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Scent Interview

JUS perfume interview

 

Your name – Ali Forbes

Your work – Marketing Officer at the Traverse Theatre

 

 

  1. What first attracted you to the world of perfume / scent / fragrance?

 

One of my first jobs was working as a perfume girl for Harvey Nichols.  Every day I would try and wear a different one, the good, the bad and the ugly!

 

  1. 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?

 

Serge Lutens, Jeux de Peau

 

  1. If you won the lottery, what would be the first perfume in your shopping bag?

 

All of Andrea Maack’s perfumes.

 

  1. If you could only wear one scent for the rest of your life, what would it be?

 

I think I would blow the budget and have a scent created for me.

 

  1. What is a smell, or combination of smells, you wish was a perfume that you’ve never come across in any bottle before?

 

Hot grass and the smell of going on holiday.

 

  1. Can you describe a moment of passion or poignancy in your life linked to a scent?

 

I think it was probably becoming aware of just how emotive scent can be.  My mum is a New Zealander and I spent a lot of time visiting there while I was growing up, especially the farm she grew up on.  There was an enormous Jasmine plant by the gate to the farm.  I remember smelling that scent back in Scotland and being instantly transported to being barefoot in the dry New Zealand heat by the Jasmine plant.

 

  1. What is your earliest memory of perfume?

In terms of my first awareness of perfume, that probably came from being a younger sister!  One of my most distinct memories is being in Hong Kong with my sister, who is eight years older than me.  We were in a beautiful black marble effect lift in probably the tallest building I had been in and she was wearing Obsession.  Of all the sensory experiences of being in Hong Kong, one of the smells that has stayed with me is of her perfume.

 

  1. Is there a perfume you wore in the past that you no longer wear, and why?

 

O dear…lots of Tommy Girl, Ralph Lauren Light Blue, Cool Waters….

 

  1. Is there a particular figure or house in the world of perfume that you admire, and why?

 

I think Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez – purely for their ability to write to eloquently and evocatively about perfume.

 

  1.  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?

 

Karla Black – although not using scent directly, the use of cosmetics or soaps in her art creates a particular smell that becomes indistinguishable from the art itself.  The art creates both a visual and a sensory memory.

 

 

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JUS perfume interview

 

 

Your name – Andreas Keller

Your work – Studying the variability in smell perception

  1. What first attracted you to the world of perfume / scent / fragrance?

Scientists — for some reason — don’t like to study the sense of smell. As a consequence we know very little about how our sense of smell works. Such an open field for new ideas and unexpected discoveries is attractive for me as a scientist. Also, smells are kind of fun.

  1. 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?

Two years ago I bought “The Scientific Explorer’s Science Kit: The Art and Science of Mixing Perfumes” for my niece as a Christmas present. Then I remembered that they don’t want you to send liquids via international mail, so I got her something else and kept the kit for myself. Shortly after Christmas I mixed myself three perfumes and those three perfumes currently constitute my entire perfume collection. I like the one in the red bottle the best, so I’d keep that one.

  1. If you won the lottery, what would be the first perfume in your shopping bag?

N/A

  1. If you could only wear one scent for the rest of your life, what would it be?

N/A

  1. What is a smell, or combination of smells, you wish was a perfume that you’ve never come across in any bottle before?

N/A

  1. Can you describe a moment of passion or poignancy in your life linked to a scent?

N/A

  1. What is your earliest memory of perfume?

As I young boy, when I wanted to get my mother a gift, I got her perfume. I put a lot of effort into picking the better of the two cheapest bottles. That’s my earliest memory of perfume. I’m reminded of it whenever I watch the Simpsons episode in which Bart gets his Mom as a birthday present a bottle of “real French perfume” for four bucks plus taxes.

