INTERVIEW TO DANIEL JOSIER
Here is the transcript of the interview I had with Daniel, the perfumer behind the niche perfumery brand name Daniel Josier, of which we have multiple options for sale at Daring Light. Enjoy it, as it is extensive, and untold details are unearthed. I have tried to create a talk that is different from the usual.
Sorry for any errors in the translation, it is originally in Spanish.
With you, Daniel Josier.
Hello Daniel, before we move on to the interrogation, I would like to thank you for the time you dedicate to me, and confess my admiration for your work. You know my admiration for you and your work in the fabulous creations you make. My first contact with one of your perfumes was late, and that was Ambre Tabac.
Certainly, the world of niche perfumery was very far away for me, both financially and because of my lack of knowledge. The first thought I had was the most absurd that can exist, and that is that if you don’t know them, they won’t be very interesting, in relation to niche perfumery brands.
I am convinced that this is a very generalist way of thinking in this sector, from people outside the sector and with the lack of knowledge that I had. Nobody is born knowing.
But I soon realised that what is known is due to the mountain of euros that go into it. And little by little I went deeper and deeper into this fabulous world. Deep enough to have my own shop. It must be said that the circumstances that have surrounded me have led me to Daring Light. Very modest but with great ambition.
Your short biography is known to everyone, in fact, it is practically a copy and paste from different shops. That’s why I want this interview to take a different direction.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
DANIEL JOSIER PERFUMES
This may seem like a silly question, but is your real name Daniel Josier? The artistic world is full of pseudonyms.
No, my real name is not Daniel Josier, when I set up the company and when we launched the line I decided to change the name because I wanted to separate the figure that was going to be in the public eye from my personal, family figure and so on.
And then also as a tribute, since the company was set up by my wife and I together. My wife has always been in charge of registrations, raw material control and quality control in perfumery, she has also been in the sector for twenty years and currently works at Firmenich, and well… what a mess! My name is Daniel Cadierno, I removed the final “no” because I found it negative and so we removed the initial CAD from my surname, and we put the JOS which is my wife’s name, Josune. And from Cadier and Josune, the mixture Josier came out. And the truth is that it is a blessing, because separating your personal life from your professional life, when you are exposed to the public in this way, is a pleasure.
Interesting, I don’t remember anyone asking you about this, everyone assumes that your name is the one they read on the brand. Let’s move on.
Could you tell us a few words about yourself outside the world of perfumery? Everyone has hobbies, and your job is your laboratory, but I’m sure you like to spend time on other things.
I love to travel, I adore travelling, seeing new places, the gastronomy of different countries, I love eating, and trying new foods from different places, getting to know different cuisines. I love cars, my father was a racing driver for a while, and I always loved cars and motor racing and all this. I love a good conversation, a good conversation with friends over dinner, I love going out for dinner. I love being with my kids, and I’m very proud of both of them. I love my dogs, there have always been dogs in my house for as long as I can remember, and right now I have two dogs and a cat. And I have a lot of fun with them.
And those things, very normal things.
What is your earliest memory and which one do you think is your first memory of yourself, and when you realised that you wanted to walk in this sector?
My first memory… let’s see, if I focus on the olfactory memory, I think my first olfactory memories are of the port of Castro Urdiales, in Cantabria. It is the town of my mother’s family, where I summered, and I remember the smell of the fish market, the smell of San Guillén, which is where the boats were put into the port and it was all full of moss. Of “verdín”, as they call it there, and that smell of the port, that smell of the fishing port, of the fish market, is a memory that I have stuck in my head.
Then, about myself, I have a very curious one, very good, funny and terrifying at the same time, and that’ s because I was very asthmatic when I was a child. I’m allergic to pollen and dust and all that, come on, spring allergy as they say and very asthmatic and in fact my parents had an oxygen pump next to the cot.One day there was no oxygen or anything, I was about one and a bit years old, I was not even two years old and it was not so much a memory, but a flash and I was suffocating, and my father took a knife from the kitchen and went to me to give me a tracheotomy, directly and I think that from the impression of seeing my father with a knife BAM! I started to breathe again divinely and all my ailments were gone. They took me to the hospital and so on, and I didn’t have a domestic tracheotomy by a miracle and it’s not so much a memory as a flash but it’s an image I have of my life and it’s, I tell you, when I was two years old.
