Q. Seahorses are definitely enchanting animals, what's most exciting to you about the seahorse as muse, and how do the notes of the fragrance represent the animal? Especially curious about the inclusion of florals...
A. I’ve always wanted to create an aquatic perfume with seaweed as the main note, and when I learned that seahorses are not good swimmers and use their tails to latch on to seaweed, I knew I had found the inspiration. But what’s more interesting to me is that male seahorses give birth to babies, which is very rare in the animal kingdom.
Aquatic fragrances are typically created for men, I thought if I make an aquatic perfume unisex, that could represent the uncommon nature of seahorses, and to do that, I added florals to the perfume.
Q. Tell us about your collaboration with Julien Rasquinet, what was the Seahorse creative process like?
A. I almost found it humorous that when I got the first mods from Julien, I was repulsed by the amount of seaweed (algae absolute) he'd put into it. I thought he’s braver than me! Those mods actually reminded me of the dry seafood market in Hong Kong, or street-side clay pot seafood steamed rice (those are delicious). Slowly he rebalanced the formula by introducing some florals in it.
Q. We've been wanting to ask this... How do you choose which animals to feature, and how do you decide which perfumer to use for a specific animal?
A. It’s important for me to study a perfumer’s portfolio and style before suggesting an animal to him/her. If I skip this step, it would be like asking an abstract painter to create a realist painting — frustrating for both. I am currently working with a perfumer who is famous for gourmand style perfumes, and I’ve picked an animal that loves to eat clover flowers, which smell of vanilla.
Q. You are, famously, an animal lover. Do you have a favorite creature?
A. I would like to see a real quokka, the happiest looking animal! And also a kiwi bird… I want to see if they really have no wings.
Q. Everyone, including us, is in love with the animal illustrations on your labels and boxes. Can you tell us about the illustrator?
A. Daisy Chan is the illustrator for my perfumes. We were coworkers in the same video game company before my business venture had started. She did 2D and I did 3D. Every time she toasted her bagel in the kitchen I would ask her if she would do illustrations for my perfume projects in the future.
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