Gucci the Alchemist’s Garden: Exploring the mind of world renowned perfumer Alberto Morillas and the creation of Gucci’s newest fragrance.

In this interview with Alberto Morillas, we find out what it takes to be an “alchemist”, the process of creating Gucci perfumes, and the magic behind it all.

 

What drew you to the world of scent?

I grew up in Seville in Andalusia. As a child, I did not know that the job of Perfumer even existed. I used to dream a lot, and our garden, its smells and colours, no doubt influenced my sensitivity. When we left for Geneva, I knew that I wanted to do an artistic job, and I enrolled at the Fine Arts College. My passion for perfume came to life when I was twenty years old, as I had read an article in Vogue where Jean Paul Guerlain explained how to create a fragrance. That day, I realized that there was a creator, a man behind a perfume and that idea fascinated me. I read, experimented with some formulas, and went to libraries to feed my curiosity. This passion has never left me and I still live it with the same enthusiasm.

Where do you find creative inspiration?

It could seem paradoxical for a perfumer, but I’m a very visual-oriented person in all areas. Aesthetics from various universes inspire me, like fashion and different forms of arts like music, sculptures, or painting. Words, lines, symbols, and colours help me to express emotions and allow me to imagine the construction of the perfume. With experience, visualizing the ingredients in my mind is enough to know what it smells like. I don’t really need to smell it. My garden also inspired me a lot in terms of shapes, volumes, reliefs, shadows, and lights. Gardens are my second passion.

The Alchemist’s Garden is a multi-layering oil, perfume, and water that’s a customizable potion – how long did it take you and Alessandro Michele to construct the ideal individual scents?

Working on the collection has been a fantastic journey. Thus far, we had only worked on feminine and masculine fragrances with Alessandro, and beginning this project was truly magic. Having the chance to develop a complete collection and work on the layering experiment has been really captivating. The olfactive development took us around one year.

Do you have a preferred combination from the Alchemist’s Garden?

I truly cannot choose a favorite. Each fragrance tells a story, has a complete universe; they are all very different, and depending on my mood, my feelings, and on the sensation that I want to feel, I prefer one or another.

How important is it for each scent to be accompanied by a textual romantic description?

All fragrances are inspired from particular souvenirs and emotions. Alessandro Michele told me stories and I developped fragrances based on those narratives, the textual romantic description help the consumers to enter into this imaginary.

What was one of the biggest challenges you encountered creating this philosophy and range of fragrances?

The biggest challenge for me was to transmit well in scent the sensations of Alessandro Michele, to make him feel and smell what he had in mind.

What would you consider the highlight of your career thus far?

The first and very best recognition is given by my customers. There is nothing that can be compared to the highly prized satisfaction of a rising success as it becomes a long-lasting best-seller or an iconic fragrance in the global marketplace. The Lifetime Achievement Award I received in 2013 from The Fragrance Foundation embodies the ultimate recognition a perfumer may receive from his peers and the industry, and I can’t hide that I am very proud of this. Finally, having the chance to work that closely with Alessandro Michele on Gucci is a fantastic experience.

Scent is a powerful emotional stimulant – do you consider the emotions you are triggering before creating a fragrance?

Obviously, fragrances have secrets, their power is much underestimated. They can make you feel happier, sexier, more seductive, and comfortable. They can remind you of good or bad memories. Scents tell us much more than we’re aware of. A perfume is, for me, a magic message we convey to others. I am convinced that the fragrance reflects the soul and character of the users. Scents can say lots of things in the areas of love, mood, and psychology.

My work as a perfumer consists in creating new emotions that will bring new sensations. For me, all of my perfumery springs from emotion.

Do you consider yourself an alchemist of scent?

Yes I do, of course! Absolutely an alchemist and sometimes a magician too…

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