Could you tell us a bit about your background at L’Artisan Parfumeur and what that involved?
I was the Creative + Product Director at L’Artisan Parfumeur, and it was a huge privilege to be part of something so special and fun. It was a true reference in the perfume world, genuinely pioneering, and as I can see now, a ‘gateway drug’ for many into ‘niche/indie/alternative’ perfumery. So I think it’s obvious that it had a big influence on me and GALLIVANT. We’re a London brand, but there’s certainly a French touch to what we do ( I like that idea of elegance with a twist) from my years in France.
How does that differ from what you do now, and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
In some ways, I feel a continuity - especially in developing and composing our perfumes. Slowly and from scratch - that’s the biggest luxury. That way of creating fragrances is something I enjoy very much and won’t change. But, at the same time, everything feels faster because of the web and social media - so then it becomes about making choices: how much do we want to take part in that, as a small independent brand? I think the biggest advantage of being independent is that we go at our own speed, in our own lane, and grow sustainably at our own pace.
Your perfumes are compounded at Art et Parfum, Grasse – how did that come about, and why did you choose to work with them?
It’s a special, very private, discreet company - and of course, perfume is a very human business. We all need to ‘smell’ each other - to see if we can get on and work together. So it’s personal and about the personalities involved. I was lucky to know them from my time with L’Artisan Parfumeur - and being able to speak French probably helps - so I’m grateful that we crossed paths in that way. We still work together today. It’s about access to excellent quality materials, but also a shared philosophy around fragrance, for example, with a deep respect for what’s come before us. It’s genuinely artisanal - that’s something I love and is important to me.
Do you have a favourite Roudnitska perfume?
Hard question! I mean, all of them! My father wore Eau Sauvage, my mother Diorella and Diorissimo - so those are emotional perfumes for me. But, I also think Femme, Rochas is something incredibly special and memorable.
Before you started making your own, what sort of perfumes did you love to wear? What were some of your favourites?
I’ve always loved and admired elegant ‘classic’ perfumery - Serge Lutens, Malle, Acqua di Parma, Francis Kurkdjian. Perfumes which have a certain sophistication, I suppose. They feel well finished. When I’m not wearing my own, these days I like to wear perfumes made by friends: Francesca Bianchi, Timothy Han, Masque Milano…the list goes on.
We’re so excited to be featuring GALLIVANT this month. Please can you describe it in your own words?
First and foremost, I consider that we’re in the business of pleasure - so that’s the starting point for me. I hope our perfumes feel elegant but also fun and playful. Beautifully composed, made with love. And Naples is an excellent example of just that. To be a Finalist at the prestigious Art+Olfaction Awards this summer with Naples was a real thrill; amazing to get such recognition.