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Interview with Encarni Lorente, creator of the fragrance Ecos de Sierra Espuña

Encarni Lorente, Iberchem’s perfumer for more than 15 years, has been in charge of creating the fragrance ‘Ecos de Sierra Espuña’, in collaboration with Ecos and the Community of Sierra Espuña, for the VII edition of the Festival.

Although the project was carried out with the collaboration of the neighbours and authorities of the area, who gave their most accurate vision of the scent of Sierra Espuña, you turned this idea into a product… What inspired you to create a fragrance that evokes Sierra Espuña?

The fragrance has been created in two different ways: on the one hand, the neighbours have contributed their most personal and accurate opinion of the smell of the area, as those who experience it first hand. In a creation like this, it is very important to be faithful to the collective imagination, so that the product matches the idea we have of it.

On the other hand, on a personal level, I know the area very well. I am a great lover of nature and I have done countless routes in the Sierra Espuña area, which has helped me to interpret their opinion correctly from a technical point of view. It was a pleasure to be given this opportunity.


What should we consider when creating a fragrance for air fresheners? Why is it different from a fine fragrance?

When creating a fragrance for air fresheners, we need to consider the space we want to perfume and the type of air freshener we are going to use. Once we know that, we have to decide what we want it to smell like, or what sensation we want to convey through the olfactory notes. In this particular case, the challenge was to create a scent that would give the Sierra Espuña area its own identity and that could be smelled from any room in the house, as if you were opening a window in the middle of the mountains and breathing in the air.

From a technical point of view, an air freshener is very different from a fine perfume. Both the concentration and the solvents or the amount of alcohol used are different. The concentration of natural oils and the type of oils used as ingredients are also different. They are also subject to different restrictions in the application of current regulations.


This fragrance was presented in the form of candles and textile mists, why?

Ambience is a strong trend in consumer products. In the post-pandemic era, we want to reinforce our sense of comfort at home: a refuge that we must learn to enjoy more.

Products such as candles or reed diffusers, even mists for spraying textiles such as pillows, cushions, sheets or blankets, which renew the air and give it a fresh and cosy sensation, are increasingly in demand. There is even a trend towards sophisticated fragrances for air fresheners.

Specifically for this project, it was the format that best suited what we wanted to capture, which was the feeling of being in the forest without leaving home.


What do you like or enjoy most about such a project?

I like these types of projects that allow the use of essential oils and local raw materials, such as thyme or lemon, because it makes me feel part of preserving the natural heritage. On the other hand, I also really enjoy the creative challenge of capturing the olfactory identity of something, such as a territory, a person… Personally, as a perfumer, it is very satisfying when your fragrance can transport other people to a place without having to be there.


How would you describe your career as a perfumer, what have been your successes and what have you learned along the way?

After several years of training as an analyst, Iberchem offered me the opportunity to become a perfumer and accepting it was a great success. It was then that I discovered this wonderful profession, which I have been practising for more than 15 years. Throughout my career I have learnt a lot on a technical level, and I have trained my nose a lot to have a good olfactory memory. But above all, I have learned never to despise an opinion. Art is subjective, and perfumery is a kind of art. Every comment, every sensation that your essay can arouse in someone can give you a lot of information to reach the final goal of your project.


What are your expectations for the future?

I hope to continue working on what I love, surrounded by people who contribute to me and help me to grow professionally and personally. That means projects like this one, where my work also meets my personal tastes.