A-chromiq x Nathalie Feisthauer interview

Madeleine Holth

A-chromiq x Nathalie Feisthauer interview

We spoke to Nathalie Feisthauer, award-winning nose behind our three scents, to get a better grip on the fragrances she has made for us, her longstanding relationship with niche fragrances and how her journey has lead her to A-chromiq.

Madeleine Holth: Do you have a scent memory that sticks out to you?

Nathalie Feisthauer: It was the first time I smelt Opium, I was 16 and it changed my life. I was not prepared for it to be so beautiful, strong and powerful. I wanted to smell it again and again. It was the start of my vocation. It’s still one of my favourite perfumes even now.

MH: What is something people don’t know about creating scents and working in the industry?

NF: It is that it’s an industry, the perfume is also becoming a commodity that is designed to please most people. It means that we work to develop a mass appeal. Most people will accept the scent but that doesn’t mean people will be crazy in love with it. Be independent and allow me to have more emotions and sincerity again.

MH: How would you best describe ODR-213 Opaque?

NF: For the three perfumes, I wanted to play with unexpected raw materials, their duality and their contrast. For ODR-213 Opaque, I chose the esthetic of cedarwood and its rawness, in association with the unexpected side of juicy green fig.

MH: Do you have a favourite note?

NF: My favourite notes are woods, spices, and knowing how to use a new ingredient in a new way.

MH: Do you have a least favourite scent or note?

NF: My least favourite are the “too commercial” notes like Dihydromyrcenol for example, or “too fruity” notes.

MH: How many sprays would you suggest people using?

NF: As much as you feel comfortable, it depends on you, how you feel... and also depends on the perfume. I like using two pschitts on each side of my neck, and one on my hair.

MH: Can you maybe explain a little bit about ODR-211 Lucent? And how did this come about?

NF: We wanted something luminous and sophisticated, with a certain vivaciousness. I thought of something more original than a lemon or a bergamot, and I chose pomelo with a pungent side, that I contrasted with singular coriander.

MH: How many years have you been in the industry of smells?

NF: Over 35 years. After having a revelation for Opium, I did some research and I went to Grasse to start my studies, it was in 1983.

MH: When creating a fragrance, do you work conceptually around the idea or does it start with a note on its own?

NF: Both. I love when people have a strong story for inspiration, and what I like with niche perfumes is the relationship I have with the creative director. I also have a collection of ideas and I’m looking for a good time to use them.

MH: Can you maybe break down the components of ODR-212 Florescent and what makes it unique?

NF: For this perfume, we wanted something floral with a diverse and complex scent, so I decided to work on the complexity of rose, that I associated with unexpected carrot and a singular note of Papyrus.

MH: Why did you want to work on the A-chromiq fragrances? Anything that stood out to you?

NF: I enjoyed the adventurous and daring profile of the creative director, I liked that he had a strong vision for his project. There was also a big challenge for this collaboration, which was to make the perfume sustainable (clean), vegan and respectful to the environment as possible.

MH: I personally like the idea of scents becoming a part of the body, it sits on top of the skin like clothes but you can’t see it. How do you incorporate a brand identity in a scent profile?

NF: What is very special about perfume is that you wear it on your skin, there is no filter. It’s only you, and it’s becoming the invisible signature that makes you feel confident and unique of course.

MH: You have worked with a number of mega-brands, how would you say working for a big company is different from working with a smaller niche brand?

NF: It’s more sincere, you’re not looking for mass appeal, but rather to share your passion and your story.

MH: Why do you think more and more people have started experimenting with niche fragrances?

NF: For me, niche perfume is a unique artistic point of view. It’s more unique, of course, but also more sincere, and different.

MH: Has niche perfumery reached its peak or is it still inclining?

NF: I think it’s the beginning, on the contrary, because more and more people are looking for something different, unique and meaningful.