Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Memoire Liquide Soleil Liquid and Santa Maria Novella Fieno


Wishing you Merry Days as we approach the New Year.

A sunny perfume and a delicate one inspired December's posts on CaFleureBon

Memoire Liquide Soleil Liquid, brought me back to Granada, Spain

Santa Maria Novella Fieno and the Promise of a better days

Enjoy, Valerie

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Vero Profumo: Vero Kern and the Boys

The other night I broke out some new found oils. The boys and I smelled haitian vetiver, virginia cedar, egyptian basil, saffron, orris root, and galbanum together. Their little hands wanted to hold each bottle, but I kept a tight grip. Next to the oils were Vero's three, Rubj, Onda, and Kiki. A friend was visiting and I wanted her impression on the three, and of course the  boys wanted to try them too. I tickled them as I spritzed the fragrance on their arms. Soon after they wanted me to turn off all the lights so they could dance. I gave in and turned the volume loud, Moves like Jagger played and we danced together in the dark. The living room whirled with Vero's masterful scents.  In the Spring, Onda made me write to Vero mostly because there's nothing quite like it. It's stellar. I was touched by Vero's tender response and recollection. 

"The idea behind Onda was to create a kind of leather scent. Something that has fascinated me since my childhood. Being a child in a big family I didn't get very often new leather shoes. But then when it happened I couldn't get enough of this fantastic smell and I used to put the shoes next to my bed where I still could smell them in my dreams. Onda is also the memory of the smell of new leather shoes..." 

"Onda means wave. It can be the wave of water but also of electricity! In my case I've chosen it in the sense of a "FLYING CARPET" bringing you to your secret garden..baci, Vero"

Friday, November 16, 2012

Olfactive Studio Parfum

Olfactive Studio was the belle of the ball at Elements Showcase in August, and in mid-November these fragrances are still holding my attention. Olfactive Studio is a curated collaboration between perfumers and photographers. Creator Céline Verleure's vision and talent ensured this niche brand has depth and character, and leaves us with four distinct fragrances inspired by the following photographs. 
Photographer: Luc Laportre

Autoportrait  Dark atmospheric accords create a beautiful round baritone of a fragrance. Incense meets a solitary and fragrant walk in the woods, where mossy foot steps and silence can transform an ordinary day. Perfumer, Nathalie Lorson works her magic with Bergamot, Elemi, Benzoin Siam, Incense, Musks, Oakmoss, Cedarwood, Vetiver.

Photographer:  Frédéric Lebain

Still Life is the life of the party. Citrus sweet, citrus sparking, fizz fizz, a kind of luxe creamsicle, but there is a a peppery warmth here too. Still Life turned around my miserable Monday. A spiky drydown that rides the fun time wave all the way to shore. Perfumer, Dora Arnaud plays hard with Yuzu, Elemi, Pink, Black, and Sichuan pepper, Star Anise, Galbanum, Dark Rum, Cedarwood, Ambrox

Photographer:  Massimo Vitali

Lumiere Blanche, There is something comforting and creamy about Lumiere. Cool spices bump lovingly into this woody fragrance. Slightly powdery and perfectly balanced, yet elevated like classical music on a guitar. Perfumer, Sidonie Lancesseur, nobly creates with Cardomom, Star Anise, Cinnamon, Iris, Almond milk, Cashmere Wood, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Tonka bean, White Musk, oh and the juice is milky white.

Photographer:  Clémence René-Bazin 

Chambre Noire, This fragrance slowly comes into focus. I was reminded of Antonioni's Blow-Up, and how there is a magical moment that takes place in a dark room when an image emerges from seemingly nothing. If this fragrance were a color it would be plum, violet, deep purple, and black with silver lining. Perfumer, Dorothée Piot brings Schinus, Jasmine, Papyrus, Violet, Incense, Prune, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Musk, Vanilla, Leather to life.

