I met Claudio Zucca, founder of Claudio Zucca Parfums, at the beginning of May, at the official opening of the NicheScent store in Bucharest. By the way, if you haven’t been there yet, it’s at 51 Frumoasă Street. And, in addition to Romanian perfume houses, such as Calaj Perfume, you can also find international ones, exclusively. So don’t wait any longer, you’re guaranteed to pick up a gorgeous bottle. P.S. You can pay by card, no cash required. Which I appreciate, as most of the time I don’t have a penny in my wallet.
Meet Claudio Zucca
Back to Claudio, I met him through the kindness of Flavius, who was kind enough to introduce me to him. Claudio is an Italian perfumer, an architect by profession, who came to present his new fragrance (Velvet Rose), but I found the entire Claudio Zucca Parfums collection in the shop. I tested them all on location, and, with the exception of Benjoin en Fleur, which I also told him was not in my story, I actually like them all otherwise.
Top 3 fragrances Claudio Zucca Parfums
The perfumes in the collection, six in number so far (Velvet Rose, Deep Water, Mineral Wood, Eden Amber, Bois Primitif, Benjoin en Fleur), produced in Extrait de Parfum version, with a 35% concentration of ingredients, through their continuous evolution, offer an intense olfactory and sensory journey for each perfume.
Top 3 fragrances Claudio Zucca Parfums? Quite simply: Velvet Rose, Deep Water and Mineral Wood ( this one I had a little time to think about, I admit).
Because I enjoyed both the live chat with Claudio and his creations, I invited him to tell me more. Following is a veritable marathon of questions and answers!
Flavius Călaj & Claudio Zucca
What was your inspiration to become a perfumer? What attracted you to the world of perfumery?
More than an inspiration, it was the consequence of a psychological and emotional need of a very difficult moment in my life, a sort of therapy that helped me find my balance.
The passion for perfumery was passed on to me by my mother, but I’ve always been attracted by smells in general since I was a child, I sniffed anything that came to hand.
Can you describe your creative process when creating a new fragrance? How does it begin and evolve?
Everything is born in my head with the aim of making a memory or state of mind I experienced olfactory. When I start creating, I always have a clear idea in mind what the fragrance should convey to me and what the result should be like. I study the formula and the balances even before composing with the materials. From there it all begins …
What are your favorite ingredients in creating perfumes and why?
There are many materials that I like to treat, especially natural ones because they are more versatile. If I had to choose one, I would say bergamot, present up to now in all my compositions.
How do you select raw materials and combine them to create unique fragrances?
I always like working with new materials. When I formulate, I try to work on small quantities, so as not to waste too much. Being very perfectionist, each formulation requires several tests.
How do you translate your emotions and ideas into a fragrance? How do you tell a story through scents?
There are materials that by their nature are associated with places or environments, sensations, or moods: the olfactory transposition of their union creates images and memories, like olfactory photographs that are taken in our minds. For me the creative process is this.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in creating a perfume, and how did you overcome it?
There are creations that took me a little time, others took me longer, but I’m still facing the biggest challenge in creating a perfume. There is a creation, to which I am very attached, which has been in the making for years, but I still don’t feel finished.
How do you see the current evolution of the perfume industry, and what future trends do you anticipate?
At present, what I find is a constant search for sizzling scents, persistence, siaj and compliments, aspects which, as far as I am concerned, are of secondary importance. What is of more value to me is the message and content that the fragrance manages to convey. What I want is to focus on content and eliminate superficiality.
Is there a specific memory or personal experience that has inspired you in creating a fragrance? Can you tell us about it?
As I told you before, each of my fragrances is studied and created based on one of my memories, emotions or sensations experienced.
How do you know when a perfume is finished and ready to be launched?
When, closing my eyes and spraying it, it “speaks” to me and tells me the same story I expect to hear.
What advice would you give to an aspiring perfumer who wants to pursue their passion?
I would tell them to indulge their passions, to study, try, make mistakes, and try again. To be curious and not be afraid to dare.
How do you think consumer preferences and tastes in perfumes are evolving? What factors influence these changes?
I think that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of an artistic reality capable of transmitting a lot. I believe that the goal is to always travel new paths, in search of something unexplored and not yet told.
What does success mean to you in the perfume industry? How do you define a successful fragrance?
For me, success is being able to convey my message, to share an emotion. For me a fragrance is successful when it manages to achieve the purpose for which it was conceived.
What is the biggest myth or misconception about perfumes that you would like to debunk?
Unfortunately, so far, there is still a lot of misinformation and many false myths. I wouldn’t focus on what is right or wrong, rather I would focus on the comfort and safety of wearing a fragrance that makes me feel good.
How do you approach the process of testing and adjusting perfumes during their development? What are you looking for or trying to achieve during these tests?
I am a perfectionist, and this is an advantage, but sometimes also a weakness. I look for balance in every part that the combinations are able to give.
In what ways do you believe perfumes can contribute to a person’s personal identity or expression of their personality?
I am convinced that the fragrances we choose to wear reflect our character or mood, for example I choose the fragrance I want to wear based on how I feel that day. For this reason, in my opinion perfumery is always a matter of feelings and sensations.
Thank you, Claudio, for accepting my invitation and answering all my questions. It was a pleasure to meet you and I hope to see you again soon!
Photo credit: Eduard Canura