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Meet Jérôme Di Marino - the newest face on the scent scene…
Lauded new perfumers don’t come around often. But meet Jérôme Di Marino, protégée of olfactory genius Francis Kurkdijan. Under Kurkdjian’s strict supervision, Di Marino created Carven’s newest scent Carven L’Eau Intense. As the fragrance drops in the UK, he shares a few works about working with Kurkdijan, the scents he adores and the ones he really doesn’t.
MC: Did you go down the traditional perfumery route?
Jerome: I did in a way. I got my degree at the university in Nice and then moved to Paris to pass the Master of ISIPCA in Versailles. I did an internship at the school working between ISIPCA and Givaudan over two years in Paris and that’s where I started learning fine fragrances. Then I moved to Givenchy for one year to work in olfactive development and finally Takasago.
MC: So how was your first meeting with Francis?
J: We met by chance, talked about perfume, creation, art, fashion…and that’s how everything started!
MC: What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt from Francis?
J: That I need to justify why I put every aroma into a scent. Every time he asks me why I’m putting certain notes in the perfume and if I didn’t have the right reason – like if I just wanted to because I liked it – that’s not a valid argument. He’s very straight to the point. It’s good because I know I’m not wasting my time, and that I made a scent with all the rights things inside. He gives me a lot of advice – we speak a lot and he shows me things every two days to smell.
MC: What do you like most about your job?
J: I guess the human side of the job is more interesting – it’s nice to not always be hiding in the lab. It’s interesting to be in a partnership too and to work with the same person and have the same point of view. The modern way of creating perfumes like this is much quicker – I enjoy the process most.
MC: How long does it usually take from the start to the finish?
J: It depends if we have the same vision as the brand, but it can be very fast. It depends on the brief and the starting point when the brand approaches us. If they know exactly what they want we can make it quickly. But if they don’t know and just say we want a ‘signature scent’ but not much else? Then it takes much more time. I’d say something like this Carven scent was maybe 9 months. We saw the brand a lot and made them smell the different submissions to rework the fragrance. We also worked on the body lotion and shower gel – so that’s a lot of work in total.
MC: Who do you admire in perfumery?
J: Francis! But I would also say I like the perfumery of Olivier Polge, who is the son of Jack Polge. He made Spicebomb and he created a new modern interpretation of masculine perfumery and I admire that. He’s really talented and his work enhanced the way I made perfume.
MC: What particular notes are your favourites?
J: I love vanilla, I love the smell and spices of cinnamon, that’s why I love Spicebomb. I do love orange blossom and the clean freshness of lavender but treated in a soapy way to create a bubble bath smell. I love La Rossa, which is Prada the new interpretation of lavender in a clean and soapy aspect.
MC: Any notes you don’t particularly like?
J: It’s complicated there’s nothing I dislike really. I think that even if something on smells bad it can be used in a perfume. You work around it and try to make it work in a different way. There’s nothing I really dislike, like a painter if he doesn’t like the yellow he can blend it with another colour and make a different colour. I’m not fond of a watery or fruity notes though. I don’t think it’s very chic, but I’ve learned how to work it because it’s the market today and that’s my job and I have to know how to make everything for every customer but it’s not my favourite.
MC: How do you work? Do you have to have silence or do you like to have music on?
J: Depends on my mood, but I used to work with music on. Now I work with people more so I like interactions and talking about making it together and where could we take the perfume. Sometimes I need silence, but I also need human contact because when you work a lot on something you need to express your point of view and see it in another way.
MC: Finally is there anyone you’d love to create a scent for?
J: Maybe a painter like Salvador Dali I think. I think he’d wear something not commercial. Something really abstract, maybe based around spices or foods or something outdoors. That’s an interesting question, let me keep thinking….
Carven L’absolu – 30ml ￡42, 50ml ￡58, 100ml ￡75
Carven L’eau Intense – 30ml ￡35, 50ml ￡50, 100ml ￡70