For some people, perfume (or the act of putting on perfume) is all about smelling good and attracting the desired partner (ala Axe effect), or maybe they appreciate the subtle luxury that a bottle of Eau de Toilette can hold, but for Hershee Izell, fellow fraghead and fragrance enthusiasts, perfumes are a way of holding on to lasting memories. In a way, this is why she went through the laborious task of creating an original line, aptly named Cherish.
We caught up with Ms. Izell and asked her a few questions:
UNPACKED (UN): First of all congratulations on this endeavor. Was it nerve-racking?
HERSHEE IZELL (HI): Thanks! Yes, it was!!!
UN: What inspired you to create Cherish? Why perfume?
HI: First of all, I created Cherish for my mom because I miss her since she is away from us and I wanted to associate a sentiment that would remind me of her whenever I use it. Perfume, I believe, is the best medium to do that since perfumes triggers long-term memories.
I also like the sophistication of perfumes. I create other items that are geared towards ladies like gift cards and soaps but perfume, for me, is just luxuriously gorgeous and it can help express my personality better.
UN: Have you always had an affinity towards perfume and scents? Tell us your favorite perfume (besides Cherish, of course). Do you have a particularly favorite note?
HI: When I was a kid, I like putting cologne and scented powder, –Angel’s Breath, to be particular. I also love the small scented gel-thingie called ‘kisses’ and keep them in my pencil case until I was in highschool. I was using Johnson’s Powder Fresh and Angel’s Breath cologne up until high school. I like smelling fresh and clean!
When college hit, for some reason, I literally cannot stand fragrances all of a sudden. At that time, fragrance would just trigger my migraine. So I was scentless (and tried to be) for quite some time during those days. Maybe it was fatigue since I wasn’t as learned as I am now but it was only until my friend pulled me to different stores and outlets that my love for perfume resurfaced as I discovered there are so many beautiful perfumes!
One of my all-time favorite is Paris Hilton’s Heiress! This is an instant head-turner for guys. (To me at least) Heiress is alluring and sexy — something new that I discovered scents could do. So that pulled me deeper into exploring other fragrances.
My favorite notes would be Patchouli and Vanilla — both work amazingly well together–and some florals like Rose and Ylang Ylang. They are so relaxing and (sometimes) can give a romantic vibe.
UN: When creating a perfume, especially for a wider audience, are there any special considerations you took into account? Did you have to temper what you originally wanted so that a wider audience could appreciate the final product?
HI: Oh, definitely! Aside from my personal preference with the notes, I would ask close friends and colleagues their take and which among the sample scents are appealing and most interesting to them. The ones that have the highest vote would be taken into consideration before talking to the manufacturer and producing them in their actual sizes. Bottling and packaging is the same way.
For the overall composition, I first think about the character of the user and what may work with them…for Cherish I envisioned a very dainty feminine character. There’s boldness but there’s also innocence. Cherish is a fruity-woody scent with notes of tangerine and mango and vanilla in the opening. So there’s sweetness there before it settles on the boldness of ambergris and the subtle woody characteristics of cashmere wood. To add a unique feminine quality to the scent I had Iris added in as a “mystery” or special note.
UN: Most people feel that local perfumes would use cheaper perfume oils and ingredients. What’s your take on this and where did you source your ingredients?
HI: It doesn’t really matter whether a perfume is local or foreign. Quality is quality and that’s something that I discovered while going through this journey. I believe there are many sources of good oils here in the Philippines, I know that we’re one of the world’s source for elemi, but considering cost and sophistication in technology, I decided to source my ingredients in Europe: Germany to be specific. So, unlike other local boutique fragrances, Cherish is specially crafted, mixed and bottled in Germany. It’s a bit more challenging (due to higher custom fees and constant international communication) but the quality that you get is unparalleled!
UN: Will we see more creations from you in the future? A men’s line, perhaps?
HI: Yes, surely… I am looking forward in creating a perfume line for men. Maybe it would contain patchouli, one of my favorite notes, who knows? I’d love to work on a unisex scent, too, just to broaden people’s perspective of perfume. Something that’s a bit stronger for the usual woman market but a comes off a bit lighter for men’s. That would interesting, no?
We got our hands on a full bottle and will be sharing with you our thoughts and impressions soon. Cherish will be available starting tomorrow (September 10, 2016) at www.