Secrets of Success is back with perfume creators Alia Raza and Ezra Woods from Régime des Fleurs, as they are launching a new collection of postmodern fragrances. We interviewed these L.A.-based aroma fiends to get a glimpse of what drives their style. They have been inspired by everything from Medusa to pop culture of the 80's and 90's and more. Check out their curation of images they selected exclusively for us.
Could you comment a little bit on your curation of images here and how they relate to your new collection?
Alia: All the images we are including served as inspiration and reference for the new perfumes. We are very visual and really think about imagery when creating a perfume.
Ezra: We are sort of trying to actualise this amalgamated aspirational image of the world that we fantasised about as kids that was created by fairytales, fashion and advertising imagery from the 80s and 90s.
What is your new collection about?
E: Our new collection is about "collective memories" and "textural impressions".
If you had to match each of the three new perfumes with a song, what would they be?
A: I'm letting Ezra answer for Freeworld and Fauna, but for Floralia.. it would definitely be Handel's Concerti Grossi, Opera 6.
E: Freeworld is like the original "Our Lips are Sealed" by Fun Boy Three; Fauna, is more "Human Behavior" by Bjork; and Floralia, is as if Mariah Carey sang a very delicate, meandering and emotional version of the Hallelujah Chorus that was put through a watery reverb filter.
Do you have a muse? If so, who is it?
A: I've always been really taken with Medusa since I was little. She has so much power, which is compelling, but there's pain and vulnerability as well. She's misunderstood, her story is tragic, but there's a real feminine strength to her that I relate to and find inspiration in.
E: We have muses for all of our scents and they are sort of "hypothetical" people. For example, Floralia is like a Neoclassical version of the 80s film - Mannequin. That woman doesn't really exist. For Fauna, I was obsessed with the idea of Lady Fag and Jocelyn Wildenstein together, but through a sort of magical dreamy lens - like Pierre et Gilles meets David Hamilton.
Is there a perfume for a particular time of the day or the evening?
A: I like to just let my mood dictate what fragrance I want to wear, not the occasion. Freeworld is really fresh so maybe that's daytime, but it would work at night too. It has a sensuality to it. Fauna has a heaviness and a lightness that could also be both day or night. And for me Floralia is always perfect for day or night.
Is each fragrance tied to a specific memory of a place, a person, event, feeling?
A: Not really. We aren't so into the idea of recreating the scents of our childhood vacations or whatever - we think it's been done too much! But collective memory, imaginary events, cultural moments - those are interesting to us.
E: We create our perfumes in the hopes of creating future memories.
How did you choose the brand name?
A: We've both always been obsessed with flowers. It's just in our blood I guess. We're both Francophiles but we also think it's funny that perfumes are traditionally marketed as being French even when they're not. So the name is what we're genuinely into but it also has a sense of humor.
E: We wanted to reference something that is governmental and we wanted to mention flowers because they are very meaningful for Alia and me.
What is your secret of success?
E: Well I think I am still figuring our my secret to success but I think that I view "success" as creating from my healthiest and most unique and authentic aspects of myself.
A: I don't really know if I believe in success - you just keep working and if you're lucky you enjoy it.