The entire story of Olfactive Studio Parfum can be found on their website, where portraits of the creator, individual perfumers and photographers are captured. I urge you take a look and a sniff. VV

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hilde Soliani, A Brief Encounter at Elements Showcase

Hilde Soliani easily tells stories about playing in her grandmother's lab as a child, her life as a performer, and how she immortalized her charismatic father and uncle via two of her fragrances, namely Bell'Antonio and Zio Agide. During our brief encounter I instantly felt easy around her. As we talked, she rummaged through her bag, the exact same way that my Zia's from Italy always did when I was a kid, their hands always emerged with some kind of gem, usually a caramel or a chocolate. Similarly Hilde’s hand emerged with fragrance gems that she carefully selected and placed in my hand with great assurance. Her selection truly gives an interesting overview of her fragrances and how she has evolved as a perfumer. As the fragrances progress, they embody lightness, that speaks to abstraction and modernism in perfumery. I like that.

Ti Amo Collection, Il Tuo Tulipano, 2004
With Il Tuo Tulipano I can easily imagine Hilde on her Sicilian beach with black sand dreaming of red and yellow tulips. Soliani reminded me that this is a conceptual fragrance given that the tulip flower is without scent. Fruit and flower collide here, yet there is a gourmand aspect that makes Il Tuo extraordinary. This sunny fragrance exudes depth, warmth and brings complete harmony to the table. A juicy pure peach opens the fragrance and is tempered by citrus notes, centered on bergamot. Its heart is sweet woody, a bit spicy, and focused on white florals, freesia and lily of the valley. It's base is cozy and anchored in oakmoss, vetiver, and musk. 

Teatro, Olfattivo Parma, 08, Bell'Antonio, 2008 
Named for her handsome and elegant father, Antonio. Soliani told me Bell’Antonio has many meanings: her love of smoking toscano cigars, these have coffee aroma inside them, and the smells and emotions she encountered while waiting on the ticket line in Parma to see the opera as a child. I am struck by the initial gorgeous hay note that bursts open to a sweet spicy star anise that is quite pronounced on my skin, and this fragrance continues to bloom with its richness of espresso, tobacco, and smokiness. This is a modern Tabac Blond. It's a compliment to be compared to a classic, no?

Il Tuo Tulipano, Giallo, 2011 
Here is the yellow tulip that she dreamed of. A bright transcendent fragrance whose focus is bergamot, rosemary, and basil. Here is Soliani’s contemporary interpretation of a old cologne acqua di Parma. Soliani says, “Parma is very sophisticated for the sophisticated Human being.” 

Gli Invisibli, Zio Agide, 2012
There's a classic Fougere in the house, with a bit of a twist, and it wants to go out into the world.  A herbaceous top leads us to big player notes of Lavender and Cedar Moss, yet there is a green sweetness that lives, perhaps fig, perhaps rose. This makes this a delicate fragrance that a woman or man can wear. Hilde's uncle, Zio Agide was a young man who knew how to walk the walk, just like this fragrance.

Thanks to Hilde Soliani for her thoughts and time, and I look forward to seeing you again next time. Valerie

See Resource Page
Photo Still:  
Mamma Roma,  Anna Magnani and Ettore Garofolo.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Aiyana by Tallulah Jane and A Fragrance Journey

This month I experienced  Aiyana, Tallulah Jane's latest, 3 ways. I also got to reflect on my niche fragrance journey that began with a good friend and a bottle of perfume that I almost forgot about. 

Read them both on CaFleureBon.


photo credit:  Taking inspiration from Joan of Arc, Chicago-based designer Grace Duval transformed a slew of old bicycle inner tubes 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

An Email from Christophe Laudamiel

Hi All,

I wanted to share an excerpt from a lovely email exchange with Christophe Laudamiel clarifying my post on his and Christoph Hornetz Air Sculpture® scents at the Setai Hotel in NYC. 

My impression of the Setai is here: 


Dear Valerie,

Thanks a lot...  Those (articles) are still rare in what we have endeavored to focus on uniquely: ambient scenting.

