Sergio Momo, Founder and Creative Director of Xerjoff talks to ParfumPlus about the growth of his perfumery brand and the various collections available under its banner
ParfumPlus (PP): What inspired you to get into the domain of perfumery?
Sergei Momo (SM): After spending many years in the design business, I finally decided to make the move and pursue art perfumery, my long-time passion. The shift happened almost a decade ago and till date there has not been a single instance when I regretted my decision.
PP: What does perfumery mean to you?
SM: Perfume is one of the most important sense for anyone. For me perfumery is the best way to express my creativity and passion.PP: Since the inception of Xerjoff in 2004, how would you define the evolution in the taste of perfume lovers globally?
SM: Generally speaking, the modern day perfume lovers are quite demanding, in terms of quality as well as unique perfumes. This is a positive trend because it challenges our existing levels of creativity motivating us to perform better with our products. Indeed Xerjoff is evolving but this evolution is strictly in accordance to our founding philosophy of relying on quality, creativity and Italian craftsmanship.
PP: From your creations, which is your favourite and why?
SM: I am a creative person and believe that perfumes are the truest form of art. All my creations are very close to my heart. Like I often say, creating a perfume collection, right from the development of the concept to the final production, is the same creative process that a painter or a sculptor has to follow. Therefore, I don’t regret any of the Xerjoff, Sospiro or Kemi perfumes as all of them are the result of the dedicated efforts put in by me and my team.
PP: Kindly elaborate on the thought that inspired the creation of the Casamorati collection.
SM: Casamorati, like few other vintage Italian perfume maisons, deserved to be brought back to its splendor times. Created in 1854 in Bologna Casamorati was a very important brand exported in many markets of the world winning international awards as well. This was also the favourite brand of former Italian Queen Margherita di Savoia. Casamorati was also known to collaborate with Murano glass artists from Venice to complete the wonderful artistic presentations of its product range. It is this magnificence that inspired the creation of Xerjoff’s Casamorati collection.
PP: Tell us a little about the fragrances in Casamorati collection.
SM: The Casamorati collection consists of 9 different fragrances. Most of the perfumes from the collection are inspired from the original Casamorati perfume portfolio. They have Mediterranean connotations and characters and based on the traditional Casamorati recipes and moods. I would like to believe all the perfumes are able to evoke the magnificence of the 18th century Italian style perfumery, from Mefisto which was our first recreation to Gran Ballo, our latest launch. I have, of course, attempted to give each perfume a more modern twist achieved by special distillation techniques of the natural ingredients. For instance, Fiore d’Ulivo is a very faithful re-creation of the original perfume based on the harvest of the little white flower of the olive tree in the south Mediterranean. In the near future, we are also planning to introduce a Casamorati body line with natural extract from bio cultivation which will also include hair spray and candle lines too.
PP: What is the inspiration for the Oud Stars collection by Xerjoff?
SM: Oudh has emerged as one of the most important ingredients in perfumery. As is the case for all the perfumes under Xerjoff collection, I preceded the creation of this fragrance with an intense research on oudh which also included browsing through the book by Ibn Battuta, its meaning and its history. I firmly believe that oudh still has a lot to offer in niche perfumery. However, I have never liked the idea of creating oudh synthetically or with blend of other ingredients. Oudh is a very important and essential ingredient that is best used in its original form. Therefore, we source oudh from certified plantation in South East Asia and India, making sure that it is of the best quality as well as taking care of the environmental considerations.
Xerjoff also has a specific limited edition collection called XJ Oud, based in pure oudh oil and attars, that is aimed towards a very demanding clientele who are connoisseurs of Middle Eastern traditional products with uncompromising quality.
PP: Which is your favourite ingredient and why?
SM: I have many favourites. Neroli from the flower of the bitter orange tree is a natural ingredient that I am most fond of along with Iris and oudh from Laos plantations. I also like resins like opoponax and benzoin as well as vanilla from Madagascar. All the above from natural extraction, of course.
PP: Tell us something about the next fragrance that you are working on?
SM: At Xerjoff we are working on various projects at the same time. We are launching a new perfume brand collection named Kemi, inspired by the old science of alchemy.
A new fragrance in Shooting Stars and a new Oud Stars perfume as well as the introduction of the tenth Casamorati perfume, are expected in the future.