Memory of Scent‘s Christos is so passionate about perfume that his reaction to recently being robbed in Athens was to feel relieved that his bottle of Alexander McQueen Kingdom had not been taken. Today he’ll tell us what happens when Fracas reacts with cell cultures, and give us a peek at his adorable cat Toupée.
Why do you write about perfume?
Out of frustration from the fact that only I can smell what I smell in a perfume. I mean the ingredients are always there but perfume is a lot more than ingredients put together. Many times a certain note or accord evokes a certain feeling or memory and this is very personal. I wanted to share the way perfumes make me feel.
Your lab forbids the wearing of fragrances because the airborne molecules of the fragrance could possibly affect your cell cultures. Has this ever actually happened? Are you scientists hiding some mutant E. Coli that became freakishly strong due to Fracas exposure? It’s okay, you can tell us.
If ever a fragrance could make cells go wild Fracas would be it. In reality perfume just kills cells because anything airborne will eventually end up diluted in culture media and eaten by cells. And as we all know perfume tastes terrible.
What are your favorite perfume houses?
Three big loves: Serge Lutens, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier and Montale. I also have a deep respect for Lalique. I can’t justify these loves, I think I can just “read” the stories behind their perfumes.
What is your favorite place to shop for perfume?
In Athens there is a very special place, Tonic Essentials. I also love shopping at Skins in Amsterdam. and there is a very special place, Profumeria Cherry in Rome, a shop the size of a closet with its walls covered with bottles of every niche house known to mankind. A truly magical place.
“Colours of Iris” was a series of posts on Memory of Scent in which you searched for the perfect iris scent. This was made difficult by the fact that you did not want a traditional, powdery iris. Have you found the iris yet? Which fragrances are the strongest contenders?
I spoke about the Colours of Iris because I think each note has a spectrum. I do not believe in one perfect, Holy Grail fragrance. I am more intrigued by the different facets that can shine in different compositions. Iris Silver Mist is perfect in presenting iris as a cold scent from the underworld. Iris Bleu Gris is perfect in the way it presents a naughty, vegetal iris. L’Homme de Coeur is a perfect in creating a masculine, woody powder. And Equistrius and Citta di Kyoto portray a tactile iris I want to roll in. I am not very monogamous when it comes to perfume. I like to find the one redeeming quality that lifts a scent to another level.
What are some of your other interests outside of perfume?
I love my work. I love food, wine, cocktails, everything that has a taste. I love cinema, I can watch films back to back for hours. I love Toupée, my cat. I love my friends and meeting new people in the perfume blogosphere.
What perfumes are you hoping to find under the Christmas tree/Menorah branches this year?
Agios Vassilis, the Greek version of Santa Claus, traditionally comes in the New Years Eve. I have been extra good the past year and I would like to find Muscs Koublai Khan under the tree. There will be no tree this year in our house because I don’t think it will survive Toupée’s attacks. So just to be sure I will order it online.