Fragranze's Proust Questionnaires - Vol. 4
News
Edition 18
03.12.2020
Chandler Burr's questionnaires: With a nod to Proust, it's all about perfumes. Discover the protagonists of the fifth episode.
The latest column curated by Chandler Burr, perfume critic and artistic director of Pitti Fragranze, features five unmissable figures from the world of perfume. From Bertrand Duchaufour, the renowned former Artisan Parfumeur perfumer who is currently working as a freelancer, to Clara Molloy, perfumer and poetry author; from Francesca Bianchi, founder of her own perfume line to Laura Bosetti Tonatto of Essentially Laura and up to Luca Maffei of Parco 1923 – they share with us secrets, curiosities, and personal anecdotes. Read the interviews.

 
Bertrand Duchaufour
Bertrand Duchaufour started his career as perfumer in 1985. Trained in Grasse, he has created fragrances for some of the most influential perfume houses. In-house perfumer for l’Artisan Parfumeur from 2009 to 2016, with the freedom to work for other brands. Cumulating now my freelance career with an employment in Technico Flor company since 2014

‘During all these years of exploration throughout my career, I always tried to rise my job to the exact idea of how I conceive Art, even if I know that I have to work first of all, as an artisan.’

1 What quality do you most admire in other people?
Discretion
 
2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Discretion
 
3 What is your greatest strength?
Pugnacity
 
4 What do you dislike most about yourself?
Maybe my pride, but at the same time it drives me
 
5 What makes you happiest?
To share good moments with relatives and close friends
 
6 What is your greatest fear?
To be just another fucking pawn
 
7 Which living person do you most despise?
Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos
 
8 What is your greatest extravagance?
To be alone in some place in the world where no one has ever before been
 
9 When do you lie?
When the lie can truly relieve and reassure [soulager] the other person without compromising either them or me

10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent?
As a teenager I knew nothing of scent. Nor did anyone else I knew. When I discovered scent materials I had a strongly intuitive desire to create in them and – this links to the question about my greatest extravagance – to have the extravagance of creating something with them that no one else had

11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours?
Alt J, Tadao Ando, Sam Mendes
 
12 Which scent raw material can you not live without?
Patchouli 
 
13 Which scent raw material do you never use?
None
 
14 What is your favorite perfume of your own?
The next one for Naomi Goodsir, which we will launch at Fragranze
 
15 What is your favorite perfume not your own?
The original Dior Homme
 
16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor?
If I had to choose, body odor because it’s exterior. Bad breath can result from a psychological state where bad body odor is just basic hygiene – you know where it comes from

17 Which city or place smells the best?
Any deep forest
 
18 Of all your time at Fragranze, what aspect has most surprised or interested you?
The architecture, the global synergy between Stazione Leopolda and the brands’ perfume booths
 
19 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money?
A masterpiece of African sculpture called “La Fang Chadourne”
 
20 What do you most want that money cannot buy?
To stop human activity and clean the planet

 

Clara Molloy
Clara Molloy’s life has only just begun – she has published three books of poetry, « Alkaline » (2015), « Tempe a païa » (2019), and « Grandirs » (2020).

1 What quality do you most admire in other people?
Courage
 
2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
The ability to smooth talk
 
3 What is your greatest strength?
Love, love and love
 
4 What do you dislike most about yourself?
Lack of patience, lack of calm, lack of inner self
 
5 What makes you happiest?
Sparkles of happy, spontaneity in general
 
6 What is your greatest fear?
Losing my religion

7 Which living person do you most despise?
No one. Myself in dark moments
 
8 What is your greatest extravagance?
Not counting
 
9 When do you lie?
I believe in the Toltec agreements: “Be impeccable with your word.” But I am not so good at it, coming from a planet where small little white lies grow everywhere

10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent?
It chose me, and I surrendered
 
11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours?
Verlaine, Henri Michaud, Rose Ausländer, Kenneth White. Only poets for me

12 Which scent raw material can you not live without?
Myrrh
 
13 Which scent raw material do you never use?
Aldehydes. They smell like fish
 
14 What is your favorite perfume of your own?
Lalibela
 
15 What is your favorite perfume not your own?
Féminité du Bois

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

17 Which city or place smells the best?
Paris
 
18 Of all your time at Fragranze, what aspect has most surprised or interested you?
People’s ability to tell their stories through their fragrances
 
19 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money?
A window on the sea
 
20 What do you most want that money cannot buy?
Eating as much pastry as I want to but keeping the same size clothing

Francesca Bianchi
Francesca Bianchi is a self-taught perfumer. She studied History of Art in Florence and worked in art book publishing. She is based in Amsterdam and launched her line of perfumes in 2016
 

