Nicola Pozzani

Nicola Pozzani is an award-winning fragrance creator and educator. Trained by Master Perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena he started his career with fragrance house Symrise before working for brands such as LVMH Acqua di Parma, Le Labo, BMW and The Merchant of Venice amongst others. Long-time Bespoke Perfumer for Floris London, he won a Fragrance Foundation Award and got to create for Queen Elizabeth II. Nicola shares his passion as guest lecturer of Slade School of Fine Arts UCL, Bern University of the Arts and ISIPCA – Universita’ di Padova. He is Associate Member and regular Guest Speaker of the British Society of Perfumers.

 

 

PERFUME SOCIETY:  PERFUMER Q & A

 What is your first ‘scent memory’?

 I guess it’s a glue we would use as kids in school in the 80s back in Italy, heavily scented with coumarin, the gourmand odorous molecule found in the Tonka Bean.

 

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

As a perfumery student of Jean Claude Ellena who opened my senses to perfume as a way to touch the human heart.

 

What are your five favourite smells in the world? 

Nature’s green scents, orange blossom, coffee, the sea, good sex.

 

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

A leather tannery. The mix of the carcass with the chemicals used to wash it off was the most revolting attack on my sense of smell which I could feel all the way down my guts.

 

What is the fragrance you wish you’d created?

Eau de Cologne. Arguably the first major fragrance product, which marked an evolution in people’s attitude to hygiene.

 

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?

It is and it isn’t. The rise of ‘niche fragrances’ has certainly pushed boundaries but at the same time it’s now quite saturated and redundant.

 

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

I actually have, that being Queen Elizabeth II, a larger than life figure, both political and spiritual, I guess I’m happy with that.

 

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

It must’ve been YSL Body Kouros, which smelled a lot like coumarin. Upon reflection that coumarin-scented glue from my childhood must’ve had an influence… the first scent I created as student was based on it too!

 

Do you have a favourite bottle design, from those that have been used for your fragrance creations?

Definitely the timeless Floris London bottle which has housed hundreds if not thousands of fragrances that I’ve blended in the perfumery at 89 Jermyn Street over the last 10 years or so.

 

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

I guess it’s been 15 – 20 at the most. I know, it’s crazy! But it isn’t like that all the time…

 

Does your nose ever ‘switch off’?

The perfumer’s nose tends to be busy but yes, for sure. The actual nose thank God is always breathing!

 

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

It completely depends on the type of project, we are commercial artists that need to satisfy client, budget, timeline…

 

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?

Absolutely, like in the case of Floris Golden Amber where I wanted to capture the shades of the so-called ‘golden hour’ , that is when the sun sets. Contemplating this amazing spectacle in the sky over and over left an impression on me, I took loads of pictures which helped too although images don’t always capture an emotion.

 

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?

Studying perfumery, paying attention to all smells, keeping a journal .

 

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

Orange blossom.          

 

 

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