A jury composed of highly-recognized international fragrance creators and experts, finally selected fine finalists for the OSA! Outsider Scents Award. Days ago we revealed their names and now we ask them to introduce themselves talking about their passion for fragrances, their studies, their projects and dreams.
MICHELE BIANCHI – author of “Humus”
I am from San Paolo di Civitate, a tiny village in the province of Foggia. I was born and grew up there, and it is where I have sunk my deep, solid “roots” in Puglia. To study, I moved to The Marches, to Marcerata, where I got my degree in the Russian language and translation. I have always had many interests like music, acting, foreign languages, all types of art, perfume, and … Russia!
I have been living and working in Russia for five years now. Initially I spent a few years living in Saint Petersburg, and now I live in Moscow, where I teach Italian. Russia, which I now call my second home, welcomed me like a warm home does a fond guest, and every day it gives me great satisfaction, emotions, and… unexpectedly new perfumes. My passion for perfume began when I was I child. I had hundreds of vials of all types of fragrances, from commercial perfume to niche perfume. The idea of composing is a desire I have held close for years, overcome then pushed aside for fear of not knowing where to start. The idea of creating a perfume for myself and the desire to express my own opinion drove me to seek the rules, methods, and criteria for composition, necessary to begin.
Then in Russia I met the right people, who pointed me in the right direction, gave me recommendations, and who I am still close to. As of yet, I have not yet had an education or taken courses in perfume, with the exception of a few master classes and private lessons from Russian perfumers. Not to say that this might not happen in the future.
TANJA BOCHNIG – author of “Pink Wood – Pink W(oud)“
I am founder and perfumer of April Aromatics. Through my many travels I discovered the healing powers of essential oils and started using them with great relief to many ailments. After long years of studies in aromatherapy, botany and natural perfumery with renowned perfumers, I launched my own series of organic perfumes and cosmetics – April Aromatics. The name is based on my birthday, since I was born on 1st April. I love this time of the year, when nature revives.
I am also a professional and licensed yoga teacher and the originator of Aromayoga®. After having lived away from Germany for 20 years, I moved to Berlin where I now work and reside with my family. From my earliest childhood I had a very developed sense of smell and passion for scents, which I deepened through my work with natural essences over the years. Through my many travels around the world, where I visited foreign countries and explored different cultures – came about the deep wish to create my own perfumes to preserve all these impressions and emotions.
I believe in the power of nature and follow a holistic lifestyle. The healing power of my products is the most important aspect of her work.
It is my passion to create beautiful smelling, botanical perfumes and to share the healing power of nature with the world.
MARCO CERAVOLO – author of “Memorhyza”
I was born in Ferrara. I studied literature and Latin at secondary school (AZZARO Pour Homme and ANTEUS, Chanel), but subsequently changed direction and chose Natural Sciences at University (KENZO pour Homme). After graduating in 1997, I moved to Bologna (MOTU, Comptoir Sud Pacifique), where I started to work for the Swedish brand Ikea (various PENHALIGON’S and MILLER HARRIS). In 2004 I joined the Italian Naturopathy School, which I finished three years later (VERDE AMIATA, Fior Di Pelle). In 2007 I learnt the first techniques of craft soap making, a creative and fantastic world that allowed me to experiment with soap and fragrances (MOLECULE 01, Escentric Molecules). During all these years, I have always cultivated great love for fine fragrances, and along with Smell Festival activities, which I’ve followed from its beginnings, I began a course in fragrance composition with Master Martino Cerizza, which ended last year, in 2016. I’ve been always delighted with everything revolving around the thrilling universe of artistic perfumery ( I keep on buying fragrances, I have more than 150 now!).
LÉA HIRAM autrice di “Light’in the roots”
Relations between art and perfume, culture and olfaction captivate me. I believe in the education of our sense of smell, throughout all kind of arts. My story is the one of a ‘multidisciplinary explorator’ of smell and fragrance. In 2000, passionated with scents, I decided to get to learn smells under anthropology rather than chemistry and leaved to Canada to study the olfactive culture among the Inuit of Canadian Artic on the icefloe. After a thesis on this subject and works in sensorial Anthropology, I dedicated myself to the aboriginal world as an anthropologist in Montreal. Simultaneously, fascinated by the idea of a culture of smell, I gave workshops in Montreal in a perfumery school, teaching the world of perfume and natural raw materials. I created a company called ‘Parfums et Papilles’ where people were introduced to naturals, flavours, food and perfumes. During those years, I also carried out olfactive exhibitions, exploring multisensoriality. At this point, I started to really need to understand more deeply about smells, in how to recreate natural scents, how to compose, and be able to create my own fragrances from everyday inspiration. So 12 years after, I crossed over Atlantic again, to get the diploma of the Grasse Institute of Perfumery, and achieved my dream to be a perfumer, after a marvellous year. Gratuated from the GIP, I’ve been trained to various aspects of perfumery. Since, I have been working some time within Grasse societies, as an assistant perfumer and evaluator. But at this stage, this perfumery does not fulfill me, it does not really fit with my idea of perfume, as an art. I want to be free creating with inspiration in an aesthetic way, choose my own materials, working with producers etc… Not so long ago, I decided to start playing with raw materials on my own, in my artisanal lab, working on creating a brand. As an anthropologist/ beginner perfumer/ visual artist, my aim is to create bridges around sensitive stories, with inspiration and the beautiful olfactive palette of the perfumer. Your selection of my fragrance in this festival just came on purpose and I thank you for it! About Smell Festival, I got to know it by some people who visited the event last year. For OSA, well, it came to me with a bit of a chance… I went to get to know the OSA only a few days before the limit, but the root theme was so inspiring it worth it working day and night! As a Ginger lover, I previously worked on a Ginger accord. This time I thought it would be perfect to made a fragrance out of it. So thank you to honour this work!
VALERIA SARGU – author of “Racines Danseuses”
I am a young woman from Bologna, studying to be an Herbalist at the University. I grew-up far from the city, in a place surrounded by perfumed tree-lined paths, sunbathed orchards, and flowering trees. Since I was little, I have been interested in smells, especially on an unconscious level, and later I realized that my sense of smell was my main sense for consciousness of the surrounding world. I smelled things before I tasted them. I followed trace smells searching for the source. When I went to a new place, if there were flowered plants, I was automatically drawn to them. I have spent hours in perfume shops, sniffing bottles under the suspicious eyes of the sales people. It was only when I finished high school that I realized I wanted to make the world of perfume my profession. Since then, I have been on the continuous search for places and opportunities to approach this magical world. In 2012, I participated in the Smell Festival’s “Dawn of Tomorrow”, which further strengthened my decision to continue on this route. In 2013, I visited Grasse and I was ecstatic. I began studying Herbalist Techniques at the University of Bologna, dreaming of reaching the prestigious ISIPCA in Versailles, which drove me to learn French. In 2015, I did an internship at an Herbalist shop in Imola, and I spent most of my time in the little laboratory discovering essential oils. I began working, so that I would take courses in Bologna, especially those in Smell Atelier, and to collect the first bottles of essential oils to perform my first experiments in composition. Meanwhile, by participating in events dedicated to perfume organized in my city, and in other locations, I am training my sense of smell, I read perfume magazines, and I am promoting my growing passion for this wonderful dream.