Welcome to another day of 1st anniversary celebrations at Chemist in the Bottle. Today I present you the continuation of the interview with Stanisława Missala, founder of Quality Perfumeries in Poland. Click here if you haven’t yet read part 1.
What is your opinion – did the change of a political matter in Poland after 1989 affected the perfume industry in Europe?
Definitely yes. Change of the situation, not only in Poland, but in the entire Eastern Europe region, and later in other countries resulted in the appearance of vast numbers of consumers of fragrance, beauty and make-up brands. Customers who had “hunger” for normality, novelty; mass market customers who, in most cases, didn’t have their own style determined. Brands present on the market at that time, in the situation of higher demand decided on the easiest solution: to change formulas of their offerings replacing expensive natural ingredients with cheaper chemical substitutes. This tendency didn’t affect niche companies, which we proudly offer at our perfumeries nowadays.
How would you describe “the perfume society” in our country, in Poland?
I can answer this question basing on my experience and observations of the customers of our perfumeries. We’re proud to have very interesting clients. Between them most are of a great sensitivity and they often have a lot of knowledge. Of course in Poland there’s a big group of people who are easily influenced by commercials. Because of them [the commercials] people make totally different choices, but that’s a natural phenomenon, characteristic to all fields, not only ours.
Did Polish culture influence the appreciation for the art of perfumery?
I will risk a wider context here: in every under-pressure community more people of art are born: poets, musicians, painters and at the same time a group of people who care about arts grows bigger. Perfume is a form of art – that’s my answer.
By watching clients of Quality Perfumeries can you say that we, Poles, have a favorite fragrant composition or notes we favor?
In my opinion, no. We’re individualists in all aspects of our lives, perfume is no exception. On the other hand I observe, especially among young people, that they’re influenced by fashion. It often happens that highly controversial scents are bought by people, who wouldn’t have chosen them at first pick if they made the decision on their own, chose the fragrance, as I say it, with their hearts. But they’re influenced by fashion or environment pressure. It’s the sign of time, I observe it a lot.
What’s the favourite niche perfume house of Poles?
In my perfumeries the most valued brands are: Amouage, Clive Christian, Creed, Francis Kurkdjian, Kilian and M.Micallef. But to be honest all brands are important to us and each and every one has its own group of fans, smaller or bigger. I’m very honored that also our own fragrance Missala Qessence gets more and more appreciation.
Are Quality Perfumeries often visited by foreign clients? What are they looking for?
Poland develops and it opens up to others, so in our perfumeries more and more foreigners appear. I’m happy to admit that the clients from other countries are usually shocked by how complex our offer is at Quality Perfumeries. 70 niche brands in one place – that doesn’t happen often, even all over the world. Their compliments give as a lot of energy. They sometimes look for the perfumes that are not available in their countries, or fragrances that are more expensive where they live. Their tastes are sometimes similar and sometimes they vary comparing to the Polish perfume taste. World of niche fragrances is so big that everyone will find something suitable. We try to provide to our customers the best service we can.
What would you wish to yourself and to all perfume lovers, in Poland and all over the world?
To everyone who stepped into the magical world of fragrance I wish many new, magnificent discoveries in this sumptuous world. To those who are yet to experience their scented adventure – I envy them everything they might encounter, with my whole heart.
Thank you for answering my questions and for letting me and my readers know a little bit more about perfume art in Poland and how different things influence it. It was a pleasure for me to interview you.