And the moment when I wanted to go into this sector, well, there were two steps, one when I was ten or eleven, my parents had the brilliant idea of giving me the Quimicefa (a game with which children in the 70s and 80s played at being chemists, Sergio’s note) and making mixtures with the things that were there I burnt my mother’s carpet and seeing her face… I said to myself, this must be repeated, this is marvellous! (laughs) I was a bit of a little bastard when I was a kid. And that’s when I started to be really attracted to the world of chemistry. And then I got good at school.
The second step was much later. I knew I wanted to study chemistry but I didn’t have a clear vocation. And I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a perfumer. And this was when I was seventeen or eighteen, already starting university. I didn’t want to dedicate myself to research chemistry, but to creative chemistry, as I always had that artistic side, and I found out that there was a school in Paris that trained perfumers and that’s where I decided to go, when I was already at university.
About Castro Urdiales, the food is great, and we went there about three years ago, during an August holiday.
And then, how did you start your working life in the sector, did you feel supported by someone special or, as in my case, did you go it alone? You were in contact with Jean-Claude Ellena, and it must have been fascinating.
My beginnings in the sector go back to 1998, February 1998, and well, it was after my studies. I had the great luck and coincidence, because I came back from Paris to Madrid and that’s where my girlfriend was and well, I started sending CVs everywhere and my girlfriend, who is now my wife, finished her degree and was offered a job in Barcelona. And then we came to Barcelona and that made it easier for me because the perfume industry in Spain moves much more in Barcelona and so I came into contact with Haarman & Reimer and I started to work with them and I was very well supported by them because Haarman & Reimer, which is now Symrise as it merged with Dragoco, the two big German companies. Haarman & Reimer at that time belonged to the Bayer group, it was a big company, a multinational company, so you enter as a nerd but immediately you feel very supported and the people help you and everything is very good.
At that time I started to travel a lot to Germany, where Haarman & Reimer was based, and also to Grasse, where I came into contact with Atelier Olfactif, which belonged to Haarman & Reimer, and I met Jean-Claude Ellena, who managed it, and I started to work with him, travelling between Barcelona and Grasse, and it was wonderful for me to learn from Jean-Claude, it was amazing. He is a magician, in a chemistry degree, all the studies focus on technique, on knowing all the techniques, all the chemical elements, all the molecular unions, obviously academic, as it should be. With Jean-Claude you discover art, you discover magic, you discover that not everything has to be according to the norm of the book, according to the academic norm and that you can use other colours and other different brushes and you can express things that academically perhaps you cannot.
That was an absolute master.
I worked with him from 1998 to 2004, and in 2004 I left for another company and he left for Hermés. In 2004 is when the merger between Haarman & Reimer and Dragoco took place and Symrise was created and most of the people who belonged to Haarman & Reimer were fired. He went to Hermés, I went to Expressions Parfumées.
It was very easy in my early days in the industry because I joined a great company and they taught me a lot and I will always be very grateful to Haarman & Reimer.
You combine your work with your own brands with external collaborations with other brands. One of them is Aller Perfumes. A brand that can be found in Daring Light, and of which we are very proud, because of its background and the wonderful person behind the brand, Luis Aller. How did this collaboration come about, and was it difficult to finish the formulation of the four perfumes?
Collaborations with other brands… well, I created my company in 2010 and it was born as a company to create perfumes for other companies, but for specific issues.
Companies that couldn’t access the industry, due to quantities or because they didn’t want to launch their own brand but wanted to do something specific. So I created a company to create perfumes basically for events, so I had become very involved in olfactory marketing, creating perfumes for venues, for weddings, for example, if a couple wanted to give their guests two hundred little bottles of I don’t know what, then I created that perfume.
For other companies, for example Nestlé gave a perfume to all employees in their Christmas basket, I created that perfume. Just one-off things.
In 2013 I decided to launch my own brand and that’s where Daniel Josier was born, which came out in 2014, and from then on I did create for other niche brands. The first, I think, was Comporta, for which I made two perfumes, and then there have been a lot of other brands.
