Victor Kochetov is the owner of the niche perfumery Mood Scent Bar. It differs from other places of this type in that they take a completely different approach to perfume selection. It’s not just sniffing and choosing a favorite fragrance note. It’s finding the right relationship between us, our personality and the right composition. Perfume is supposed to harmonize 100 percent with us. Because, after all, there are times when we are dressed only in perfume.
I am moved by the words in the Mood Scent Bar ‘s manifesto: “Fragrance betrays us. And it also betrays others. It is more than just fragrant air. Sometimes it can be a suggestion, and other times it can be an emotion that one would like to follow.” So we ask Victor Kochetov about potions sealed in small glass bottles.
Elegance – good taste in dress and refinement in manner. How do you capture elegance in fragrance?
Very often we forget or misunderstand elegance in fragrance. It is not a classic, rich, distinctive fragrance. In my opinion, it must be a minimalist fragrance, controversial and stylish all at once. Very often we want to shock with fragrance to show that we are elegant, but we lack minimalism or simply lack expression. We also often blindly reach for a fashionable fragrance that completely does not suit us.
What do you think GentleWoman smells like?
GentleWoman, in my opinion, smells of power. Notes of unpredictability, but at the same time very feminine and conscious. GentleWoman, above all, smells sexy.
And what perfume would you choose for her?
The perfume I would choose for GentleWoman is a sharp citrus opening, with notes of freedom in the heart and a strongly seductive base.
A very feminine and ethereal figure appeared before my eyes. And what do you think about the blurring of gender boundaries? The fashion for unisex is slowly beginning to sweep the world – and I am convinced that the change in mentality has also affected the art of perfumery. What do you think of unisex fragrances?
The idea behind unisex fragrances is that the fragrance composition uses notes that are neutral and develop in a very similar way in women and men. One such fragrance note that very often develops in unisex fragrances is citrus and aquatic notes. The fragrance can be unisex if the fragrance composition uses so-called neutral notes – that is, citrus, herbs, aquatic notes or sandalwood, for example.
Typical unisex fragrances are very sporty, even bland. I don’t personally know many brands that offer unisex fragrances. When it comes to niche perfumes, they are mostly not unisex. It’s
big difference between such fragrances and those not intended for gender.
The former develop on the skin depending on the pH and skin type. This is a perfume that is often not afraid to emphasize feminine qualities in perfumes for men. The same goes for the male element in flacons for women.
It used to be that unisex fashion was an everyday occurrence. The final sillage and nuances in the perfume depended on the person who sprinkled it. How did it happen that we let ourselves be divided?
The first division between men’s and women’s fragrances was created in the second half of the 20th century. It was introduced by Guerlain based on an experiment to add a signature “for women” and “for men.” The effect was spectacular because the same perfume began to be purchased twice – by women and men. Hermes, on the other hand, began to show the gender divide in fragrance very strongly in its advertising campaigns in 1984.
One fragrance can smell completely different on several people. What does our reaction to perfume depend on?
The main difference in the maintenance of fragrance projection depends on several factors: skin pH, pressure and skin hydration, so we always encourage that when choosing fragrances, we initially make a selection by sniffing on a blotter, then we apply the selected fragrances to the skin, and we can make the final verdict once we smell the fragrance on our body.
Are there any scents that you particularly dislike, irritate you, associate badly with you?
There are fragrances that I don’t choose for myself, but I try to understand even those that I don’t like personally. Sometimes even the most difficult fragrances open on the skin of different people in a beautiful and surprising way. This is one proof that if one fragrance on a person we know smells interesting, it will not necessarily smell good on us.
What fragrance told you the most beautiful story?
My mother’s childhood scent. It was a carefree scent that I always enjoy returning to with memories.
Are niche perfumeries the alchemies of the 21st century?
Niche perfumeries in our country resemble alchemy to some extent, but abroad they are normal, traditional perfumeries. There is a very big cultural and traditional difference in the use of perfume in Poland and Western Europe. Of course, I don’t mean to say that Poles are out of step in any way,
is not true. Polish women are definitely more willing to try new things and open to experimentation, both in terms of clothing and fragrances.
Perfumes that can be purchased at Mood Scent Bar are produced on a small scale?
Not always. These are small and larger, sometimes even very large perfume houses – for example, at Mood Scent Bar you can find Comme des Garçons perfumes, but also products created by legends such as Chantal Roos, who founded three perfume houses in her youth: Yves Saint Laurent, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Issey Miyake. Some brands, are very small perfume houses. Like UNUM, which created fragrances for Pope Benedict XVI, or the Room1015 brand, which takes inspiration from the world of Rock and Roll and shows off its style by creating, for example, Atramental, a scent of tattoo ink and freshly tattooed skin, or Blomma Cult, a scent of sexual revolution.
The policy of limited distribution makes perfumes more elitist or unpopular?
The policy of limited distribution makes the recipient of these perfumes more conscious. He does not suggest the bottle, the popularity of the fragrance or the paid celebrity who represents the fragrance at any given time. Such a recipient chooses a fragrance with which he or she identifies.
David Motz, one of your gurus, once said, “I see the art of perfumery as more than just a fashion accessory.” Is it possible, then, to be dressed only in perfume?
There are times when we are dressed only in perfume. Perfume can be a great complement to our fashion image or style. We can have a fragrance “closet” that defines us. The art of perfumery, like fashion, is changing rapidly in our time. One and the other functions on the basis of an exchange of inspiration and tries to describe things that are happening around us.
“Perfume is supposed to resonate with us and emphasize personality” – are you often asked to match a fragrance to a person’s character? If so, what fragrances do you match with delicate, bold, confident, shy people?
That’s what my job is all about. I and my team individually select fragrances, not only for character traits, but also for different occasions, emotional states. There are even situations when someone selects a fragrance to emphasize his anger.
Selection of fragrance by character traits is not clear-cut. It all depends on whether you want to strengthen yourself, be more delicate or hide a feature. This applies to everything and there is no clear answer. If we want to emphasize softness, we choose a fragrance that is gentle, airy and enveloping. Fragrance notes for a gentle person are osmanthus, bergamot, cardamom, field flowers, fruits. Also in this situation, you can play with intensity, that is, use a fragrance that is very intense, but we like it in a small amount so that the scent is with us, but not overwhelming or too loud.
For shy people, on the other hand, there is no formula for choosing a particular fragrance note . There are some fragrances that, regardless of the notes, thanks to a good selection stimulate us and make us feel more confident.
People who are more confident know what they want, they most often go for notes that are expressive, make a presence and are bold – and they do.
woody, oriental, spicy, incense, animalistic or
It is said that there is an alphabet of scents that work on the human psyche. Do you agree with this?
Personally, I am not familiar with such an alphabet. Do I believe in the effects of aromatherapy? Yes. Very often I see that the fragrance improves the mood, makes you think, has an analgesic effect.
What perfumes do you think will be most in demand this season?
The most important tip I can give is to think about what spring is for us. Fragrances for spring should be invigorating, energizing, with hints of citrus, champagne, fresh fig leaf, beautiful osmanthus flower or sea salt.