  1. Is there a perfume you wore in the past that you no longer wear, and why?

I wore Fahrenheit by Dior when it came out in the late 80s. I was a nerdy teenage boy. Wearing any scent made me feel like a grown-up and Fahrenheit kind of seemed like a dangerous smell for real men. I remember that I thought it smelled “woody”. I don’t think I tried out many alternatives. There probably was a marketing campaign that appealed to me… but I can’t really remember.

After a couple of years I stopped wearing it because it was just too closely associated with being a teenager.

  1. Is there a particular figure or house in the world of perfume that you admire, and why?

What about a smell scientist I admire? Hendrik Zwaardemaker, a Dutch scientist who, in the late 19th century, was the first to systematically investigate our sense of smell. He invented the olfactometer, a device to measure people’s sensitivity to odors and discovered Zwaardemaker pairs, pairs of odors that neutralize each other. He also heroically filled his nose with water to see if we can smell under water (we can) and self-administered cocaine to see how it influences odor perception (it makes it more intense).

  1.  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?

When the German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann won the Hugo Boss Prize in 2010, he got $100,000 and the opportunity to exhibit his art for a few months in a gallery in the Guggenheim museum in New York. He used the prize money to get 100,000 used $1 bills and pinned the money to the gallery’s wall.

The stench of those 100,000 bills was overpoweringly physical.

Please have a look at Andreas’ fascinating website: http://andreaskeller.squarespace.com/

More about Andreas from his website:

I run the Smell Study at the Rockefeller University, where I am associated with the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior. My work focuses on the influences of genetic variability on odor perception.

I am also affiliated with the Institute for Social and Psychiatric Research at NYU, where I study clinical aspects of olfaction. If you have problems with your sense of smell, please click here.

Because perception has always been a central topic of the philosophy of mind, I investigate the philosophical implications of my work at the Department of Philosophy at the City University of New York.

JUS perfume interview

 

 

Your name – Andrea Maack

Your work – Visual artist

  1. What first attracted you to the world of perfume / scent / fragrance?

I like the idea of being able to wear perfume as a piece of art. I was working on a series of artworks that dealt with the concept of wearable art and in the process the idea to make the ultimate scent came along, that´s how I created SMART (Smell art) my first ever perfume creation, that was made in a collaboration with a perfumer that translated my original drawings into a fragrance

  1. 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?

I would rescue Craft from my collection it has such a strong emotional connection to me, it was made for an exhibition to accompany a dress that I had made our of pattern cutting paper and pencil the piece took about 200 hours to make so the scent always reminds me of that amazing process.

  1. If you won the lottery, what would be the first perfume in your shopping bag?

I would get my favorite perfumer to create a scent for me with no budget or time restrictions.

  1. If you could only wear one scent for the rest of your life, what would it be?

CRAFT

  1. What is a smell, or combination of smells, you wish was a perfume that you’ve never come across in any bottle before?

The answer lies in new fragrances that I am currently working on.

  1. Can you describe a moment of passion or poignancy in your life linked to a scent?

My partner (and business partner) bought me a lot of niche fragrances when we started dating six years ago. I like how they create a journey through our relationship and and end in our own line of unique fragrances.

  1. What is your earliest memory of perfume?

Probably Christalle by Chanel, growing up in Iceland we do not have a strong perfume culture, but I remember Christalle as being a scent I felt could export me to Paris and the life I envisioned for myself as a child.

  1. Is there a perfume you wore in the past that you no longer wear, and why?

I used to wear Balenciaga perfume because I wear a lot of their clothing, now I mostly wear my own creations.

  1. Is there a particular figure or house in the world of perfume that you admire, and why?

My long time collaborator Renaud Coutadier of DP&CO (www.dpandco.com). He is true visionary when it comes to perfume and no idea is too crazy for him, I like that attitude.

  1.  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?

I like Ernesto Neto´s scented installations they are both beautiful visually and intriguing from a visual art standpoint.

Explore Andrea’s beautiful and stimulating work and purchase her scents at http://andreamaack.com/.

