Naomi Goodsir Interview

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Post by Ainslie Walker

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“A perfume can be viewed as an invisible accessory. It is a personal choice which creates a statement of style”
Naomi Goodsir

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

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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?

16 thoughts on “Naomi Goodsir Interview

  1. WOW Ainslie,
    Lucky you. I love Naomi Goodsir through her work and the very little cyber chitty chat we’ve had. Coolest ever!
    Portia xx

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  2. Thoroughly enjoyed this, Ainslie!
    Thanks for an insight into an intriguing woman and her equally intriguing scents. I admire their subtle and striking style and am currently very taken with Iris Cendre.

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    • Thankyou. Yes Iris Cendre is certainly causing a stir in the fragrance world! I’ve been wearing Cuir Velours a lot and LOVING IT. Have you tried Or du Serail? It’s my golden favourite!! 😀

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  3. Great post. I met Naomi in Florence at the Pitti in 2014. She has a beautiful stand, perhaps the most interesting one at the show. I have not tried the iris yet but will be doing so very soon. All of the fragrances are wearable for me and I like it that she doesn’t churn out stuff like many others. I hope she is in Florence again this year.
    ❤️

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    • Yes her stands at the events are extraordinary! They really go all out and do something unique and yet uber prestige. Yes she is very patient with her releases which is admirable. I cannot remember if she is at Pitti this year…I think she might be doing appointments only…but I can check my notes and let you know xx

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  4. Goodsir rules. As do you Walker. A perfect way to cap off International Women’s Day. I’m in a divine cloud of BdA now and whilst I love the Cuir and OdS, the smoke and incense bomb is still my fave. Thanks for the great insight into Naomi and her methodology. Great stuff.

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    • Hi Gavin! Thanks for your wonderful message! These fragrances are very “your thing!” BdA is what I would pick for you but I’d love to see how the IC smouldery on you! Have you tried it? X

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  5. Thanks for the lovely interview. I am not familiar with Ms Goodsir’s scents, but according to your descriptions I already like Cuir Velours and I’ll be looking out to try them all for sure.

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  6. I love your interviews, Ainslie, and really appreciate how you are able to connect with all kinds of very different personalities. Perhaps it is your beautiful smile that make them all feel so comfortable and chatty! I have not tried Naomi Goodsir fragrances but this interview has inspired me to do so!
    Azar xx

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    • Oh Azar! Thanks again for your kind words. I’m so pleased you find my interviews of value. I really enjoy them and find meeting these people so fascinating and inspiring. I’m ever so lucky they agree to spend their time with me so I can share their tales.
      I look forwards to hearing how your skin/nose gets along with the collection. X

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