Odin’s Kelly Kovac shares her ‘five favourite smells…’

As one of the founders of Odin – New York’s effortlessly cool lifestyle store – Kelly Kovac has a hands-on role in developing each of their uniquely contemporary (and totally ‘shareable’) fragrances. Working with a team of perfumers (each of whom compete with submissions for the brief they’re presented with), Odin excel at finding new ways to use notes we think we already know.

Kovac is utterly driven by her passion to create products that effortlessly reflect the lives of their customers, and with each of the co-founders having a say in what they think the direction of the next fragrance should be, it’s a good job Kelly had magnifiscent scent-grounding having worked for many years developing fragrances with many of the big-name houses. Now she gets to play a little more, with her own brand, and it’s here she lets her senses loose. For, as she explained to us when we met her at their latest launch – her sense of smell is definitely fully developed, and (as we find with many of our fragrant friends) supremely connected to her childhood memories… So, Kelly Kovac, what are your five favourite smells?

1. ‘My first is lilac, and it’s because growing up my grandparents had these huge lilac bushes and we used to play under them. And I always remember my grandmother would have them in the house, and it’s always one of the first signs of Spring for me. I always wanted to do a fragrance around it, but it’s so difficult, and we haven’t quite unlocked that yet. There’s also something about the fact that I love having them, but they don’t last very long.

2. Hinoki (Japanese cypress) is definitely a favourite smell, but in a way it’s such a shame for us because Comme Des Garçon already did such a great job of using it! [In Scent One: Honoki] but I adore it!

3. Night-blooming jasmine – it’s so heady. I spent a lot of time in New Orleans and it reminds me of there. It’s got and humid, and the smell of night-blooming jasmine – there’s something sort of mysterious about it.

4. Gardenia – I grew up in the South so I just love this, but also it has that ephemeral quality. You know, I don’t like gardenia fragrances, and I guess it’s interesting that although I don’t happen to personally like most floral fragrances, a lot of my favourite smell-memories (it turns out!) are of hugely heady florals! I also love the spiciness of freesia.

5. Cedar – I think again it’s memories of growing up in the South. There’s a lot of re-purposed Cedarwood there, and it’s that combination of smells – the cedar, cypress and night-blooming jasmine… for me it’s just the smell of my childhood.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Recommended Posts