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(DSM) We use a lot of old records & outdated manuals for our images that conjure up the people & places where our scents exist.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. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Malin+Goetz: Shared Simplicity

It was early evening when I arrived at Borough Hall, as I walked toward my destination, Brooklyn’s landscape seemed different. Passing by City Hall, the sky seemed exceptionally close and the clouds were moving furiously; trees formed canopies overhead; lighting fixtures glowed inside long brownstone windows. I had a feeling that Andrew Goetz had something to do with this renewed interest in my constant surroundings. I had a chance to sit-down and talk to him earlier that day.

Andrew Goetz is "one half of a pair" that makes up the excellent SHARED skincare, body, hair and perfumery line Malin+Goetz. The M+G office is an open space with staff working side by side. Two larger desks are placed perpendicularly to the rest with ample space between them, one for Andrew and the other for Matthew Malin. Several meetings were happening at the same time which made the room feel part family dinner part sophisticated Santa’s workshop, and as I sat across from Andrew at his desk his warmth and intellect created an ease to our conversation. Andrew was born and lived the first two years of his life in Brooklyn, he spoke about his continued fondness for Brooklyn, especially its architecture and landscape, and how the Brooklyn of today reminds him of the Upper West Side in the 70s and 80s, bustling with artisans opening boutiques and restaurants. His father worked on building the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, then his family settled in Manhattan's Upper West Side, and that's where he ultimately grew up. Goetz shared some olfactive memories, which include the smell of ditto paper (so funny), his Grandmother and the smell of Rose, the fresh flowery kind, and how the smell of food can unlock many olfactive memories. His thoughts on olfaction were focused, "it's cerebral, Proustian." When pushed he thought that fragrance can improve the quality of life, he added, "anytime you can enhance the 5 senses it can improve the quality of life." In fact, his attitude toward fragrance almost borders on aloof, which I found refreshing. He explained that he wears his fragrances like he would wear a tie, when going out, to an event or party, or cultural thing. He comes across very selective. His favorites, Petitgrain Tonic  and Petitgrain layered with Synthesized Lotus Root.

Malin+Goetz launched in 2004 with a vision to become a serious player in skincare. Andrew described their products as “modest, and pared down.” In fact, it’s impossible to talk about Malin+Goetz fragrances, without mentioning their exceptional products. They are the crème de la crème when it comes to streamlining the (2 step) process of care. M+G's Moisturizing Shampoo, Cilantro Hair Conditioner, and Intensive Hair Mask, have rocked my highlighted, chlorine-ridden world (thanks Kenne at Barneys, my hair feels and looks like hair again.) Their Detox Face Mask has the most interesting texture part foam part creamy thickness, it’s almost hard to describe, combined with their (new) Replenishing Face Cream, I woke up in the a.m. feeling renewed. The smell of each product was subtle and fresh, try the Bergamot Body Wash. Andrew explained that the skincare is therapeutic and are made from natural extraits, "the scent of the products are ephemeral.”

For M+G "fragrance is a separate category, these are not traditional body fragrances," Goetz said. The EDTs were made to highlight the skincare line.  To my nose, these unique fragrances stand alone, but the line does encourage layering, furthering their concept of opposites creating balance. There is a sheer quality to these fragrances that I enjoy, and that said, they also have a definite point point of view too. As I wear them they remind me of a riddle, they smell so familiar, but it is impossible for me to pinpoint the familiarity. These fragrances bloom on the skin. Petitgrain Tonic, is incredibly pleasant, with its slightly bitter citrus top, a Hesperidic note that becomes creamy, Woody, and Floral. Synthesized Geranium Leaf has a bite to it that is Green and Rosy, it ends up completely rounded, very smooth on the skin. When I paired Geranium Leaf with Petitgrain, it created a subtle sweet (I was able to smell the Tonka Bean) floral cadence, perfectly balanced. When I smell Synthesized Musk, I think of my friend who has been wearing Keihl's Musk oil forever, M+G’s Synthesized Musk is her ticket to a fragrance makeover. Its composition is completely modern. I totally agree with Luca Turin on this one, it is highly recommended.

Near the end of our conversation, when I asked Andrew to talk about their Cannabis oil, which is only available at their three boutiques, this promptly made him get up from his desk and bring a bottle of it for us to smell.  There was an intensity and warmth coming from the bottle, just like Andrew. 

Visit my Soliflore Notes Facebook page to read what Andrew had to say in his own words.

Andrew Goetz with Cannabis Oil

Film still: Days of Heaven, 1978