Join us for an insightful conversation with our Master Jeweller Craig Spark as he guides us on what to consider when selecting a piece.
Can you describe to us what a nose does?
Renowned perfumer, Jean Claude Ellena once said: “smell is a word, perfume is literature”, so it could be said a nose is essentially a writer, using scent to tell a story.
Some of these stories are told to capture memories; others imagine narratives that conjure a certain mood. It’s the role of a nose to connect to people using scent the way a poet uses words, or a photographer uses light.
Scent wasn’t always your first career choice? How did you get started?
Perfume has always been coveted in my household, thanks to my father, who used to regularly gift us perfumes.
I was too young to remember but he insists my first perfume was Vetiver by Guerlain. I think if circumstances were different, he’d have pursued a career as a nose. So, I have him to thank for introducing me to the world of scents and for being my current guinea pig for PERDRISÂT.
By the time I completed my fine arts degree at the Victorian College of the Arts, majoring in sculpture, I knew that I was definitely not a sculptor...I think if I studied painting instead like my professors insisted on my first interview, perhaps I’d still be painting now! But I like to think that it doesn’t matter which medium I use, as long as I’m drawn to it.
Perfume wasn’t an active career choice. The journey began when I sought out to create my very own scent. But then the concepts unravelled, and the world of perfume unfolded to me like a flower I never I knew I planted. And to insist on the clumsy metaphor, I have redesigned my garden ever since.
What drives your creativity?
Storytelling, romanticism and beauty. I am a Romantic to a fault. I say it time and time again. Sometimes, it feels like romanticism is a dying art. So I feel that if one of my perfumes aren’t bringing beauty or story into the world, it is not worth sharing. Like any art form, a scent must come from the heart, and incite a response in others. It’s an act of conjuring.
'Fleur de Sel' is intended to take you to a place by the sea. 'Coeur de Bois' is a state of mind. Whether I’m conjuring a person, a place in time or somewhere I can only visit in my imagination, this is where my urge to create comes from.
What is your process for creating a new scent?
Every scent has its own origin story. A perfume can be inspired by a memory, or a raw material or it could be a result of a conversation. If I’m inspired by a theme, I’ll pick apart all the aspects that play into it like mise-en-scène.
This was the case for Fleur de Sel, for which I wanted to capture the entire scene of the beach in the structure of a rose soliflore: sea waves, mineral air, sun-warmed skin and coarse sand.
Coeur de Bois was a different process, in which Lucy and I were inspired by a singular raw material: Palo Santo. Due to the sustainability issues around its farming, we wanted to avoid actually using Palo Santo. The process instead involved conceptually layering in other raw materials as building blocks to capture the varying tones of burning Palo Santo.
Rectified Cedar wood for the dryness, Guaiac Wood for the smokiness and sustainably-sourced Indian Sandalwood for the creaminess. Either way, it mostly begins with a rambling combination of key words and raw materials in my notes app.
Do you have a favourite ingredient or extract you like to work with?
Pink Pepper is my absolute favourite raw material. It brings effervescence to woods, and fruitiness to florals. It has a champagne-like sparkle that can truly revive an otherwise dull formula. Although, I’m still learning to use it with a light hand—I get overexcited. With perfume, you can, in fact, have too much of a good thing.
What do you do to take a break?
If you asked me this time last year, I would’ve said a buttery chardonnay. But these days, my new way to take a break is going to the dry sauna.
Who would you love to wear your scents?
Lana Del Rey!
What do you do to stay true to yourself and your practice?
I have to allow myself not to get in my own way. I avoid doing so by acknowledging whether or not I’m in the head space to commit to something properly. I don’t like to do anything half-hearted but, I am also a perfectionist with an avoidant personality type, so I can easily convince myself not to start something if it means not doing it perfectly.
I’m still trying to unlearn that, which mostly comes down to listening to my own intuition and not my fears: A breakthrough for those like me who find doubt at every turn.
Do you have a morning ritual?
I have many rituals. Day and night. I cannot live without them. My psychic once told me I need these rituals to literally function.
So ideally, every morning, I get as much sun as I can while I drink black coffee in silence—my best friends know that it’s illegal to call me before 10am—and then depending on the day of the week, I go to the gym or for a run along the beach. I spend so much time in my head, that I need these moments to just be in my body.
What do you love most about what you do?
I could say what I love most is that it’s a poetic, sophisticated but equally playful and messy art form, but the element of surprise is what makes it even more exciting.
A perfume takes time to reveal itself, so I am constantly surprised by my own formulas after ageing them for a month or so. Patience is the only virtue one needs for perfume-making.
Over time, some formulas fall flat, but when they don’t, it’s a dopamine-hit like no other.
What do you find the hardest?
Knowing when to stop! A few years ago, a perfumer in Los Angeles once gave me a sage warning. She told me that perfume-making is endless. You can always keep adding to a formula, or reinventing it, or exploring new materials. There is no set boundary. The discipline of a nose is to know when to put the pipette down, and that can be quite hard at first.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I used to trawl through the “classics” section at the now-by gone video store for fun.
By the time I was around fifteen, I was convinced I’d one day be a renowned director, making glamorous suspense movies just like Alfred Hitchcock. A lot of my muses exist in the world of old Hollywood. This is echoed in the ethos of PERDRISÂT—“cinematic perfume”. There’s still time to realise this teenage dream.
One thing you can’t live without?
If we are strictly talking about things—not people—then, the cable machine at my local gym.
Perhaps, the proper answer is the notebook containing all my own formulas, but I like to think if I lose that, I could rest easy knowing I’m not going to run out of ideas anytime soon.
What do you need more time for?
Reading, filmmaking and socialising.
What is on your Lucy Folk Wishlist?
It’s hard to choose only one. But I must say the Sungazer Necklace. Not only can a statement gold necklace elevate an outfit, but on a personal level, the sun is everything to me. I’m a Leo, ruled by the sun, have a strange love for heat waves, and unwarranted desire to live on Sunset Boulevard, and try to always walk on the sunny side of the street. The Sungazer necklace speaks to me!
Use the table below to find your ring size. The most accurate sizing is determined by measuring the inner diameter of your ring in millimetres (mm) using a ruler.
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Sizing varies between our items, so we recommend using the graph below to determine your ideal size and comparing these measurements to similar item that you already own. Additional style and fit details are included in the product page ”Size & Fit” tab.
All measurements below are taken of the item lying flat.