Incredible Artisan Perfume From Micro-Perfumeries

Miguel Matos

Whenever we launch a new perfumer, we interview them about their thoughts, experiences, and process of making perfume. Here is the interview with Miguel


Bare&Bond

What was the inspiration behind the collection of perfumes you curated for this quarterly box?

Miguel

I always like to go against what is expected. So, I asked you about your subscribers and you told me they were mainly women. So, I thought that there are a lot of women who like fragrances that are not particularly considered as romantic or feminine. So, I chose a couple of more assertive fragrances, very strong and powerful, one is bitter and the other one sweeter, but both not typically feminine. Then, there is a third one that is softer but still more on the masculine side and very elegant. I imagine strong, determined women wearing them.

 

Bare&Bond

 Going through each of the three fragrances, what makes them special to you? (e.g. What story do they tell, what mood do the evoke, do they have a specific personality?)

Miguel

These three fragrances are very different from each other. Silver Stone is relaxed, classic, quiet and elegant. It has a citric freshness that carries metallic hues and a base that is mossy and has a subtle shade of tobacco. I wanted it to evoke a period in perfumery when modernity was already developing, but there was a great care with selecting ingredients and making a fragrance smell luxurious, even if it was a simple one.

Regarding Germanie, there is a deeper story. One of my biggest idols in perfumery is Germaine Cellier, she created Balmain's Jolie Madame and Vent Vert, as well as the unforgettable Bandit and Fracas for Robert Piguet, among other fragrances. I am a big fan of her work and at some point, I started to work on the violet-leather accord that she did in Jolie Madame, an amazing chypre. So, I was recreating the mood of it, but trying to innovate at the same time. When I sent the final formula to the lab, they sent me a sample of what I had made and when I was wearing it, it reminded me of the feeling of Cabochard, by Parfums Grès, the fragrance that started it all for me in the perfume journey. And in fact, the real name of Madame Grès was Germaine Krebs. Also, Cabochard was inspired by Bandit, that had been made by Germaine Cellier. I felt that two women called Germaine were talking to me at that moment, so I took it as a sign and launched this aromatic fougere-chypre.

As for Tar, this is a more contemporary style, bold, daring and strong. Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated by the look and smell of tar. In the street where I lived, in the summer, they would repair the pavement. And I would be sitting at the window watching tar being dropped, black, liquid, glistening. And then a machine would come to stretch it and make it smooth. It was mesmerizing. After that, the smell of hot tar would linger for days. I loved that smell. Now, I remember and imagine Tar as liquid drops of black honey, or melted licorice candies. I imagine what tar could smell like in a fantasy world. Smoky, sweet, woody, dense, caramelized. Delicious and powerful. Strong and beautiful

  

Bare&Bond

What kind of activity or occasion do you imagine is best suited to each scent?

Miguel

I would wear Silver Stone casually during the day, for a classy freshness. Germaine I would wear to make me feel empowered, strong and assertive. Tar is more extravagant, I would wear it in colder days and for a night out, when I want to be noticed.


Bare&Bond

Can you talk about the keynotes and accords in each of the three scents? In other words, what might jump out at our subscribers when they wear them and how do the notes work together to form this perfume?

Miguel

In Silver Stone there is a play on aromatic notes, mainly lavender, but not only. They are all intertwined in such a way that they dance together, bringing dynamics and freshness. The metallic, fresh and mossy accords compose a classic scent with a hint of tobacco.

In Germaine you mainly feel an aromatic fougere composition, with a lot of herbs like basil, sage and juniper, but they come with a strong and sweet-powdery vintage violet note, and that transforms everything into a chypre when the vetiver, leather and patchouli come to play.

As for tar, the list of notes is very long since it's a very complex composition, but I would highlight the strong licorice accord along with the boozy aspects of rum and lots of smoke notes. The secret of the scent lies in a drop of pineapple. It's extravagant and intense.

 

Bare&Bond

Is fragrance important? If yes, why do you think we care so much about it?

Miguel

Fragrance is only important to the ones who understand how much it can bring to our lives, not only in terms of seduction, but mainly in terms of well being, fantasy and even role play. It's another realm of imagination that you can add to your life making it richer and full of surprises if you start exploring this path.

 

Bare&Bond

Who or what inspired you to become a perfumer?

Miguel

In fact, despite trying to learn and compose for a long time, I never thought I could become an actual perfumer, even if a self-taught one. But I remember one very special person that inspired me when I had already given up. That is Amanda Beadle, perfumer and owner of the brand Bedeaux. She gave a speech at the Art & Olfaction Award that got me back on track and gave me hope that I could also do it.

  

Bare&Bond

What’s the story behind your brand? How did it come to be?

Miguel

I started making perfume because I couldn't find what I was looking for in contemporary perfumes. Something was missing and I wanted to find that element of emotion, unexpectedness and surprise. I also wanted to better understand the work of perfumers, so I could improve my writing as a perfume critic for Fragrantica. With time, I saw that I had something to say with the perfumes I was creating and I was so proud of them that I wanted them to be on the skin of other people, making them have different lives across the world. And so the brand was born, not in a very planned way, but rather in a spontaneous move. The perfumes I make are very personal, so they had to have my name on it.

 

Bare&Bond

What do you think makes your brand special or unique. 

Miguel

The fact that I don't care about trends or sales. I do what I want within my possibilities and with what I learn along the way. So, honesty, recklessness and my personal touch. My perfumes are sometimes very conceptual and complex, but that means that you can discover different layers in them, according to your own life experiences and personal emotions. They may not be crowd-pleasers, but they are full of personality.

 

Bare&Bond

Describe your brand’s perfume personality or style in 3 words

Miguel

Daring, Artistic, Different. Can I also add Fun?

  

Bare&Bond

What has been the most exciting moment in your perfume career?

Miguel

The moment when Sarah Baker launched Jungle Jezebel. She was first person who took a perfume I had made, believed in what I made and released it. Even I thought she was crazy to do it.

 

Bare&Bond

What has been the toughest moment in your perfume career? 

Miguel

To discover the ugly and hypocritical side of this industry. And that's all I want to say for now on this subject.

 

Bare&Bond

Are there any irritating beliefs about perfume that you wish would just go away?

Miguel

Oh, so many. First of all, it's not rocket science, it's art. You can have all the technique in the world, but if you don't have the inspiration, creativity, talent and charisma, you are just a mediocre perfumer. So it doesn't take a scientist to do it, but an artist.

 

Bare&Bond 

Finally, what advice do you have for people looking for a new fragrance or a signature scent?

Miguel

Don't pay any attention to what people tell you. Just smell a lot, explore and take your time. When you find emotion and joy by wearing a fragrance, buy it and enjoy it. Even if nobody else does! Fragrance is about self-indulgence and empowerment. Well, if it can also seduce others, better, but you are more important.

 

 

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