The sense of smell is the most refined of all the senses, capable of instantly evoking memories. Who hasn't experienced the sensation of smelling a fragrance and associating it with a place, a person, or a memory lost in time? The world of fragrances is enveloped in a magical aura, and its creator, the olfactory designer, is the only one capable of producing this marvelous alchemy.
The power of fragrances is a realm that Nuria Du Chêne De Vère, a young master perfumer, discovered and loved since her childhood, driven by her pronounced and innate olfactory sensitivity.
Born in Milan, she combines the various traditions and cultures from which she descends, through her Spanish mother and her father of French origin. Her family played a significant role in her upbringing, especially her great-uncle Gimmo Etro, a fragrance expert, who revealed her true inclination toward the world of fragrances, combined with her other interests that include art, literature, and surprisingly, chemistry.
The transition from passion to making it a profession was a short one. Nuria enrolled in the prestigious Grasse Institute of Perfumery in France, and her dream became a reality. Today, she is a full-fledged "nose" or, as it is internationally known, a fragrance designer. Her operational center is in her atelier called "Nur," located in the heart of Milan, where she works her magic and creates 100% made in Italy olfactory compositions, each one special and unique.
How does one become a master perfumer, and what was your primary motivation in your case?
I followed the academic path, studying in Grasse. Then, I worked as a creative nose in a fragrance house where fragrances are created for big brands. However, during my time in Grasse, I realized that I wanted to create a world of my own. After working for the fragrance company, I started laying the foundations for my project during the lockdown: Nur. I wanted a space where I could create custom perfumes, candles, body creams, and home fragrances. The core of Nur is custom-made perfume, but increasingly, I receive requests for home fragrances that I try to develop with a super-refined touch.
In your opinion, how has the world of home fragrances changed? Particularly, what are the most in-demand fragrances today compared to the past?
It has changed significantly. I believe the pandemic had a huge impact. We were confined to our homes for a long time, and now there is a demand to feel good at home, even in terms of scent. There is a general tendency towards seeking "natural" accords and raw materials that evoke notes connecting us to nature. Evoking wellness and the harmony of yoga is also highly requested.
Is it correct to use one fragrance for the entire house, or does each room have its own fragrance?
Starting with the assumption that it's a very subjective choice, and every home has its own needs, much depends on the fragrance. Some rooms require delicate notes; there are scents like linen that can work even in the kitchen, while amber might be too strong. I find it creative and fun to create fragrances for each room.
How do you choose the most suitable fragrance for our home?
When I create a fragrance, I want to recreate the atmosphere in terms of design, the true aesthetic soul of the house. I create the fragrance while thinking about the spaces; for example, if I'm in a vintage house in Milan, I think of spicy, floral, and classic fragrances. It's different if I need to interpret a loft setting with hints of wood and metal in the design, then I think of modern notes like black pepper and leather. Therefore, the style and design reflect the fragrance I will create.
Does each season have its own fragrance?
Certainly. In the summer, I definitely lean towards refreshing notes, imagining aromatic plants, citrus, white flowers, and wildflowers. It's a season that brings joy, and there's a desire for outdoor lunches. In winter, I love amber, which provides a cozy feeling, and I also imagine notes of vanilla, leather, and some spicy flowers. There are also neutral fragrances that work for both the home and the person, like iris, clean scents, vetiver, fig, and orange.
Can you reveal what your next fragrance will be?
I'm working on several fragrances, although at the moment, my priority is to find a fragrance for a Christmas candle. I want it to be original and offer a different interpretation from what we're used to.