Scent is one of the most powerful of the five senses. With a barrage of competing fragrance scents in fashion today, come join us and get lost in the aromatic world of curator of scents, Nir Guy.
Since his start, Guy’s upward ascent has been steady. Fragrance has been Guy’s passion for over 20 years. He traces the origin of his passion back to a family trip to Grasse, France (world-renowned for perfumery) when he was young, and has been following his nose ever since, traveling the globe to expand his fragrance knowledge and discover new scents. With this expertise, Guy is even crafting his own original fragrances.
His first, to be named “Bliss,” is inspired by his wife and is slated to be introduced in January 2017. As the new year approaches, Guy stopped by for an exclusive QG interview. Check it out below!
When did you first discover your love for fragrance?
For me, it started on the negative spectrum of scents. I noticed a lot of bad smells as a kid, because that’s what was fun to smell. Chemical plants, trash trucks, making and setting off smoke/stink bombs, typical kid stuff. My family also traveled a lot. So, between flights, I would get lost in the Duty-Free fragrance shops. We went to Grasse, France, when I was maybe 12 or so. It’s easy to fall in love with perfume in Grasse. And that’s exactly what happened to me.
The final strike was probably in college when I got in to wet shaving. The different products that were available to me really opened my eyes to scents and men’s grooming as an adult. Suddenly my interest had a purpose and daily influence in my life.
”The different products that were available to me really opened my eyes to scents and men’s grooming as an adult. Suddenly my interest had a purpose and daily influence in my life.”
How did your foray into the world of perfume begin?
I hated law school. It just wasn’t the right decision for me and resulted in a bunch of debt. At one point in my second semester, my mom said she found someone to open a perfume shop. It was perfect for her, she was always in to it. As classes droned on, the more focused I became on all the smells. And worse, the lack of scent in law offices and school. That started to really bug me. Everyone was so afraid of offending someone that they lacked what I felt was an important part of their attire.
Your background is in business and you also seem to be quite the traveler, as Perfumology fragrances reflect very particular places in the world. How has your travels around the globe inspired your concepts and/or ingredients for fragrances?
As a shop owner, I look for products that are not easily available in the States. Or at least Philadelphia. Examples include Carolina Herrera or Ermenegildo Zegna. Fragrance is a bit of a different world than most fashion. You don’t walk around wearing the brand visible on your collar when you wear the products. People won’t know the brand unless it’s discussed. It takes a lot of brilliance to get people to talk about something invisible and inaudible.
“It takes a lot of brilliance to get people to talk about something invisible and inaudible.”
How do you think the Perfumology ‘brand’ translates into the world of perfume?
Easy. I self-study what other people put out there for my own interests through books, lectures, and online forums. It allows me to curate an incredible collection of scents based on what people around the world enjoy. The problem is that with every question I answer two more questions pop up in my head. Almost like the Greek story of Hydra. Our brand is about bridging the gap of the endless questions I have for perfumers to the end consumer.
How does the name differentiate itself from other scents?
Commercial fragrances sometimes lack substance in their names. If you want substance, go independent or niche brands where you can learn a bit about the scent by its name. There is an art to perfume and commercial scents tend to become boring. For example, how many times have you seen these words in a fragrance the last few years: intense, black, absolute, gold. Yes, sometimes they have meaning, but not lately. Not in what’s being widely distributed.
Can you tell us about your research into identifying Holiday 2016 scents including modern perfumes including Bat and Beaver from Zoologist, Equus by YeYe Parfums and Broadicea the Victorius?
People are finally getting a bit dirty as animalic scents are in trend right now. Finally! Boadicea the Victorious has a strong brand following in Europe and the Middle East. It’s not as big as it should be here in the States. Admittedly, it’s very strong – but so are Zoologist and YeYe Parfums’ products.
Victor Wong of Zoologist designed his line with actual animal names: Bat, Panda, Beaver. When I first experienced Victor’s line, I was sitting down and had to get up and walk away to analyze what was happening. These were works of art, and I was really, truly going on a scented adventure.
This wasn’t a realm I sold yet and it took some adjustment. I was very excited to bring Zoologist to Perfumology. It’s impossible to confuse his creations with other brands – at all – and that is glorious!
There was an article about Zoologist, YeYe Parfums and Eris Parfums in the New York Times regarding the animalic trend. With good reason, too. Eris and YeYe accomplished something we haven’t seen in decades; a lovely, wearable animalic scent that makes us feel attractive.
“People are finally getting a bit dirty as animalic scents are in trend right now.”
What advice would you give someone who would like to start a business in the fragrance industry?
Read A LOT, learn where you want to be in the industry, prepare to make expensive mistakes and be a good person. You must become an expert in the industry of fragrance. To recognize a good product made with quality raw materials of substance, that will make all the difference. It’s a small world, your reputation means everything – and name dropping doesn’t work.
Can you share a favorite scent from a place from your travels?
Unfortunately, no. I can tell you honestly that I love a lot of different smells from all over the world. Some stuff I really can’t stand to smell on me, but love on other people. But narrowing it down to one would be impossible.
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