Natural Fragrances and Molecular Perfumes: Luca Maffei's nose tells us about them

I have always been obsessed with this quote by Maitre Jean Claude Ellena :

" I have no interest in trying to reproduce nature. I want to transform it, creating olfactory illusions. Perfume is not only the scent of flowers."

Perfumery has always been based on researching all those natural originated elements which have an olfactory shape and for centuries man has been trying to capture the smell of nature in order to use it to create a fragrance.

The natural perfumes history

With the invention of the alembic, Arabs were the first to understand that through steam distillation of flowers we can catch the essential oil hidden inside the plant.

To this technic follows the enfleurage ,which consists of laying fresh flowers on some kind of greased frames in order to absorb the essential oil.

This abundance of raw natural materials pushed noses( perfumers) to create very rich and intense flowery bouquets which were a celebration of the flowers of their scents.

A fragrance considered 100% natural will have a direct olfactory shape because of the restricted palette our nose is provided with. The accordance will try to push the principal olfactory facet of its components to make the costumers able to smell what they expect.

 Molecular perfumes and the new perfumery

The modern perfumery instead, thanks to the invention of synthesis molecules has set perfumers free from trying to " copy" nature and has stimulated their creativity and the innovative spirit in creating new abstract olfactory images.

Thanks to the molecular perfumery, the olfactory message becomes the real main character of fragrance. This way it has finally been possible to enclose in a bottle all those smells impossible to catch in nature but of which we know well the olfactory shape, such as burnt rubber, sea, blood and emotions.

The importance of a Nose

Personally,it has always been fundamental creating new olfactory emotions , translating into scent the artistic director's vision according to my personal interpretation ; trying to follow new unexplored paths.

For this reason I believe that great perfumery nowadays is a combination of nature and synthesis, which cooperate within the same accordance creating a new harmony, often signed by nature and exalted by synthesis.

How fragrances are made?

In the creating process of a fragrance we always start from a Brief, which is the artistic director's idea about the new creation. The brief could be a story, a mood board , a picture, a memory, a melody, a colour, but it also happened that the inspiration was .... a traditional dish!

That is why I believe it is indispensable not to stop on a single natural raw material, but thinking about all the olfactory elements through which we could reach the requested fragrance.