Regarding the Setai, here are the facts.  The scent design of the hotel was made by Christophe Laudamiel and Christoph Hornetz , perfumers at DreamAir.  It contains 5 Air Sculpture® scents:
- Lobby and bar/lounge area scented with Grand Arrival, the signature scent of the hotel.
- Bar area scented with "Jazz Club on Fifth" automatically everyday from 8pm till 11pm as a jazz trio performs live.
- The corridors of the hotels are softly scented with Moonwood (that's 24 floors).
- The reception area of the Spa and common dry areas are scented with Lavender Fields.
- The wet Area of the Spa is scented with Nice New Ovo.
- The restaurant on the second floor is NOT scented, as most people are often not ready for scent design in restaurants, although, if you notice, restaurants often smell as not-really-intended, and could take a bit of scent design (doesn't mean perfume design necessarily).
- True, all scent players are modulable and reachable 24/7 by staff if need be or on demand, just in case.  But all is programmed 24/7.

Voila, thought you would be interested in knowing what is going on backstage or in case you would like to amend your article.

Thanks a lot for your interest, curiosity and excitement,

Kind regards,


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Snapshot #6, Valeria Picerno, Costume Designer & Personal Stylist

Valeria's photo of Prospect Park

Valeria in Pompeii

Valeria is unforgettable, her intensity, charm, sense of style, and wit. Here I share an email exchange. VV

Just to help frame things for the readers can you tell them in your own words how we met?


We met at a Fragrance Evaluation course at FIT in New York City. 


What was the best thing about the FIT class, other then that incredible lab?


I always thought I had a pretty good sense of smell, but in the first class I remember feeling like I couldn't smell anything at all. The instructor was asking us to list the olfactive notes of the first fragrances, and I really couldn't recognize any. For a second I thought I overestimated my possibilities. The best part for me was suddenly realizing that already after a couple of hours I could smell so many different notes, and visualize them in my head. It felt like the first time in my life I was actually using my nose!


I keep thinking about a dress that you talked about in class, I think it was made out of paper or some strange material, do you recall it and why we were talking about it? I think you told us your mother packed it for you and sent it here to the states?


I have no idea how I ended up mentioning it! It's a Space Age dress by Paco Rabanne made of aluminum plates linked together that I found for very little money in a vintage shop in Antwerp, Belgium.The woman who sold it to me showed me a picture of the original owner, wearing it at a party in the mid 60's. I have actually never worn it. If one day I will find the right occasion to wear it, I have to make sure I am wearing comfy shoes because it's impossible to sit in it without cutting yourself!


What are you up to these days?


I work as Costume Designer for Film and Theater. I am currently starting working on a new film. That's the most exciting part: new script, new story, new characters to define. Before even getting to the clothes, I start imagining what the character has for breakfast, what kind of media is it exposed to, what kind of people is it surrounded by. That helps me define styles and color palettes, and I often associate fragrances to it too!


There are not many people who are deeply versed and opinionated about their olfactive world, I count you as one of them, what do you attribute this to?


My whole life I have been both very curious and picky. As a kid I would always smell any food before even considering the idea of it entering my mouth. I would definitely say being a very picky eater as a kid helped me categorizing many different smells in my head. Food was the first source to build my personal olfactory library. Later on I got closer to the fragrance world thank to my dad, who is a chemist, and in his younger days loved to experiment creating cosmetics and perfumes. I have a perfect memory of the day he revealed me an old wooden box filled with amber glass bottles with a lot of different essential oils. I was about 5, and I created my own perfume mixing anise and orange blossom.


Where were you born? Is this where you grew up? 


I was born in Milan, Italy. I grew up there. 


What was the landscape like where you grew up?


I've always lived in the historical center of Milan. 
As a kid, my everyday playground was a mix of grey buildings, small streets, orange trams, Roman ruins, Leonardo Da Vinci ceilings, secret courtyards and family-owned stores.


Is there an olfactive experience that resonates and stays with you?


There are many. One of my dearest and favorite is the smell of a bakery on my way to elementary school in Milan. I would walk by in the morning, and then stop there in the afternoon when school was over to get a slice of focaccia or a chocolate egg.


Do you have any daily rituals that you can share?


I like to start my day with a cup of Earl Grey tea with vanilla coconut milk. TWG Earl Grey Gentleman tea is an absolute favorite. Strong rich sophisticated bergamot and flower petals. I usually read my daily horoscope while I drink it hehe.


What perfume have you been wearing lately and could you share your signature fragrance (s) and why it is your signature fragrance?


I am daily fascinated by new scents, but truth is, I am very rarely able to wear any. Many are pleasant to smell, but just don't seem to blend with my ph and personality. I had an epiphany when I first tried Frederic Malle's Portrait of a Lady. I wore samples of it for weeks before deciding to commit to it. For the first time I feel that a fragrance is totally blending with me, and I am not just wearing it. My first thought about it was that I want people to remember me associated to this smell. The results have been quite incredible, since I hardly ever received comments or compliments on the scent I was wearing in the past, while now it's almost a daily thing. I use it in a very small dose, since it's incredibly powerful and long lasting. What keeps on surprising me is the way it evolves throughout the day, and creates almost a little soft cloud. The only part I don't like is people asking me what am I wearing. "Ehm, it's called Portrait of a Lady...". So pretentious!


Any travel plans?


I would love to return to Marrakesh. My memories of it are infused of Moroccan mint tea, orange blossom pastries, rose water, almonds and pistachios. 


Do you have a favorite flower?


I love peonies, green tulips and antique varieties of english roses. I used to love violets, but I once received a jar of candied ones as a gift, ate them all in one day, and now I can't even think about them! 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Strange Invisible: L'Invisible and Essence of IX

The beautifully designed, almost shrine-like Strange Invisible boutique in Venice Beach brought out my discerning nose. Ceremonial is the best way to describe how each fragrance was presented, and consequentially, I was bitten by two of these botanical perfumes. 

The first bite was L'IVISIBLEEau de Parfum. This is the line's namesake fragrance created by Perfumer, Alexandra Balahoutis. Over the past few weeks L'INVISIBLE has kept me preoccupied with thoughts about the skin, and the subtle dance between skin and fragrance that this perfumer and perfume allows. The more I wear it the more it remains out of reach, nothing about it is pointed. Meaning I can't easily deconstruct it, rather it keeps me intrigued and wanting to return to my perfumed skin to smell it and notice how it changes, and hovers above me creating a fragrant halo that then settles back on the skin to linger. Then in an "aha moment" I realize that I am smelling a classic Chypre, but this chypre pleads not to be dissected, but alas I must, (sorry Chandler).. Volatile top notes of lemon, orange and hibiscus quickly dissipate, leading us to heart notes of ylang ylang and rose that push and pull, resinous notes mingle with other base notes of amber and oak moss. Remember though that singular notes don't dominate here, rather they are well orchestrated by the perfumers hand, all the notes playing harmoniously together. This fragrance wants just to be.

The second bite, Essence of IX, a limited edition Pure Perfume is a concept fragrance, but I mean this in the best way. This perfume creates a feeling of expanse, as if I am alone in a fragrant valley, inhaling a wood, fruit, and flora abstraction. Essence of IX gives nourishment, and wakes one up to their senses and surroundings. IX is Balahoutis's bottled impression of her visit to the Colgin Cellars Winery during harvest, housed on the IX Estate, in Napa Valley. Balahoutis has bottled her experience of that time and place, the surrounding landscape, the earth, tasting the grapes at various stages, the acres of roses, a glass of fine wine, all contribute to this luxurious fragrance and all of its complexity. IX  finds itself to be a rich sensuous fragrance that remains strikingly fresh somehow. Its top notes are ripe and juicy, and lead us quickly to its center, a stunning rose. Notes of sage and lavender all live here too, and to my nose there is an oaky and cedar quality to it that rushes throughout the fragrance supporting this prickly rose. With one last drop I feel the warmth of honey. 

