The Italian nose Simone Andreoli was in South Africa recently to introduce Vicebomb to fine fragrance lovers. Inspired by glamorous nights and the fashionable clubs along Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, it’s an intoxicating scent with notes of dark cherry, creamy vanilla, salty caramel, carnal ylang ylang and sensual ambers. He describes it as “a greedy sensual potion that recalls an insatiable vice embracing sins of lust and glutton”.
This reference to libertine temptation popped up a few times in conversation with Simone when YourLuxury Africa met him at Skins Cosmetics in Hyde Park recently. His fragrances, we soon realised, are very much about the non-conventional and are rather addictive.
When and how did you get into the fragrance industry?
I already started thinking about a professional life in the perfumery business as a child. When I was eight years old, my family went on vacation to the French Riviera and visited the fragrance factories to understand how fragrances are built. The idea of putting together oils to create and describe places, people and situations was pure magic. When I turned 18, I applied at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery and spent the next three years learning about the raw materials, how territory and climate influences extractions and how to formulate fragrance. After my apprenticeship, I returned to Italy and launched my independent brand in the niche perfumery industry. That was 10 years ago. I was 24 years old and the youngest nose in Italy. A decade and a lot of passion and effort later we are one of the Italian leading brands in niche perfumery and have a presence in over 40 countries.
What inspires you when creating fragrances?
The brand has my name as the nose, followed by the words Dario Olfattivo, which means travel journal in English. Every bottle of the collection is inspired by a personal memory from my journeys. Inspiration is almost everywhere. It’s about the capacity of the perfumer to capture the inspiration and interpret it with a fragrance. Sometimes the inspiration can be real like the smell of a cocktail, or it can be abstract like a dance [which inspired Rose of Dangerous Flamenco]. It’s an overwhelming situation which I want to recreate – and I start thinking, how can I translate this feeling in a fragrance?
Which are your best sellers?
Malibu Party in the Bay, Leisure in Paradise and Don’t Ask Me Permission are our top sellers in all our markets. Malibu Party in the Bay is one of our most iconic fragrances. It’s an olfactory construction of a coconut daquiri. The story is you with your feet in the sand. The music from the beach club is getting loud and the sun is setting… The bartender is preparing your daiquiri, he’s mashing the Mexican limes with the sugar, ice and coconut rum. And you’re ready to have a party with your friends in Malibu Bay in California! It’s sparkling, energising and really uplifts the soul. It’s the perfect fragrance for summer and also the perfect fragrance to travel with your mind in winter. Don’t Ask Me Permission is our number one selling fragrance and is the most representative scent of the brand DNA of ‘young, wild and free .’ This is all about indulging in a wild night in Rio de Janeiro. It’s sensual with tropical vibes of passionfruit, along with ylang ylang, a seductive and carnal flower. It’s cheeky infused with beauty. Leisure Paradise is a Caribbean holiday… the white beaches of Cuba. It has a bright opening of pineapple and papaya, a creamy heart of coconut milk and vanilla cream and tropical woods in the base that gives strength and personality to the fragrance. If Malibu Bay is a daquiri, Leisure Paradise is the pina colada.
What advice would you give a new customer purchasing your fragrance?
I ask them, ‘How do you feel. What’s your current mood? Do you feel elegant or casual, or seductive or sensual?’ You might need the help of the team in store to discover the collection and pick the right one for you today. It’s all about the mood and the experience.
What is your favourite fragrance?
Ocean of a Midnight Moon. This is the most structured fragrance from the aquatic and marine families. It’s a huge composition of 130 ingredients and took me two years to create. It embodies the majestic strength of the sea and its profound poetry at night. Think of sitting with your partner at midnight contemplating the moonlight on the dark waters… It opens with sea salt, mint and gin tonic accord along with leather, driftwood and Mediterranean notes. It’s dark and mysterious, but also has an invigorating freshness.
The Simon Andreoli collection is available at Skins Cosmetics.