Post by Ainslie Walker
“A perfume can be viewed as an invisible accessory. It is a personal choice which creates a statement of style”
Naomi Goodsir is a tremendously talented Australian, taking the world by storm with her couture designs – hats, bags, body accouterments…and since 2012 niche fragrances.
Fantastic news in February, when I spent an afternoon with her in Sydney, was that her most recent release, Iris Cendré had been announced as a finalist for the Fragrance Foundation Awards, France (THE FIFI’S) in the Prix des Experts category!! Naomi has no idea how it was chosen as one of the top 12 out of 350 entries as usually one must nominate their own fragrance and yet she did not. Perhaps she will find out who the mysterious initiator was when she attends the awards in mid April for the big announcement! (I have my fingers crossed for her)
Naomi Goodsir Interview
The fragrances are currently available in 28 countries, here in Australia Peony Melbourne has carried them since 2012. In fact Naomi tells me proudly that Jill was the first buyer in the world to order any of her fragrances, recognizing instantly their beauty and appeal.
Originally studying fashion design in Sydney, Naomi worked her way into millinery, molding, stitching and creating her pieces by hand. She relocated to France, near Grasse to be near her life and business partner Renaud.
Today her creations are in demand, with Naomi also collaborating with designers for their collections, fashion catwalks including Kanye West’s in Paris, window displays and National Opera Houses. From 2008 Naomi expanded into handbags and body accouterments fashioned from luxe raw materials including buffalo/veal/cow/goat/kangaroo leather, horse hair, lace, felt, silk, feathers, barramundi, crinoline, Bakelite, American alligator skin, and Australian and African crocodile skin.
Naomi and I discussed her process for her perfumes, where she collaborates with independent master perfumers Julien Rasquinet and Bertrand Duchaufour. She says, like with her designs, she always starts with a raw material she loves and ideas develop from there. The raw material provides texture and inspiration and further ingredients add layers, similarly to when she creates her hats and bags. With Cuir Velours, it was leather, immortelle, rum, with Bois d’Ascèse it was incense, tobacco and whiskey, Or du Sérail, which featured on the cover of Fragrances of the World 2015 annual, features golden honeyed tobacco and Iris Cendré, of course has delicate orris at the core.
Naomi was wearing Bois d’Asèse when I met her and divulged the very personal and moving story behind the scent. Its inspiration coming from the warm incense smells she remembers from within a church in the rural NSW town of Coonabarabran – the last place she visited with her dad before he passed away. It also embraces the scent of bushfire from her childhood memories. When I sprayed her personal bottle on my arm we both observed the “fatherly” aspects -my skin amplifies oakmoss and I did feel a warm sense of fatherly comfort.
The following day I wore Cuir Velours from a handmade gift Naomi gave me and I texted her saying “I feel I have awoken, bewildered and happily crawled out of one of your giant leather handbag creations into a boozy dream…complete with immortelle stuck in my messed up hair!” She replied with “A wonderfully apt description- the labdanum, rum et immortelle work perfectly together- a ‘bon mariage’ “ (yes she is beautifully spoken and fluent in French)
Her next release is collaboration with Isabel Doyle, Annick Goutal’s in-house perfumer which they have been working on for some years and are calling it Nuit de Bakelite for now.
Fascinating and elusive, usually Naomi avoids the camera, however she agreed to just a few just for me to share and even shared with me her very first selfie!!
Have you tried the fragrances from the collection? Which is your favorite and why?