What if I told you that the story of Mirko Buffini Firenze, luxury Tuscan parfum maison started with one man’s search to find his signature perfume? In his early 30s, Mirko Buffini received a special gift – a perfume – from a dear friend. Although he loved it, he felt there was something lacking and set out to find his ideal fragrance, one that would truly represent who he was. This olfactory journey led him to discover the best raw materials, analyse ingredients and eventually become master perfumer. This journey, led to the birth of Mirko Buffini Firenze.
A relatively young parfum company, Mirko Buffini Firenze currently has a total of 12 unisex perfumes that are simultaneously luxurious and minimalistic, heady as they are fresh and steeped in tradition while being contemporary. I had a chance to catch up with Mirko Buffini and his partner (and coincidentally, childhood friend) Marko Mari when they were in Singapore on the occasion of the launch of the perfumes. Here’s what they had to tell me about layering perfumes, the best fragrances for tropical climates and what makes them uniquely Italian.
As the creative force at Mirko Buffini, what is the creative process behind each fragrance
Mirko Buffini: I love to travel and when I travel I experience new things that serve as inspirations for the olfactory processes. I visit New York or Paris and when I return, I start working on the fragrance that I have thought up while travelling. Then I go to Paris, where I work with the nose and I explain the kind of fragrance I would like to create and we choose the ingredients to put it together.
And how long does it take for the perfume to be realised after it is conceptualised?
Marko Mari: The whole process takes about three months. Once the carefully chosen raw materials arrive, they are left to rest for three weeks during which time they are regularly checked to ensure they remain intact. After, it takes about 15 days to extract essential oils from the ingredients, make the fragrance mixture and carry out quality checks. Then natural and synthetic essences are blended into the fragrance mixture it is left to rest and later blended with vegetable oil. This resting period takes about two to three weeks after which there will be another quality check and a final one after the packaging process. As you can see, there is a lot of emphasis on quality and craftsmanship.
You’ve introduced a very specific range of your fragrances for Singapore. How did you choose which ones you wanted to debut here?
MB: We have picked the perfumes based on the market as well as the weather. When the climate is hot it is important it bring in fruity, dry, fresh perfumes and avoid ones that are too sweet.
MM: We also based the selection on the Asian skin type, which is more sensitive compared to Caucasian skin. So we tried to understand, based on our experience, as well as sales in China, Japan and Hong Kong, the ones that would work and based our selection on that as well.
It’s interesting that all your perfumes are unisex. Can you tell me more about how you make this possible?
MM: I prefer to call them genderless. I feel that is a better way to describe them.
MB: The secret is to mix spice and woody notes with fruity. Or floral with oud and spice notes. That is the key to creating genderless perfumes. It may sound simple, but achieving the delicate balance is very difficult.
We know you’ve have travelled the world in search of your signature perfume. How should one go about finding their signature perfume, without having to travel the world?
MB: If you want to choose your signature perfume, you have to try many, many, notes from many brands. Try different brands and different notes in eau de parfum – not eau de toilette – to find the right one.
MM: I feel life is like a journey and you change as you go through it. One day you wake up and you love one fragrance and the day after you may love another. Living is part of your journey, and if you’re willing to live your life as a journey, you will discover something every day.
Which is your favourite perfume in the range?
MB: All the perfumes are my favourite. It’s like asking a father to choose his favourite child. Though I have some favourites based on seasons – in the winter I like to wear Og and Saba with oud and in spring summer La Chute d’Eau, our newly launched cologne, is perfect. It depends on the skin and season.
What would you say makes your perfumes uniquely Italian?
MB: The quality of the raw material – this makes all the difference. There’s also attention to detail as seen with the perfume No.31, which has 61 different elements making it a very complex perfume. Moreover, the maison was born in Florence – a city that has always been regarded as the capital of perfume and our perfumes are handcrafted in the traditional manner of Florantine perfumerie schools.
Read on for the best places to apply your perfume, how to layer them and more…
How should one store a perfume to extend its life?
MB & MM: It’s not how you store a perfume in a hot climate – because heat and humidity actually help enhance a fragrance and really bring out the true notes. That said, make sure you store in a cool, dry place, not in the sun. Even though our bottles are treated to protect from sun exposure, it’s best to keep it away from direct sunlight.
Best places to apply perfume?
MB & MM: Some perfumes can evaporate in heat and humidity and seem like it doesn’t have any sillage – the scented trail left by the wearer. The perfume must be worn on the hottest part of the body – after your shower, layer the perfume on your chest, stomach where you have natural body heat that helps release the notes of the perfume. Avoid wearing it on he neck or the wrists where it is easy to sweat it off.
What is the key to layering perfumes right?
MB & MM: It’s best to start with a woody base, and layer a fruity one on top – this also ensures the perfume lasts longer while giving you a sensual, spicy, seductive.
Mirko Buffini Firenze perfumes are available exclusively at Maven Takashimaya L3 or www.mavenofffical.com
This interview was made possible by the PR.