As you say, Aller Perfumes, with Luismi, with whom I have a fantastic relationship and he is an extraordinary guy. He got in touch with me through a fairly generic email, in which I know he wrote to several houses, to several perfumers, telling him his story and what he wanted to do. I replied and we had a very quick and immediate connection.
In principle he wanted to do the four elements, he had them very clear, but he wanted a perfumer to do each of the elements. That is, to have a perfumer for each element. I don’t remember very well, but he had chosen me for Air (AR). I’m not very clear. The thing is that due to personal circumstances, his brand is very much directed towards his memories with his father, who had passed away very recently, and at that time when his father passed away, I had my father very ill with cancer, and those talks made us connect. And this personal connection made Luismi decide that I should do all the perfumes in the line, and the truth is that it wasn’t difficult at all, it was all very simple with Luismi.
He knew how to express so well what he wanted and we were both at that mental point, in that connection of memories of our parents, of our childhood with them, etc. It was very easy, we immediately got to each other, to each other’s hearts, and so it was a beautiful collaboration and I am very proud of that line.
There are thousands of raw materials, but we always have a few favourites. For my part, I always lean towards a few in particular, and in my personal formulations I try to avoid them so as not to be repetitive. Is it similar for you, in terms of having a few notes that you always fall back on and try to avoid?
This is a quick and easy question. In terms of favourite raw materials, sandalwood, I think in all my perfumes, all the ones I create, there is always a little bit of, or more than a little bit of sandalwood in them. Sandalwood is a bit like my touch, my signature. There’s always sandalwood in it.
I love vetiver. All these woods that are a little bit strange, apart from the dry woods like cedar, I like them a lot. And I don’t avoid, no, I don’t avoid any of them. It’s true that I’m not very given to making gourmand perfumes, I don’t like these perfumes that are a bit cloying and so on, and therefore as I don’t like them, I don’t feel so comfortable making them but I don’t avoid them either, in fact lately I’m making two gourmand perfumes for other brands, so I don’t avoid them but they’re not my favourite ones.
In this we share a lot of common ground. I don’t like gourmand, I find them cloying and heavy, and I don’t really like them. Let’s move on.
I have recently become a father, a baby less than a month old is my daily admiration. And for whom I sigh. I cannot resist thinking that his future will be what I leave him, that’s why a new powerful energy runs through me from the first days of pregnancy and longing for the future too. Are your children interested in your work? Have we got a future perfumer, following in his father’s footsteps?
Many congratulations on your recent paternity, I imagine you sleep little (laughs), but it compensates, everything compensates, because it is extreme happiness and it is the greatest thing you have done, the greatest thing you are going to do in your life. Daring Light is a beautiful project but it will never be what a child can be.
I have two, a nineteen year old and a fifteen year old, and I don’t think either of them are going to be perfumers. Their father is a chemist, their mother is a biologist and they hate science. They have both come out of social sciences, from the arts, the older one has started studying law this year, he is in his first year of law. From a very early age he wanted to be a lawyer and he is pursuing his dream, and he is very happy. And the youngest, who is fifteen, still doesn’t know what he wants to be or what he is going to be. I think for now, because of his personality, he really likes electronics, he really likes computers, he really likes all these apps and all this stuff. I think he might be a little bit of a computer scientist or something like that, but it’s still to be defined.
But they are not going to get into the world of perfumery, although who knows, tomorrow, my company may have a lawyer running it and a computer scientist in it too, but well, the legacy will remain here, that’s for sure, and they can do what they see as appropriate. The important thing is that everyone follows their own path and that this path makes them happy.
In the end that’s all that matters, doing something that makes you happy.
Tuberose, Ambre Tabac, Le Musk, Green Leather and Josune
How about Tuberose, Ambre Tabac, Le Musk and Green Leather, and especially Josune? Creating a perfume for a loved one must be very emotional.
