Linda Sivrican is a master at capturing the essence of a place through fragrance. She has been developing artisan olfactory creations for Capsule Parfumerie, the Los Angeles fragrance house she founded with husband Mike, since 2012, crafting evocative natural scents for a range of lines under her company's umbrella. From the desert-inspired Saguara Perfumes to the refreshing, beachy Litoralle Aromatica, each micro-brand embodies a different element of California, so it was a seamless choice for Sivrican to open Orris Perfumery, a Melrose Heights flagship showcasing her fragrance oeuvre, at the end of 2016. Ever since visitors have been able to discover the perfumer's vision all in one place as the lines continue to grow.
Sivrican's latest project is especially exciting, as it involved collaboration with another minority woman who has found a creative home in LA. This creative counterpart is none other than Cassi Namoda, who recounts her Mozambican heritage and experience traveling the world through a series of colorful, intimate paintings. Sivrican, who originally hails from Vietnam, understands the need to creatively interpret multicultural experiences on a personal level, so she worked with the contemporary artist to craft a scent recalling elements of Mozambique. Using raw materials native to Africa including Egyptian jasmine, Indian Ocean salt, and Madagascar vanilla, the fragrance creates an olfactory picture of Mozambique's landscape as well as Namoda's birthplace (Maputo) and principal artistic character (Maria). With only 70 rare bottles, each featuring a hand-painted design by Namoda, the multidimensional scent is truly one to remember, made even more meaningful by the duo's decision to donate proceeds to Save the Children following the recent impact of Cyclone Idai on Mozambique. Below, Sivrican opened up to L'Officiel USA about her creative inspirations, her experience collaborating with Namoda, and the fragrance's imagined favorite things.
What first sparked your interests in art and fragrance respectively?
I have so much influence from the women in my family who are artists and designers in beauty, fashion, floristry, and culinary arts. I have fond memories as a child, as they were so stylish and always smelling so chic. I would spend hours on my mom's vanity playing with her makeup and perfume collection.
How did you end up coming together for this collaboration?
Cassi approached me with the idea to collaborate. She explained that she wanted to bring another dimension to her paintings.
What are you hoping to achieve by combining art and fragrance?
I thought it would be interesting for two self-taught artists from different practices to come together to create something beautiful.
Both of you have found success in LA but bring your heritage into your work. What do you hope people take away from the way you brought Mozambique references into this project?
Cassi's work explores daily life in postcolonial Maputo, a city in Mozambique and also her birthplace. It made sense to create a scent that included beautiful, natural, raw materials from that region. A week before our launch, Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique and devastated the country. We decided to donate proceeds to Save the Children, to help with relief from a disaster that is affecting millions of people.
If your fragrance was the star of its own movie, which actor would play the starring role?
Dorothy Dandridge as Carmen Jones.
What color does it smell like?
If you had to place Namoda x Sivrican in an iconic decade past, which one would it be?
The '30s and '40s.
What item from your wardrobe would you compare it to?
A 1920s Pongee silk robe.
What genre of music do you think Namoda x Sivrican most aligns with?
If your fragrance had a night out on the town, what drink would it order at the bar?
A Pisco Sour with apricot bitters.
If you were to relate Namoda x Sivrican to a book, what would it be? Why?
The House of the Spirits.
If your fragrance had a soundtrack, what three sounds would play once you spray the scent?
Cicadas buzzing, a church organ, and the tapping of fingers on an Udu.
If it wasn’t called Namoda x Sivrican, what would it be called?