Art De Parfum

Ever since we first received samples of Art De Parfum’s gorgeous range of natural, cruelty-free perfumes, we have been absolutely hooked. Their scents have taken on their own characters as they become associated with new settings and memories for us. We caught up with founder, Ruta Degutyte, whose interview was insightful, inspiring and hugely interesting. Enjoy!

Can you introduce us to Art De Parfum – what was the inspiration behind your launch and what makes you special?

I founded my brand, Art de Parfum, because I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy French sophistication in a bottle. I was sitting at my regular table at a café on the promenade in Nice one afternoon and I was looking at all the stylish women and men passing by, wondering what it was about French style that made it so effortless and so enviable. I figured out that although the overall look seemed casually sexy in a thrown-together way, there was always one detail so exquisite that it made my jaw drop – whether it was a bright red slash of lipstick on a bare face, or the perfect black jacket slung casually over a shoulder.

I wanted to make fragrances that would give men and women an instant shot of French tousled chic – sort of the perfume equivalent of that perfect lipstick or leather jacket.

I wanted to make fragrances that would give men and women an instant shot of French tousled chic – sort of the perfume equivalent of that perfect lipstick or leather jacket. My fragrances, available to buy directly from our website or from Bloom in the UK and Indigo in the US, all give their wearer an air of je ne sais quoi. Now show me a woman or man who doesn’t want that!

art de parfum

Image: http://www.fragrantica.com[/caption%5D

You have five very unique and distinctive scents; can you talk us through them?

Gin & Tonic Cologne is a secret fantasy of escaping the confines of an office or a boring meeting, and pouring yourself a tall, icy cocktail. It’s freedom! When you put on Gin & Tonic Cologne, you are wearing your own personal piece of heaven and you instantly relax and smile – even if you’re stuck in traffic or in the boardroom.

Sea Foam is the scent of the outdoors. Remember as a child how the smell of the sea seemed to expand like pure joy in your lungs? Well, this scent is inspired by all those familiar feelings of happiness when we see and smell the sea. It’s a bit dry and moody too, though – like me at times.

Sensual Oud makes everyone who wears it feel like an Arabian king or queen. I wear this exotic mix of roses and oud when I want to feel extra special. It makes me feel like I am cutting a trail with my perfume and making heads turn in my direction. I find it so smoky, sweet, and sensual. It’s like a drug to me.

These perfumes are, after all, not about me, but about those who wear them. That’s as it should be.

Signature Wild was inspired by a man I once loved. He was, and still is, a hunter-gatherer type of man. People such as this are passionate, focussed, and even a little bit ruthless. They are also very sexy! Surely we all know people like this – men or women who attract you through the sheer force of their personality or aura? So I made Signature Wild with this type in mind. Leather scents mimic the slightly animalic feel of leather on one’s skin, and remind us that sensuality lies right next to danger.

Excentrique Moi was inspired by how we can all change from one moment to the next. I don’t know, but I think our personalities are not entirely fixed. So there’s an exciting shift between bitter and spicy, sweet and innocent, in this perfume. I think we can be all four seasons in one day. The notes are deliberately balanced between sweet, cosy accords such as hibiscus, black tea, spicy dried fruits, and bright lemon, and then a wilder, sexier green side brought in by the bitter herbs.

As more and more people wear my perfumes, I am curious to find out what the personal associations are for them. These perfumes are, after all, not about me, but about those who wear them. That’s as it should be.

art de parfum

How do you go about getting the perfect scent? What does and doesn’t make the cut?

I believe the keys to a good fragrance are uniqueness, elegance, and creativity.

Uniqueness is important because this is an incredibly crowded market. There are over 2,000 new perfume releases each year, so I want my perfumes to strike your nose as something completely new and unusual. If my perfumer comes to me with a fragrance that seems too similar to something we already have in our line, or a perfume I already know from somewhere else (I have a very big library of smells and scents that I store in my head!), then I send her back to the drawing board. Being able to stand out as different is crucial.

I believe the keys to a good fragrance are uniqueness, elegance, and creativity.

