Scents and sensibility

©Debbie Clark

By: Mia Wallace

Essential Algarve met with the queen of Hollywood scents, Azzi Glasser

It would appear that the Algarve is no longer the secret location that it once was, as this year our golden shores have been graced by Hollywood royalty and more A-listers than usual. Recently, Essential Algarve was invited to the stunning cliffside location of Spy Manor Productions, in Ferragudo, to meet award-winning perfumer Azzi Glasser at the launch of the Aston Martin DBX and learn about her exciting collaboration.

The charismatic and charming Azzi is known for her revolutionary fragrances and iconic client portfolio including Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Stephen Fry, Jude Law, Cindy Crawford and Kylie Minogue, to name a few.

As we settled in, she began telling us the most recent part of The Perfumer’s Story by Azzi. “I’ve worked on numerous movie sets in the past and had the fabulous challenge of creating the essence of Space to celebrate Space Odyssey as a tribute to Stanley Kubrick. Imagine that I could have chosen Clockwork Orange, but that would have been too easy, I like a challenge,” she joked.

Having collaborated with Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands, Helena Bonham Carter in Alice in Wonderland, “finding the perfect fragrance to transport the actors into character” is one of Azzi’s favourite things. That is why the perfumer visited Spy Manor Productions, to discuss her new collaboration with the Algarve production team on their upcoming movie, Chemical Attraction, which should begin production in 2021.

The movie is based on a perfumer who loses their sense of smell, and although you could be forgiven on thinking that perhaps it is based on Azzi, she assures that her role is more on the production side and in the creation of the fragrance for it. In fact, she is an executive producer and has been working with scriptwriter Holly Hudson to ensure the technical details are on point. “Within the story, a scent is created by the main character who has to invent a new fragrance to stop her company from collapsing,” Azzi said, keen not to give too much away. “I will make the perfume, which will then be released for sale to the public. It’s an exciting concept, and one which I believe hasn’t been done before, making it a dramatic component for the film release.”

Producer Peter Ogunsalu was also at Spy Manor and was thrilled to be working with Azzi. This is no surprise, after all, she exudes such positivity, warmth and sensuality. The production team were keen to keep the rest of the plot under wraps for now but are looking forward to release the confirmed cast list.

As for Azzi, not content with making perfumes and being “in the movies”, the accomplished businesswoman also makes signature fragrances for some of the world’s finest hotels, such as the Chiltern Firehouse (UK), Rosewood in Bangkok, The Mandrake (UK), Lydmar (Sweden) and the Kimpton Fitzroy (UK), as well as members’ clubs across the globe, like London’s Annabel’s or Quo Vadis. Azzi believes that each venue is unique, and her heightened sense of smell can pick up even the most subtle notes to help her devise the perfect aroma to accentuate guests’ experience. She even created a fragrance for her own home: “My kids’ friends love coming to our home, they often joke that they love the way they smell when leaving.”

The Perfumer’s Story by Azzi is a ready-to-wear collection of incredibly evocative fragrances that tell their own stories, such as Stephen Fry’s favourite, named Old Books, which transports the wearer to a library with chesterfields and leather-bound classics. Meanwhile, Azzi’s signature fragrance, Sequoia Wood, seductively lingers for several hours. Like all of the best things in life, they come at a cost. The 30ml Falcon in its Art Deco-inspired bottle comes in a selection of 13 fragrances at just over €100 (£95) and the 150ml Falcon at around €246 (£225).

Currently, one of her best-sellers is The Protector, a gorgeous, moisturising hand and room sanitiser spray that smells divine and leaves your hands both silky smooth and glowing. Following suit from her hotel and club line, Azzi also has a delightful range of elegant home fragrances in the form of candles, to create just the right atmosphere in each and every room.

Aside from the already available scents, there is her Bespoke Atelier service, where Azzi spends some serious facetime with her clients to truly understand who they are and what makes them tick. After these sessions, she gets to work to create a made-to-measure scent, for the most personal, intimate and thoughtful of gifts that is timeless and so precious that some have even left their Perfume DNA in their wills for future generations to cherish.

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