Hello guys. Well, my title is a bit of a lie, because it’s actually day 9 and I’m in Paris… (I’ll write about my adventures here so far over the next couple days).
But when I wrote my last post (titled Day 7 but about Day 6), I mentioned how I was off to meet the lovely lady that is Vero Kern (again) so we could have a little chat about her faultless line. I will say, considering she invited me into her house and let me see her workstation, I felt it’d be rude to take pictures – so I’ll break this post up with some pictures I took when in Zurich as I missed them out of my last post
So arriving at Vero’s, we grabbed a seat in her little studio underneath her apartment where the whole “creative process” takes place. Instantly she grabbed a ton of raw materials and synthetics, vintage Guerlain’s and her own fragrances.
The first thing we sniffed, was vintage Mitsouko Parfum de Toilette – to compare it to her own Mito, along with Mitsouko Parfum. She took her inspiration from both it’s use as a classic chypre, and the famous peach note that was added to the chypre base of Mitsouko.
For Mito, Vero used peach instead of passionfruit (her usual signature that ties her line up of EDP’s together) – I’d never really clicked with the association before as Mito’s high dosage of lemongrass and a different floral arrangement (magnolia/jasmine) makes them extremely different – but as she explained her appreciation of Mitsouko and how it inspired her… it all falls into place when you think about it.
The floral arrangements that go into Mito were really interesting – we smelt a synthetic magnolia which she had put together which had an almost phenyl ethyl acetate thing going on (if anyone remembers my little explanation of this aromachemical in my Aftelier Lumiere review…). It was sweet and fruity, with a honeyed-pear vibe going on and just a touch of spice. Also the raw material magnolia champaca was beautiful to try – an astringent, bitter tea like scent - it’s spicy and vegetal with a hint of leather in there. A fascinating floral note. When these are sniffed together, it begins to make the floral arrangement in the heart of Mito - a complex exploration into every aspect of mangolia - it’s more “lemony” aspects enhanced by the herbal lemongrass (which we also sniffed… and spilled!).
More raw materials we tried were some concretes that she’d recently got her hands on, geranium, rose and a jasmine sambac which were interesting not only to see in their raw form, but to smell – they have an extremely dense quality to them that almost takes them away from being floral and enhances more resinous/bitter aspects – I look forward to sniffing how she puts these to use in the future!
On to Kiki and her inspiration – Jicky. Now, I’ve never been a real fan of Jicky, and in my opinion Kiki is undoubtably superior, but I can appreciate the classic composition. The lavender usage of Kiki (as Andy Tauer said to me), is so brilliant and unusual because it pairs the almost medicinal, herbal side of lavender with a more sweetened, caramlized glaze – it’s contrasts are what makes it so lovely. We broke down Jicky and on came more explanations as to it’s influences and comparisons with Kiki - it’s obvious that Vero’s knowledge of the Guerlain’s is great and she takes a lot of inspiration from such classical perfumery – she manages to hold this true in her fragrances whilst allowing them to smell completely modern.
Rubj is my favourite of the four I must admit – and similarly to Mito, we broke down the floral arrangements, smelling synthetic orange flower and the raw material – pairing them together to make that mouth wateringly rich floral heart in Rubj. We talked about the cumin and how every suggested she should get rid of it for the EDP – we both agreed it would not have been the same. That warm, human spicy note is what melts it into the skin and makes Rubj so damn sexy. She similarly has no idea why people get so up in arms about cumin, it doesn’t smell like sweat…
As for Vero’s future projects? Well, my mouth is of course zipped – but I hope you’re all looking forward to the Mito extrait…
After a good sniff of her line and understanding the inspirations and the materials, we took her gorgeous dog Isi for a stroll through the snow to listen to Andy Tauer’s talk on white florals at a gathering in Zurich. Unfortunately, I looked a fool not being able to understand any of it so I just nodded along and smiled (it was in German!) - looking forward to another sniff of Loretta at the end.
After the talk I met up with a guy Andy introduced my to called Christof - he told me tons of fascinating stuff – he works for a fragrance company that create scents for brands. His collection (he invited me back to his place to see it) was insaneeeeeeee. All the Byredo’s, all the Etat Libre D’Oranges… just, tons and tons and tons. He also had some rare gems amongst his collection, including a REAL bottle of Lisa Kirk’s Revolution (picture below) – not the little 15ml screw caps you get now. Being extremely generous, he made me numerous samples and gave me 10ml bottles of numerous Frederic Malle’s, so as you can imagine I was in my element.
So yes, Zurich was a huge success, and I was quite sad to leave having met such lovely people! But I’ve been spoiled with goodies on my Birthday and had a wonderful time
I’m in Paris now and have spent two days exploring which has been awesome, I’ve already spent far too much money, thankfully as Christmas presents for my mum and dad (all perfume of course!) – and I think tomorrow I may just treat myself. But, my money is saved for Campomarzio70 in Rome – I think I need an O’Driu in my collection… we’ll see…
Until next time!