Monday, October 31, 2011

The “Mystiquee” Perfumer

Mystiquee bespoke perfumery is a unique concept, truly new and different fragrance that captures the complete essence of its wearer and not just gives a scent but one to be cherished.

Mystiquee style of perfumery is based in the ancient cultures of original perfumers from the south of France; the home of excellent perfumery, in the traditions of the perfumers of old.

According to the ‘Perfumer’ Catherine Temitope Omai, the exciting journey began with a nomadic childhood which exposed her to many different experiences of scent. “I would revel in the rich complex scents found in different fragrances on my parent dressing table”.

Her heightened sense of taste and smell led her to explore further as she matured, expanding her palette and understanding of the structure of blending different ingredients and appreciating the singular complexities of each separate part. Caroline uses a high concentration of fragrance to base for a definite scent with economy and staying power, “it is my belief that perfumery is an art and like any artistic endeavor it is about utilizing and manipulating materials to create something that stimulates the emotions through the senses.

Meet the pioneer of bespoke perfumery in Nigeria - Catherine Temitope Omai, she shares the exciting journey of starting a fragrance label.

When did you decide to be a perfumer?
• When you have a gift and it’s a part of you, I rarely believe you have to decide, for me being a perfumer came naturally, when I was a child I would revel in the rich complex scents found in different fragrances on my parent’s dressing table. As I grew older my heightened sense of smell led me to explore further, expanding my understanding of the structure of blending different ingredients and appreciating the singular complexities of each separate part by improving my skills for this art and undergoing training courses, attending seminars and perfumeries.

Who are your target audience?
• Mystiquee Bespoke perfume is a luxury product targeted at the people that appreciate and enjoy the finer things of life.

What services do you render?
• Besides creating individual fragrances, we also we do private labeling for individuals and corporate organizations and so on; you can find more details on our website

What is your formula for success?
• Hard work and Prayers, for me there is nothing else, this is just the beginning for Mystiquee, and so I am still going to be working hard and praying hard till I attain the height of success that God has prepared for me.

How long has it been creating fragrances?
• It has been 5 years now, started off creating fragrances for myself everyday perfecting my skills and for friends and family, because apart from the fact that it came to me naturally I always enjoyed exploring the amazing world of scents and how the complexity of the composition of a fragrance can ignite fascinating emotions and moods I attended training courses and skill development courses on how to become a perfumer in a prestigious school of perfumery in France. When I moved back to Nigeria, my initial plan was to work in a multinational oil company has I attained my M.Sc in Energy Studies Oil and Gas Management from the University of Dundee in Scotland and my BA in Business Management with Marketing and of course to continue creating fragrances as a side line to support my career as I intended on pursing as a business on a later date .I would wear my created fragrances and people would ask me what I was wearing and where I got it from and I would always reply with a huge grin on my face “ it’s mine I created it” my friends would ask me to make them something for their girlfriends or boyfriends, some wanted it as Christmas gifts to give colleagues, though it seems very little then, I started to build my clientele and while undergoing a temporary position with a prestigious organization at the time, it was clear where my heart was, so when my time there was up, it was a no brainer what the next step should be and honestly I have never been happier. It has been a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifices have been made but I’ve been very grateful. However it has taken me a while to see this as a business because that is not what it means to me, it is my passion, I can guarantee that years from now you can wake me up at 3am and ask me to create you a fragrance and I would because it is a part of me.

What is your vision?
• Being a pioneer of the concept of bespoke perfumery in Nigeria my vision is to create a brand of individuality and class for my clients that are of the highest quality and standard and portrays the true essence of the art of perfumery and what it represents worldwide.

There are quite few perfume lines in Nigeria, what do you think sets yours apart?
• My fragrances are created based on the clients’ personality, uniqueness and is specific to the client, perfumes I believe are the invisible image of your persona and lifestyle, the fragrances I create become your signature scent representing you and knowing well that nobody else in the world would be wearing the same fragrance as you, that is the exclusive factor that Mystiquee clients enjoy.

What are the major qualities you endeavour to portray with your brand?
• Due to the fact that clientele preference in scents will vary, what I endeavour to portray is excellent quality both with the product and services rendered, all my scents oil are 100% concentrate, and my creations are Eau de Parfum oil based fragrances, exclusivity and individuality are also qualities that Mystiquee represents in her brand

How did you come up with the name “Mystiquee”?
• Mystique is defined as an air of secrecy surrounding a particular activity or subject that makes it impressive or baffling to those without specialized knowledge and the whole concept of bespoke perfume is that when you wear your fragrance no one can identify with it and that itself is mystery.

Where are they produced?
• Proudly Nigerian (smiles) I am affiliated with a couple of perfumeries abroad but I do the creation of the fragrances here in Nigeria myself.

What is the best perk of being a perfumer?
• Besides the fact that I get to smell good every day? (Laughs out loud) The creation of a fragrance is a team building exercise, I am sure a lot of my pairs watch Khloe and Lamar; it is a reality program on E! entertainment, the one and only episode that Khloe and Lamar got into an argument was the episode where they had to create a unisex fragrance, the fact that I can meet different personalities day in day out and have a connection with them to be able to create something unique for them, being able to work together as a team and gain trust and respect through the singular act of creating a fragrance is the best perk for me.

What is the most difficult aspect of running your own label and brand?
• At the moment the most difficult aspect of running my label and brand is the fact I am a perfectionist and I find it difficult to entrust the quality and standard I am looking to attain to someone else, and as much as I enjoy and love doing what I do, it can be a bit challenging but the truth is I won’t have it any other way.

Who are/were your major inspiration?
• As much as this might be a cliché response but I really cannot take it away from him. God Almighty is truly indeed my major inspiration; it is the gift that he has bestowed upon me that has made this possible and ever so grateful. That said the set of people that inspire me the most are my clients, the fact that each creation is a success and the response I get is overwhelming inspires me to want to do more and better for them, my family members and good friends who have continued to encourage and show their support are also a major source of inspiration and I am continuously grateful to God for these people he has put in my life to make this journey worthwhile.

What do you wish you’d known before entering the perfume industry especially with the Nigerian Market?
• The perfume industry is a very competitive one, and wearing a fragrance is a lifestyle irrespective of the type. I came to understand that with the Nigerian market unless you have something completely different it would be a struggle for anyone to penetrate the market, before I moved back to Nigeria finally I had created a fragrance and came back to Nigeria for a few months to retail it and the response was not receptive at all, not because the product was not of good quality and standard but when you are competing against people’s lifestyle of international brands it is extremely difficult to change peoples’ mind set and lifestyle. I felt because I had a good product it did not matter, I wish I had known better, I had to go back to the drawing board and surveyed the best way to get into the market and stay in and I am ever grateful to God for his favours bestowed.

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1 comment:

Zine said...

Catty, this is a very good initiative coming from Africa. i was so inspired after watching you on ELTV with Moment with Mo. More grease to your elbows and remain an inspiration to young women who aspire to set up businesses of their own. Remain blessed.