10 questions for Pissara Umavijani - an interview about Dusita perfumes

Hello!

 

Today, I have a delightful treat for my readers: an exclusive interview about Dusita fragrances. I had the pleasure of speaking with Pissara Umavijani, the brilliant founder and perfumer behind this exquisite brand. Pissara shares her passion, inspirations, and the unique essence of Dusita. I hope you enjoy this intimate glimpse into her world!



Hello, Pissara! First of all, I would like to ask you what perfume you are wearing at the moment? Why did you choose it today?


Hello :) Today is a special day; I am wearing the vintage Narcisse Noir. Why did I choose this? It was created in 1911, and the vintage version is one of the perfumes that I consider perfection. It is an emotional choice. It made me dream and inspired me to become a perfumer.

 

If you had to name one favorite note or accord, which one would that be?

 

I have many favorite ingredients, but if I had to choose one, it would be Indian Tuberose Absolute. This scent has a special meaning to me because it reminds me of my father’s voyage to India and Nepal, where he would sit quietly near the temple and write poetry. The scent has its mystical charm and beauty, also seductive with a touch of innocence. This has inspired me to continue creating perfumes.


 

What do you think about the direction in which the art of perfumery is going today? How would you define niche?

 

I see many positive changes. More and more people are interested in the art of perfumery. Social media allows us to share different points of view about scents. It has created a new kind of relationship between consumers and brands that we did not have before, which also allows small artisanal brands to be in touch with the market.

 

How would I define niche? In my humble opinion, I believe that people who are looking for more exceptional products are now exploring new proposals offered by so-called niche perfumes. There are four dimensions that define ‘niche’:

 

1. The interesting personal story behind the creation, the perfumer, and the brand.

2. The exceptional quality of raw materials. I believe that our noses cannot lie.

3. The creativity in perfume creation. Can one offer anything different from other brands in the market? In the long run, this is what passionate consumers are looking for. As a consumer, I experience something unique, which is extremely important.

4.Selective distribution: a product that you do not find everywhere but is distributed in select places where salespersons are passionate about them.


When you create your brand and your own line, you put in not only your passion but also your soul and all of your time. You live with it! Then in return, there is nothing more gratifying than putting them in the proper hands, those who will respect your product as much as you do yourself, nurturing and taking great care of it.

 

Is it hard to keep your perfumes so unique in a world that is permanently assaulted by aggressive marketing campaigns that seem to dictate what to wear and what not? Do you feel that something has been lost along the way?

 

I believe that if we want to create art, our greatest competition is within ourselves. Trends can come and go, but good perfumes stay. The challenge I give myself as a perfumer is: how can I do better? My ultimate role models are the ancient perfumes. The more I study their accords and compositions, the more I learn.


Tell us more about yourself. When did you know that creating perfumes was what you wanted to do in life? Did a particular moment inspire you to do this? 

I grew up in Thailand. My parents worked as professors at the university, so I had a lot of books at home. My passion for perfumery started early when I was young and fortunate enough to grow up in Bangkok, in a beautiful house with a big tropical garden. I loved exploring the garden, smelling the soil, the grass after the rain, and the exotic flowers such as the lotus, frangipani, jasmine grandiflorum, pandan leaves, and champaca flowers. Nature gave me tranquility of mind.

 

I believe that love is the most important aspect of our life. I always searched for the thing I am passionate about. I started self-study in perfumery with a friend and became very passionate, first as a collector and then we started to blend perfumes. I did not think of it as my future career at all! On the contrary, it is more than just work. I love sitting in a room and smelling each ingredient. They talk to me… I smelled masterpieces from the past and dreamed even more.

 

There is also another dream I wanted to achieve: to capture the poetry of my father (Montri Umavijani) into scents. This is how my love story with perfume began and how I decided to develop my own perfume line, which eventually became Parfums Dusita.

 


Can you share with us your first memory about perfume?

 

The memory is linked to the members of my family back in Thailand. My very first scent is the 4711 Eau de Cologne that my grandmother loved to wear. I remember how sharp and lively the bergamot was, with a touch of lavender and piney rosemary. My father loved to wear “Fidji” and bought “Mitsouko” for my mother. I remember smelling Fidji on my father when I was sitting on his lap. My beloved aunt loved to wear Nina Ricci’s L'Air du Temps. I associated everyone in my family with the trail of their perfume!



Where do you find inspiration? Is nature your muse? Or art? Do you find inspiration within your own memories?

 

I believe that inspiration is everywhere, in different aspects of life. To be creative, I believe one must take care of both body and spirit in order to perceive and appreciate life. I am fortunate enough to live in Paris. I love to be in nature. Whenever I have free time, I take long bike rides outside Paris to breathe in nature and just empty my mind. I found that extreme sports can do that. It is also a means to meditate.

 

I also find inspiration in poetry and arts. Besides my father’s work, I love the work of Kenneth Rexroth in ‘The Love Poems of Marichiko’:

 

XXXI

Someday in six inches of

Ashes will be all

That's left of our passionate minds,

Of all the world created

By our love, its origin

And passing away.

How do you want your creations to be perceived by people?

 

People are free to interpret the scents according to their own perceptions and experiences. They don’t need to like everything, but I hope that at least one perfume I created can evoke their childhood, the feeling of love and happiness, or freedom.


If you had a time machine, is there a perfumer you would like to meet from the past?

 

There are many! I always admire Edmond Roudnitska as the greatest perfumer of our time! I had a chance to visit his home and his garden. It would be nice to talk to him in person and perhaps be his lab assistant! I also highly admire Germaine Cellier for her bravery and revolutionary creations!

 

What makes your perfumes special? Why would someone try Dusita?

 

All Dusita creations are made from my heart. It is not only my passion but also the love of a daughter for her father, someone who has devoted his life to poetry. I am just someone with certain dreams, and I believe that investing in good raw materials and time for creating formulations are the most important ingredients.

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