JUS perfume interview

Your name – Ronny Geller 

Your work – my UK-based webshop, Scent-and-Sensibility Perfume, offering niche perfumes, launched in 2009

  1. What first attracted you to the world of perfume / scent / fragrance?

It sounds a cliché, but I’ve always been drawn to fragrance. Some people recall a longstanding interest/obsession with art, food, music – for me, it is fragrance. One of my earliest and strongest memories is of sticking my face in the philadelphus bush next to the house in which I lived as a child. I must have been four or five years old at the time. I don’t recall the smell being good or bad (though I do love philadephus), I just remember the compulsion to ‘smell’.

  1. 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?

My bottle of pre-reformulation Guerlain Mitsouko perfume. A liquid work of art, I think I could get by with simply smelling this from the bottle, meaning I could make the pleasure last for a good long time. Take that, evil Mr Tax Collector!

  1. If you won the lottery, what would be the first perfume in your shopping bag?

Rather than a bottle of fragrance, I would bankroll Victoire Gobin-Daudé, a French perfumer whose wonderful, idiosyncratic perfume line flowered briefly in the late 1990s/early 2000s, with the hope she might re-issue a few of her original perfumes along with some new things.

  1. If you could only wear one scent for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Uh, no. Can’t do this one. I haven’t worn one fragrance for my whole (adult) life so far. There’s no way I could settle on one perfume for here ever after. Body chemistry changes, life changes, taste in perfume shifts. New, surprising things are released. You never know what extraordinary stuff might come your way. It makes my head spin to think I would be limited to just one perfume. 

  1. What is a smell, or combination of smells, you wish was a perfume that you’ve never come across in any bottle before?

The combination of smells caught under the mimosa tree on Union Street in Brooklyn, NY, near the Gowanus Canal, on a hot summer’s day: mimosa, hot asphalt, salt, honey, ozone.

  1. Can you describe a moment of passion or poignancy in your life linked to a scent?

Over a decade ago, I wore Santa Maria Novella Patchouli exclusively. It was my signature scent and I put it everywhere: wrists, décolleté, back of neck, behind my knees. I recall early on in a soon to be very intense love affair my not-quite-yet man bending down to sniff behind my knees, which definitely made them weak.

  1. What is your earliest memory of perfume?

My mother’s bottles of Jean Naté and 4711 cologne: sneaking a spritz or a splash. My fascination with not only the fragrance within, but the bottles and what they seemed to signify: pleasure, mystery, adulthood.

  1. Is there a perfume you wore in the past that you no longer wear, and why?

Santa Maria Novella Patchouli. After pregnancy, my body chemistry changed and it no longer smelled right.

  1. Is there a particular figure or house in the world of perfume that you admire, and why?

I admire noses, perfumers, as a grouping. We wouldn’t be having this exchange without them.

  1.  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?

Vampire characters in novels tend to be very focused on scent and frequently are very precise and articulate in their descriptions of smells.

Michael Ondaatje’s poem, The Cinnamon Peeler’s Wife, is among the most beautiful, evocative renderings of fragrance in literature. 

 

Do have a browse and a shop at Ronny’s wonderful online shop www.scent-and-sensibility.co.uk.

JUS perfume interview

 

 

Your name – Gianluca Scarcella

Your work –  Manager at Avery Fine Perfumeries

  1. What first attracted you to the world of perfume / scent / fragrance?

I think it all started down to personal hygiene. Everyone should smell good! A man that smells good raises the attraction factor for most women. I think it’s embarrassing to tell someone that they smell bad, it’s important that they know it themselves.

2.         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?

“Duro” by Nasomatto.

  1. If you won the lottery, what would be the first perfume in your shopping bag?

“Versilia Platinum” by Profumi Del Forte.

