What are ‘fragrance’ and ‘art’ in common? Apart from the spelling that they both have ‘a’s, another thing I can think of is a beautiful Italian perfumery, Xerjoff, and the founder, Mr. Sergio Momo. Artistically mingling the beauty and sensuality of art, culture and fragrance together, one can grope the thoughtfulness and spirit behind by the Egyptian treasure inspired hand-made bottle design and the art nouveau packaging, this perfume artisan constantly putting his message clear on associating the profoundness and significance of culture, art and artisanship that relevant to a sophisticated and luxury lifestyle nowadays.
I remember the first time I met Sergio through one of his launching cocktail, his subtle, soft-spoken yet elegant flair doesn’t extinguish his enormous burning passion on pursue and create the finest fragrance of his own, such passion literally impressed me very much when the gentleman showed me the precious handcrafted perfume bottle which in a limited edition with a very precious Quartz, and, another luxurious box that lined up with the tear-drop-like bottles contain the finest concentrated perfume oil in various flavors, which made with the superb quality that belongs to his ‘crème-de-la-crème’ from his perfume house, that intrigues me even more to discover the story behind this amazing artisan, and his journey of perfume.
The name Casamorati Xerjoff makes the beginning of this beautiful perfume story in Italy about a century ago, which represents the pinnacle of perfume culture and the pleasure of appreciation, thanks to its philosophical approach by merging the aesthetic and history, interpret with the premium fragrances produced in high quality that evokes the awareness of luxurious lifestyle and intellectual sense. Today, such legacy succeeded by the passionate Sergio to take the Italian artistic perfume culture to another new height.
I am truly honor to have a quick catch-up with this sophisticated perfume artisan to share about his insight about perfume and men’s lifestyle:
My Modern Darcy: Can you share with us what makes you to devote yourself in perfumery field? And what intrigues you the most throughout this journey?
Sergio Momo: I have being a designer for most of my career, I have worked in the UK as well as USA and of course Italy. Luxury always engaged in me a great deal of interests, from fashion to automotive, from watches to interior design. I have tried to be involved with my design and creativity as much as I could in luxury with product design, brand identity and corporate design. After many years of this activity I have applied my experience in the perfumery since it had always been one of my true passion since childhood. Perfumery is a creative way to express myself. Perfumes have the potential to unlock dreams, to be somewhere else and to talk about one’s style and mood. This “creative journey” never ends or slow down, it matures and evolves with the brand I have created.
MMD: As I know you have been travelling around the world to promote your brand, how did you see the culture of using fragrance varies from Europe and the rest of the world?
SM: Every culture has its own history related to perfumery, it is very important to know each traditions as much as important to bring to them with our own style and message. One’s really never realize how big is the world is…until one’s reaches and touches every corner of it, getting to know the people and its history is a true gift. Some cultures/markets have just acknowledge the universe of the Niche Perfumery which Xerjoff operates, other cultures have already being consumers since decades so the work I do is quite variegated in terms of presentation of my brands.
MMD: With your sensitivity of art, history and culture, how did you find the beauty of mingling all these elements into your perfume? And what would you expect the people get from your perfume after they use them?
SM: Xerjoff for me is not just a perfume brand but a more multi-sensorial project which always includes a mix of history, meanings, design and of course olfactive expressions. In my opinion, a luxury perfume is not concerned with practical solutions or simple executions but instead with the “extraordinary”, the “non-essential” and exclusivity. I expect my customers to feel special also because of Xerjoff. I expect my customer to join me in this travel which evolves also by creating classical perfumes to treasure like good memories.
MMD: Among all the beautiful fragrance that you created, which one is your favorite and why?
SM: I often ask this question, which is very difficult to answer since all the perfumes in the Xerjoff portfolio are present, because according to my opinion, they deserve to be there. So there is not a favorite one but maybe one which I am more fond of, which is HOMME from the 17/17 collection. A strong leather and woods blend created in 2005.
MMD: Something about men and fragrance; how do you see the relations between these 2? And how does it impact to a gentleman’s lifestyle?
SM: I believe perfume is one of the most important business cards a men has to introduce himself, at the same time, perfume is also very important to be felt comfortable with themselves, alone. It is a very important sense which needs to be cherished and trained. More and more men today are exploring different and alternative directions concerning the selection of their own perfumes. In the past generation, the majority of men used the same perfume in every occasion and for many years. Today, more and more men are choosing their personal perfume with two parameters in mind:
1) Quality & Creativity (differentiation vs mass products) - more individuality;
2) One perfume for every “occasion" with a wider selection at hand.
So, my conclusion is a higher knowledge of the subject driven by higher desire of individuality.
MMD: What are the attributes for a modern day gentleman should have?
SM: I come back to individuality….
The exotic odyssey can always be found in every single one of Xerjoff’s fragance, as the top of my list, the sensual and alluring Oesel from the ‘Shooting Stars’ collection is definitely the choice of someone who loves fantasy and exoticism. The seductive flair from the Orange blossom and Petitgrain, takes one to indulge such fantasy slowly down to the silky, mystique Middle-East myth with the sweet and sultry notes from Bulgarian rose, Sambac jasmine, then to the hard note of Indian patchouli, cedar and tobacco flower.
For a more aromatic and intense flair, the unapologetically sexy of Uden can possibly suits your need. The citrus based note from grapefruit and lemon, giving the energetic spark and vitality from the mysterious and soft veil of the fragrance, adding the guaiac wood, rum and sandalwood, and the romantic bouquet note of red rose, that empowers the masculinity yet expresses the sexiness at the same time.
Ones don’t need a magic carpet to explore the world of exotica, sometimes just a simply splash of Xerjoff’s fragrance can takes you there only within a second with artistic fantasy and luxury perfume indulgence.
Special thanks to Mr. Sergio Momo, image courtesy of Xerjoff