Close your eyes. Slow down your breathing and inhale the scent around you. What do you feel ? What awakens your senses? What are you attracted to? This is only the beginning of the birth of a perfume and the daily creative process to which master perfumer Alberto Morillas is accustomed. “Perfume has always been part of my training,” he explains. “Not only did my parents wear a lot of perfume, but I was also perfumed as a child, spraying myself with cologne. "It's no wonder, then, that the Spanish perfumer, born into a world of poignant notes and rich aromas, has become a renowned perfume designer and a great collector of fragrances.
Walk through the rooms of the house of Morillas in Geneva and you will see your eyes dancing between the dozens of candles and perfumes that decorate and perfume his house. His collection, like his garden, is not only intended for interior decoration, it is also a playground to stimulate his creativity. "My collection reflects the history of perfumes, perfumery and its evolution", he explains, and what a museum of perfumes he has collected! But Morillas' creations are legendary. He is famous for being the creator of Calvin Klein Ck One, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Bio, Marc Jacobs Daisy and Cartier's first perfume, Must de Cartier. ( To only cite a few). “I became a perfumer out of passion,” he says. "Ck One was a re-creation of the freshness of a cold tea, Acqua di Gio, the evocation of holidays and the sea, and MJ Daisy, an abstract bouquet de fleurs . "So you can understand that his house is a place of olfactory alchemy. "I started a collection of old perfume bottles 50 years ago. " he reveals. This mine of treasures is distributed in a glass display case, which extends over four alcoves and includes more than 20 shelves - which extend to its garden "Each bottle evokes a particular era. They are impossible to find today, and each is a rare piece, with a particular know-how and craftsmanship. "Don't expect to find anything ordinary here, as the collection includes obscure but intricate glassware, brightly colored bottle tops, half-stitched flasks and delicate boxes. "This bookcase with its glass shelves inspires me for my new creations", says Alberto Morillas. His desk - clad in oak and leather, miniature perfume bottles, hundreds of scent touches and formulation notes - is the nerve center for "the prototypes of my future perfumes". I like to sit in this place where I can work looking at my garden". Here, a creative synergy nourishes and inspires each of her creations, offering her moments of escape, breathing and dreaming. "I'm drawn to the shapes of the bottles, some more figurative than others, as well as the technical quality of the glass - there are rare and unique pieces," he says. And he's not just fixated on a particular design era. “Every design period is represented in my collection. It's not the design itself that matters most, but the fact that some pieces would be impossible to create today," he says, pointing out the beauty of their individuality. "It's the craftsmanship that makes them so valuable. "
The collection of Morillas has never been streamlined - no old bottles thrown away, no reduction over the years. “I find it very difficult to get rid of perfume bottles because one day they might become collectibles,” he says. And while he may not consider himself a collector in his own mind, Mr. Morillas fondly remembers the time and place (auctions, flea markets. ) where each of them was discovered and purchased.
Alberto Morillas' perfumery, encompassing creativity, inspiration, formulation and design, is integral to his interior aesthetic and art, and his collections constitute an important part of its interior decoration. But perfumes are not the only ones to perfume your home. A multitude of candles also adorn the spaces. "People are often surprised by how many different candles we light throughout the house," he says. Cascade along the consoles, stuck in nooks, illuminating the center of the rooms; spark plugs - many of which come from its own brand, Mizensir - are found at every turn. Expect to be greeted with a different signature and vibe as you move from room to room in Morillas' home. “When you enter my house, you are greeted by the scent of candles, each giving a special atmosphere,” he explains. "It's an integral part of my lifestyle. “And if you wonder what the perfumer lights up day by day, it changes with the seasons, inspired by nature. "In winter, I like to burn Sapin de Noël and Pomme d'Ambre ," says Morillas. "In the spring, I want to smell fresh flowers or Le Jardin du Parfumeur. In summer, I need the freshness to float in the house with Mizensir's range of summer candles. And for fall, it's wood-scented candles.
Alberto Morillas' home is an olfactory pyramid where he can create any scent, with layers of bottles for inspiration, as well as a number of formulas to try and a personalized garden for creation. "All the fragrances I work on - and those I have to rework - are influenced by my garden. I compose my garden at the same time as I create my formulas,” he explains, with roses and peonies currently at the center of his concerns.
Alberto, with his wife Claudine, founded his brand more than 20 years ago. Reflecting on his initial inspiration, he says, "I wanted to create candles that matched my interiors. It was then the turn of the perfumes, created in my image, in complete freedom. I prefer natural materials, citrus fruits, Mediterranean flowers, jasmine, neroli and fleur d'oranger , without worrying about the cost of the formula. What matters is quality first and foremost. “This consideration amounts to a process that is far from straightforward – but the results speak for themselves. "My Mizensir collection alone is so vast, with more than 100 references, that even I sometimes forget certain scents - and I experience such joy in rediscovering them. "
Harrods September/ October issue