About the story behind the perfumes, Tuberose and Magnolia I created them at the same time, I really like working with white flowers, I am not very fond of red floral bouquets but I really like white flowers and I wanted to make a youthful perfume that was light, vibrant, very positive, very happy for that light that white flowers offer and I made Magnolia and then I imagined that girl who used Magnolia; a young girl, full of optimism, very full of light, full of positivity and so on, but with the passing of the years she no longer believes in prince charming and life has given her a few slaps and she is more self-confident, more sensual, more mature, and that’s where Tuberose comes from. She is that same Magnolia girl in her twenties, transformed into a woman of forty, she has lost all those utopias of youth and exploits the earthly more, she is down to earth and her experience and sensuality come to the surface, and this is Tuberose.
Ambre Tabac was the first creation, it was the first perfume I made for Daniel Josier’s line. Although the line came out with six perfumes, Ambre Tabac was the first one that I knew was going to be in that line, and it was a bit of a leap. As I wanted to get into the niche world, I decided to do stories that were a bit out of the ordinary. And one night, watching a James Bond film, I imagined what it would be like when James Bond comes home after work, takes a shower, relaxes for a while, lights up a cigar and has a glass of cognac, and what did that atmosphere smell like, what did that room smell like? So that’s how Ambre Tabac was born, which at first I thought was going to be misunderstood, that it was going to be the ugly duckling of the range, and yet it became the flagship, my best-known perfume, and the one that carried all the weight of the line in the early years.
When I smelled Ambre Tabac, it gave me the image of an old house, like a mansion, with weathered armchairs and an oppressive atmosphere. What’s more, I described it in a review I did of gothic perfumes.
About Le Musk, we must say that I was clear that I wanted to make a perfume based on musk, for me the perfume is something sensual, basically it is an element of seduction, of giving an image to the person in front of you and well, what better way to seduce than musks and on the other hand, normally when we talk about sensual perfumes we always talk about very intoxicating and very opulent profiles, with a lot of trail, that fill a room immediately and I wanted to play with the opposite.
I wanted to play with a much more subtle sensuality, much more intimate, much more elegant for me, and I achieved it with Le Musk. Which is a set of musks with floral undertones that are super sexy, super sensual and very elegant. And very discreet at the same time. So that was the game, the game of seduction, but a discreet seduction in which elegance can be more important than a very exuberant neckline or high heels or something very eye-catching. Audrey Hepburn’s seduction, on a more discreet and more restrained level.
About Green Leather, it was one of the ones that came out in the first batch in 2014. I had a perfume called Cuero de la Toscana, which was a formula that I had recovered from 2005, when we had applied to create Tom Ford’s perfume, Tuscan Leather, and we presented several proposals, none of which were chosen. The perfume was won by another company, Givaudan, but I kept that formula and recovered it for my line. It was there between 2014 and 2016, and I removed it because it had not had any success, and besides, the buyers rightly associated Cuero de la Toscana with Tuscan Leather, because they were born from the same briefing.
I didn’t want it to be classified as a clone, so I removed it from the market and on that same base, on the same body of Cuero de la Toscana, I created Green Leather, giving it a much more fruity top note with much more power, I made a much more modern perfume, much more versatile, much more unisex and that’s how Green Leather was born, which I relaunched again in 2017 with that name and it has been a great success and is currently the number one in sales of the line, so I am very proud of that change, of that reformulation.
And you ask me especially about Josune, you tell me that it must be especially emotional to create a perfume for the person you love, it certainly is, but it’s not the case (laughs).
The idea of creating Josune was born in 2012 or 2013, we were in the middle of the financial crisis and well, everyone you came across was downcast, pessimistic, they were going to have problems at work, they were going to get fired, etc. So I decided to make a perfume that would give good vibes, that would give positivism and in fact it was going to be called Positive Thinking. After months of work I didn’t manage to make the perfume I wanted, everything reminded me of something already known.
And one day at home, on a Saturday afternoon, I went into the kitchen, my wife was making a sponge cake and that aroma from the oven inspired me and I said to myself, I have to put a praline base in there. Which is a combination of chocolate, caramel and toasted almonds, as a base for that perfume to give it a touch of sweetness and to envelop the floral bouquet and make it different. And that’s where I found the point.
Then I decided to change the name and put my wife’s name on it, in gratitude or in honour of the fact that she had given me the idea, she gave me the inspiration to give the final touch to this perfume that was stuck there and thanks to her it was able to go ahead. But it is not dedicated to her, no, in fact she doesn’t like this perfume. For her it’s too sweet, she likes very fresh perfumes, and she doesn’t use Josune at all, but for me it was important to be grateful in some way that she helped me to finish this perfume and that’s where the name came from.
