Manuela is a #Girlboss with a story, she’s a woman that has spent many years perfecting her art. Her brand is Arts and Scents, a perfume house that services private clients as well been stocked around the world. Based in Germany, with an office in New York and regular trips to Mexico, Manuela is a well travelled woman on a mission.
Here, she chats to House of Coco about her world of perfumery, how life is working with her son who helps with the brand and so much more…
Tell us a bit about your journey to getting Arts & Scents to where it is today?
Arts&Scents was born out of three insurgent ideas.
- To be able to work creative without commercial limits
- To give people a high quality perfume within a decent price range
- To do a most art influenced different design
It is a big challenge to bring a new idea into the market, we had to fight out things, cracking some hard nuts, working things over and over. We learned a lot on the way by doing mistakes, building up compromises but never lost our vision.
It takes many years to make a good perfume, can you tell us more about the process you follow?Perfume creation depends on inspiration, knowledge and the right moment. Sometimes I find the perfect formula closely in one instance but some creations need in deed years to be finished. When I do creative perfume work, I try to be alone and best not to be disturbed for a while. I am working very traditionally, creating own bases. For example you want a base that smells to a pink rose that is high in bloom in the afternoon sun, a full aromatic beauty, so you try to put that imagination into fragrance. For creating a whole perfume you combine those bases to a harmonic symphony. There are light bases that brighten up, fixative components and character nuances that give the whole perfume its personality.
Experience is the big helper but sometimes just time brings the best result.
I always carry a little notebook with me to write down spontaneous ideas and snap associations.
What has been your highlight since launching the brand?
Our labels are like paintings or pieces out of an art exhibition, our scents too. It was just great to notice that so many people liked what we are doing.
Describe the brand 3 words?
TRUE PERFUME LOVE
You work with your son, what role does he have?
My son is our male voice and influence. He is a clear and strategic thinker. And he is a strong represent of future trends out of the young generation.
You are clearly well travelled. Where is your favourite place to go?
Mexico, I left a big part of my heart there and have to go back frequently to follow up with it.
Tell us what a typical day in your life looks like?
I always start the days very early using the first hour to check e-mails and doing a day´s list of important to do things.
A short family break follows, taking a little breakfast with my men (husband & sons) fixing the whole days plan.
Then the working day starts: Meetings, follow up with production, development and perfume creation, travel and event planning.
Whenever it is possible I try to have dinner with my family.
Before launching the brand, what did you do on the work front?
Perfumes. I still have a big private clientele for personal perfume creating. I did fragrant concepts for spas and stores and private labeling.
It can be hard to juggle life and business, what do you do to switch off from work?
Spending time with my family and friends
Who/what inspires you?
Traveling, aromas and smellings around in daily life
Are there any sources you go for support with running your business?
I keep a very close contact with my mentor: Virginia Bonofiglio (Fragrance Department FIT NY). And we work with beautypress for PR releases in Germany, France, Swiss and NY.
What are your plans for the brand in 2016?
We are on the way to launch an online Arts&Scents magazine following our very effective international blog Aroma in Love.
We want to expand more into the Arabian countries.
And we are going to base a local business in Mexico City.
Did you always know that one day you would be a #Girlboss?
No I didn´t expect that, but it is a great experience I wouldn´t want to miss.
If there’s one #Girlboss activity you could get better at, what would it be?
Finances and strategic thinking, I am a creative person
For women aspiring to run their own company, what advice would you give?
Never give up, hold on to your dreams and visions. You need heartblood and soulbound passion and the strong will to follow your path but it is possible.