ by April Aromatics. It was a present by the perfumer Tanja Bochnig, she puts all her love into her perfumes. These natural scents are magical. They have little herkimer diamonds inside the bottle that infuse the perfume with stone energy. Yes, I believe in things like that and ‘Rosenlust’ is an elixir of different roses from all over the world and smells creamy and pure with a certain depth in the end. Smelling ‘Rosenlust’ you feel inner peace, it calms you down and touches your heart.
- If you won the lottery, what would be the first perfume in your shopping bag?
I am deeply interested in the line of Bruno Acampora from Capri, these little aluminium bottles look beautiful and I have no idea of how the perfumes smell. I always wanted to know it and didn’t encounter them in a store until today.
- If you could only wear one scent for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I think it would be something I wear for a good couple of years now next to my love for niche perfumes. To be sure that I will also like it for some more years – Coco Mademoiselle, the Brûme fraiche pour le corps. It is very subtle, feminine and goes very well with my skin chemistry.
- What is a smell, or combination of smells, you wish was a perfume that you’ve never come across in any bottle before?
The smell of sun-drenched skin after a day at the beach, sand, sea, mixed with the smell of bleached sheets in a hotel bed. When you smell the day on your skin, the sun and everything. It’s a feeling worth trying to catch.
- Can you describe a moment of passion or poignancy in your life linked to a scent?
I had a surgery last year, my first surgery ever, meniscal tear. I was frightened. And I used a perfume to feel better even if it is not allowed to use perfume in the operating suite. It was ‘Oranges and lemons say the bells of St. Clement’s’ by Heeley, my personal mood enhancer. Orange blossoms make me happy, that’s aromatherapy. I woke up and I felt so happy in my cloud of ‘Oranges and lemons…’ it helped a lot. Maybe in combination with the valium…but I remember this as one of the most peaceful moments of 2011.
- What is your earliest memory of perfume?
My mother bought me a small bottle of lily of the valley perfume when I was about 5 years old. My twin sister got a small bottle of violet perfume. I will always remember those two smells. The funny thing is that as much as I liked lily of the valley when I was small, it is not my favorite flower in perfume today. I find lily of the valley sort of old-school. In small amounts it reveals a certain freshness, that’s ok for me. My first ‘real’ perfume was Anais Anais by Cacharel followed by Paris by Yves Saint Laurent and many more. I never was the kind of girl who wore one scent for years.
- Is there a perfume you wore in the past that you no longer wear, and why?
There are lots of perfumes. They belong to the past, typically 80ies or 90ies perfumes like Angel by Thierry Mugler – scents I wore when I was younger and during other relationships. When I smell them, a whole universe of the past opens its doors in my mind – impossible to wear these scents today. I can’t believe how many of these stars I have emptied when I was a twentysomething – talking of ‘Angel’, the star vial.
- Is there a particular figure or house in the world of perfume that you admire, and why?
Bertrand Duchaufour. He’s the perfumer of the moment, he seems to be everywhere. He did some of the most beautiful perfumes for Comme des Garçons (i.e. Kyoto, Avignon, Calamus), he’s the resident perfumer for L’Artisan Parfumeur and launched the exclusive line “Mon numéro” for L’Artisan Parfumeur in 2011. My favorite 2011 was ‘Sartorial’ for Penhaligon’s. He is the best in terms of incense. His creations are genius and make heads turn.
- Is there any art (literature, poetry, theatre, visual art, music, etc) that you have experienced that uses scent in a provocative or beautiful way? If not, can you think of an idea for scent in art?
For me perfume is an art form itself. I am waiting for the time when it is possible to smell movies.
Have a look at Lena’s beautiful and incredibly informative site olfactorialist.com; it’s magnificent! So many new fragrances to lust after…