In my first article about this likeable brand I noticed a little surprise, so here it is: I managed to persuade Victoria to give me a short interview. In fact my idea was to send her my questions in an email and wait for her to answer. This did not work as Victoria decided for an interview over the phone (Christmas rush was coming), which made me panic. I did not feel like leading an interview over the phone in English. Fortunately, we have friends. Thanks, Petra.
I am enclosing a couple pictures made in a bit of snow before it melts and changes to slush. Unfortunately I drank the Tokai wine yesterday. I thought for a while and came up with an idea that I could pour some tea in instead, but I do not want to pull your legs, folks. The wine was fantastic.
For now, the last, the fourth fragrance of Victoria Minya brand is Eau de Hongrie. It is logical. Who else than a perfumer from Hungary should follow the tradition of the first modern eau de cologne at all – a mixture of herbs infused in wine. And what other wine it should be than the Tokai.
Have you ever visited a wine cellar? A cellar where the wine is really ripening? They usually smell of typical mixture of humidity, wine sourness and moulds. Last summer while being on a holiday in Slovakia, we managed to visit a cellar in the Tokai area and the smell was much different. Humidity and mould were not missing, of course, but the mould smelled different and what more I could even feel its honey sweetness. And this is in Eau de Hongrie.
So we will get started: In front of me there is a glass of Tokai, Aszú, three signs of quality and I am comparing them trying to be fair. As for smell and taste. Regarding the taste I am tasting only the wine. Though the original is said to have been used outside and inside, but unfortunately I have only a little sample, therefore I am not going to try it.
Definitely new Eau de Hongrie is not eau de cologne, in concentrate edp and if I should categorize it, it would be more flowery, oriental like Hedonist. This fragrance does not follow the first scent Hedonist, any more than the two before, that have Hedonist in its name. It directly continues Hedonist. It is a hedonist, that already does not rush to seek any other pleasures. He waist for the pleasures to come towards him.
The scent starts with honey with sparkling citrus fruit and clove, but soon after it becomes embalmed and warm and becomes labdanum and immortelle. The franrance feels to be very soft and smooth in general. Gosh, the satin scarf going round the body is such a hackneyed comparison, but nothing better comes to my mind.
When we add santal and tonka, the smoothness is made perfect and it follows you long hours as far as the excellent musk-tonka drydown.
If there has ever been something that I would mind about Hedonist a bit, it is the excesses and a sort of loudness. It is full to its very lid of quality substances and it shows it off. Eau de Hongrie is its very soft and cultivated younger sister. As a good fit, nothing shouts, no substance sticks out, no substance scrubs. For sure this scent is my purchasing aspirant in the future.
And now I give the floor to Victoria.
When did you decide for the first time, you want to be a perfumer?
I have been fascinated by scents since my childhood. I used to spend my pocket money on fragrances and my parents used to buy me presents such as books about scents and arts. But in 80s And 90s there were not any conditions for free creating in Hungary so my parents decided that I would study economy. In my last year of economical studies. I got to Erasmus programme and managed to travel to Paris. I had a possibility to study perfumery in Grass there. However, the studies were expensive, so I had to make some money to finance it. I used to work as a HR manager for one company in Paris. It was easier to make money for my studies in Paris than it was in Hungary.
As I read, you reached your own classification system for fragrances during your work in Paris. Could you say something about this system to our readers?
It is a very subjective classification because I think it si more about a „feeling tooth“ so I am not sure if it is going to be of use for anybody. But I studied to express myself with all kinds of like colours, feelings, texture of the perfume, like the texture of the scent I am smelling. It could be hard, loud, slow. cloudy, clean, .. I had my own classification system with all raw materials and the scents.
As I read, you worked for some perfume houses in Grasse. Could you say some examples which fragrances you worked on?
The one I could actually talk about is Candori like the American jewellery that I created their signature scent. and I made perfumes that are not necessarily under my name but a bit common in perfumery if you are a beginner. The production of the perfume has discuntinued, I think. There was a technical problem with the perfume, not the perfume itself, but the person, there was a problem, she had problems with the bottles, they were leaking… and stuff like that . So I am not sure it is still available. The last time I was talking to her she was telling me, they may discontinue and we may do something else. But I did not have news from her since. For a few years yes, it was a perfume you could buy in the United States mostly. It was a mimosa fragrance. Like one day a lady came to me to the south of France and fell in love with mimosa… and said .So I made mimosa fragrance for her.. I am not sure how to spell or pronounced if it is even English. So it had to be really fragile, really powdery. and mimosa is also very humid at the same time so it was a very tough challenge. She was very happy with the result.
Is there any note or raw material, you prefer?
I am not any different from any other perfumers. The scents that are fascinating are mostly are very raw expensive materials. For example rose oil and iris. Beacasu they are extremely beautiful raw materials that I am longing to work with. but when I was working for other perfume houses I did not have a chance because these are very expensive stuffs I mean. because it is like iris could be 20 000 euros per kilogram, it is like crazy prices, for example rose is considered also very expensive it is like five thousand per kilogram of rose. So you have very rarely a chance of working with the raw material in bigger quantities when you are working for other companies.
Which perfumes do you use on your own? Only your creations or do you use some others?
Well, listen I am working the whole day and work on like two or three essences at the same time and I am always trying everything, I am trying it on my skin so we can say I am using my own creation and if not I also have many friends that are perfumers and they often give me exclusivity, that they are using for the future perfume that they are launching. so I am using those. I really really like them and there is also one if I have to say another example you would like is Hugo Boss – Boss Bottled – like a very original, very simple Hugo Boss, I think it is called Boss Bottled, I like that scent,so sometimes I am really glad to be out of pressure. it is actually scent for men but it is very interesting.
As I read, you have a very sensitive nose. Does this fact have any effects on your life except your work?
My nose is as a muscle I think everybody should think this way.You know I think I was born with a big affinity to work with scents, I think I have a nose better than average, better more than average. Since I started to train my nose it became more and more sensitive. a little example I can tell you is that I would actually smell from two or three rooms away if somebody was about to open a fridge. But I did not have that a few years ago so I think my nose is continuously becoming more and more sensitive. But it does not really affect me in a bad way outside my work. Because when I am working everything I am doing I know how it is supposed to smell and I am directing the smells. And if eventually I am going out, outside my laboratory i enjoy everything that comes to my nose because it is something like surprising, you know something I mean something unusual for me.
Have you ever been to the Czech Republic? Are you going to visit the Czech Republic?
Yes, I have been to Prague with my family a few years ago and I adored it. I got obsessed with Mucha. I loved Prague, it was wonderful. And I always long to go back but I have not had the opportunity.
What are your plans for next fragrance? Can you spill at least a bit of your plans for nearest future?
I am not sure guys if you know about it, but I have two new fragrances that have just launched, so my plan is basically to survive Christmas, it will be massive, the perfume for the series I make, I have few ideas, I started to work different things, but at the same time I am working on so many projects, I work for other companies, I am doing fragrances that are custom-made, you know, for private people, and I am giving courses, I am giving workshops, and I am giving conferences as well so it is very busy but definitely there will bet he new Hadonist coming. But I really just do not know when.
Thank you very much, Viktoria and wishing you all the best for the new year.