For example, my Sea Foam is different to most aquatic perfumes out there – it is dry, grassy, and a little bit salty. There is no sun-tan oil or creamy coconut anywhere in there! But it smells like the ions in the seaside air and the reed grasses on the dunes, and I like that. Victoria from EauMG said about it that “If you think that aquatic perfumes smell like synthetic messes that resemble household cleaner, let me suggest that you try Art de Parfum Sea Foam. This is an aquatic that actually smells like a sea breeze and not something you’d use to get rid of smudges on your glass coffee table.”

art de parfum

Elegance is also key. Elegance to me speaks to the balance of materials. It is something that you learn about only by doing and experimenting. Balance is apparent to the nose immediately – creamy against dry, salty against sweet, and so on. If you know how to assess a good meal, then you know how to assess balance in a perfume. I don’t like when notes are exaggerated to excess or given a cartoonish quality – to me, that is absolutely not elegant. That is performance art. I have to keep in mind the woman or men who put on my perfumes and want to simply smell great.

Elegance to me speaks to the balance of materials. It is something that you learn about only by doing and experimenting.

Lastly, it is vital to allow creativity to surge through you by being open to any, and all, inspiration. Creativity on a sustained basis is hard, because our natural tendency is to settle on what makes us comfortable. But I can’t allow myself to go stale! I enjoy smelling perfumes that challenge me or expand my boundaries of what perfume means. I have smelt perfumes that seek to mimic the smell of burning electrical sockets at concerts, or the aroma of meat burning on a BBQ. I get ideas from the oddest of places and smells sometimes!

 

[caption id="attachment_7377" align="aligncenter" width="640"]art de parfum Image: Kat Kotenova

But then the challenge becomes how to turn that spark of an idea into a perfume that is beautiful and easy to wear! Most of my customers are like me in wanting to smell different than other people on the street, but still beautiful and elegant. We make perfumes the likes of which you will not be able to smell on the shelves of your local department store – they are much higher quality and convey an artistic idea beyond the business of simply smelling good. But smell good you most certainly will!

Our perfumes are much higher quality and convey an artistic idea beyond the business of simply smelling good. But smell good you most certainly will!

Your perfumes are cruelty- and GMO-free, and have no colorants. How important is this for you, and are there any other ‘natural’ or ‘ethical’ elements to your brand?

I know a lot of people roll their eyes at this, but I take ethics very seriously. I believe that everyone has the right to a small, portable piece of beauty in their lives – be it a bottle of my perfume, the perfect silk scarf, or an exquisite painting. But I also don’t believe that animal cruelty should be a part of the price tag.

That means that all our fragrances are all cruelty-free, nano-free, and GMO-free. Our bottles are made from recyclable materials and our packaging is all biodegradable. Also, all the raw materials used in my perfumes are ethically sourced. I make sure that our perfumer doesn’t use any raw material that has a question mark of its sustainability, ethical harvesting, or impact on local hunting and farming communities. I don’t use any animal-derived products either. If you want to see our full range of promises on ethics and animal cruelty, please go to our website, and you’ll find all the information you need there.

I make sure that our perfumer doesn’t use any raw material that has a question mark of its sustainability, ethical harvesting, or impact on local hunting and farming communities.

Art de parfum

How do you see the fragrance market developing in coming years – and what should we be looking out for?

I’m glad to observe an overall positive trend in niche perfumery, where there is an increasing number of perfume lovers that appreciate and choose to support independent perfume houses like ours over well-established ones. I think the reasons for this transfer of allegiance is down to a preference for a more intimate relationship between these smaller, niche brands and their customer base – most of whom chat directly with the brand now over social media and through the medium of blogs. It’s all one big, ongoing conversation – a 24-hour pyjama party actually!

Bigger brands are more like corporations – everything they do is calculated to improve their bottom line, but they are still appropriating the language of art to do so. A small niche house like ours is conducting the conversation with fragrance fans on a completely different level. It’s more important to us that people love and want our perfumes than be distributed in every single geographical market! And we do care very deeply about the integrity of our perfume formulas, which we never rush in order to make a launch date. We take our time with everything.

What also makes us different is our willingness to put profits behind corporate social responsibility, and in particular our commitment to be an ethical brand. I always go back to my loose mission statement, which could be summed up as “I want to make people smile and be happy through the medium of fragrance!” If we can leave this world a better place and make everyone smell absolutely incredible at the same time, then Art de Parfum will have been a complete success!

http://www.artdeparfum.com

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