Kevin Mathys

For Kévin, fragrance is an emotional trigger, by creating fragrance that people wear, it allows him to be a small part of their lives, something he finds greatly rewarding.

 PERFUME SOCIETY: PERFUMER Q & A – Kevin Mathys, CPL Aromas 

 

What is your first ‘scent memory’? 

The roses in my grandmother’s garden, alongside the delicious raspberries that I would enjoy during the summer. 

 

When did you decide you wanted to be a perfumer/create your own perfume? 

When I discovered we could make a living out of making perfume, I started to buy books and aroma chemicals to begin educating myself. I spent hours mixing essential oils trying to produce perfume. 

 

What are your five favourite smells in the world? 

AMBROXAN 

ALL TYPE OF WOODS 

GARDENIA 

TUBEROSE JASMINE 

 

What’s the worst thing you ever smelled. (Honestly!) 

A dead wild boar in the forest. As you can imagine, it was awful! 

 

What is the fragrance you wish you’d created? 

Shalimar by Guerlain 

 

Do you feel (like us) that this is one of the most exciting times in fragrance history, because of the creativity being expressed by perfumers? Why do you think that is? 

I think people are becoming more educated about perfumery now more than ever. They are more excited about it and are willing to give more creativity to perfumers, this is why it is a very exciting time for perfumery. 

 

If you could have created a fragrance for a historical figure, who would it be? 

Albert Einstein, it would have been extremely interesting to have his point of view on the world of perfume. 

 

What’s the first fragrance you bought. And the first bought for you…? 

I bought Black XS by Paco Rabanne and was bought Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier. 

 

Do you have a favourite bottle design, from those that have been used for your fragrance creations? I think all of them stand out in their own unique way. 

 

How many perfumes might you be working on, at one time? 

Currently I am working on roughly 25. 

 

Does your nose ever ‘switch off’? 

Where is the button? I never found it 

 

How long, roughly, does it take you to create a fragrance? 

It depends on the fragrance and the customer, it could be 3 weeks up or even up to 1 year… 

 

Is creating a fragrance ‘visual’ for you, as well as something that happens in the nose/brain? If so, in what way…? Is a mood-board helpful? 

Mood boards help me to understand what the customer wants and to better visualize what they have in their mind. From there I will have several ideas that I can start at the same time and the more trials we do, the less directions are kept. I usually end up with one or two per theme. 

 

What can each of us do to enhance our appreciation of fragrance? 

What is your best tip for improving a person’s sense of smell? 

Smelling, smelling and smelling again. There is no secret, I think it is a matter of passion and patience. Perfumery involves a huge amount of knowledge – like learning the raw materials, the big accords, the historical fragrances… 

To me it is like learning a language, it is not only learning words that allows you to speak, you have to understand the culture behind it and the history of the nation to become fully fluent. 

 

If you had one fragrance note that you love above all others, what would that be? 

The woody notes are definitely my favourites. They are mysterious and enveloping; I love that they can add a sensual touch to a fragrance. 

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