SMELLYTHOUGHTS In Zurich… Day 7 continued (@ Vero Kern’s)

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 :)

Winter in Zurich
(Yes it was absolutely f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g!)

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.

Zurich at Night

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 :D

Lisa Kirk Revolution

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! :D

22 thoughts on “SMELLYTHOUGHTS In Zurich… Day 7 continued (@ Vero Kern’s)

  1. berniuk says:

    Freddie…what great photos and enjoyed catching up with your blog. I read that you have been spending money on dad and me, please, you have to shop for YOU :-) I love you sweetheart…. Mum. Xx

    • Well I only bought what I said I’d get you!! And I got Dad just a little something because his main present is obviously the ski stuff :)
      I know! I just don’t wanna spend it all here in Paris and struggle in Rome is all :) But I’ve got lots of goodies really so it’s all good.
      Hope pa forwarded my email to you

  2. Wow! What an amazing trip you are having, Freddie! It sounds like it has been so much fun and you have met some really amazing people. Thank you for sharing your stories with us!

  3. Pojkfröken says:

    wow!!! I am hugely jealous for your evening at Tauerville, and maybe even more so over your visit at Vero’s. I admire her so much. Please be sure to visit the small Paris boutique Marie Antoinette in Marais, a charming man runs it, and he is the only one selling the re-releases of the old Oriza Legrand brand. A must try. And when you finally visit Campomarzio please say hi from me, especially to the cute Diego. :)

    • Hi Pojkfroken! I have already visited Marie Atoinette :P I haven’t bought anything yet and I didn’t try the line you mentioned (at least I don’t think so… maybe, not sure!) I definitely hope to go back, boringly to pick up a bottle of parfum d’empire haha. It is a beautiful shop :D
      I will be – Vero has put forward Diego as a name for me to meet so I shall be sure to say hello!

  4. poodle says:

    I am loving hearing about your trip. I’m happy everyone is so nice too. It makes me like them even more that they are so enthusiastic about what they do and are so willing to share their knowledge with you.

    • Definitely and allowing me to publicise it (well, most of it, i have my secrets!) haha, truly these people are wonderful personalities and genius’ at their art, each one of their works is a treasure.
      Thanks for the support poodle I truly appreciate it!

  5. Your adventure just keeps getting better and better. God only knows what Paris will bring!!! So glad you’re having the time of your life!

  6. Joaquim says:

    Hi Freddie!
    First of all: Happy birthday!!! I didn’t knew that was your birthday.
    You’re so lucky, meet Andy Tauer and Vero Kern is a dream! And know the place where this two genious create their work, even more! Mito in extrait is a dream, I need to save money for such a masterpiece.
    Do you know what O’driù buy? I suspect that you love the opening of Allegradonna! I would love to purchase Vis et Honor (is one of my favorite perfumes ever, the drydown is just epic) Leva (as you said, one of the best vanilla i’ve ever smelled, this and CB’s 7BH), Linfedele 1004, or maybe wait for the new project of mr. Pregoni, hope he’ll include som animalic notes!
    You’re in Paris? What a wonderful city, full of perfume and amazing metal bands! I’ll get a tattoo in my next trip, there are some amazing artists in that zone.
    Be happy!

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes Joaquim! :D
      Yep! It’s been wonderful :) Still can’t quite believe it, just realising what has happened now haha.
      Well, Mito extrait isn’t released until next year so you got some waiting!
      Oooh I have no idea – I haven’t tried Allegradonna so will look forward to. In all honesty – I’m still not convinced by O’Driu – I don’t LOVE them yet, but I hope to upon seeing the whole thing and sniffing them properly in store – I hear his new one uses synthetics and it’s had great reviews so far so I can’t wait to try it :D
      Yep the Parisian perfumeries are wonderful, but i’ll save that for another post :P
      Yes! I was gonna get tattooed here too but I just dont’ want to spend a whole day of this holiday getting inked, maybe another trip should be planned next year :D
      Lol! I’m happy :’) Keep well Joaquim speak soon, thanks for getting in touch xxx

  7. Anthony says:

    I’m flabbergasted, again. This is the birthday of a fragrance lover’s dreams. To speak to Viro about her inspirations, to see her workstation, and to smell the raw materials in combination which make her works of art? Sublime. And to top it all off, you were able to score some amazing samples and see a giant fragrance collection. I’m jealous to the max. Incidentally, today I’m wearing Mazzolari’s Lui, a niche powerhouse of patchouli, amber, and leather which is like a rounded but BIGGER ELDO Rien. If you haven’t tried it, you might give it a shot. It’s worth investigating since you, like me, like things that intrigue and shock in some way or another. Happy birthday and thanks for the great blog.

    • Hi Anthony – I know :P I’m trying to share though and be kind! Haha.
      I have tried Mazzolari’s Lui very briefly, i’ll be sure to again – but, I think Rien is about as loud as I can go :’) I do love it though.
      Thanks for the happy birthday and for reading, speak again soon.

  8. laniersmith says:

    You Freddie are having the time of you life! A treasure of a trip indeed!!

  9. melis says:

    Freddie! I am absolutely ecstatic for you. Reading about your time away is bringing the hugest smile to my face :D What wonderful memories you are going to have. Rubj is my favourite as well. Are you surprised, lol? I am trying to track down a bottle of the extrait and am a little wary as I have never purchased anything outside of Canada/US. Champaca is one of my favourite natural raw materials. It smells exactly as you’ve described. Did you have a chance to smell Musc Tonkin?

    • Melis you’re too kind!
      Rubj is just too perfect isn’t it, I’m gonna be treasuring my bottle forever! :P
      I really love champaca now as well – I never really though I did, time to find a pure champaca fragrance that does the note justice.
      I did try Musc Tonkin – unfortunately I didn’t like it on first and second sniff – mainly becuase it’s a powerhouse of a leather more so than a musc at first, and I’ve just got far too many leathers and have tried far too many, i don’t need to know about another one :’) I’ll give it a second chance soon though becuase it was certainly interesting.
      Hope you’re keeping well Melis xx

  10. lucasai says:

    another great part of your adventure

  11. […] so if you remember from my posts last year here and here, I visited Vero Kern (and Tauer) in Zurich for my Birthday I got an early sneak peak of the Mito […]

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