Dr. Mike is the founder and creative director of Room 1015, blending his French Phd in Pharmacology and years as a guitar player in London rock bands to concoct beautifully vibrant fragrances in collaboration with some of Europe's best and brightest perfumers. In his words: "Treating the illness of 'anonymity' with powerful scented potions, bandaging vacant souls with perfumes featuring perfect accords, countering the effects of the passing time with indelible trails."
Needless to say, we were intrigued to learn more...
Q. What is your most impactful scent memory?
A. It’s definitively the smell of my first guitar. My dad, who was a fashion designer, was traveling in California in the beginning of the 90s. I remember him calling home and saying, “Mike you should see all the Gibsons in the guitar shops..." When he came back, he surprised me with a black Gibson Les Paul Standard!
What struck me was the smell when I opened the case — the varnish, the wood, the metallic strings, the synthetic fur inside. This was the inspiration for the first Room 1015 fragrance called Electric Wood. I am passionate about guitars, and every time I open a case it takes me back to that day.
Q. You named the brand after a room at the Continental Hyatt Hotel in LA, also known as "Riot House" (famous for being trashed by rock stars — if only those walls could talk!). What does that room evoke for you?
A. Things that rock stars were doing in these hotels! Back then, it was all about being free, being wild and careless. The 70s were a decade of delirium and LA was an inevitable stop on the journey for any rock n’ roll band. The Riot House trembled on more than one occasion: motorcycles in the hallway, the rooftop pool overflowing with bubbles, Jim Morrison dangling from a balcony, the TVs and furniture flying out the window…
Q. In addition to "rock & roll", how would you describe the olfactory aesthetic of your brand/fragrances?
A. More than Rock n’ Roll, it’s about art and absolute freedom. I create wild scents for wild people without looking at what the other brands are doing, and without overthinking the marketing aspect. Think of Room 1015 as the Punk fanzine of perfumery or the olfactive counterculture.
Q. What do you love most about the creation of perfume, and are there similarities with writing music?
A. What I love the most when I create a fragrance is to come up with a cool and interesting story, then see how the story can become a scent and how the scent can become a music track. I like to speak about Room 1015 scents as FULL-VOLUME fragrances with a certain level of complexity. Each scent reveals itself with the top note (like a riff), then comes the heart note (like a verse) and the base note (that’s the chorus, the note that stays in your head/nose).
Q. Are you currently in a band or otherwise making music? If so, we'd love to know more about it...
A. I was in a band until 3 years ago. Now I focus mainly on creating fragrances and music for Room 1015. I still play guitar every day.
Q. What can you tell us about the perfumers you worked with on your top 3 sellers (Cherry Punk, Electric Wood, Sweet Leaf) and what is your collaborative process?
A. Working with a perfumer is like working with a music producer who takes all your ideas and makes it a hit. So I am very thankful for the talented perfumers I work with: Jérôme Epinette (Cherry Punk), Anne-Sophie Behaghel and Amélie Bourgeois (Electric Wood) and Serge De Oliveira (Sweet Leaf). My briefs are always challenging because not all perfumers are punks (!) or familiar with the Rock aesthetic, or weed addicts (!) but somehow they feel inspired by my stories.
Q. What's on your turntable (or in your headphones) today?
A. This morning, it’s pretty calm! As I am writing this, the song "Donna Donna” by DONOVAN is on. Beautiful.
Q. What's next for Room 1015?
A. Working on a new fragrance that will be launched in March 2022! Developing 50ml format and thinking about creating scented candles. Looking forward to more fun ahead!
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