28 July - 30 October 2020
Fragranze's Proust Questionnaires - Vol. 4
News
Edition 18
23.11.2020
Chandler Burr's questionnaires: With a nod to Proust, it's all about perfumes. Discover the protagonists of the fourth episode.
Five great perfumers feature in the latest column by Chandler Burr, perfume critic and artistic director of Pitti Fragranze. From Symrise to Lorenzo Villoresi, from Eau d'Italie to Meo Fuscioni, find out who is behind the most famous noses in international perfumery. Read the interviews.

 
David Apel
David Apel is a New York-based perfumer with Symrise. He has created, among other works, the silently mesmerizing abstract Japon Noir under the creative direction of Tom Ford and the brilliant neo-neon Siano for the Phlur collection


 

1 What quality do you most admire in other people?    
Empathy
 
2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue?    
Honesty
 
3 What is your greatest strength?    
Perseverance
 
4 What do you dislike most about yourself?      
Mon coeur d'artichaut [Being a hopeless romantic]
 
5 What makes you happiest? 
Mon coeur d'artichaut
 
6 What is your greatest fear? 
Humiliation
 
7 Which living person do you most despise?
I don’t despise anyone
 
8 What is your greatest extravagance? 
Slothfulness
 
9 When do you lie? 
When the truth causes more harm than good
 
10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent? 
It found me while I was looking for something else
 
11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours? 
Frank Lloyd Wright, Federico Albanese, Orson Welles
 
12 Which scent raw material can you not live without? 
None, but Bergamot if have to choose one
 
13 Which scent raw material do you never use? 
Have not found one. Everything has a use
 
14 What is your favorite perfume of your own? 
I can’t answer that
 
15 What is your favorite perfume not your own? 
L'Eau d'Issey pour femme
 
16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor?  
Bad breath is easier to solve
 
17 Which city or place smells the best? 
Stepping off the plane, midwinter, in Antigua, West Indies. That heavy tropical air is transformational
 
18 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money? 
505 Warburton Ave. Hastings-on-Hudson. An old hotel with a restaurant. Someday…
 
19 What do you most want that money cannot buy? 
See #'s 4 and 5...
 

Lorenzo Villoresi
Lorenzo Villoresi is a Florentine perfumer. Trained in Ancient Philosophy, his travels in the Middle East developed his interest in scents, and his first fragrances evoked myths and legends. He heads Florence’s Villoresi Museum of the art of perfumery
 
 

1 What quality do you most admire in other people? 
Eloquence

2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue? 
Justice

3 What is your greatest strength? 
Patience

4 What do you dislike most about yourself? 
Not starting something I dream of doing

5 What makes you happiest? 
Overcoming resistance

6 What is your greatest fear? 
Death

7 Which living person do you most despise? 
Anyone who does not respect nature, animals, human beings

8 What is your greatest extravagance? 
To have many colored pens and paper available beside me all the time

9 When do you lie? 
To enemies

10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent? 
Since I was very young I played a game called The Little Chemist. I’ve always had an alchemical attitude. I found a lot of this in the Middle East and in the Orient

11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours?
Luigi Franco, New Trolls, Alejandro Jodorowsky

12 Which scent raw material can you not live without? 
Real Sandalwood oil. Jasmine absolute. Patchouli oil

13 Which scent raw material do you never use? 
Star Anice; Marigold; Citronella

14 What is your favorite perfume of your own? 
Atman Xaman

15 What is your favorite perfume not your own? 
Eau de Rochas

16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor? 
I would choose another person

17 Which city or place smells the best? 
The seaside on faraway islands with no one around

18 Of all your time at Fragranze, what aspect has most surprised or interested you?
When truly independent firms, often small and not famous, come to the show from afar. The fair has always searched for these kinds of realities

19 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money? 
An island with a coral reef and a sail boat tied to its pier

20 What do you most want that money cannot buy? 
Time

Marina Sersale
Marina Sersale is co-founder and co-creative director, with her husband Sebastián Alvarez Murena, of Eau d’Italie, a collection of works created by some of the most talented scent artists working today including Jacques Cavallier, Bertrand Duchaufour, Alberto Morillas, and Annick Ménardo

 

1 What quality do you most admire in other people? 
Integrity
 
2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue? 
Temperance
 
3 What is your greatest strength? 
Knowing my weaknesses
 
4 What do you dislike most about yourself? 
My weaknesses
 
5 What makes you happiest? 
Being with my husband and my dog
 
6 What is your greatest fear? 
Losing either of them
 
7 Which living person do you most despise? 
No one
 
8 What is your greatest extravagance? 
Buying antique textiles
 
9 When do you lie? 
To avoid hurting someone
 
10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent? 
It was chance, not exactly a choice
 
