Friday, 14 April 2017

Scent secrets from the man behind ZarkoPerfume's incredible Pink Molecule

There's been a few times in my career where I've been truly inspired by someone I've interviewed. The first was a woman called Su-Man - a facialist with the most incredible life story. I must tell you all about that sometimes soon. Someone remind me.

The second is a man called Zarko Pavlov. You may not have heard of him, and actually, you may not have heard of his perfumes either - but he's quietly creeping up on the fragrance industry, and blowing other big brands out of the water with his creations. Somewhere in the sea of perfumes, he's creating scents that actually mean something - that are based on love, nature and years of knowledge - and not purely on a pretty box and a one-size-fits-all smell.

Also, on a purely scent level, since I've been wearing his fragrances, I've never been asked so many times for the name of what my perfume is - by complete strangers. I think that's a true testament to their power. 

His story

I knew I'd like Zarko as soon as he walked into the room. We were in a private dining room at the Sanderson Hotel and all the chatting stopped quite soon after he joined us. He had this air of calm about him - something I've noticed in a lot of Scandinavians. He's Danish, and ZarkoPerfume is a through-and-through Danish company. He explains that the hold that the beautiful Danish seaside landscape has on him is one of his biggest inspirations for the scents he creates. That and his wife. 

"I was asked by the Queen of Sweden to make a bespoke fragrance for her - but I said no. The only woman I have created one for is my wife."

How beautiful is that? He had us all listening after he said that. But it's not just out of love for his wife that he's turned down countless requests from celebrities and royalty. He says that he would never make a perfume for someone purely to gain money from it. That's not what he believes in. The only time he would make a fragrance on request is if he did it for a charity, where the profits would go solely to them - for their gain not his.

By now I was in awe. These are some of the most beautiful smells I have ever come across in my 5 years in the beauty industry, but he has no plans to expand the company outside of their one factory on the Danish coast. In fact, he wants to keep the sole retailer in the UK as SpaceNK - and snub the mass powerhouses like Boots, Debenhams and Selfridges. He believes the uniqueness of his scents lie in the personalised nature of them - and to expand would be detrimental to his values - and to the perfumes. 

He talked a lot about the basis on which he creates each fragrance - and it's all to do with molecules. Clever stuff, and it took me several minutes of questioning to try and work it out - so if you're interested in the art of blending, then stick with me here. Instead of using synthetic molecules, he prefers to work with natural ones - and formulations not solely based on alcohol (this is added to many perfumes to stabilise all the ingredients).  He adds water into his perfumes instead, which he found made fragrances evaporate slower and last on the skin longer. In summary: gorgeous smells that have an amazing staying power because of some clever molecule science.

The Pink Molecule 090.09

Still with me? Great because we've got to the good part - the Pink Molecule. In the ZarkoPerfume range there's seven perfumes and three perfume serums (more intense, unisex fragrances you apply with a pipette). I've smelled them all and I could just about wear every single one of them, even though the oud-based ones are a little heavy for me. But by far, the best perfume I have EVER had the pleasure of wearing is Pink Molecule. It's so hard to describe why it's leaps and bounds ahead of other more mainstream fragrances I've tried - but it is. It's such a happy smell, but the notes in it almost tell a story. It starts light and fresh, then you get a hint of pink champagne, which turns into a gorgeous, almost sensual, mahogany base. It costs £85 so not cheap, but worth every penny.

Your fragrance questions answered

Where should I spray my perfume?
I think most of us will just do a general spray on our wrists, neck and maybe even a little bit on the chest. Zarko says that by putting your perfume on pressure points like the wrists and behind the ears, you'll get the best out of it. This is because those areas tend to be warmer so the scent heats up a little and releases more of an aroma. In the summer, a good tip is also to spray a little behind your knees, especially if you're wearing a skirt.

How many sprays per area?
One spray per pressure point (he recommends one on each wrist, and behind both ears). The best distance to spritz is about 5cm away from your wrists, and you get a better effect by dabbing the fragrance behind your ears, instead of spraying. Do this by squirting a little onto your finger then sweeping behind your ears.

Do you get used to scents and stop noticing them as much?
I've always wondered if I just get used to my own perfumes, or if I'm not using enough in the morning - because often I find I can no longer smell it on myself by mid-day. Zarko says if we use the same scent every day, then it's normal to get used to it and it will smell less saturated to our own noses. But, that doesn't go for the people around you - so stick to the recommended spritz's in the morning so as to not overpower people! If it's a particularly hot day, or you've been to the gym, then another booster spray won't do any harm.


Have you tried anything from ZarkoPerfume? I'd love to know if you like it as much as I do!
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