Greece, in spite of its postcard backdrop, eclectic mix of culture and tradition, a heady blend of sea salt breezes and Spring florals providing an envied source of inspiration, is not often associated with perfumery in the same fashion as France or Italy. One man, Manos Gerakinis, is single-handedly changing that with his luxe range of covetable fine fragrances.
Gerakinis, with his artistic upbringing and luxury background in London’s Harrods, burst onto the fragrance scene when his debut ‘Sillage Royal’, a fragrance he originally created for himself, captivated the senses of reviewers around the world, quickly amassing an enchanted fanbase.
His gift, aside from dreaming up the magical concoctions he lovingly bottles under a lid of gold, is enabling us to wear something so unique, it is often hard to describe. Complex, mysterious, unforgettable.
Gerakinis is nothing short of sheer delight as an interview subject. Humble yet refined, worldly but not one to impose his experiences, cultured in a way that invites you into the stories that form the tapestry of his life. He generously takes you on his journey, reveling you with tales of how he was drawn to art, music, poetry and evoking the same emotion he channels into his creations. It’s an exciting blend of creativity, inspiration, passion, innate style, confidence, and enthusiasm, beckoning you to join him in the world of luxury.
The newest addition to his collection is the magnificent Rose Poetique, a floral oriental fragrance that stops you right in your tracks. Forget everything you know about rose perfumes. Gerakinis set out to create a perfume that evokes all the best of an oriental rose while bringing out a light-hearted but strong personality, and he has achieved stunning success.
GCT had the luxury of talking to Gerakinis about his newest creation and his new upcoming ‘secret.’
Why did you choose the rose for your latest perfume?
I was fascinated with roses since a young boy, charmed by their beauty, mesmerized with their scent. It was hard to understand how something fragile needed thorns, or maybe I was intrigued by the undoubtedly love of the Little Prince for his rose. The truth is that my love for roses was expressed through my paintings and it comes as no surprise that I even employed them in my very first creation of Sillage Royal.
Why do you think rose-based perfumes are so popular?
First of all, there are more than 200 different rose species and over 18,000 cultivars. Although the Bulgarian Rose remains the most popular, due to its many uses including in confectionary, there are many more to excite the most demanding. I have already used the Persian rose, Damask Rose and rosewood. I am sure I will work with many more species in the near future.
With so many perfumes being based on the rose, how did you find a way to create a truly unique rose perfume?
Perfumery is fascinating like all art. We all have the same raw materials, just like the painters do, but we all create something different. If we try to follow a given recipe like Rose Poetique’s from the start I am sure we will create a completely new perfume. Like art, it will depend on the combination and selection of raw materials, the feelings we want to convey and even our emotions. Creation in all its forms remains synonymous with innovation and uniqueness.
You are a master at creating scents that evoke luxury, opulence, allure. How long did it take you to create Rose Poetique, and what was the inspiration behind using the different fragrance notes?
Rose Poetique took a year to complete from the conception of its notion. I wanted to create an oriental rose perfume based on the Greek labdanum, which is found in Crete and it was used to produce the original myrrh of Jesus. I also employed the Damask Rose, which the Greek poet Sappho regards as “the pride of flowers and queen of flowers”. Quality and longevity remain my two main priorities when creating a perfume and I am also trying to portray my Greek heritage. So, not only did I use labdanum but also saffron, which is mainly produced in Kozani but can be traced back to Crete some 3,500 years ago. The combination of the notes creates an uplifting, seductive and mysterious perfume.
What you are working on next?
I am working on a couple of perfumes at the moment, but I will reveal more in due time. I have collaborated with fashion designer Vassilis Zoulias and launched his debut perfume “The Bow”, which is my first feminine perfume. It’s also the first time that a Greek fashion house has collaborated with a Greek niche perfume brand.
I will also introduce “Jardin Secret” in my limited editions collection. Forty pieces will only ever be made due to the rarity of the ingredients; amongst which you will find pure gold.