5 Questions with: María Gil, Perfumer

What does it mean for you to have won the Audience Award at the fifth Mouillette d’Argent International Perfumery Contest?

On a personal level, it has been very gratifying to receive this award. The location in Teiá and the day we spent before at the Barcelona Perfumery Congress made this experience unique.

In addition,I had the chance to be accompanied by two of my colleagues; Sandra Lucas, who also won the audience award in 2020, and Ana Ripoll, who was invited to speak at the congress about the future of natural fragrances. It was also a pleasure to meet Celine Guivarc’h of Guiv’Art fragrances, who won in the same category in 2021.

What was your inspiration when creating your perfume?

When I first started working on the perfume Nuit Envoûtante, I was inspired by the memories of my journey in China. I mostly recalled the country’s gastronomy, the richness of its flavours. I have this great memory of a rose petal tea that I discovered. I couldn´t stop drinking during the whole time that I was there.

Do you usually work with the rose?

Of course! As long as the project allows it! (laughs)

It is a delicate note. It is for a reason that it is called the queen of floral notes. In my opinion, its scent brings softness and delicacy to a composition.

I particularly like its versatility and how it combines perfectly with various olfactory families. I personally use it in both men’s and women’s perfumes.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this ingredient?

The main advantage that I would highlight is that, when used in fine perfumery, the rose helps to round off the fragrance. It also adds an exclusive, sophisticated and mysterious touch to the creation.

One of the disadvantages of using rose is that it is widely used in perfumery. Therefore, it can be challenging for a perfumer to innovate and come up with something that has never been seen before. This is when creativity becomes important.

In addition, given its high price (+10 000€/kg in the case of the damask rose), its use is exclusive to a limited number of projects.

Which perfume containing rose do you like the most? Why?

There are several perfumes containing rose that I like very much. In some the “pink” note is very evident and those in which it is more subtle.

If I had to choose only one, I guess I would say Chloé Roses Tangerine as I think that the rose and the citrus notes blend very well. To me, this perfume stands out for its freshness and luminosity. The rose also brings warmth and sensuality to the composition.

There is also the perfume of Alexandre Vire from Parfex, who won the Jury award which really surprised me. The rose is extremely well balanced, and deep but not overwhelming.