11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours? 
Rei Naito and Ryue Nishizawa, Bach, and Satyajit Ray
 
12 Which scent raw material can you not live without? 
There’s no raw material I can’t live without, it all depends on the effect we are looking for
 
13 Which scent raw material do you never use?
Same as above, it’s the final effect that dictates the choices

14 What is your favorite perfume of your own? 
Eau d’Italie Eau de Toilette 
 
15 What is your favorite perfume not your own? 
Eau de Cologne Impériale

16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor? 
Horrible choice. Body odour, I imagine

17 Which city or place smells the best? 
Positano, on the Amalfi Coast

18. Out of your time at Fragranze, what is the thing that has surprised or interested you the most about it? 
The pleasure of walking through Florence on our way to it

19 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money? 
Curzio Malaparte’s Villa in Capri

20 What do you most want that money cannot buy? 
Wisdom

Sebastian Alvarez Murena
Sebastián Alvarez Murena is co-founder and co-creative director, with his wife Marina Sersale, of Eau d’Italie
1 What quality do you most admire in other people?
Honesty
 
2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue? 
None, I like virtues
 
3 What is your greatest strength?
I would hope it is the fact I try to know myself as much as possible
 
4 What do you dislike most about yourself?
Honest answer is there is nothing I dislike about myself
 
5 What makes you happiest?
Everyone being well and happy
 
6 What is your greatest fear?
Not being able to help when needed
 
7 Which living person do you most despise?
No one. Humanity is imperfect by definition
 
8 What is your greatest extravagance?
I am not actually extravagant

9 When do you lie?
Never, if possible
 
10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent?
It wasn’t an actual choice, we found ourselves in it not really knowing how. It was, as for so many other things, an indirect consequence of 9/11
 
11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours?
Architect: Adalberto Libera
Musician: Elvis
Film director: Jean-Pierre Melville
 
12 Which scent raw material can you not live without?
I don’t reason that way
 
13 Which scent raw material do you never use?
Same as above. Never say never

14 What is your favorite perfume of your own?
Eau d’Italie Eau de Toilette
 
15 What is your favorite perfume not your own?
I like Spanish Aguas de Colonia. Direct and sincere

16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor?
Heavens! Body odour

17 Which city or place smells the best?
Rome in spring

18. Out of your time at Fragranze, what is the thing that has surprised or interested you the most about it? 
The locations, in particular the lovely lemon houses of Villa Corsini, at the very beginning

19 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money?
What you own, owns you, so I am perfectly happy with what I have. I only wish we could install an elevator in our house in Rome. (It’s an ancient building and it’s just not possible)
 
20 What do you most want that money cannot buy?
Health and peace of mind
Meo Fusciuni
Giuseppe Imprezzabile, known as Meo Fusciuni, was born in Sicily. A chemist and herbalist, his interest in aromatherapy led him to discover the world of fragrances, and he founded the brand Meo Fusciuni in 2010
'First I discovered chemistry and then the plant; in it I found my roots as Aromatario [apothecary]. I started my long journey in search of scent as olfactory memory, of perfume as meaning of life'
1 What quality do you most admire in other people?
Patience
 
2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Sociality
 
3 What is your greatest strength?
Humility
 
4 What do you dislike most about yourself?
Can't say no
 
5 What makes you happiest?
Being close to the person I love
 
6 What is your greatest fear?
Being satisfied
 
7 Which living person do you most despise?
Racists
 
8 What is your greatest extravagance?
I always wear a hat, always
 
9 When do you lie?
Whenever I'm scared and can't react
 
10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent?
To unite my greatest loves: plants and olfactory emotion
 
11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours?
Louis Kahn, Franco Battiato, Pier Paolo Pasolini
 
12 Which scent raw material can you not live without?
Sandalwood
 
13 Which scent raw material do you never use?
Fruity notes
 
14 What is your favorite perfume of your own?
L'Oblìo, tells about my trip to Cambodia
 
15 What is your favorite perfume not your own?
French Lover by Pierre Bourdon for Frédéric Malle
 
16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor?
Bad breath, in the hope that he won't talk
 
17 Which city or place smells the best?
Varanasi, Luang Prabang
 
18 Of all your time at Fragranze, what aspect has most surprised or interested you?
The comparison with others, the exchange, the look at the world
 
19 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money?
A Botanical Garden
 
20 What do you most want that money cannot buy?
Lost time