Escada Agua del Sol // Interview mit William Andrews

Ihr Lieben – meine wunderbare Zeit in München ist nun vorbei, was gleichzeitig aber auch heißt, dass mein Blog wieder im Fokus steht. Im Februar wurde ich von Escada zum Launch des neuen Sommerduftes Agua del Sol* ins sagenhafte Bahía del Duque auf Teneriffa eingeladen und bin immer noch schockverknallt in das wunderschöne Hotel und ein bisschen in William Andrews, den Parfümeur von P&G. Wer mit außerordentlicher Expertise von Düften redet, kann sich meiner Aufmerksamkeit sicher sein und so plauderten wir an einem lauen Frühlingsabend auf der Kanareninsel über Lieblingsparfums, Duftwahrnehmung und den vielleicht besten Beruf der Welt.
Der neueste Sprössling der berühmten Escada-Sommerreihe überzeugt mit einem fruchtigen Cocktail aus Nashibirne, Himbeersorbet, Tonkabohne und Rosa Pfeffer wird mich immer an diesen besonderen Moment erinnern und macht im Handumdrehen gute Laune. Was sich William dabei gedacht hat, das habe ich ihn in einem anschließenden Interview einfach mal selbst gefragt!

  1. Dear William, I love the world of perfumes and to be honest, I think you have the most amazing job in the world. Please tell us a bit more about your daily work!
I do feel very lucky to work as part of the fragrance design team, because it is a relatively small industry and I know that it is a highly specialised job:  Our main objective is to create the scented images of fashion houses or celebrities, so we have to be creative minds, but also highly structured at the same time.  I also think that we become skilled translators, from image to odour and vice-versa.  To make it easier to understand, you can think of fragrance design as similar to many other types of creative design, including fashion, graphic and product design.  Of course, the one big difference is that we are working with a chaotic and abstract creative medium: odour, which is invisible, silent and has no physical form.  This means that anyone who wants to work in our world, has to train their nose (& brain!) to an expert level.  Our daily work can be highly abstract, evaluating accords and perfumes in various stages of development, to understand how their character fits with any particular brand or image, whether they evolve well over time, if there are any obvious dischords or odour character issues; there is lots of evaluation of this type.  It is a highly sociable business – we always evaluate fragrances as a small group, because of the inherent subjectivity we place on any smell.  This means we smell lots of accords on paper blotters and talk about them, making notes. Then we might smell fragrances on each other!  As I said – highly interactive.  However, any form of perfumery requires a disciplined approach – without some type of structure, our work would quickly become chaos.  It takes a few years to learn the olfactive classifications, basic fragrance construction techniques and the core perfumery ingredients.  This knowledge is like the backbone of our work.  Once you have learned the basics, smell starts to become as familiar as colour or sound to work with.  You can begin to understand what it is like, by taking your favourite fragrance and trying to break it down into individual, recognisable notes.  Can you pick out anything familiar and which notes dominate the overall composition?  Think about its character.  Does it smell similar to anything else?  How would you describe the way the fragrance changes over time as it evaporates?  This process of evaluation and mapping trains your brain and enables you to develop a structured olfactive memory – this is one of the key skills of a Fragrance Evaluator.  An aspect of our workspace which is unexpected for perfume lovers is that we have to work in an odour neutral space – we don’t wear perfume to work, nor do we spray it all over the office!  Whenever possible, we maintain odour neutrality in the workspace:  evaluation sessions including multiple accords and fragrances, require us to carefully dip paper blotters in the bottles, rather than spray them.  If spraying is unavoidable, then it is often done outside in a corridor.  You can often see people in the office with sleeves rolled-up, with biro marks or small dot stickers on the arms, where they are testing fragrances on skin!  It is certainly is unusual business…

  1. Perfumes are very subjective, which feelings do you connect with them?
Feelings really do vary from person to person, depending on the association you make with a particular smell:  Our sense of smell evolved to protect us from danger and enabled us to sniff out pleasure.  So we quickly learned to detect the smell of poisonous food, the smell of predators and the safe smell of our social partners.  We build up our olfactory preferences from birth, by a process of association; we associate smells with good and bad experiences and then we remember them.  So smell is a primitive sense, which has remained virtually unchanged over thousands of years – we are still sniffing out danger and pleasure to this day! How does smell connect with feelings? We smell a mix of scented molecules which are evaporating from a source.  The olfactory bulb in the nose receives the molecules, converts them into a nerve signal and sends them directly to the brain’s Limbic system.  This is a deeply seated, primitive part of the brain, which drives our motivation linked to feelings, moods, emotions and memory.  This is the reason why many people, when presented with a familiar fragrance, have an instant and powerful memory recall, quickly followed by an emotional reaction.  What people often find impressive is the clarity of historic recall – even from childhood – though it is often only a fleeting glimpse into the past.  Smell is the only sense directly linked to the Limbic system, which makes it fundamental to our survival and the way we navigate our daily lives.

  1. Do you have any favourites? Which fragrances do you wear?
Rather like a chef, working in fragrance design means that you tend to develop a more eclectic taste in odour.  This means that naming a single favourite is very difficult.  The typical juicy fruits of the Escada collections are undeniably attractive – human beings are very drawn towards food and fruit notes – it is deep in our positive psychology; they smell good enough to eat!  In fact, after a long smelling session, you do become quite hungry – it is an interesting side effect.  We often wear the fragrances which we are working on because then we can understand how they develop over time and what they are like to live with – but only one at a time…

  1. What is the idea behind the new ESCADA perfume Agua del Sol?
How does one capture that fun but stylish, beach-side, summer vibe, Escada-style?  The answer is when you see the Aqua del Sol bottle and smell the fragrance:  The fruit notes are indeed delicious and refreshing, with the zestiness of citrus, the juiciness of Nashi pear and the creaminess of apricot, but the fragrance also needs flowers to drive a more luxurious identity, and in this case it is rose which delivers the sophistication.  Musky notes also help create a soft, perfumistic elegance and generate lift within the fragrance, to create the effect of that seaside summer breeze!

  1. And last but not least – are there any trends to predict for the upcoming autumn/winter season?
Trends in perfumery do not follow the same timescale as fashion.  They tend to follow socio-cultural trends, because this is what influences the creative perfumers, who are constantly shaping new olfactive ideas.  If there is a trend right now, then it is Realism (in an artistic sense) – fragrances with a clear character, where ingredients or notes stand out from the composition, rather than being smoothly blended into a floral ‘bouquet’ or fruit ‘cocktail’.  The Escada summer edition fragrances are a great example of this trend because they repeatedly take inspiration from summery fruits and flowers and have clear characters.

Thank you so much William and Escada for the gorgeous time!

0 replys to Escada Agua del Sol // Interview mit William Andrews

  1. Ahhh, es war sooo toll! Und er war so furchtbar sympathisch und weiß so viel und oh man…ich mag wieder zurück. 1a Interview btw. Ich finde, es kommt (leider) recht selten vor, dass Menschen so ausführlich antworten und es trotzdem so auf den Punkt bringen.

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert.