Who: Clara Malloy, poet, perfume editor and co-founder of the Memo Paris and Floraïku fragrance brands. Clara’s new brand Floraïku has just launched in Harrods Salon de Parfums, where you can test each fragrance while drinking tea sat at a lovely Japanese-style bar, as someone reads a haiku to you. This is definitely our kind of experiential testing ritual. The exquisite bottles come with an artfully hand painted scene on the bottle lid, which cleverly transforms into the travel-case for on-the-go scenting. This is clearly no ordinary perfume brand, we asked Clara to tell us more.
Today I’m not ashamed to say I’m not wearing perfume, as I am working with fragrance today and if I wore one I would not successfully smell the others. If I had to choose between the eleven from Floraïku, I’d choose My Love Has The Colour of the Night, because we’re talking at the end of the summer.
Our perfumer for this scent, Sophie Labbe, wanted to create the impression of being under the trees, with the night sky like a canape over you, it’s dark but its also joyful, there’s no fear, just the warmth and the mystery of the wood.The haiku poem is about the summer, the heat and a sense of freedom. it’s a very original perfume
Writing a poem for each scent is something very natural for me. The haiku are short poems and we have short formulas, I always speak about the head, heart and base notes with our fragrances, so it’s three key ingredients to match the three lines in a haiku. Poetry and fragrance are both quite serious. Poetry has to do with the voice, Fragrance is its materiel manifestation. For me, the two go really well together.
My grandmother was from Andalusia and she used to wear jasmine in her bra. It’s a custom there, so I always loved the idea that for different parts of your body, if you had plenty of imagination, you could express yourself with fragrances.
Our shadowing ritual* is not about mixing the perfumes, because we believe each of our fragrances need to be respected as stand alone scents, but encourages you to put them side by side. It means that you can play with them, show your bright side or your dark side, depending on your mood. As you wear them, waves of perfume come up at different moments and it creates movement.
I think we chose something very noble in perfumery. There’s always such beauty in the ingredients, the discovery is inspiring and we don’t get tired of it. I still feel like a misfit though. Like I don’t know anything about fragrance because I didn’t start out as a perfumer , I feel like always a learner!
One of my first memories is smelling the wet stones of Paris after the rain. I always wanted to taste them!
*Two of the eleven fragrances within the range are ‘shadows’, to be worn beside the other fragrances in a new take on layering.