An Interview with AromaTech’s Fragrance Editor
An Interview with AromaTech’s Fragrance Editor
‘An idea transformed into a work of art’. That is how we would describe the backstory for our aroma oil line, the Cities Collection.Paying homage to the world’s most visited cities, and how intimately linked our memories and emotions are with scent, this product line was created to embody the beautiful world of travel right from your nebulizing diffuser.
However, if you really want to understand the process that went into capturing the true scents that represent these cities, you would have to go straight to the source. Introducing AromaTech’s Fragrance Editor, Ryan, who has the fascinating role of bringing to life the unforgettable places and memories that people love, through the power of scent. Although you will learn directly from Ryan about his journey with fragrance below, it is worth noting that his curiosity and passion for fragrance - stemming from his childhood days - makes him the perfect individual to lead the ideation of AromaTech’s variety of aroma oils and blends.
Read our conversation with Ryan:
When did you become interested in fragrance?
My earliest memories of fragrance date back to when I was a very young boy. I recall carefully watching my grandfather, analyzing his every move, as he would get ready and prepare to leave for work. The part of his morning ritual that stuck with me - as you will have gathered by now - was how he made use of scent. I still have vivid memories of the Dior Eau Sauvage cologne he would gently apply after shaving. The intentionality of it all was encouraging - it made me want to be just like him, to always be well-groomed and ready for the day ahead.
When did you start to incorporate fragrance into your life?
I started showing an interest in scents and fragrances in my early teen years. If I recall correctly, one of my first bottles of perfume was C.K. Actually, I think my first fragrance purchase was Aqua Di Gio, which was on-trend with the beloved aquatic theme of the 90s.
That said, the first true luxury perfume that I owned was a gift from my wife - Creed’s Millesime Imperial, a beautiful unisex fragrance that is reminiscent of Sicily. It took me a moment to fully come around to just how expensive a fragrance could be, but this is also the moment that I started to obsess about fragrance and its history. Everything from the perfume houses and the perfumers themselves, which ultimately led me to where I am and the work I do today with AromaTech.
What is it about fragrance that interests you the most?
So many things! If I had to pinpoint one aspect of fragrance that truly piques my interest, it would be the expressiveness of it all. I believe that wearing fragrances, and perfumes themselves, is a true art and an alternative way of expressing oneself. There is so much beauty in the experience - how it recalls memories that would otherwise not be remembered, and its transformative power to transport you to a different time and place.
Without being explicit about it, the act of choosing a fragrance and wearing it proudly is an act of communicating how you are feeling on that very day - and the people around will have no other option than to receive that message because you cannot turn off the human sense of smell.
What are your favorite fragrance notes?
I am a chypre perfume lover at heart. For those that do not know, chypre is a lesser-known classic fragrance family. It opens bright with citrus, the mid typically features florals and labdanum, and the base has Oakmoss and other resins to bring warmth and grounding.
I do also have an affinity for rose, oud, florals, sandalwood, amber, spices, musk, and ambergris. Anything that is mysterious and fun - and then packaged into a scent, is what I naturally gravitate to. This is evident in the creations I have developed at AromaTech - like the hints of rose and oud in the Dubai aroma oil, or notes of creamy sandalwood and chocolate in the New York aroma oil.
What are your favorite fragrances?
Given how many fragrance notes I just claimed were my favorite - ten and counting - this is a hard one to answer. It changes from day to day, and from context to context. Narrowing it down to my absolute staples, I would say Guerlain’s Heritage, M by Puredistance, Chypre Oud Maharani Auphorie, Kyara by Di Ser, and Chypre Palatin from MDCI.
What is your process for creating a new fragrance or fragrance collection?
To be frank, it begins with dreaming - dreaming and envisioning what our customers would want their personal or public environments to smell like, and the particular scents that are best suited for those spaces.
It is important to also take stock of what fragrances or collections already exist in the market and, from there, to consider how we can pivot creatively and embark on a new, surprising, and different direction. For me, drawing inspiration from a city or landscape can stir up exciting ideas. I allow myself to get lost in my imagination and to start picturing how those environments are infused with smells.
I also use my personal experiences, in addition to story-boarding and researching, to really hone in on particular elements - be it flora, fauna, and so on - that might tell me more about which scents are best attributed to the place, piece of literature, movie, or memory I have in mind. Having a really robust research and preparation process before diving into creating gives us the best insights into the different fragrances and blends that will most effectively transport our customers.
How do you use a diffuser? Why do you favor nebulizing technology?
I have the AromaTech Air Stream Single (HVAC) scent diffuser, which disperses my fragrance of choice effortlessly throughout the entire house. I prefer nebulizing diffusers because it allows the oil to permeate the space in its purest and most potent form, offering the most coverage and fullest scenting experience.
Of course, if you are looking to spruce up a smaller space, or perhaps just a single room within your house, the AroMini BT is another brilliant option.
What is your favorite AromaTech oil, and when do you use it?
For me, this question is like asking which one is your favorite child! At this particular moment, I would have to call out the Dubai aroma oil from our Cities Collection. The way that this fragrance blend washes over my home with notes of subtle rose, hints of smoke and spice, and backed by an oud accord is absolutely wonderful.
For the upcoming colder season, I am looking forward to bringing out The Grand Ball - for all of the winter parties. This one has stunning notes of rose, mixed in with orris and tonka bean. Is it evident enough that I love the smell of rose?