Thanks to Strange Invisible for samples, so that I could experience these fragrances more intimately. VV

See Resource Page

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Two Impressions: Ramon Monegal Barcelona and Christophe Laudamiel both on CaFleureBon

Stephen at LA Scent Bar broke out the OUD

Commissioned by the Dia Art Foundation in 1977, The Lightning Field, by the American sculptor Walter De Maria,

This month via CaFleureBon I took a closer look at two fragrances and one fragrant hotel.  First up, two impressions found at the sunny west coast Scent Bar in Los Angeles on two leather offerings from Ramon Monegal Barcelona. Back on the east coast my visit to the Setai Hotel NYC  first alone, and then with perfumer, Eleanor Jane, Talluah Jane. Eleanor riffs on an ozonic note, all while experiencing Christophe Laudamiel's work via Dream Air together. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Le Labo: Vanille 44, Paris in Venice Beach

Today, my good friend reminded me of the special warmth of the Indian Summer Sun, and this made me ponder Vanille 44Spicy, woody, lemony, resinous, balsamy all describe Vanille 44 which would be confusing to most, but when it comes to Le Labo there is always a bit of trickery involved. Vanille 44 is ruled by a frankincense note, but its not bullied by it. It is a a smooth fragrance that runs deep with a direct connection to its ambery vanilla which at first takes on a bit of a boozy quality, but then settles peacefully into its ambery nest. At the same time the frankincense pulls this fragrance up an octave or two, and hits me right in between my eyes. I suppose it hits me at my third eye, which makes perfect sense given olibanum's (a type of frankincense) reputation to get deep into our being, raise consciousness, and awaken the spirit. In church when I was a kid I would easily become woozy in its stream. 

No matter, Vanille 44 has lured me. It was earlier today that its mist instantly transported me in so many directions. Back to Venice Beach, CA where I was visiting the boutique just a month ago. I sat at the bar; talked to Jaclynn about fragrance, smelled some single notes specifically, Gaiac a woody balmy smoky note, and one of the notes in Vanille 44, took my photo (with my friend) in their photo booth, learned about their limited Rose Bag (read a very "discerning" description here on the Discerning Brute's blog, http://www.thediscerningbrute.com/2012/04/24/a-fight-a-rose/, and ultimately grabbed a little a bit of Paris, via Vanille 44. Seems I had perfect timing and hit the Venice Beach boutique at a fortuitous moment, as for a limited time Vanille 44 was available to celebrate the opening of their new Paris boutique. Le Labo city exclusives fragrances are usually sold only in the the city that they represent. French Vogue's Beauty Buzz of the Day has the story here, http://en.vogue.fr/beauty-tips/buzz-day/articles/the-socialite-perfumer/15603


Next up Strange Invisible

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

First Stop: Creative Chakra Spa, Marina Del Rey

I hate to see summer go, but I finally have time to revisit my summer fragrance adventures.

Before I get to perfume though, I want to mention a quick yet restorative time I had one late afternoon in Marina Del Ray at the cozy Creative Chakra Spa. When I arrived, I was led through a maze of hallways until entering an enormous indoor/outdoor cabana. I think I was on a roof, but I'm not exactly sure. California can be a bit disorienting to this New Yorker, but at least I knew I saw sky. 

Creative Chakra's relaxed vibe screams old-school California. I took my first infrared sauna at the spa, which claims to be extremely healthful, even more than the old regular saunas, mostly because your body is able to manage the heat longer. Owner, and once Londoner, Sandie West, ushered me around and ensured that I had everything I could possibly need. Her generous spirit flows through her spa and her hand-made product line. I am still enjoying her  Lemongrass & Basil Spa Salt Glow, I love how soft it leaves my skin, and in the heat of the shower the lemongrass and basil release a warm anise quality that is just incredible. She also left me with one of her fragrant blended teas of rose, lavender, and mint. I'm not sure if I should drink it or soak in it. 

Next up is to sip some tea and remember my little piece of heaven at Creative Chakra.

Photo Credit: Hugh Holland, 1975

Monday, September 10, 2012

INeKe: Shout Out and Sweet William Contest

Okay, I'm not one for contests, but given the fact that I absolutely adore Sweet William, and my father had a thing for gambling......here's your chance to have your very own .75 ML bottle of the EDP too, just follow the INeKE link below. It all started on September 9th and your chance will end on September 17th.

