1 – When did it come up and what were Paralela’s achievements so far?
Paralela was founded in September 2012, and during these seven years there was a consolidation of it as school, so much so that this year we had a change of logo and name: we were born Paralela Perfumery, because I carried the perfumery on me, on my background, as I have worked with perfumery and fragrance houses. Over the years the company has increasingly assumed itself as a school. So, our business is about courses, about the culture of perfumery, corporate training. In practice we became a school and changing the name was just a fit, a reality to which we adjusted. Today we are Paralela Olfativa School and over these seven years, more than 1000 students went through these courses and more than 300 thousand people were impacted by the corporate training we provide to our clients, such as Natura, Boticário.
In seven years we are moving towards the eighth edition of the annual perfumery training course. In 2019, for the first time we took a group of 15 students to study a week in France, 2 days at our partner school – Cinquième Sens. We have visited the Guerlain factory in Orphin, we had an exclusive afternoon at Guerlain of the Champs Élysées, exclusive classes at Osmothéque – the only perfume library in the world, we visited the Firmenich fragrance house and had a class with renowned perfumer Olivier Cresp, creator of de Angel, Nina Ricci, Dolce & Gabbana, Light Blue and many other hits.
2 – So it can be said that your trajectory in perfumery definitely brought elements for the development of Parallel Olfactory School?
My trajectory is 20 years in this industry. I worked at Firmenich and IFF. I was trained as an olfactory evaluator in Sao Paulo, Paris, New York and Geneva. I worked with all categories of perfumery, but mainly with fine perfumery. After being an olfactory evaluator, I was also director of Fine Perfumery marketing for Latin America and my last position at Firmenich was Director of the Perfumery Business Unit. In addition to working with renowned perfumers in these two companies, such as Sophia Grojsman, who developed Trèsor; Olivier Cresp, Thierry Wasser who came to Latin America to serve customers in the region and is now Guerlain’s perfumer. Jacques Cavallier, who also worked on Latin American projects and is currently the Louis Vuiton perfumer. This is the formation I took to Paralela.
3 – Did you have the perception that to understand a little more about perfumes was the dream of many people in love with fragrances? Is it possible for these people to move on in the career from courses only in Brazil?
Our audience, over these seven years, has consolidated in diversity. It embraces industry professionals, in different positions and in different sizes of companies, both large, as a very young company in the Brazilian market, people in love with perfumes, collectors, who approach us to live the perfumery and even entrepreneurs, including pet sector, and outsourcers. As well as olfactory marketing entrepreneurs, who make the olfactory identity of hotels, spa banks, car agencies and so on and all over Brazil. That´s why we have a course totally dedicated to this theme, which is a consolidated success in the market.
4 – For market professionals do these courses and workshops represent an opportunity to share and impart knowledge of what they have learned from Brazilian and international perfumery?
The instructors who teach here are market professionals, so I usually say that to work all day and come here at night or on Saturday, you need a lot of love, passion for perfumery. I am fortunate to have gotten to know a lot of people in the industry and sometimes new people I didn’t even know who decided to join this project and teach here to share their knowledge. When you teach, you learn. I learned this in practice and it is a very rich experience, where you live with very different people from all over Brazil, which is absolutely a plural and differentiate country. We teach here to 20 people per class and sometimes they are all from outside of Sao Paulo, so it is very enriching for these professionals as well.
About this we have a Creation Workshop where people can express themselves. There are a lot of people wanting to make their own perfume. But there is also a lot of lack of information in the market. A general wave where people want to do their own thing. It can be perfume, it can be cooking, it can be embroidery, knitting… But with perfume things are a little more complex, because it involves many raw materials, security. As I came from the industry, what I did was structure a course that is the Atelier de Criación, from the French school Cinquième Sense, in Brazil. Like this, the people participate in this course that has a 19-ingredient kit, a perfumer conducts the class, teaching how to develop a perfumer’s creative thinking and the distance between imagining and actually creating. Our goal with this is to value the perfumery and show that to create a fragrance requires study, technique and talent. People have fun too. It’s a very nice date, beautiful, it’s 4 hours. People do have their dream of creating their own perfume.
The perfumery has an enchantment. It is an infinite theme and still surprises me a lot how we know very little about it and have little access to ingredients. So we have enjoyed here for instance in Veronica Kato’s class (in house perfumer of Natura) because myself I had never seen ylang ylang up from close. Few privileged people see this. It is the professionals who will accompany the harvest in the field, usually the purchasing staff, or perfumers or is some project with the customer. I have never had this experience. So having this experience up close is very enriching. Veronica brought a pack of vanilla she distributed one vanilla to each student, it had came from Madagascar. She made an ice cream with Cumaru. So the enchantment of perfumery that I always dreamed of rescuing through my school comes from this. Because we are very focused on business. And it’s the normal, it’s a business that you run. And this more poetic part that is its origin, ends up behind the scenes and you don’t even have time to tell and live these stories. And here you find the environment where this is possible and it’s beautiful to see how people engage. A busy person like Veronica, with a mind-blowing schedule, stuffed her bag with things and brought it here, for a night basically among friends and onlookers, where we tasted it, smelled it, laughed, exchanged ideas and she explained it very lightly complex things that people liked a lot.
