What follows is the questionnaire I gave to a number of US perfumers, and their answers. First up is Sage Machado, who good naturedly agreed to this interview.
Do you have a smell from childhood that you loved – anything from your Mom’s perfume to your dog’s paws – and what was it?
Earth, trees, sand, ocean, going up in a hippie family, my playground was the outdoors! We lived in a small beach town so I was in the ocean everyday since age 5…. The smell of hot sand, salty ocean and moist ocean air all are home.
Are you a synaesthete, do you “visualize” odors, or “taste” colors, and does it affect your output?
I am all visual upon initial inspiration, its all about the gemstones color, history, and emotion I get from it, then I start building on the base of the scent… I’m all about the base, the rest comes in gentle layers, much like the density of the gemstone… The final result must be a visual one. The scent must first represent the color of that gemstone, then flow into the fragrance which should embody the woman I’ve envisioned that gemstone to speak to.
How do you see people using your perfumes, as accessories, personal signatures, or therapeutically?
As personal signatures for sure. Working almost exclusively in perfume oil, the fragrances wear much closer to the skin and therefore become truly a personal scent, each one completely individual depending on it’s wearer.
If perfumes can be categorized as narrative (like Jean Patou’s 1000) or as abstractions (like No 5) or mood altering (like Eau Dynamisante) or evocative (like L’Heure Bleue) which are yours?
My line is quite broad, 20 scents in all so they speak to many and all. I have purposely designed my fragrance collection as just that, a collection which is meant to be broken down to satisfy every scent genre… I’m not a single fragrance girl like those mentioned. I aim to please all!
Do you have a particular material you prefer to work with or that you always return to?
For me it is all about an earthy and deep base… on a personal level. I would say there is always a warmness in anything that I do even when it is light.
What is your current best seller?
ONYX is the CULT favorite always, DIAMOND and PEARL are right behind it at the very top!
Which of your perfumes are you proudest of, and why?
PEARL, I wear this perfume closest to my heart as it was developed for my firstborn daughter, Sophie Rose, to embody the sweet scent of a child and be a subtle skin fragrance. This fragrance by far is the most special to me and brings me warmth and serenity every time I wear it.