Tanti Auguri!


or you can just buy it at Anthropologie. ;-)

"The fragrance opens with a juicy peach note. The Sweet William floralcy is
further warmed with cinnamon, clove and cumin essential oils. The dominant
wood notes are a blend of cedarwood, sandalwood and patchouli, softened
with Bourbon vanilla."- Ineke Ruhland

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kelly & Jones: A Brush with Sakura

Kelly Jones loves cars. She worked in the auto industry for years, and it was during a work related trip to Tokyo that her life began to change direction. The change wasn't life shattering though, rather it was a subtle and necessary one that propelled her closer to her passion and dream. As she looked through the window in Tokyo that day she found herself struck by cherry blossoms gently cascading into the canal below, and it was the beauty of this moment that made her question what she was doing with her life.

Cherry blossoms or Sakura bloom and fall to their death within one week. In Japan, Sakura is viewed as a metaphor for the transience of life, a reminder to reflect and plan for the future. As I settled-in with Kelly's story it occurred to me that she might have been channeling Mono no aware on that day. Simply, Mono no aware is a Japanese aesthetic hat has been cultivated for centuries and highlights the awareness and the appreciation of fleeting beauty and a reverence for mortality. Certainly Sakura is the epitome of this concept. When she got back home she decided to pour her energy into her love of fragrance. 

Soon after, she opened a custom blending bar in Tucson, Arizona. She is self-taught, and although she loved her new found passion her renegade spirit felt confined by the walls of her Tucson shop. She spent many long weekends visiting the California wine country to get away, and on one particular visit a winemaker asked who was wearing perfume in the room. Kelly was told that fragrance is forbidden and conflicts with the wine tasting experience. Well, that didn't sit well with Kelly, she enjoyed wearing perfume while sipping wine, and began to think that perhaps she could make a blend that would enhance the experience instead of taking away from it. After much tweaking and chipping away, she arrived at 5 perfumes that can both can stand alone and partner with wine. These five fragrances seem purposefully delicate and balanced, and know their place, in a way. Paired with wine they allow a back and forth dance that is interesting, fun and feels good. 1; Notes of Savignon Blanc; 2, Notes of Riesling; 3, Notes of Cabernet; 4, Notes of Merlot; 5, Notes of Chardonnay. 
Back in New York City, my evening of sniffing and sipping with Kelly began at the intimate Garrison in the West Village. Kelly makes one instantly comfortable and we began with 5, Notes of Chardonnay, and of course, a bottle of Chardonnay, 2009 Cocetti Napa Chardonnay. Notes of Chardonnay is an incredibly dry yet sultry fragrance, it lays low and steady on the skin. As it settles there is a woody sweetness that has restraint and gives this fragrance lots of comfort and warmth. As we sipped and smelled I began to notice that the base notes of vanilla played with the wine's lemon finish, and the oak notes in the fragrance somehow highlighted the honey tones in the wine. As the night continued, I was taken by the juxtaposition of Kelly's big spirit and her precise observations. She likes fast cars, water skied competitively, and actually made it to the Nationals, but she is intrigued by the the small interruptions that life presents too. "It's the little things that we need to begin to notice in life and I hope my fragrances allow folks to seize the moment and at the same time enhance the wine they drink."
Over the last couple of weeks, while I was on vacation in California, and after the kids were tucked away, I sat down to relax with Kelly & Jones fragrances, some wine, and my sister-in-law, Nahid. Together we smelled, laughed and talked, exactly as Kelly would have wanted. 3, Notes of Cabernet caught both of our attention and is my favorite of the collection. This is a juicy leathery fragrance which in turn equals sexy. Its peppery top sinks harmoniously into rich base notes of black cherry, tobacco flower and leather base. Notes of Cabernet has got me thinking about a night out. 1, Notes of Sauvignon Blanc, is bright, crisp and green, and has a fascinating floral component to it. Notes of  grapefruit, galbanum, and green apple push and pull this fragrance until it finally settles and becomes tender. It's a great for the day or imagine an early evening of sipping in Napa, of course.

Kelly cleverly refers to herself as a "Scent Sommelier." She described the logo on her flacons as splashes of spilled wine on a table, but I'm reminded of colorful Rorschach inkblots which in-turn remind me of her spark and entrepreneurial spirit. It has me wondering what will be next for Kelly & Jones.

Thanks again Kelly for a lovely evening with you and your fragrances.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Xerjoff: Dama Bianca

Thoughts of espionage and Italy ran through my mind while enjoying Xerjoff, Dama Bianca. Thought I'd kick back and have some fun..... hope you enjoy on CaFleureBon, here's the link.


Photo Credit: Bianca Jagger interpreted by Cecil Beaton

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ineke Ruhland, Sweet William and Hothouse Flower

At home with Ineke's fragrances
I'm happy to be back from a brief hiatus, due to a waterlogged MacBook Pro, thanks to my four-year old...

Last week I got to sit-down with Ineke. She was visiting from San Francisco and we met at the Sony Atrium on Madison Avenue to talk about her two new fragrances:  Sweet William and Hothouse Flower.  

Early on during our conversation, we were interrupted briefly by the building's custodian who seemingly was interested in the fragrances on the table, somehow this reminded me of all the complements I had received from the men folk while wearing Ineke's deeply felt fragrances a few days before meeting her.

Read my interview on Cafleurebon

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Snapshot #5: David Seth Moltz, D.S. & Durga

(VV) Where did you grow up?
(DSM) Swampscott, MA 

(VV) Can you share a childhood olfactive memory? 
(DSM) I lived right by the ocean.  Wild beach rose grew everywhere in the summer.

(VV) Do you have any daily rituals? 
(DSM) Meditation. Making tea in the morning.

(VV) How does being a perfumer influence your everyday life? 
(DSM) I pay more attention to smells through out the day.  I can smell trouble from afar.

(VV) Do you think it’s better to be a perfumer today, in the 21st Century compared to (say) the early 20th Century? 
(DSM) Yes.  There are more materials to use, & more freedom to make bizarre scents.

(VV)  What raw materials are on your mind at the moment, and why? 
(DSM) Orris root, Indonesian Vetyver - two ingredients in a scent I'm working on.

(VV) Are you comfortable with all the attention you-the Nose and the line has received? 
(DSM) Yes.  I don't use the term nose - as I think that's for the people who went to perfume school.  We have been blessed with great fans & people who are really interested in perfume.

(VV) Can you explain Kavi’s role related to D.S. & Durga? 
(DSM) She does all of our designs.  She evaluates all the scents.  And she runs 1/2 of the business.

(VV) Can you talk about your updated packaging and web design, specifically talk about your visual sources? 
(DSM) We use a lot of old records & outdated manuals for our images that conjure up the people & places where our scents exist.

(VV) I find it very interesting that your website defines your fragrances as feminine and masculine, especially when there is such a strong push for shared fragrances in the industry, Can you talk a about this? 
(DSM) I understand all scents are unisex in reality, but I like to work with in the classic framework of perfume.  The freedom to wear what you want is a personal decision. 

(VV)  More and more I feel the general population is becoming more aware of their relationship to olfaction and how it can be both positive and pivotal in its power to influence who we are. Besides making perfume, are there any other ways you would like to influence the olfactive world? 
(DSM) I don't think people set out to influence something.  They just make what they make & if it inspires other people that's a bonus.

(VV) Any Gallery or Museum that you favor? Have you been to any shows lately? 
(DSM) I love the MET.  I have a one year old.  Don't get out much!

(VV) What do you like about living/working in Brooklyn? Do you see yourself as part of local artisan movement that’s happening here? 
(DSM) Brooklyn is a great place to be.  We love mixing with all the people making great things. There is much to be inspired by here.

(VV) Will you be traveling this summer or anytime soon? If so, what is the one thing you will not leave home without? What book and fragrance will you travel with? 
(DSM) We have been to 3 weddings already, & are planning a retreat to Nantucket in August.  Can't leave without swim trunks.  I always read Wodehouse on vacation.

(VV) Will you share some of the fragrances that you wear that aren’t your creations? 
(DSM) I usually am wearing tests of new stuffs honestly.  I rarely get to wear anything else.  I wear a co-distilation of sandalwood with gardenia sometimes, or one with rose sometimes if not testing things.