In Conversation with Danny Ventura About the Alchemy of Fragrances
They say a man’s choice of perfume says a million things about him. Danny Ventura, International Communication and Development Manager, Beauté Prestige International, and creator of perfumes for fashion houses like Issey Miyake, Narciso Rodriguez and Ellie Saab, tells us about mistakes men make and the importance of pulse points.
When it comes to the fashion houses that you are working with, what are their individual identifiers and what is the unifying factor?
I have been very fortunate to work with very independent and individual designers who are different from each other. We don’t have to worry about overlapping ideas. We follow what the designers want, what the image of the house is and what we have done before, so as not to alienate existing clients while we also try new things out to attract new customers. The personality of the house translates into the personality of scent. While Narciso is all about masculinity and sexuality, Mr. Miyake is all about nature. That is the emotive difference. On the chemical level, the juice is different based on this personality. With Narciso we know that musk is elementary, while for Miyake we use woods and tones of freshness. The ingredients and elements we use are all noble whether the customer is buying a Narciso, Miyake or Elie Saab and we ensure that the quality is maintained in every bottle.
How has the perfume industry changed over the last decade?
For the consumers and the fashion houses, the fragrance is now the gateway to the brand. People who cannot afford the cardigan can now afford the perfume. Hence, perfumes and accessories are taking more and more real estate in the fashion house. In turn, fashion houses have realised that the profitability and returns are much higher while the cost of goods is much lower as opposed to creating a silk tie, for example. Also, now, it is all about creating an image and being bespoke. So men are now shopping for fragrances just like women would. They use fragrances to feel rich, feel tall, feel powerful and they also used fragrances to seduce.
Do you think different fragrances are meant for different personalities?
No, I think it is the other way round. I think the fragrance finds the wearer. It is just waiting to be opened and experienced. When the fragrance is worn, if the wearer likes what he is wearing and the story that it is telling, then it is a good match.
What are the basic mistakes men make while wearing fragrances?
Wearing too much. Men machine-gun a fragrance on their bodies because they feel that if they don’t smell it, it’s not working. Wear it on the torso, on the skin and not on the clothes. And just a couple of shots will do.
What is the importance of pulse points?
As humans, heat rises through our bodies and we lose about 80 per cent of our body heat from the top of our heads. Following that train of thought, if we wear the fragrance on the torso, the perfume will react with that heat and rise up. Which means we will smell it, during the day.
What are you favourite Indian aromas? And if you were creating an India-inspired fragrance, what would the top and base notes be?
Cardamom, pink pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon and star anise. For the perfume, I would start with jasmine, sandalwood and star anise. Or I would go completely opposite and do something cooling and citrus-y because of the humidity here.