Master perfumer Alberto Morillas is responsible for several fragrance icons such as “CK One” or “Acqua di Gio”.
Artful combination: “Both music and fragrances evoke strong emotions and they can work together to create a unique experience,” explains fragrance legend Alberto Morillas, who has created an olfactory monument to two musical classics for Ali Kashani’s niche label “Art meets Art”.
By CHRISTOPH STEINER in L'OFFICIEL BEAUTY
You have worked for countless prestigious fragrance houses - what attracted you to the concept of Ali Kashani?
The concept behind the brand really resonates with me. The pairing of two arts immediately spoke to me, and I found it very interesting to create a fragrance within these parameters.
Is music something that inspires you in general especially in your work?
Absolutely. Music helps to shape different fragrances that I create. For me, it is more about setting a mood, I begin to relax into the melody or rhythms of the songs, and I find I am able to tap into different parts of my memory which I haven’t accessed for a long time.
Let’s talk about fragrances in detail right away - did you choose the songs that serve as a basis for your work?
I did in fact. I happen to love the song “I Put A Spell On You” by Jay Hawkins and wanted to bring a sense of allure, with a blend of hypnotic fresh yet brooding ingredients to mirror the sentiment of the song. I am also a longtime fan of Madonna’s work and the way she constantly reinvents herself. For “Like A Virgin”, I tried to capture the essence of who she was at this point in her life and the energy surrounding the song and era.
What was your orientation - the lyrics, rhythm or the performers?
I was inspired by everything: lyrics, rhythm and artists. My aim was to recreate the emotions of each song and the listener’s feelings.
Several of the fragrances in your portfolio, such as “CK One” and “Acqua di Gio” are very well known to the general public - this is more of a niche product...
What was unique about this project, was developing a formula that was lyrical, creating “music” with my scent. For this to happen, I was given the creative freedom to combine the song, emotions and ingredients into one fragrance. In all cases, working with a large or small brand, I need to feel free and unrestricted in order to focus on the highest level of creativity.
Both songs are true classics - what makes a fragrance, which is by nature fleeting, a timeless piece of history?
Fragrance is a mirror of society, and as culture evolves, so does perfumery. As a perfumer, it’s my job to understand these ripples of change and interoperate them through my artistry. For me, a “timeless” perfume is one that has a genuine signature, a personality – and that brings something unique to the wearer.
The world has had a thoroughly turbulent year - which song and which fragrance would you dedicate to 2020?
I believe in the concept of “ying and yang” and dualism. While this year has certainly brought with it many unexpected occurrences and global difficulties, I have also witnessed a watershed of love and a renewed commitment to creating a better tomorrow. For these reasons, I guess I might choose the old classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones as an appropriate song for the year.