You formed your first company in 1985, how old were you then? It was an interior design company, had you studied architecture? How have your parents influenced your business activities?
Yes, my first company was formed in 1985. It dealt with interior design projects, and creating and installing them all around the world. I was 26 at the time, having finished my studies three years before. I then joined the 'SPEA House Company', in the same field and they allowed me to apply my studies of architecture and interior design. Unfortunately my parents passed away before I was 18, however I have inherited from them the ability to realise a dream.
How did you get the idea to market perfumes? Have you also created your own brands as a "private brands"?
The idea came while continuing to experience that the spaces we designed and created lacked something. I began to feel thar a perfume could distinguish their style and to convey the passion generated by their creation. So I became interested in the Home Fragrance field, which at the time was completely unknown in the European market. I did not create my “private brands” but I collaborated in the creation of the major ones.
What brand within your market portfolio has been the first? How did you develop it?
We signed the first contract in 1990 with a company named 'AROMATIQUE of Heber Springs AR, US, at the time the leader in the production of home 'decorative fragrances'. We introduced the fragrances in the most beautiful luxury stores of home products and accessories throughout Europe.
Which fragrance brands do well in which markets? E.g. Do Swedish fragrances sell well in Germany or in Italy? How does a perfume brand become a brand name?
It is normal for the brands to perform in different ways in the different markets. For example Northern Europe loves simple lines and fresh fragrances, Middle East likes rich lines with intense and warm fragrances, the US like sweet fragrances… A brand can become a name if it is able to speak internationally and it has three fundamental elements inside:
What are your experiences in Russian / Arabian markets?
We are active with different important projects in both these areas. These emerging markets are becoming more and more important for our Art Perfumery. Young people grow up with a love for art and travel. This provides an extraordinary cultural environment where our products fit in perfectly.
I have a lovely amazing daughter, Ingrid, who lives in London and is studying literature, art and psychology at the City University.
You are a guest professor at universities – what subjects do you teach?
I am invited to teach about luxury marketing, new trends and development opportunities in that area to obtain an International Masters degree, I collaborate with the Universities of Milan, Bologna and Padua.
What are the main character traits of a successful entrepreneur?
Vision, determination and endurance.
What is your biggest luxury?
In spirit: the ability to stop whenever you want and devote yourself to your soul. In practice: to have no car and no cell phone and to have someone who drives for you and someone who speaks on your behalf whenever necessary.
Where is your favourite place? Where are you at home?
I feel at home in Asia. I am at home in airports. I'm at home anywhere there is a good positive energy.
Your favourite brand: Clothing, Perfume, Shoes, Furniture..
I do not believe in big brands. I love all the things created with an underlying feeling and passion.
Reading, jazz music, cooking and… travelling!
Your life motto?
Quantity does not produce quality.