  1. If you could only wear one scent for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“Roma Imperiale” by Profumi Del Forte

  1. What is a smell, or combination of smells, you wish was a perfume that you’ve never come across in any bottle before?

Adhesive glue

  1. Can you describe a moment of passion or poignancy in your life linked to a scent?

This is a tricky question, on one hand I do not have a good memory, but I remember my grandmother wearing a powdery perfume, now every time I smell something powdery like talcum powder, it reminds me of when she used to visit our house.

  1. What is your earliest memory of perfume?

The smell of my grandmother’s bedroom.

  1. Is there a perfume you wore in the past that you no longer wear, and why?

One of the perfume’s that I wore in past was Kenzo Homme Boise. It is a very sophisticated perfume, the only reason that I’m no longer wearing it is that I’ve been told by many people that it is not the perfect perfume for me.

Another fragrance I used to wear is “Sculpture” by Nikos, now no longer available.

  1. Is there a particular figure or house in the world of perfume that you admire, and why?

Robert Piguet is one that I admire the most. One of my favourite fragrances is “Futur”. It is a green floral woody fragrance – for those who like to stand out in the crowd.

  1.  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?

Andrea Maack Parfums –  Iceland’s first fragrance house. Andrea Maack is an artist whose artwork: line drawings and sculptural dresses have been interpreted into fragrances. This was an idea that came for a gallery installation and has since evolved into a fragrance brand. Her scents are very distinctive and interesting. I love them all.

Have a look or a sniff round Avery next time you’re in London, or online!

JUS perfume interview

 

 

Your name – KATE TEMPLE

Your work – ARTIST & DESIGNER

  1. What first attracted you to the world of perfume / scent / fragrance?

Making installations and theatre environments, I guess I’m always thinking about the ‘whole’ sensory experience – what does it look like, sound like, feel like, taste like, smell like. What does snow sound like? What does red smell like?

  1. 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?

The smell of art school studios; that delicious, heady mix of turpentine, oil paint, plaster and art students. I think it’s the reason I went in the first place.

  1. If you won the lottery, what would be the first perfume in your shopping bag?

The ingredients to cook an extravagant and beautiful feast. I think one should always cook with one’s eyes and one’s nose. Georges Perec writes of a black banquet served on plates of polished slate in Life: A User’s Manual: Caviar, Squid Tarragon style, Saddle of baby Cumberland boar, Truffle salad and Blueberry cheesecake. Decadent and fabulous.

  1. If you could only wear one scent for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pears soap and water.

  1. What is a smell, or combination of smells, you wish was a perfume that you’ve never come across in any bottle before?

Cloves, Skin, Wool, Babies, Lemons, Snow, Sea, Books, Rain and Geraniums.

  1. Can you describe a moment of passion or poignancy in your life linked to a scent?

As a child, my mother leaning over me all scented and perfumed to say goodnight before going out – knowing that was what the adult world smelled like and content not to know any more.

  1. What is your earliest memory of perfume?

The smell of my great-grandmother’s bedroom: all face powder in jars and pale green glass and mother of pearl hand mirrors and shiny ivory bedcovers.

  1. Is there a perfume you wore in the past that you no longer wear, and why?

Body Shop White Musk: Gross ! ! ! But boy does it take me back.

  1. Is there a particular figure or house in the world of perfume that you admire, and why?

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  1.  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?

Smells evoke memories, they bring the past back in a shadowy, ghostly form. They bring with them a sweet pain, and a sense of loss for what has gone. I’ve always loved this passage from Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook; it makes me feel sad, in a good way.

I remember the smell of the wine, cool and sharp, as Ted tilted another bottle to refill the glass, and the wine splashed over and hissed on the dust. The dust smelled heavy and sweet, as if it had rained.

Also, I remember going into Cildo Meireles’ installation Volatile made from talcum powder, candle and gas scent. Beautiful and frightening.

Image above by Kate Temple from installation called from crystal into smoke.

JUS perfume interview

 

 

Your name – Lena Brombacher

Your work – olfactorialist.com

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1.  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…