Me and Linda had a very amazing talk speaking about herself and her memories as you read from the first part of the interview, so if you liked it I hope you'll enjoy the second part.
E: I know you love good food and use yourself to make chocolates and other dishes.
L: Yes, I do hehe...
E: Heh, I love good food and love cooking too. What's your favourite smell from food?
L: From food I quite like the oriental food, I love lemongrass, I like to combinate lemongrass chili garlic and that's what always makes me yumm... Love that smell! I like the smell of basmati rice cooking that always makes me feel very comfortable, very homely, but also just fried garlic and onions straight way. When I'm going to cook something oriental it's just that, initially: I don't think I ever started every meal without chopping garlic, chopping onions, chopping chili you'd need always that. You put a pan of water on and chop something without deciding before because you know you are going to need it anyway.
E: And what are the notes coming from the kitchen you like to use in perfumes?
L: Oh, basmati rice as I used in Champaca. That actually came from my neighbour because I used to live in a block of flats and the lady next door was chinese and every time someone opened the front door of the block, I could always smell rice cooked. I love this. I used to be very disappointed if I opened the front door of the block with smell of she cooking rice, but then it made me feel at home. She actually gave me the idea of basmati rice. Well, then I use lots of spices when cooking, I like to use lots of saffron, bay rose which is the pink pepper. Also the man where we buy the bay rose oil from Provence it's incredible, he's very passionate about everything he does. Every time I go over there you know he's says "Oh this is a little bit of pastis... I love it, you must try this" and gives it to me. So I have to taste it and love it but then it's three o'clock in the afternoon and I have to go back home, every time I am throwled by it.
E: Hehe... But well, then you are in France and they drink pastis all the time you know?
L: Oh, yes! Hehe!
E: I know you are also a passionate essences and fragrances collector since you were a teenager. What are the three most meaningful bottles in your collection?
L: Just the bottles or the perfumes?
E: Both the parfume and the bottles.
L: So, I have a lot of bottles. I have a bottle of Shocking from Elsa Schiaparelli that's a beautiful bottle. I have a very limited edition of a perfume which bottle was designed by Elsa Peretti. She makes jewels and she designed the bottle and the perfume is very beautiful too. Then I have got a bottle that I also did some research on that's a perfume called Renoir. What's interesting about it is that's a beatiful bottle, it has a very old white lable with a green frame and around is pale green-silver. The addrress it's interesting because it's Place Vendôme and when I went to Paris I took this bottle with me and looked for the address and it was the Ritz, the Hôtel. This is also very strange because I got in and shown the bottle to the concièrge saying it had their address on and they looked at me like "What do you want?" Haha...
E: Haha! Maybe I guess that's something they used to sell inside the Ritz many many years ago.
L: What I found also very interesting is that this perfume is older than Chanel: Coco Chanel used to live at the Ritz and the bottle is shaped like the old Chanel bottles but this bottle is like 15-20 years before then and maybe it got the inspiration to Chanel for her bottles.
E: Maybe yes, after all that shape came long before from the square itself.
L: You know, sometimes you see something and unoconsciuously you get inspired. The perfume itself as you open it is beautiful, it's like an oriental and the juice is deep brown. You can't really pic out the single notes but there's definitely ambergris, there's definitely some musk like real musk, it's very animalic, very strong oriental, beautiful.
E: You put a lot of research in raw materials and your Ormonde Man and Woman scents are based on a rare black hemlock essence. There's currently a great deal of interest and anxiety about IFRA restrictions of certain raw materials. Which impact do you believe such restrictions are having on perfume creation and on the perfume industry and maybe also your experience in making perfumes?
L: The biggest impact to me so far is that when I think about a nice cologne I want to put maybe 9-10-11% of lime let's say, saying more than 4-5% it's not allowed, actually that's wrong, it's a guideline! So I don't know what will happen and I don't know what the consequences are. I don't have outside investors, I have only inside investors. Other companies, also perfume companies outside here, even the small one are owned by investors and I think their lawyers are probably saying to pay attention and stick to what the guidelines say in case some people claim.
I don't have that but, however I do try to stick within the guidelines only because I'm thinking as the company starts to grow you don't want to have to change your formulas. I haven't changed anything and I don't have to change anything but going forward I do have to take this in consideration now as I didn't that before but it's not a probleb because the big fragrance houses are creating new molecules and sometimes the molecule is better than the real thing. I mean, the hedione is the molecule for jasmine but it smells fantastic, it really has a great effect on the perfume. I think in my case I haven't got a problem but for a company making perfumes for a hundred years this can be a problem, some formulations might have to change and this could be annoying.
E: Speaking about your latest creations, I have some girls friends that are all enthusiastic about your Tiare because it's nothing related to the usual idea of a tropical flower in perfumery. Some of them even compared it for its refinement to a great classic like Henry Robert Cristalle. How did you come to create this perfume?
L: The mood is definitely Cristalle but with another flower, there's a reason behing that. I used to wear Cristalle and I wore it for about four years It's still actually one fo my favourite perfumes. I've always loved it and even now when I walk past someone and I can smell it on them it think it's a wonderful thing so I thougt I could do something but using a different flower. It has more of a foundation than Cristalle, so it performs better than Cristalle. When I was doing it I used to do the challenge with my customers putting on one side Cristalle and on the other Tiare and all of them in the end perferred the Tiare: then I thought it was perfect. So I created something that I love because my sister wore Cristalle, I wore Cristalle, I don't think there's one lady in the world that didn't own a bottle of Cristalle, I think everybody wore it at some point. Every time I see customers coming to my shop and I ask them which perfume they wore in the past, it's amazing all of them say First by Van Cleef&Arpels and Cristalle. I've never heard the same two perfumes come up over and over again so often.
E: I guess so, they have the same mood, they are both chypre...
L: Yes, and I do also have a bottle of Van Cleef&Arpels at home because I love the bottle.
Linda really knows how to make her guests feel comfortable and after a cup of jasmine tea we pic a delicious chocolate and start to comment about chocolate and wine. We even exchanged a couple of suggestions on good full bodied red ones featuring also some italian bottles of course before going through the third part of the interview. Follow me!
<Part 1> <Part 3>
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