It is the story of an idea that came to winemaker Werner Hauser during a night walk through the vineyard: To capture the incomparable scent of the vine blossom - the glow that exists for only a few nighttime hours each year. Years later, he realized it together with perfumers Alexander Lauber (Wiener Blut) and Nathalie Feisthauer. Feisthauer, who has created olfactory worlds for numerous major brands, won the 2019 Moscow FIFI Award for "Best Perfumer of the Year" for "Best Niche Perfume of the Year." With Geschein, she conceived a perfume that is currently making its way as a niche perfume with exceptional radiance.
Few people know the nocturnal smell of vine blossom. How do you capture it without being able to use an essence?
Nathalie Feisthauer: "In perfumery, many things are not reproducible, but that does not prevent us from getting closer to an atmosphere and being inspired by it. I was inspired by the vine flowers of Alsace and Germany which have their own universe, as much by their smell as by their shape. They are very ethereal like lychee or grapefruit with a minerality, that’s this singular ambiance I wanted to capture."
Geschein describes the fleetingness of a moment. What moment were you thinking of when you created the fragrance?
Nathalie Feisthauer: "For Geschein, I wanted to take elements of these vines, adding a fantastic and oniric side to them."
Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian once said that the fragrance industry is not too keen on taking risks. In contrast, however, there are more and more niche fragrances that have established, themselves. Is the consumer overtaking the ideas of the producers?
Nathalie Feisthauer: "I think niche perfumery is like a breath of fresh air. It can be compared to the growth and creativity that we have seen lately in the series compared to what was done before. Moreover, nowadays, more and more people like to discover a universe that is different and which is not defined by consumer tests."
How do you see the market for niche perfumes in the future then?
Nathalie Feisthauer: "I think that with confinement there is even more of a search for meaning. People want to get out of certain patterns and are more comfortable with them. They are looking for sincerity, authenticity, they want to have a creator point of view."
Vienna - Paris: How did the cooperation between you and Nathalie Feisthauer come about?
Alexander Lauber: "I have been a fan of Nathalie's creations for many years, which often have a hypnotic quality for me. I especially loved Guerilla 2, a limited edition she did for Comme des Garçons many years ago. Her fragrance language lent itself particularly well to this project. Plus, I knew she was from Alsace and wine blossom is a familiar theme for her."
Vienna has become a location for independent beauty brands in recent years - what is the perfume sector like here?
Alexander Lauber: "Fine fragrance is much more complex in its creation than, for example, shampoo, soap, or lotions, products that can traditionally be produced with the possibilities of the apothecary. The historically most successful perfume from Vienna to date, Knize Ten, was also produced in France at the time - in the early 1920s - for precisely these reasons, and not in Vienna. Knize Ten, by the way, was the first men's grooming series in the world and was known and loved far beyond Europe. Vienna can therefore look back on great successes in this field."