For the 10th Master Cless it will be the turn of Cesar Veiga, from O Boticario. We have had many other brands here before. Cesar comes to tell a little about the secrets of the brand and talk a little about this duality that O Boticario has been working between art and technology, while they talk about neuroscience and artificial intelligence, they rescue the art of a distillation, they rescue the art of an extraction technique, such as Enfleurage. So I believe it will be another exciting meeting.
5 – What would be the touch of Brazilian perfumery in the midst of international creations? Would you say that there is a Brazilian olfactory personality?
There is always a question like this, but I think when you generalize, you end up losing the beauty of the nuances, because each brand, each fragrance of a brand, brings a story, a nuance, an ingredient. So I avoid this generalization a little and Brazil is a very young market, which has its perfumery that was born there in the late 40’s and it is in formation. Of course we follow the international market, but we have observed an exercise of brands to bring greater creativity and is beautiful to see. So Brazilians like powerful fragrances, like fragrances that lasts. But not only that, because there are also several Brazilians and there are also several socio-cultural moments. So I don’t think there’s a single truth. As with everything, there are several types of fragrance that appeal to many different profiles from different regions. What I like to see is that there are marks positioned to have closer, more delicate, perhaps heavy fragrances. I think Phebo in this sense has been doing a pretty good job with its olfactory library collection, Natura itself, in which we know this week its latest perfume, Ekos Alma, which has incredible delicacy. It comes from a more unisex structure, it has a certain lightness, but it is also balsamic, with a sensuality that is not obvious. So there are brands doing a really nice job. O Boticário itself, with The Blend, an interesting fragrance that tells a nice story of the spices that were distilled together. So I think our market has evolved in search of innovation and is even equal to the international market. The day will come when Brazil will inspire the rest of the world. That’s what we work for here.
6 – Would you say your work is a development of what you were doing? How did you actuated and what did you lack?
I would say my work is a continuation of what I used to do. I have from my previous experiences, a very 360 ° vision and what I like to do most is the creative part, innovation. I have always been more idealistic to believe that it is possible in the market, with its political and economic difficulties that Brazil has, of going beyond, not only in a country that consumes a lot of perfumery, but to be a country that consumes and understands about perfumery and this education on perfumery will take Brazil to a place of greater innovation and fewer copies, countertypes. It’s a long road, an ant job that we build day by day. This message we have been taking to Brazil, but I think a little a day does the whole. So this is the development of my work. Acting in a global multinational as an executive, it was always a lot of fun, challenging. I always liked challenges, I like to take projects with beginning, middle and end. I was not missing anything. I believe it was a cycle that closed to start another one. Life is long but fast at the same time and I wanted to know myself by doing different things acting from another angle in perfumery.
7 – Do you believe that other professionals feel the same longings and look for new ways to express themselves?
I believe there are different people with different yearnings. There are those who yearn for a career in the industry, which is a very beautiful path. And there are others who want to express themselves in other ways. This is very individual. I have no doubt that the market and the corporate market have changed a lot and this desire to express yourself is more possible today, with the amount of social and entrepreneurial networks that exist. It is not an easy way. I don’t think it’s a path for everyone. It requires a lot of work, including operational. But I think if you have a profile for it and it really is your dream, I think you have a way of expressing yourself and it’s very rewarding. You have an idea, fight for that idea, implement and reap the rewards, see the result, people’s comments… It’s very tasty.
8 – Would it be a trend the perfumery schools in Brazil?
Undoubtedly, this era we are going through is an age of education and it goes through every market segment. So I think there is perhaps a crisis in the teaching model, a crisis beyond Brazil. And I really believe in the teaching model where people draw their own education. So I can’t help but believe in a formal education, but at the same time, there are countless possibilities for you to format your cultural background and several free courses – from schools like The School of Life – that I quite like, which offers courses in which you you can learn about a more emotional dimension that you don’t learn anywhere and there is the place for you to talk about it, even learn about creative writing, and it will touch you in ways you never imagined and that’s why we are bringing a new instructor to the annual training course. She will talk about the power of the most affectionate communication, applied to the power of perfumery, so I believe there is a lot going on in the world and that perfumery needs to live out these other trends than just perfumery itself. Inspiration can come from technology, it can come from many different branches.
9 – Would you say there was this niche in the country?
Yes. I think there is a super need for information. So we received a lot of entrepreneurs, and even professionals who learned in practice. So my experience in the corporate world was this: learning in practice, learning by doing. My employees learnt to do, doing their work, because the focus, when you are in the industry, is to win a project, work with a client and you need to take time to feed yourself to stay interesting, stay innovative and keep inspiring your customers, who have to be feed from something. So I believe there was a space, yes, that Paralela is taking up now. It’s even curious because I heard so much advice of: No, it’s very difficult. .. Don’t do it… Who is going to buy course? Because fragrance houses give courses to their customers. But the audience interested in perfumery goes far beyond the industry audience I come from, which is an incredible market but that is just part of that market.