QMIN magazine interviews the inspiring founder of MEMO Paris for the exclusive launch of MARFA Perfume in Dubai & Doha. Find out what MEMO stands for and inspiration behind the new collection
For whom are Memo creations intended?
When I think of a fragrance, I always think of a place rather than a person. But for me, places are living, they breathe with the wind, they have their moods with the seasons, their inner adventures… I see the face of the landscapes. I can spend hours watching the sea, a forest, an atlas or even a weather forecast without getting bored…
Could you advise us some etiquette of using perfumes that we should keep during a long-distance flight?
I love long distance. It feels like you are dreaming. You are in a parallel universe. No one can get in touch with you. You could be someone else. Fragrance is the Land of imagination, freedom. What you don’t dare to do in your life, do it with your fragrance. Express yourself. Forget the etiquette…
What is the best compliment that someone could give you about Memo?
We create fragrances to reach an audience. We are not an intellectual brand or lost in a solitary creative quest. Actually wearing our fragrances is by far the best compliment that you could give us. Wearing one of our perfumes is like saying that you come from the same family…
Please tell us where the core inspiration comes from?
I like discovering the secret beauty in remote areas and that’s where I get my inspiration. I look for places that not many people have been to because I feel like they have a unique magical character. When a place is full of people, the magic tends to disappear. When we created a perfume about Paris, we were inspired by a place that was quite old and had all the famous libraries. It’s a hidden gem called Quartier Latin and that’s what we named the perfume after. Even Marfa, with its trendier reputation, is not well known to the general public. You might have heard of it if you are an art connoisseur or something similar but it’s still quite a mysterious place.
What is the message you want to send with your perfume?
When you travel, you meet so many people who are different from you, people with different tastes and different habits, and you learn to accept them for what they are. The message I want to send with each perfume is this type of tolerance because MEMO perfumes don’t even show distinction when it comes to gender, each perfume can be for a man or for a woman.
What kind of woman or man wears your perfume?
It’s very hard to say who a MEMO perfume lover would be. When I go to the store I see men and women, young and old, each with different tastes and their tastes also differ from one country to another.
Who do you think of when you create your perfume?
I don’t think of people when I make perfumes, I think of landscapes. To me, every landscape has a face. I can imagine the winds adding wrinkles to the face, I can feel the cold or warmth. Nature plays a big role in this process. When I was in Burma, I noticed a shrine in the middle of a temple and a fisherman told me it was there to give thanks to the spirits of the lake. I felt the gratitude, I felt nature alive and breathing, and you have to be thankful to nature. Perfume is very archaic, it can bring you places, and those are the places that inspire every scent.
How does the market in the Middle East differentiate from the other regions? Is there any specific consumer behavior you observed?
The Middle East is one of our bigger markets. People are very passionate about perfume and are on a quest for quality. They are also looking for scents that you can’t find in the local market, perfumes that carry a distinguished European elegance. Softer scents and the leather collection, for example, have always very popular because people find it difficult to find a good soft perfume.
How do you expect consumers will react to the launch of your new collection, Marfa?
I honestly have no idea! It’s not something I think about when I make a perfume because trying to predict the outcome will take away the magic in the process. Reactions are not something you can put on an excel sheet. It’s a bet each time but our high quality ingredients mean that the scent changes with different skin – our perfume is not even complete until someone wears it.
What is your favorite perfume?
When you create perfumes, your latest one is always your favourite. It’s like a newborn baby, you’re not sure if people will like him or her, you’re not sure how they’ll do in life, you always have the newborn in your mind. I usually don’t wear perfume because it would inhibit my ability to smell, I only wear perfume to test it.
What is the next plan? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
MEMO is now in 33 countries and my plan is to continue to seek beauty and inspiration. We are lucky because we cover a huge territory. We have a great collection and there is so much you can add and develop. We want to create something better each time we’re not allowed to get bored!