Monday, 10 September 2018

STEPHAN'S SIX - PAUL SCHÜTZE


Originally from Melbourne, Paul Schütze began his training as an artist before moving on to become an award winning composer and musician. His creative flair continued into photography and film, but it was the decision to “scent” one of his audio/visual installations that sowed the seed for a range of fragrances based on olfactory memories and experiences. So, on the second anniversary of his first perfume launch I thought it was time to discover more about his scented memories during “Stephan’s Six.”

What is the first smell that you can remember?
When I was nine, we sailed from Melbourne to the UK. The six week journey was punctuated with exotic stops including Tahiti, Balboa and Lisbon. Aboard the ship the overwhelming smell of marine fuel, oil and ozonic sea air mingled into an almost physical presence. Years later, a friend who habitually wore Chanel No.19 was puzzled when I gently dissuaded her from wearing it in my presence. Something in that perfume triggers a powerful olfactory association with fumes aboard ship. As I was hideously seasick for the entire six weeks I develop uncontrollable nausea whenever I smell it.

What was the first perfume you remember your mum or dad wearing?
I don’t recall either of them wearing perfume. My father died when I was young and I don’t have a single olfactory memory associated with my mother. I do recall being repelled by the heavy powdery florals favoured by my paternal grandmother who rarely left her vast, dark bedroom and was forever surrounded by trays of pill bottles and cabinets filled with Ruby Glass. That association between florals and death has persisted.

What was the perfume of your twenties?
The first perfume I bought was Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene and it was quickly followed by Chanel Antaeus. Then, rather fortuitously, in the early eighties some crazy person opened a (doomed) super exclusive niche department store in Melbourne in which brands like Annick Goutal, Etro, and Caron were extravagantly represented. I became rather obsessed by Tabac Blonde (as it was then) and to a lesser extent Poivre. I wore them right through my twenties.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
Allowing some thug to assault me with a lethal spritz of Comme Odeur 71 as I walked out of the store in London. As it continued to grow in strength and unpleasantness I had to cancel a meeting and return home to shower it off. Even that took several attempts before the headaches and panic subsided.

You can only choose one perfume?
Hermes Eau de Gentian Blanche. My feelings about particular perfumes change constantly, many I once loved no longer thrill me. Since I began working with fragrance myself, several of my favourite perfumes have lost their allure but this one remains a constant companion. It is austere, ruthlessly elegant, luminous, and quietly indifferent. I will always love it.

What perfume should I try?
Some of the Triple Extracts by Santa Maria Novella are truly magical, with my favourite definitely being Cipro. It’s a gloriously rich, resinous, cypress orgy which instantly transports you to the Italy of grand gardens and sun warmed foliage. I’d also like you to try Villa M, which is a fragrance I created as an homage to the timeless brilliance of my favourite house, Villa Malaparte, on Capri. It places you on the white rooftop terrace with a vast ocean horizon before you, waves crashing below and the aromatic vegetation of the Caprese hills rising behind.

For more information about Paul Schütze, and to discover his full range of five fragrances, you can visit paulschutzeperfume.com

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