Hi there Posse. Recently I introduced you all to a new business called American Perfumer. The name says it all. Independent Artisan American Perfumers being put on display so you can find a large selection of them in one spot. Genius! From that initial post I was inspired to meet some of the people behind the perfume brands that are for sale at American Perfumer. They all get the same 10 questions so we can see how they differ and how they are similar. After I will give you a quick review of one or two of their perfumes. Today let’s meet Neil Morris of Neil Morris Fragrances
Neil Morris Fragrances: American Perfumer Interviews
What do you recall of your families fragrances as you grew up?
My mom loved perfume and had a very sensitive nose! She used to wear Emeraude and Tigress when I was a kid. When she was really serious and going out for some fun she would wear Chanel No. 5, a perfume that I also wear! (There are no men’s or women’s fragrances. Just marketing!) When she was older she loved Estee Lauder’s Private Collection, which I smelled one day in an elevator a few years ago. It immediately conjured my mom! My father wore Canoe and Old Spice, of course!
Where is your dream vacation spot?
Hawaii! I’ve been there 17 times! I also love Ireland. And Finland! I lived there for a year way back in the late ’70’s.
How do you like to start your day?
With a green smoothie!! I’ve lost 55 pounds since January and green smoothies really helped!
Tell us about your life, family, business or career before perfume?
There was a before perfume?? LOL! Well, I worked many years as a beautician, which certainly blends well with perfumery!
How did you find yourself in perfumery?
That story would take up more time than we have here! Suffice to say that I have always experienced much of life through my “nose”! I created oil blends back in the 60’s, my hippie days. I would blend for friends and soon other people were asking me to blend something for them. In the early 90’s I was blessed to meet a wonderful and talented lady named Paula Goldstein. She owned Desana Fragrances on Newbury St. in Boston and we became instant friends.She knew I shared her passion for fragrance creation and when I told her I was contemplating creating a business she said: “Yes! Just f***ing DO it!”. So, I did! I’ll always be grateful to Paula for giving me the proverbial kick in the butt!
What is your favourite perfume note and why?
I know it’s boring but it would have to be Vanilla! Don’t most people love the smell of vanilla? I think for me it’s a childhood-safety-comfort-cake-kitchen thing! Anyway I love trying to find new ways to work with it. And it’s a challenge because so much has already been done with it! Love Shalimar and Angel!
How did you decide on your companies name, what is its relevance?
Haha! That was pretty self explanatory! My name! David, my business partner at the time, said: “You’ve got a good name and it’s easy to remember.”
What was the last novel or biography you read (current if appropriate)?
The last novel I read was “The Death of Mrs. Westaway” (an excellent mystery) by Ruth Ware and now I’m reading Rue McClanahan’s “My First Five Husbands” and I’m loving it! I always loved (and still do!) The Golden Girls and Rue especially always made me laugh! I’m really enjoying this book!
Hypothetically: If you had to pick a Signature Perfume that you didn’t create, what and why?
Hmm… good question! Angel wears really beautifully on my skin as does Chanel No. 5. But I think it would be a toss-up between Dawn’s Nourouz and Hermes’ Une Jardin Sur Le Nil.
Who are your fragrant heroes?
Paula Goldstein (now Paula Rigby), Sarah Horowitz-Thran, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, Akuura Kulak of Aroma Sanctum (All of whom know each other from Essence on Boston’s Newbury St), and Jean-Claude Ellena of Hermes. I love his minimalist approach!
Thanks Neil for letting us see a little into your head and heart.
You can buy Neil Morris Fragrances at American Perfumer
Fetish: Neil Morris Fragrances
Fetish Notes: Myrrh, oud, leather, benzoin, rosewood, musk, patchouli, ambergris
In the sweltering Sydney heat Fetish wears resinous and lightly minty, I think it might be part of the rose that’s giving me this . Luxurious and calm, the animal is contained but barely. The musks feels very human, like the dry, fleshy, morning smell of a healthy person that showered before they went to bed. You know, it smells a bit like Jin’s pillow after he’s left early morning for work and I roll into his spot.
Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies