Interview with Delrae Roth

Somedays I wish I had a quick-quotes quill as did Rita Skeeter, if only for the ease of writing, not for the distortion of truth.  I digress.

Good Tuesday Morning!  Today We have a little something different– the long awaited question and answer review with DelRae Roth of Parfums DelRae.

PQ: I read you began by working on a few vials by yourself before passing them to M. Roudnitska whose work and his father’s you admire.  What inspired you to begin creating your own line of perfumes? 

DR: I worked off and on for about a year thinking about the ideas I had for my first three perfumes. I ordered oils from the big houses in France. I had always loved fragrance and bought and followed all the new perfumes. But, I found for myself, that nothing that was being released resonated. I appreciated the complexities and nuances in some of the great French perfumes of the past. And I had ideas, “olfactive concepts” that I thought could work as wonderful perfumes. Since I had worked as a designer/artist for many years I was familiar with the creative process and knew quite well how to manage projects, sourcing and so on. Most importantly, I felt it was the time in my life to do something that I really loved, to combine the things that inspired me. And, I felt like I could take a risk and put this altogether in creating Parfums DelRae. It was a big move for me personally but I felt that it was time to exercise my savior-faire as they say.

PQ: For whom should one wear perfume?  Yourself or others?  For whom do you create the perfume, the wearer or those in the wearer’s olfactory line of sniff? If your perfumes had a face to represent them, who would they be—alive or dead—to represent their spirit?  Or do you think assigning a face is too restrictive?

DR:  I think perfume is one of life’s great pleasures, in the same catagory as fine wine, great art, wonderful food. It is accessible to everyone as well. When you buy a perfume it speaks to you somehow and when you wear it, it becomes part of your personal story. I love that about perfume. I do definitely think my perfumes each have a unique personality…. and unique name that fits the personality.


PQ: What is your stance on the personal chemistry debate?  Do you think that our reactions to perfume are due to stellar or reek-y body chemistry or is it tied to personal perception of the notes?

DR: I think the most critical element is someone’s perception of the perfume and the associative memories they might have. For example, I love rose, but if someone has a negative memory, I won’t even try to persuade them to try rose. I think this is really the crucial part– and the personal chemistry debate is really more about the psychological connotations people have with the particular fragrance components.


PQ: You have kept us waiting years for a new release from your line.  What was the process like for the new babies?   Can you give us a teaser?

DR: As I do everything, we move at what I’d call a very human pace. And I never release a perfume until I am really pleased. There are two new perfumes ready to launch, in fact we launch one in Europe this Fall, and the next one in the Spring. For the US, we will launch early Spring 2009 and Early summer 2009.

For Spring, this perfume is inspired by my personal memories of a year spent in Paris that was transforming. The other perfume was inspired by a French historical figure, that I have long admired.

They are both beautiful, of course! And, going forward, I’m working on three others which I am very excited about.


PQ: Whose skin do you use for testing, solely your own, or do you have volunteers? 


DR:  I test on myself and my family and friends are very eager to help. (We never test on animals). Also, I’d like to point out that my perfumes adhere to all the very strict European health regulations (CTFA/INCI).


PQ: Do you read your perfume reviews?  DO they affect your work, and do you think they affect that of the mainstream houses?


DR: I read the reviews sometimes, but they don’t influence what I do. Perfume is such a personal choice. I think the big companies are quite influenced by what they see happening in the niche markets.


PQ: What do you think of the rising ranks of the perfume community?  How does it feel to be something of a celebrity artist?

DR: One of the greatest rewards for me in having this business is when I meet clients or hear from them how much they love my perfume and how the perfume has become such an important part of their life and given them so much pleasure. 


PQ: If you were stranded on a deserted island, but you had time to pack, what 10 perfumes would you take with you?

Dr:  I would take all my perfumes, they’re like my children!


PQ: Favorite books?  Music? Indulgences?

DR: I love music (Bach, Mozart, beethoven,French baroque, Gershwin etc..), art, ballet. When I travel I always try to schedule a day or so when I can visit the museums. As I love to draw and paint it is a source of relaxation for me as well as a recharging of my batteries!


PQ: Season?


DR: I love Fall, it is warm and cool, wind and sun, the sky is often so beautiful then. Such a sensous and exciting season. I love to be outside in the Fall, the smell of leaves and the woods at that time of year.



So, readers, I hope you enjoyed getting to know what is behind one of my favorite perfumers.  Who else is anxious for Spring of 2009??

Published in: on August 26, 2008 at 7:08 am  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: