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terça-feira, 20 de outubro de 2015

Pitti Fragranze '15: An Interview with Lukas Lüscher of Richard Lüscher Britos

by: Evgeniya Chudakova

While preparing an announcement of last September's Pitti Fragranze, I realised that two of my favorite modern perfumers were involved in the creation of a new Swiss brand's scents. Needless to say, this fact was of crucial significance in deciding which new brand would start off my Pitti Fragranze tour.
Evgeniya: Hello! My name is Evgeniya, from Fragrantica. I see you are a new brand... it would be great if you could introduce me to your team and your work, as it looks awesome and everything I've heard about your work sounds intriguing.
Lukas: Hello)) My name is Lukas Luscher. We are three friends – that's where our brand's name originates from: Richard Lüscher Britos. We have Malvin Richard - he is the nose, but the nose in our concept doesn't create the perfumes, he works with the perfumers.Then we have Serena Britos - she is an ethnobotanist, and I’m the connection to our customers, the marketing or art director. To develop perfumes we always travel to a certain "terroir" (region).
Malvin, Serena and Lukas
A terroir is not only a place where certain plants grow. It is much, much more, like for instance its cultural character, which is just an amazing thing. When we start a new perfume, we travel to a chosen terroir to get the feel for it. There, we get the story, the history, the ethical attitude and then we go to a niche perfumer who begins the creation of a fragrance.
Evgeniya: And how many perfumes in total do you have at this point?
Lukas: We have currently five distinct products and the sixth will be launched soon .
Evgeniya: When did you start the company? As far as I can tell it's your first fair.
Lukas: We are school friends, we've started the brand three years ago, but we enjoyed what were doing so much that we decided to focus full time on the company and its products one and a half years ago. So far, it’s been a great journey.
Evgeniya: May we try the fragrances then?
Lukas: Sure! So, here are the fragrances... this one is 44°N 03°E - France - Causse Méjean by Andy Tauer [spraying perfume]. It's about wild mountain lavender. This lavender is collected by hand and it differs from the usual lavender with the big blossoms in that it has small blossoms, which creates a very intense fragrance. In August each year, there are six women who collect it by sickle and we were there and also tried to collect it. Of course we did not do it as well as these ladies, but it was an amazing experience for us to be there, to see it and to smell the character of this lavender.
Evgeniya: So, your perfume's names are real places – actual map coordinates?
Lukas: Yes, it is where the plants grow. We call it ethical perfume: fair in the sense that we know the producers from whom we directly source the raw material, so we can guarantee the fair treatment of workers, and form our own perspective on the ecological impact of the plant production. We are very transparent, in the sense that we tell you exactly where the plants grow and it's 100% natural.
Evgeniya: It is very good. I really appreciate this kind of respect for nature, and also that your approach includes those who work to harvest these natural resources.
Lukas: Yes, for us it just obvious to do things like this. For us, respect for nature is just something normal and we try to build this respect into our everyday lives.
Evgeniya: Where are you from?
Lukas: Switzerland... Our next scent is 38°N 16°E - Italy - Calabria. Years ago,bergamot was at the center of the golden age of perfumery, today it is better known within the food industry. It was very intense to travel here. On the one hand you see first-hand this great Italian tradition, on the other hand you have got the history of the fruit collectors and it is almost like a cultural clash.
Evgeniya: And these silk corahs, each scent has its own, right?
Lukas: Yes. In this one you can see the orange blossom, you can see the bergamot ... you know, in this terroir during spring, you open the door for two months and you have the smell of orange blossom and neroli, it's constantly in your nose. You can see the elements of this cultural clash.
Evgeniya: And who is the perfumer for this one?
Lukas: Jean Claude Richard, he is the father of Malvin Richard and he is mainly focused on his natural cosmetic brand. A nose who likes to remain out of the spotlight.
Evgeniya: [smiling] It's our job to bring perfumers and new scents to the light, to let people know about them. It is very good. It is interesting.
Lukas: Then, this is 04°N 74°W - Columbia - GardeniaGardenia is a very majestic plant that looks like a white rose and has this powdery scent. Carlos is the farmer who produces Gardenia for us; he does enfleurage, collects gardenia blossoms every morning to be sure that he gets the best gardenia. Gardenia is a really rare essence... And the other note you can smell is the coffee note. Life in Columbia is a lot about coffee-culture, combined with their music, their story telling ... we are trying to catch that atmosphere.
Evgeniya: And again – who is the perfumer?
Lukas: This one is also made by Jean Claude Richard. And the next one is from Jean Claude Gigodot
Evgeniya: Oh, Jean Claude Gigodot, I absolutely adore him after he madeAu Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger, it is really great.
Lukas: This is 46°N 08°E - Switzerland - Valais from Jean Claude Gigodot. The main protagonist is Swiss pine.
Evgeniya: It is great, yes, the moss is beautiful here.
Lukas: In this scent, we wanted to recreate the feeling of walking or hiking in the mountains of Switzerland when all of a sudden you see this tree on the rocks, in a spot  where you would not have expected a tree. And if you get really high and the sun is at its zenith, you can smell exactly this aroma. There are mossy notes, this is from here - oak-moss. And if it's winter in this terroir, it’s cold, and people use their fireplaces for heat and that's why you smell the smoky note.
Evgeniya: The smoky accord is even evident on the blotter. And this one [the next] is it already launched or not yet?
Lukas: Not yet [spraying next perfume] This is a mint from Marrakesh and the perfumer is Delphine Thierry
Evgeniya: Your brand has a bright future, really, according to the scents you have. I'm sure of it, because you see, the problem is that nowadays, there are many new brands in the niche market, but some of them are not really niche, and it's really rather rare to find something genuinely interesting.
Lukas: Yes, today it is easy to just start a brand. We have been working on this concept for a long time already and it is really about sharing our passion for scents. For me, it is about smelling the outdoors... simply “use your nose” and you will be happy at the end. And the last fragrance – 14°S 48°E - Madagascar - Ambanja. Do you like Ylang-ylang?
Evgeniya: Yeah
Lukas: This Ylang-ylang fragrance is made by Vero Kern
Evgeniya: Vero is really one of my favorite perfumers. This one is also strange, but interesting.
Lukas: It’s always a challenging to find the pathway between too strange and comfortable.
Evgeniya: No, it’s really wearable, I experience also a certain round, milky-woody note that’s very nice.
Lukas: You can feel the whole story of Ylang-ylang, the name “Ylang-ylang” means “the flower of the flowers”. Our plants are grown by a cooperative in Madagascar. Three times a year they harvest Ylang Ylang and they only cultivate what they think they can sell in the market without compromising the essential quality. Here you can see this biodiversity, ultimately, a hot spot like Madagascar is an island, and that’s something you feel if you live in the terroir. The base of this perfume is vetiver. And this is the end of our  collage.
Evgeniya: Thank you very much, Lukas, and good luck to you!
Photos: Evgeniya Chudakova & Richard Lüscher Britos

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