History in Drops is a very interesting project that takes a look at the past and brings us six proposals influenced by different eras. Is this collection completely closed or can we expect any extra volumes in the future? Honestly, I would have loved to smell your interpretation of Ancient Egypt.
The idea was born five or six years ago. At that time I was giving a lot of conferences about perfumes and I always started by telling the history of perfume. I think we have to know where we come from to know where we are. It is important.
As I like history very much, I had the idea of describing it on an olfactory level, to make a kind of encyclopaedia of the epochs, of the different eras. Perhaps the most complicated thing was to define each of the epochs, but it was clear that I had to start with Mesopotamia, which is where it was born. It was clear that Rome had to be there because that’s where it was given its name, and then you could choose different times. From the point of view that I am a Spanish and Western guy, I looked for the closest to me, probably if I were Chinese the story would have changed, I would have been inspired by Marco Polo’s travels and other stories.
But yes, I stuck to the birth in Mesopotamia, to give the name of perfume with profumo from Rome, to make the first alcohol-based perfume in Byzantium with Queen Elizabeth I of Hungary, to make volume four with the renaissance, which is, let’s say, the most creative period on an artistic level that we have lived through and that first event of Catherine de Medici perfuming herself to be liked and not to cover up bad smells as was done until then. The birth of perfumery as we understand it now, the birth of modern perfumery in the 20th century and the sixth, a vision of the future to close the subject.
These are those volumes and it is a brand that is closed, very probably, as you say, Egypt would have had a place, the thing is that Egypt is a transition between Mesopotamia and Rome. Because the Egyptians took knowledge from Mesopotamia, it is true that they managed to obtain oils from many other products that were not made in Mesopotamia, and it is between Mesopotamia and Rome when the great explosion of essential oils in Roman baths took place and the name was given.
So doing Mesopotamia, Egypt and Rome seemed to me too crowded at that stage of history.
Hearing from you I find the explanation totally satisfactory, and I forgive you for not going through Ancient Egypt (laughs). Let’s move away from perfumery a bit to finish off, and I’d like to know what musical styles you like, and if cinema is an expression of art that moves you. If so, what genres make you vibrate?
Well, in terms of musical tastes I’m a rocker, although I don’t focus, I don’t stick to a specific musical style. I really like the rock of AC/DC, Metallica, and more modern Nickelback. My idol since I was very young until today is Mike Oldfield, who I admire enormously, and then also a bit of a mix between rock and pop.
I’ve always been a big fan of Pink Floyd, The Alan Parsons Project, Yngwie Malmsteen, Queen, Elton John, this kind of music. I don’t know about current music, I’ve stayed very much in the Dire Straits and U2 era. As for cinema, I’m fascinated by it, I love cinema, I love any genre except horror.
We were on the right track Daniel, I share your tastes in everything, although I’m more extreme in guitars, as I love extreme metal, but the latter (laughs) is my favourite genre, along with science fiction (laughs). Ridley Scott’s Alien is my favourite film.
Basically because I’m a scaredy-cat and I don’t like to be scared.
You’ve just become a father, so forget about cinema for a stage outside of Disney and a bit later, Marvel. Since I’m past that stage, for many years I’ve watched Disney and then Marvel, and no more! Within the genres I’ve always loved thrillers and a lot of trial films, films like Witness for the Prosecution fascinate me, the classics of humour like the Marx brothers, especially Groucho, Chaplin … I think The Great Dictator is a gem of cinema.
As we come to the end of 2021, a slightly better year than 2020 in terms of COVID, but one that has completely changed everyone’s way of life, in perfumery, have you felt that it has affected you? In the early stages of 2020, the industry fell, but there seems to be a recovery.
Yes, COVID has indeed changed the way we live, the way we go out on the street, the way we talk to each other, the circles are now much more closed. At the beginning, in the first confinement, in March 2020, I was scared in the sense of thinking: the industry is collapsing. Because if I stay at home all day, in my pyjamas and slippers, who on earth is going to wear perfume.
