June’s – ‘The Beauty Issue’ – Download Now

Rodrigo Flores-Roux, perfumer for Velvet Black Patchouli on what inspired him to create this bespoke woody scent for Dolce&Gabbana.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

I am not a morning person, so the answer to this question is, those minutes are slow and they feel like an eternity. I’m joking. I must say that last year during the confinement, I was ready to start working from home before 8am and that really exasperated my partner, who happens to be a morning person.

What inspired you to create the Velvet Black Patchouli for Dolce&Gabbana?

The inspiration for Velvet Black Patchouli, just as for the previous fragrance Velvet Patchouli, started with the ingredient itself. Patchouli offered an abundance of inspiration as the essential material in the creation of the fragrance. All the facets were there to be put into use, its rich woodiness, its freshness along its intriguing floral, fruity and animal tones. So, I would say that making an olfactive homage to such an important raw material in perfumery was an enormous motivation. The fragrance tells the story of Italy and its open doors to the Orient, it is a story of the fusion of East and West. Patchouli really symbolizes that rich exchange of cultures, because it references a time when precious goods arrived from the East to the shores of Italy, cloaked in its mysterious scent.

Dolce & Gabbana

What do you find most rewarding about creating fragrances for Dolce&Gabbana Beauty, and how has your relationship with the brand evolved?

That was such a fun and rewarding project to work on as it was such an enormous vote of confidence. The collection later expanded with other cherished Mediterranean themes, composed by me including Rose, Mimosa, Exotic Leather, and Cypress. Now it is a real honour to have been asked to create a new fragrance celebrating the ingredient of patchouli again. It’s like my collaboration with Dolce&Gabbana has come a full circle.

What are the keynotes of this fragrance?

Patchouli, patchouli and patchouli is the essence at their maximum expression. We paired it with sparkling blood orange and luscious black plum tonality, touched accents of Davana, rich spices and true-to-nature tonka beans. A healthy dose of a very special quality of clary sage essence, tops it all, by adding its sexy ambiguity, providing a pendulum between the masculine and feminine.

How is your approach to perfumery evolving?

My approach to creation is constantly evolving – either experimenting with new materials or exploring an old or classic theme, revising formulation styles, editing and much more. It’s a craft that is always under review. Recently, I have also been very interested in responsible, sustainable styles of perfume making. Who isn’t?

Dolce & Gabbana

Tell us more about the connection between scent and memory?

We all know that smells, good or bad, trigger the most intense, vivid memories. With this not being a surprise, as the olfactive center within the brain resides in its deepest layers and is connected by a “red telephone” to the other neural center, particularly, emotion. The French author Marcel Proust writes about the almost photographic memories that came to his mind when he smelled and tasted the famous Madeleine. For sure, we all have had that “Madeleine” moment and want to add that we are so lucky to be able to react in this way to olfactory stimuli.

What’s one piece of advice that you’d give to your younger self?

Be patient, enjoy your mistakes, break a sweat and laugh every day.

This is ‘The Beauty Issue’ – what does beauty mean to you?

Beauty always exists. Some say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and I say that the beholder always knows how to find it, as it’s low-hanging fruit.

June’s – ‘The Beauty Issue’ – Download Now

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