The Makers: Interview with perfume designer Geza Schoen
A few weeks ago we received an exclusive invitation to the Muenzsalon, one of the few members-only clubs in Berlin. There we had the pleasure to listen to the perfume creator Geza Schoen. The Berlin-based perfume designer talked about the different scents and ingredients of perfumes. He himself has had a quite interesting life so far. And customers like Dita von Teese, Madonna, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss testify for his talents. We have a lot to tell about our experience at the Muenzsalon. Today we will start with another issue of our feature series The Makers by interviewing Geza about Berlin and his inspiration.
After working in the perfume industry for 12 years Geza decided to found the independent perfume label Escentrics Molecules. His success is based on a single ingredient: the molecule ISO E SUPER. His first perfume Molecule01 is a quite minimalistic design because it is made of just this one ingredient. Escentric01 is a more complex scent, adding a few extra ingredients to his “super” molecule. We had the chance to smell both of them and were surprised and impressed. I think it’s no wonder that a minimal independent perfume label resides in Berlin. I couldn’t imagine it anywhere else.
Most of my friends live here. Berlin offers things other large cities don’t any longer. It is reasonably cheap to live here. That creates a different atmosphere you won’t find in those other capitals in Europe any longer. I have lived abroad for ten years, that was enough somewhat. I won’t move from here elsewhere!
People say Berlin stinks. What is your professional opinion?
Any big city stinks at some point – to appreciate Berlin’s Odour I suggest you go to Naples to check out its lovely whiff over there.
What are your favorite places in Berlin and why?
Berlin has got the best hangouts in the world. With some there is a touch of anarchy attached in a wonderful way. Kiki Blofeld, despite its ridiculous name, is the best one for me. Food-wise you’ll find all sorts of good alternatives, not to mention the vast offerings in the art world.
Does Berlin inspire you in your work?
Yes and no, like any other place I have worked in, an idea for a fragrance or an accord has got its own rhythm and dynamic, quite independent from its surrounding, the specific influence is rather little I’d say.
Do you wear perfume yourself? Which one?
Yes! Escentric01 is my world, very me and this is what I understand of a sexy skin scent with a perfect sillage.
How did you get the idea to make a perfume out of only one ingredient?
When I was introduced to ISO E Super in 1990 I gave it to a friend of mine to wear. We went out to this bar in our hometown and it took only a few minutes until this woman steered straight into our direction to inquire about who smelled so lovely! Since then I knew that this stuff is special indeed. I suggested it to the guy who was in charge of Diesel back then and he said that he felt that this is a bit too much – even for them!
Do you aspire to become more successful and popular with your work or do you like to be uncommercial and independent?
I have no interest whatsoever to become popular through what I do. I love my independence and my anonymity. Success is good, of course – we love being successful with our humble niche brand and we will always be fairly uncommercial as we launch the series totally independent from the rest of the market. We do not follow trends.
Is it true that your perfumes have the power of an aphrodisiac?
Phew. It is misunderstood and the only thing I have said is that Molecule01 has almost a pheromonic effect, not because it plays with the vomero nasal organ, like natural pheromones do, but because you cannot not like it. It smells sexy and I have not met anyone who said that he/she doesn’t like its particular smell.
What are your future plans?
I would love to go travelling for a few months!
We thank Geza for this interesting interview and hope that he will find more exciting smells on his journeys.