Well, no, I got confused, I mean, indeed, during the months of March, April and May, sales totally collapsed. But June, July and August were the best months I have ever had historically. We recovered everything that had not been sold in March, April and May. We came out of that first confinement very anxious to get back to some kind of normality. And perfuming is part of the ritual of normality.
We had the need to recover certain aspects of normality, in others it was not yet possible. We couldn’t go out, the restaurants were closed, the cinemas were closed, and so on.
I closed 2020 with a very slight growth, an almost vegetative growth compared to 2019, which had been very good, and it was my best year historically. But the formulas had changed, for example, the shops were closed and online commerce multiplied enormously, which meant that what was not being sold on one side was being sold on the other.
That’s where Daring Light comes in, born out of a personal calamity, my own. And I resurface in the form of a business, which time will place where it should. Or where sales will leave it.
2021 has been a return, quite close to normality. I would even say that in 2021 a lot of new launches of new brands have taken place, that is to say that 2020 has been a pinch for a lot of people, that for some reason their company has done without them, their company has closed down, their business wasn’t going well, whatever.
A lot of people have entered the world of being self-employed, setting up their own company, launching perfume lines, so in 2021 I have created a lot of perfumes for other brands and for new brands. Luis Miguel Aller is one example, or Next Memory from Portugal, a new brand they have launched on the market.
And in terms of my company’s sales, in 2021 I have doubled those of 2020.
2021 is by far the best year since 2014. It is true that I left in 2014, and the following years were better than the previous ones, obviously because I was starting from zero, and growth was relatively easy, but I thought that 2019, which had reached a significant sales figure, was going to find the maintenance level, with more or less vegetative growth.
2020 was a vegetative growth because of COVID and this 2021 I calculated that it was going to grow around 20/25%, which was a growth more or less what I expected. I really thought it would be around 15%, but as we had to recover part of 2020, I always talked about 25% growth and no, I was completely wrong, and I have grown more than 100%, to levels that I could not even imagine.
Congratulations Daniel. You must revolve around many people, but in addition to people, you must have “friendly” brands. What are they?
Friendly brands, obviously those in which I have participated are very friendly. Out of the brands that I haven’t participated in but I feel linked to them, Mystery Modern Mark is a little-known brand from Holland, whose owner is also called Daniel and which is a brand that I think I will end up working with them and creating something for them, because there is an emotional link with Daniel and because he is a person like you, who took the plunge, who took a big risk, who started from scratch in a world unknown to him and who has done something beautiful, something small, but with a lot of passion, putting everything into it from his part.
He has four perfumes on the market, four beautiful perfumes, four well-made perfumes, absolutely everything can be improved, obviously, and he knows it and is working on it, especially on the image level, because of the niche and looking for the most luxurious point in the images, and M3, Mystery Modern Mark, is a company I would like to work for in the future, because I think they deserve the little push I can give them and this person deserves it all.
What is your most misunderstood creation, perhaps in sales and the one you love the most?
Well, I have quite a few, there is one that is clearly misunderstood but with good reason. Because the girl is weird as hell (laughs). And that’s Kaleidoscope. It was a bet with myself, to see if I was capable of making a perfume that was like a kaleidoscope, constantly changing and changing from day to night, from sun to rain, changing in all skins, smelling one thing in the morning and another in the afternoon, totally changing and changing in the same person from one day to the next. In other words, technically it was very complex, it was like making six perfumes in one and I managed to do it.
I am very proud of having done it and I put it on the market and it was not accepted with good reason because if you buy a perfume and the next day it smells different and you don’t know what it will smell like in two days because it will be different, it is complicated to have it.
I don’t remember the smell of it right now, but I’ll wear it soon, Daniel.
NICHE PERFUMES BARCELONA
Another half-misunderstood one is Quetzaly, probably the best formula I’ve ever made, in terms of formulation I think it’s the best perfume I’ve ever made, but it’s also a very unique perfume, and people need to be supported even though we hate clones, we hate “the one that looks like”, but if you smell something, and it doesn’t remind you of anything, you stand still and you’re like “oh, I’ve never smelled it before”, and we don’t take the risk.
