“What a nice interview! Thank you very much!
I highly appreciated the original,
non-stereotyped questions about perfumery -
it was a real pleasure for me to answer.”
Vero Kern, March 2016
Today I meet a dear friend, a perfume Lady who, in a few years, has given us some of the most fascinating fragrances of contemporary olfactory landscape: she's Vero Kern. From her native Switzerland, Vero has been able to spread over the air not only the unique aroma of her creations, but also the love for a research that turned her passion into art……
GABRIELA: Hello Vero!, it's a great pleasure for me to have the opportunity to ask you some questions about your fragrant world. You've shaped your first creation in the new millennium and you already put an indelible mark in the hearts of perfume lovers.
VERO: Carissima Gabriela! (in italian), it’s a great honour and pleasure for me to answer your questions. Thank you for your kind comment on my fragrances, it pleases me very much…
VERO: The high desire to create and to implement a certain idea: this is for me the biggest boost for a new creation. In my head there is a whole arsenal of ideas, but not all are useful from a “scent” point of view. I have very clear ideas and very high claims on my creations, and I need some time to check out what could possibly be done. But above all, there is a special raw material that initially fascinates and inspires me …and that I want to process in some way. Apart this, fragrances have a sort of dramatic effect for me, even a dynamic-emotional one, so desires and fantasies mainly turn around characters of everyday life, or around strong emotions. I'm not that guy who decides to create a rose or an oud in just minutes, not at all: I work more abstractly. I’m very stubborn and unconventional in realizing my creations.
VERO: I’d say niche fragrances were the answer -or the consequence- of a predominantly uninspired and very commercial perfumery. Once "niche" meant, above all, products that do not care of commercial criteria and were done by independent perfumers and houses. This reflected values such as passion and inspiration in the creation as well as using very specific raw materials. After a few creative years, “niche” has arrived now in the place where it never wanted to stay -i.e. in total “mainstream”. The reasons for it are very complex and for a better understanding, it would need a separate interview or article, only for this topic. I see myself in competition with brands of complete different standards and qualities. That makes it complicated and means that I have to think about how I want to survive in the coming years with my products and how my brand has to be positioned and organized accordingly.
VERO: I feel the “market” as a very confusing one, and probably it is even more confusing for the consumer. What it was referred to so-called “niche”, today has no correlation with it. The term "niche" is no longer relevant, since it is now called “Artistic Perfumery”, which can fit everything! It could be a simple fragrance or a candle, bought in an airport shop, as well as a creation with elaborate packaging sold at 1000 euros, and even more! The scent itself plays a marginal role, the most important thing is to stay THERE, in the market!
Almost every day I can see new products or entire brands appearing with the same old scents, bottles and stories. Everything is so predictable, uninspired, banal... no surprises, sometimes even barefaced copied, it's just a never-ending sea of products! With a sheer mass of constantly new products, a sort of trivialization and vulgarization took place.
For me, it's important not to get too strongly influenced by these developments. I know exactly where -and why- I walk along a direction. There are great and loyal clientele behind me that not only love and appreciate my fragrances deeply, but also is growing slowly - for that, I am so eternally grateful!
VERO: Each new creation means reaching new horizons. In fact, I have a strong affinity to classical creations. Not only have I learned to create in the old classical style during my studies in Paris, I also have been wearing for a long time so-called "classical" scents. Especially Guerlain fragrances, as Vol de Nuit, Jicky, L'Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, but also Shocking by Schiaparelli, or Féminité du Bois and Ambre Sultan, both by Serge Lutens. So, wearing these scents surely had effects, but beside the fact that it’s virtually impossible for me to buy “new molecules”, it doesn’t matter if this raw material is an older or newer one. The critical aspect is whether it fits (or not) into the concept, into the idea of my creation.
It often happens that I try new products, but I turn back to the old ones. The choice of a specific raw material is for me a matter of personal aesthetics and style. Thus, the creation will receive a certain personal touch, a personal style, which is recognizable again by the consumer. And above all, the inspirational idea behind the creation is very important, it determines in my case the selection of raw materials, and not vice versa. The fragrance has always to be seen in its entirety, and for me the idea or originality it’s most important than the raw materials used (such as precious absolutes being awesomely mentioned or enumerated, but used in the dilution of 0.001, i.e. practically not perceptible anymore….). So at the end I’d say my style is neither classical nor modern - it is simply my style, the “Vero style” – it’s hundred percent authentic!
VERO: My all-time favourite perfume has been Vol de Nuit by Guerlain …the simple name makes me to dream. All of the Guerlain’s have been very complex and Vol de Nuit was no exception. This fragrance has been following me for a long time; it was a kind of signature scent. I see wearing scents as a part of my identity and personality, part of my story. Vol de Nuit has something mysterious; the scent is cool and warm, sweet and bitter, very elegant but not aloof. It has a frivolous side, something light-footed that feels like being newly in love…simply irresistible. I really fell daily in love with this scent.
VERO: For a long time I studied fragrance quality, by visiting repeatedly the Osmothèque in Versailles. Here I studied a variety of scents and even whole lines such as Coty, Houbigant, Balmain, Guerlain, Patou, Caron and many more. I was interested in how and from what these fragrances have been made of. Jeannine Mongin and Jean Kerléo from the Osmothèque founding team got me into this lost world. But finally fragrances are perceived very individually and therefore it is relatively difficult to give any quality recommendations…. I believe that quality can only be determined through the comparison of different products and by pros working by agreed criteria. My personal goal is to produce good smelling scents that satisfy my high expectations and those of my clients. I work daily with scents and in my professional life I wear mainly those that are currently being processed! I use whenever possible, cosmetics, cleaning products, detergents etc., perfume free. This kind of perfuming bothers me not only in my work; I find it often simply awful and boring. I sometimes love to wear natural fragrance in form of concretes or pure absolutes beside orange blossom and rose water, and occasionally I layer these with my own creations – totally ingenious...
However, back to your question: the only modern line with unique quality is for me Hermessence by Hermes. I love the work of Jean-Claude Ellena. It combines art, technique, originality, spirit, all-together, and this is ultimately the quality of a good fragrance. For me, Jean Claude Ellena is by far the only master perfumer - all those calling so, actually walk a bit in too large shoes.
VERO: In my scents I put in evidence real experiences like in Mito with the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, an experience that impressed me and that I wanted to capture olfactorily, like a liquid diary. But there are also characters I chose, such as Anna Magnani, a woman with a strong charisma, simultaneously powerful and vulnerable. I grew up with Anna, she has been a very important role model. Rozy reflects Anna Magnani's unique attributes, they are universal, timeless and gender free – by no coincidence Anna was an actress.
By creating, I feel very much as a movie director. I determine the scene being played, the different raw materials are the actors, and going together we create an olfactory drama or dream. The point is to bring NATURE and CULTURE in a unique combination, philosophically and timeless that enjoys the audience, stays for a while and then fades away again… silently and invisibly, like a ghost lost in infinite universe.
VERO: I have many plans, but most are not ready yet. The next adventure will be a new creation planned to appear during this year. I hope many of you will enjoy it…..be surprised!
Vero Kern is the nose of .vero.profumo founded in 2007
Vero Kern's creations are: kiki – onda - rubj - mito – rozy.
Each fragrance is presented in three formats: Extrait de parfum, Eau de parfum,
website .vero.profumo : http://www.veroprofumo.com/