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5 Minutes With: Clara Molloy

We caught up with famed French perfumer, Clara Molloy, a mere 24 hours after her arrival in Dubai. However, this wasn’t her first visit to the city, and is likely not to be her last. This well-traveled fragrance expert is not only the woman behind 22 Perfumers: A creative process, she is also partners with Alienor Massenet, one of the most famous ‘noses’ in the industry. She started her journey in the world of perfumes by authoring the book. “I had the stories and I had the idea of how I wanted the effective territory, the brand story, and everything else to be, but I wasn’t a scientist and I couldn’t translate the idea into fragrances. By meeting the top 22 perfumers I got passionate about it. It’s like a virus,” she shares.

Clara Molloy has a new collection out, Memo, which she describes as the translation of memories into scents. She explains, “Memo comes from memory, olfactive memories. The idea is that every fragrance is linked to a place.” The perfumes are also named after places she’s visited. Lalibela is a town in Ethiopia, Inle are lakes in Birma, and Siwa is Egypt’s Western desert. Each scent is based on her personal travels. We asked her about her favorite destinations, and she divulged that Japan was at the top of the list, “I find it very sophisticated. I love the food and I love the people.”

When asked to describe her perfume creation philosophy, Molloy confesses, “What I would like to achieve with perfume is to share an emotion, share a feeling. When I was in Siwa, the desert in Egypt, I had this feeling at night when the sun had been too hot and the night was now covering you, a bit like a fur. It’s something quite sexy, something very physical. To be able to translate this feeling into a fragrance is a challenge. But that’s what you want to share; you want to share feelings, either by writing your book or creating your fragrance. It’s to touch others.” Her plans for the future include more travel, because that is where she derives most of her inspiration. From there, she plans to add to her body of work, and we’re thrilled to see what she comes up with.

interviewed by NOOR TEHINI|written by GRACE GORDON

-October 4, 2012

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