A successful perfume is one that you like, that catches you, but that also reminds you of something. If we rely on these things we understand it much better and Quetzaly is a very unique perfume and it is having a hard time in the market, it has a loyal customer, but it needs to grow and at the moment it is misunderstood.
As for favourites, as actors and actresses often say, the last film is always the best thing I’ve done. A perfume that I will always carry in my heart, because all my perfumes define moments in my life, each and every one is a moment, a punctual moment in my life. But Under the Figtree is forty years of my life, it is the evolution from my youth to my maturity, so that’s where it all goes and it is a perfume that I feel is part of me, part of my existence. So the affection is very special, as parents say, I love all my children equally, but Under the Figtree is a little bit my spoilt child.
Could you describe your place of work, is it an office or do you have a quiet place at home to formulate?
Yes, I work at home, in an area that is a bit separate from my house. When we bought the house, which is a detached house, a villa, there was an area that was intended for what was the garage and we decided to remove the garage door and put a wall and a window and that is my office and my workplace.
I literally work in what used to be the garage of the house and that’s where I have my computers, my piano and that’s where I work on a daily basis. Then, once I have composed the formulas on the piano and on the computer, I go to a laboratory in Grasse and that’s where all the molecular weighing, quality controls, certifications, etc. are done, and then that’s where we also make the oils, the production of the oils is all done in Grasse and then the oil goes back to Barcelona, and we produce in a factory in Manresa. But my day-to-day life is at home.
I’m convinced that you don’t normally use perfumery, or even that you use your own essays to test them on yourself, but could you tell us what your favourite perfumes are outside of your creations?
Indeed, I don’t use perfumes. I do use tests, tests on raw materials, I use a lot of pure oil, I’m sure I’ll get skin cancer! I test everything on my skin and I very rarely use perfumes. When I’m not working and I go out for dinner or on holiday, I do wear more, but I don’t normally use any.
And of the ones I do use, apart from my own creations, I’m also an older man at this. Because I’m very romantic in that sense, from my old beginnings. When I started dating when I was fifteen or sixteen, I started with Eau d’Orange Verte by Hermés, the green orange. I thought it was wonderful, it brings back so many memories that it will always be with me.
A little bit older I became a total oldie because I used to wear Habit Rouge, a perfume from the fifties. It has been reformulated forty thousand times, but it made me feel older, more gentlemanly and elegant.
Of the last things I’ve smelled and worn, from the brand M3, Mystery Modern Mark, they have a beautiful perfume called “Rescent Man”, which I often use, and another called “La Carretera”. Although it’s Dutch, it’s called ” The Road” in Spanish after the song by Julio Iglesias. Just look at it. Because he wanted to make a perfume that was a bit inspired by the trips he usually makes from Amsterdam to Grasse, and that I’ve been using quite a lot lately because it’s very pleasant.
Finally, could you dedicate a few words to the readers and customers of Daring Light?
First of all, congratulations to you, to the Daring Light shop for the shop that has been born and that is consolidating day by day. Congratulations to the readers who are reading this, for having arrived here and for this search for quality perfumery and quality treatment.
I think Daring Light has a lot of merit, it is something very beautiful, it is a project that has a lot of work behind it, a lot of dedication, a lot of hours, a lot of love, a lot of effort. Things that I respect so much, that I find very worthy of admiration and the people who read these texts, thank you for coming here, thank you for reading, thank you for supporting a company from here, for supporting someone who has put his work, his effort, his dedication, his love, his money, his greatest hopes and dreams, because you are supporting the entrepreneur, you are supporting a Spanish company.
Thank you for coming this far, thank you for supporting a shop like Daring Light that deserves everything and that I hope and wish and predict that it will be one of the emblematic shops and reference shops within the niche throughout Europe.
Thank you very much to you, my friend Daniel. It’s a roller coaster of a journey that I have embarked on, but your words lighten the load, which many times, more than I imagined, makes me stagger. Although right now, on this journey, when I look in the rear view mirror, I see my son Roy. Motivation is not lacking and I have plenty of fears.
It has been a pleasure to do this interview, and I thank you enormously for the time you have taken. I hope that Daring Light will be online for many years to come and that we can continue to work together.
A hug, my friend.
Strength and health.
Sergio Martínez Anaya.