1 What quality do you most admire in other people?
Intelligence – especially when fed by knowledge

2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Having an opinion no matter what

3 What is your greatest strength?
I still have to find out
 
4 What do you dislike most about yourself?
When I do many things at the same time
 
5 What makes you happiest?
When my three-year-old daughter wakes me up in the night wanting to sleep in my bed
 
6 What is your greatest fear?
Being a complicated person and not being aware of it
 
7 Which living person do you most despise?
I don’t really despise anyone, I feel pity and embarrassment for some people
 
8 What is your greatest extravagance?
Pretending to be simple
 
9 When do you lie?
Rarely, and mainly to avoid meeting people
 
10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent?
I used to paint, play piano and guitar, and I truly loved all those types of art, but I was more focused on obtaining a final result than enjoying the long practice for achieving it. That’s not the case of the process of creating a perfume
 
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, Gustav Mahler, Krzysztof Kieślowski
 
12 Which scent raw material can you not live without?
Iris butter
 
13 Which scent raw material do you never use?
There’s no material I would never use
 
14 What is your favorite perfume of your own?
Lost in Heaven 

15 What is your favorite perfume not your own?
Recently Coco Chanel by Jacques Polge
 
16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor?
Bad breath, as it has less diffusivity than body odor
 
17 Which city or place smells the best?
Florence. Especially its churches
 
18 Of all your time at Fragranze, what aspect has most surprised, pleased, or interested you?
I love the fact that the exhibition doesn’t look like a souk
 
19 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money?
A private cook
 
20 What do you most want that money cannot buy?
Persistence of emotions

Laura Bosetti Tonatto
Laura Bosetti Tonatto is a Rome-based perfumer. She has, uniquely, produced a body of scent works that give an olfactory dimension to paintings from collections around the world. 
1 What quality do you most admire in other people?
Joy

2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Talent

3 What is your greatest strength?
I don’t judge

4 What do you dislike most about yourself?
My timidity when I’m with people I don’t know

5 What makes you happiest?
Rome’s Baroque art, the sea, philosophy

6 What is your greatest fear?
Losing my mental capacities

7 Which living person do you most despise?
Angela Merkel

8 What is your greatest extravagance?
Singing even though I have no sense of tone

9 When do you lie?
When I don’t want to reveal a secret

10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent?
I found myself needing to give a fragrance to the things I saw, the things that captivated me, the paintings, movies, and literature I love are in all my creations

11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours?
Francesco Borromini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and either Luchino Visconti or David Lean

12 Which scent raw material can you not live without?
Rose, rose, and rose

13 Which scent raw material do you never use?
I don’t preclude anything, and I’m very curious so some materials I don’t particularly love become very interesting when I combine them with others

14 What is your favorite perfume of your own?
Regina di Taif

15 What is your favorite perfume not your own?
Mitsouko by Guerlain

16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor?
I could never live with a person who had either of these. Nor with a smoker

17 Which city or place smells the best?
Sydney

18. What is the aspect of Fragranze that surprises or interests you most?
I’ve participated in Fragranze since the very first edition. I feel at home, with people I like, people I grew up with

19 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money?
A house on the Baia del Francese on the Island of Palmarola

20 What do you most want that money cannot buy?
Equality of the sexes
Luca Maffei
Luca Maffei grew up among perfumes, which helped him to always pay attention to scents. He considers perfume his method of communication
1 What quality do you most admire in other people?  
Tenacity
 
2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue?   
Modesty
 
3 What is your greatest strength?  
Being a dreamer
 
4 What do you dislike most about yourself?  
Impatience
 
5 What makes you happiest?  
A day on a boat surrounded by the sea
 
6 What is your greatest fear?  
Ignorance
 
7 Which living person do you most despise? 
No one. I live and let live
 
8 What is your greatest extravagance?  
Being normal
 
9 When do you lie?  
When I don’t want to do something
 
10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent?  
It chose me

11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours? 
Gio Ponti, Wes Anderson, Jay-Z
 
12 Which scent raw material can you not live without? 
Cashmeran
 
13 Which scent raw material do you never use? 
Civet
 
14 What is your favorite perfume of your own? 
Garuda for Jul et Mad Paris
 
15 What is your favorite perfume not your own? 
The Dreamer, Versace
 
16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor? 
Bad body odor
 
17 Which city or place smells the best? 
Miami
 
18 Of all your time at Fragranze, what aspect has most surprised or interested you?
Meeting so many perfume lovers all together at the same time
 
19 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money? 
A sailboat
 
20 What do you most want that money cannot buy? 
Time