Sep 1, 2014

Q&A With Ursula Wandel: The EAU DE GAGA Maker

In a recent interview with Ursula Wandel, one of the creator behind the EAU DE GAGA fragrance, she discusses the creation process, the developing of a unisex fragrance, sources of inspiration and how Lady Gaga was involved in the creation of this new fragrance.

Q: In three words, how would you describe Eau de Gaga?

UW: Sparkling, sexy, unexpected.

Q: How did you approach capturing the essence of Lady Gaga?

UW: During the discussion I had with her, I captured her quest to surprise and to be where we don’t expect her to be.To contrast with her personality, she wanted her new fragrance to be a sparkling, clean and pure “Eau”. The olfactive challenge was unexpected.

Q: What makes developing a fragrance that is aimed at both men and women different from a traditional masculine or feminine scent?

UW: The challenge was to find the right balance between feminine & masculine olfactive “codes”.
For Eau de Gaga, I wanted to use ambiguous accords and ingredients in order to break away from the traditional ‘gender-specific’ ingredients commonly used in perfumery. I chose an ambivalent flower (the hermaphrodite white violet), combined with an ambivalent wood (patchouli) and an ambivalent sensuality (leather notes)wrapped with a freshness that would appeal to both to men and women.

Q: Can you tell us more about the hermaphrodite white violet note?

UW: The hermaphrodite white violet (Viola albaodorata)is a wild flower that grows in Europe. It is the most-scented existing violet, blooming in March, announcing Spring.Its scent is pure, very luminous and…aphrodisiac! I took my inspiration from a white violet note captured during one of Givaudan’sScentTreks ™. Our expertise enables us to capture a flower’s scent with total respect for the environment and remaining extremely faithful  to the true scent of  the floweras we smell it in nature. A true renaissance smell!

Q: What family does the fragrance belong to and how is it structured?

UW: It belongs to the Floral Citrus Woody family and it is characterized by a “wrapping freshness” structure. Itattractsattention throughitssparkling citrus notes and intriguing, vibrant spices. These same notes then guide the senses through the heart of this creation highlighting  the white violet, faceted by Earl Grey tea and leading us to the daring  base notes of creamy sandalwood  and “instinct leather”which wrap this fragrance in a veil of sensuality .
Eau de Gaga contains nearly 30 natural ingredients, which is extremely rare in today’s fragrances and is another feature that makes this fragrance stand out from the crowd.

Q: Fragrances that appeal to both men and women became popular twenty years with the launch of the iconic CKOne. How have fragrancesthat appeal to both men and women created today evolved from the ones developed in the past? What do you think the future is for them?

UW: These fragrances have evolved a lot. I would even say they evolved with society somehow. When CK One was launched in 1994, it was supposed to represent a feminine and masculine harmony: Pure equality between genders, translated olfactively. Over time, the olfactive landscape for both genders has evolved - feminine fragrances being woodier, masculine ones being more floral, even gourmand. Today, a fragrance that is for both men and women has to respect some fundamental codes but push the olfactive boundaries further, in line with the evolutions we see in masculine and feminine fragrances
With “Eau de Gaga” the objective was to express an“ambivalent sensuality”.This fragrance portrays how I see society today and also my vision for the future.

Q: What were sources of inspiration when creating this fragrance?

UW: An Earl Grey tea (with a Bergamot facet) to translate a sparkling freshness.
The white violet, which encompasses both feminine and masculine elements: The flower itself to express the feminine facet through a suave scent, and its heart shaped leaves which express masculinity through their green, fresh scent.

Q: How involved was Lady Gaga in the creation of her second fragrance?

UW: She was extremelyinvolved. As I said, she had a very clear vision of what she wanted for her second fragrance, and she provided me with a plethora of images and feelings to help me with the creative process.Forexample,a“fresh from the shower” sensation, but combined with a deep and lasting sensuality.

Q: Who do you imagine wearing this scent?

UW: Everybody. It is a “gender-free”, ageless and timeless fragrance.

Q: Could both members of a couple wear it at the same time?

UW: Totally. Please, experience it and enjoy it together!

Q: Does Eau de Gaga smell differently on a man than on a woman?

UW: As Dali said: “A person wearing a perfume gives the sex of it.”

Q: When and where do you imagine someone wearing this fragrance?

UW: Anywhere, Anytime.