Sheila Massetti of Perfume and Skincare Co. Interview

Hey APJ Family,

Part of what I and EvieC wanted to do when we started this blog was to ferret out and show the world our emerging perfumers down here in Australia. We are far away from much of the world but our fragrance makers are doing some pretty inspiring, wearable, boundary pushing, affordable scents in the true niche historical context. Going for product over marketing and price.

So when Director, Perfumer and Product Formulator for the Perfume and Skincare Co, Sheila Massetti, from Robertson NSW gets in touch and offers to send some samples to APJ to have a sniff around with I was ecstatic. When those samples arrive as bottles I am overwhelmed. So I sent a few decants around the world to some of my blogging buddies, shared a few with my friends and I have been wearing 3 of the 5 fragrances sent quite a bit too.

We’ve asked a slightly tweaked version of the APJ questions and here is Sheila…

Give us a brief history, who was young you, important you defining moments or early fragrant memories that may have herded you towards the ever moving now and how did you become interested in becoming a perfumer?

I started my career as a Journalist – something that is now incredibly useful as it taught me the art of research, research, research.  My early fragrant memories have guided me into the Perfumes I now formulate.  Gardenia for my Mother off to a ball wrapped in swathes of white chiffon and smelling of Gardenias.  Ginger Milk for my Grandmother who used to make me a “homesickness” remedy with warm milk, honey, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Fig & Olive from a trip to Tuscany etc etc.
I did as I think a lot of little girls did and collected Rose petals, put them in a jar of water and left them for a few days to create my own Rosewater.

How did you get your education as a perfumer?

I trained as an Aromatherapist and discovered my interest in Perfume through blending Essential Oils but they were never enough.  Meeting up with the owner of a company which specialised in the production of Aroma Accords and Synthetics brought my dream to life and he helped me with the basic tenets of Perfume formulation.
Working with Synthetics gives me a much broader base on which to draw and I find them more stable with the ability to steer a fragrance from the “norm” to spectacular.
Training as a Perfumer is impossible in Australia so I became an Artisan Perfumer using my intuition and love of fragrance to steer me in the right direction.  My trips to France lead me to meet Perfumers from Chanel, Issey Miyake and Jean Paul Gaultier and I had the opportunity to work with them, or should I say “play with them”.  This furthered my technical knowledge but I still work from intuition.

Robertson Photo stolen ideal-sydney-getaways

Why did you want to come home and be a perfumer in Australia where the culture of ‘perfume’ seems somewhat limited?

Being a Perfumer in Australia is somewhat limited as the general perception is that “all Perfumers come from France”, but if you can get people to think outside the square they realise that this is not the case.

Do you have any inspirations in the perfume world?

My inspiration in the world of Fragrance would have to be Jean-Claude Ellena.  How could you not be smitten with him.

Do you have a favourite mass-market perfume?

My favourite mass market Perfumes are Tom Ford’s Black Orchid and Tobacco Vanille – very opposite in type but equally beuatiful.

What about a favourite independent perfumer and how have they influenced you?

I don’t have a favourite independent Perfummer as yet but I’m sure that will change.

What does your immediate future at Perfume and Skincare Co hold?

The immediate future of the Perfume & Skincare Company is affected by the market.  It is incredibly difficult to convince Wholesale Buyers to try something new when Retail stores are finding it hard enough (under the global financial situation) to get their customers to spend anything.  This is a situation which will improve over time and I forsee Retailers going back to a time when they want something new to tempt customers.  In the meantime we have our own Retail stores in the Southern Highlands and our Web Site which offers the chance to sample all the different fragrances.

Carrington Falls Photo Stolen

I applaud Sheila for her push to bring the good juice to Australia. They ship worldwide and have a really terrific sample program, you won’t believe how reasonable their prices are for true niche extrait-plus strength fragrances. Do jump across and have a look at ThePerfumeAndSkincareCompany. Then come back tomorrow to have a look at our reviews for 5 of the fragrances they offer.

As always wishing you the best of everything till we see you tomorrow,
Portia xx

11 comments on “Sheila Massetti of Perfume and Skincare Co. Interview

  1. Jordan River says:

    Looking forward to your reviews. Linden Leaf sounds interesting.

  2. poodle says:

    I love when people pursue their dreams like that. She could have let where she lived stop her from trying and yet she found a way to learn, get the materials, and just do it. Not everyone has that quality. I admire that. I look forward to tomorrows reviews of the scents.

  3. sinnerman01 says:

    Ditto form above !thought this was a great story! I to love blending essential oil to create perfume but the are so fleeting! Want to learn more from this company and perhaps support the Aussie !!!! Yeah !!!!

  4. Undina says:

    Thanks for the story, Portia. It was interesting to read.

    Now I’ll try to finish my testing before I read your impressions: I don’t want to be influenced! 🙂

  5. […] we did an APJ Interview with Sheila Masseti if you’d like to meet the […]

  6. […] been looking at The Perfume and Skincare Company from Australia this week; Monday we Interviewed Sheila Masseti and Tuesday we Reviewed PS&Co Fragrances (JUMP back to catch up if you missed them). We at APJ […]

  7. […] been looking at The Perfume and Skincare Company from Australia this week; Monday we Interviewed Sheila Masseti and Tuesday we Reviewed PS&Co Fragrances (JUMP back to catch up if you missed […]

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