To say Clara Ferré Molloy is into making fragrances would be an understatement. She is the creative director and co-founder of not one but three brands: Hermetica, which conceptualizes perfume as alchemy; Memo Paris, which produces destination-inspired scents; and Floraiku, whose motto is “Perfume as a Poem.” Outside of that, Molloy embraces literal poetry, sharing inspiration on Instagram as well as working on the film festival she founded under Memo Paris, Cinehaiku. All of these projects make for an evidently busy lifestyle, but they also show the fragrance entrepreneur’s endless creativity, as each aims to explore a theme of sorts, with olfactory magic at the center.
Hermetica, which Molloy co-founded with her husband John, seems to curate perfume for the future. The collection combines natural ingredients with synthetic molecules, with the goal of optimizing the chemical connection between fragrance and skin. Spiceair, a London-inspired creation, complements the line’s overarching chemical duality by aiming to project two qualities at once: the lightness of clouds and the effervescence of the city. Green moss molecules recall wet pavement, and cinnamon essence provides warmth and sophistication for a mixture that feels as refined as it feels authentic. Below, Molloy reveals her fragrance’s cultural identity, beyond its inspiration city.
If your fragrance was the star of its own movie, which actor would play the starring role?
That's a tough one! Our perfumes are for both men and women, so we would need two actors. If not us then perhaps Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander – a couple like us!
What color does your fragrance smell like?
A bright, lush, mossy green.
Which city/place in the world does your fragrance encapsulate best?
London: the rain, which disappears almost as soon as it comes, leaving just the mist rising up from the wet pavements; the buzz of the city. Fresh and green moss molecules combined with cinnamon captures this.
If you had to place your fragrance in an iconic decade past, which one would it be?
Hermetica belongs to the future, with a foot in the renaissance. As though an alchemist from that era wrote a postcard to his future self with some advice on creating magical fragrant formulas.
What item from your wardrobe would you compare your scent to?
A rain jacket—for keeping warm and dry under the London rain!
What genre of music do you think your fragrance most aligns with and why?
Jazz—dissonant but melodic, abstract, effervescent and hard to pin down like Spiceair.
If your fragrance had a night out on the town, what drink would it order at the bar?
A bourbon cider cocktail with cinnamon. Warm and spicy for a rainy day.
If you were to relate your new scent to a book, what would it be? Why?
Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. Smith is a superb story-teller and chronicler of 21st-century London.
If your new fragrance had a soundtrack, what three sounds would play once you spray the scent?
Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight," Minnie Riperton's "Lovin’ You," and Serge Gainsbourg.
If it wasn’t called SPICEAIR, what would it be called?