Il mio modo

Perfumery as a Form of Art

Creating a perfume is an intellectual process born from the desire to express concepts, conceive ideas and evoke states of mind. The goal is to spark emotions and feelings drawn from people’s personal store of memories and experiences.

An artistic vision – that is, an idea that obsessively dominates the creator’s mind – together with the knowledge of ingredients and the art of combining them, are crucial to bringing a perfume to life.

The act of creation is a process of thinking, of digging deep into feelings to reveal their mechanism, and then imagining architectures apt to arouse them in individuals via a unique balance of fragrant materials.

Francesca Bianchi, Untitled Watercolor
Albrecht Dürer, Melencholia I, engraving, detail

The Symbolic Language of Emotions

Perfumery is a symbolic language of emotions. Each fragrant element conveys something significant to humans connected not only to their culture but also to their experience of love, pain, joy, and sense of mystery, in short, their emotional life. The meaning doesn’t exist per se. Rather, it is tightly rooted in human memory, individual and collective, and assigned accordingly.

Perfumery is an art of transformation, such as Alchemy: by mixing specific ingredients together, the maker gives rise to an entirely new, previously unknown entity.

Smell of Humanity, Smell of Intimacy

I am mostly inspired by the power of what it means to be human, by the wish to connect with people’s inner life, the desire to spark an emotion in them and make them feel at home in their own bodies, offer solace, or just a quick fix for a bad day. Olfactory signals travel with no mediation – just in a couple of synapses – to the limbic system, the place assigned to memory and emotions in our brain. As a result, the reaction triggered by the sense of smell is biologically inescapable, not liable to manipulation. It therefore fully satisfies our longing for authenticity.

My perfumes have gained a reputation for being sensual and provocative, probably as a consequence of that focus on human nature and intimacy.

Photography by Ramez E. Nassif (Unsplash)
Photography by Nikita Tikhomirov (Unsplash)

Naturals and Synthetics

The aim in selecting the raw materials is to embody a specific idea. I tend to privilege the use of natural ingredients for their complexity and richness, but I also include materials of synthetic origin. They can provide effects that cannot be produced with the natural ones alone. I don’t see contradictions between them. Both are the result of very complex transformations at the hands of humans, and the science involved in extracting and transforming them is the result of centuries of human development. Also, there’s not such a thing as a ‘better’ or ‘worse’ category of materials: a material is simply suitable or not according to a specific purpose.

The Production Flow

All my perfumes are created by me in my laboratory. It takes between 6 months and 4 years or more to come up with a formula for a new fragrance. A family-run company based in Grasse, France, which processes raw materials for fine perfumery, mixes the compound for me and sends it to a manufacturing company in Milan, Italy, to complete the production: maturing in alcohol, filtering, bottling and packaging.

Short Bio

I have been a perfume lover since I was a child. I graduated in History of Art, specialising in the XXth century. My passion for creating perfumes was inspired by reading a book on natural perfumery. I have been studying and experimenting ever since. I lived in several European cities, Florence, Berlin, Luxembourg, and Amsterdam, and worked in the Art Books Publishing industry. It was in Amsterdam, where I currently live, that I finally created my own perfume line.

Francesca Bianchi's Portrait