Ann Fanning of Boston is a highly celebrated perfume specialist. Perfume houses and Executives always make a point to say hello to Ann when they are visitng Boston. I was very fortunate to work with her.
Natalie: Hello Ann, how are you? You must be so busy getting acquainted with the new Givenchy and YSL private perfume.
Ann Fanning: I am well. It is always exciting to have new fragrances. The YSL has five different scents. The range is a warm iris, leather accord to a warm smoked patchouli. The Givenchy line has an immortal scent very reminiscent of Sables by Annick Goutal. The Neroli and Ylang take me to a spring/summer day. Acqua di Parma has three new Colonia scents. These must be tried.
Natalie: The Givenchy instillation is beautiful, it replaced my old Tom Ford home.
Ann Fanning: Nothing can replace you. The makeup and skincare are very luxurious, the price point is surprisingly reasonable.
Natalie: How many years have you worked in the Fragrance Industry?
Ann Fanning: Am I dating myself if I said 42 years?
Natalie: Not at all!
Natalie: What was the first company that you worked for in the cosmetics/fragrance industry?
Ann Fanning: Revlon, believe it or not, basic Revlon used to be sold in upscale stores.
Natalie: You do realize that you are the only person in Boston who keeps old bottles to reference scents? Looking back now I realize the importance of that.
Ann Fanning: It is always a good point of reference to have the discontinued bottles. It gives the client and fragrance consultant a way to remember what the client may have used, and to recommend a new scent based on the old.
Natalie: You most certainly are a wealth of knowledge, I first heard the terminology headspace technology from you. Looking back did you have a mentor who taught you when you first got started?
*Headspace Technology is a method of capturing the aroma of a substance using a device that resembles a small glass dome. This technology was developed in the 1980s
Ann Fanning: There are several people that I admire, JP and Kathy from Colonial Drug. I love gardening and I feel that perfume and gardening go hand in hand.
Natalie: Ann, now that your favorite perfume 24K by Jivago is no longer sold in many retailers what do you wear now?
Ann Fanning: I have three bottles left. I treasure them. I wear Noir De Noir by Tom Ford and Grand Soir by Francis Kurkdijian.
Natalie: Aside from Jean-Claude Ellena who are the other influential perfumers that you admire?
Ann Fanning: Francis Kurkdijian is a genius. Francois Coty and of course the Guerlain family.
Natalie: Can you please explain to the Luxshop4u audience about the misconception of synthetics.
Ann Fanning: Synthetics have been given a bad rap! If as a perfumer you have a vision of what you want a fragrance to smell like, but you cannot find the ingredient that you want in nature, you need to create it another way. Regulations have also limited what can be used . You are probably less likely to be allergic to a synthetic than a natural ingredient.
Natalie: We launched so many fragrances what really surprised me was how quick companies created Oud based on the success of Tom Ford’s Oud Wood. What do you think will be the next trend in perfumes?
Ann Fanning: I was very happy to see warm, rich fragrances come back. I believe that your fragrances should represent your personality. I don’t really know what the next tend will be, but I would like to see the Oriental floral trend continue.
Natalie: Will you ever attend the FiFi Awards?
Ann Fanning: You never know! It is the Academy Awards of the Fragrance Industry!
Natalie: Have you ever tried civet coffee? * I asked her this question because she loves her coffee a certain way using her old fashioned french press technique. I also asked her this question because civet used to be used frequently in perfumes.
Ann Fanning: I can’t imagine myself even trying that! I am adventurous, but that is a stretch for me.
Natalie: Can you explain the difference between Chanel 5 made in the USA and Chanel 5 made in France?
Ann Fanning: This question would get me in trouble!
Natalie: What are the steps to selecting the perfect scent?
Ann Fanning: I have found that people really stay within their comfort zones. With that being said, seasonal you will find that people will switch out their scents as they do their clothes. Do you wear a cashmere in July? You don’t wear a spicy warm scent either. I usually find out what the client is using and try out several based on what they have.