Bruno Jovanovic, the creator of Idole d’Armani

Bruno Jovanovic

At 34, Bruno Jovanovic is one of France’s youngest and most celebrated perfurmers. As a boy he was enthralled by fragrance and even renamed his family: ‘My father was Chamomile, my mother Violet, my grandmother Rosa.” Since 2002 he has created a string of ‘juice’ (as they say in the trade) for avant-garde clients including Donna Karan, Lamborghini, Karl Lagerfeld, Calvin Klein and Porsche Design. His latest is Idole d’Armani, which launched in Australia in September this year.

“It’s a tribute to the women who have inspired Mr. Armani over the years,” says Jovanovic, who has infused the fragrance with the notes of Clementine, per, ginger, jasmine and loukoum rose.

Q&A with Bruno

The smells I most remember from childhood are…
My mother’s fragrances. She was fond of powdery, aldehydic tones. She loved Calèche by Hermès.

The fragrance I wish I mhad made myself is…
Angel by Thierry Mugler, Feminite do Bois bu Shiseido and YSL Paris.

The ingredients I most like working with are…
Rose, and patchouli – it’s one of my favourites because it doesn’t smell like anything you know. It’s so powerful, intense and interesting. It’s a dreamlike and mysterious. And I love vanilla, it gives a universal dimension.

The most interesting trend in fragrance has been…
The attention being paid to the quality of raw materials. We’re not shy of heavier, oriental and leathery fragrances, which, during the 1990s, we tried to avoid. We’re going bac to more unique fragrances with more personality.

A disadvantage of having a heightened sense of smell is…
You get tired. There’s olfactory fatigue because you spend so much of your time smelling. I smell everything in the streets; I smell food, boutiques, flower shops, bakeries. There’s a game perfumers play to recognize what [perfume] people in the streets are wearing.

If not a perfumer, I might have been…
An F1 driver. I wouldn’t have been a good driver as I am a perfumer – and this is a long-lasting career.

If I’m ordering flowers for someone, they must be…
Tropical, exotic flowers like tuberose or jasmine – it depends on the person. But they’re for women with strong personality who are not afraid of the scent in her bedroom. Roses for others.

Credits: Air, a Qantas Magazine (Sep 2009)

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