We caught up with French Perfumer Clara Molloy on her creative inspiration, Eastern influences and her latest collection Les Echappes by Memo now available at Harvey Nichols in Dubai,
What led you to begin creating perfumes?
I always loved fragrances as a child. I would find them mysterious and fascinating – the key to femininity. When writing my book 22 perfumers I met the best 22 contemporary perfumers in the world and it was an amazing experience. They were living their passion and I realized that this was what I wanted to do. Alienor Massenet was one of the 22 perfumers and she became the nose of the brand Memo.
What inspired your creation of Luxor Oud using scents from the Middle East?
Luxor is a very special place to me. – a metaphorical link to eternity. Time stands still there. I wanted this new Memo perfume to give the same impression of serenity, glory and flamboyant beauty. People from the Middle East have a very sophisticated perfume culture and their senses are strong in this regard. I wanted to make Luxor Oud had a real enchantment for them.
Where do you source your ingredient
Our ingredients come from all over the world; we look for the best possible ingredients for every creation. Some come from Grasse, others from Ethiopia or Australia. But for Memo, each fragrance is linked to a place. For instance in Granada you will find pomegranates; in Lalibela, Ethiopian incense and in Inlé, osmanthus, an Asiatic flower.
What is your creative process – how do you go about making your perfumes?
Travel is part of my way of life; I love discovering new places. I usually make scrapbooks when I travel. I try to put into words and images the sensations I receive from my travels. For Siwa (an oasis in the Egypt desert), the sensation that interested me was the night in the desert, the impression of being covered by the night, like as if it was a fur. The scent Alienor then begins to convert such impressions translating them into ingredients.
What do you hope to provide clients from the Middle East apart from a beautiful scent?
Beauty is an experience. It is something apart from real life. When you walk in the streets of Paris (Memo is a Parisian brand) you are surrounded by beauty and you feel inspired, joyful and blessed. My ambition would be to make people feel the same when they are wearing Quartier Latin (our fragrance inspired by Paris). I try to share my emotions with others and provide them with the beauty I have experienced.