Loewe’s perfumer on the creative process behind Paula’s Ibiza
In an exclusive interview, Loewe perfumer Nuria Cruelles discusses the process behind the brand’s Paula’s Ibiza fragrance
Fourty-eight years ago a German architect named Armin Heinemann bought a derelict building in Ibiza and turned it into a shop. He called it Paula’s, and inside its walls he and his partner Stuart Rudnick created a carnival of floral prints and billowing outfits. Their garments bedecked a thousand flower children and now, long after the store has shuttered its doors, Loewe is ensuring the hippie fairytale of Paula’s lives on.
This spring, the Spanish fashion house launched the fourth edition of its Ibiza inspired men’s and women’s collection, along with a companion perfume crafted by creative director Jonathan Anderson and in-house perfumer Nuria Cruelles.
Cruelles recently joined after a long career working with the IFF, traveling around the world to learn the techniques of various fragrance and cosmetic houses. For her first assignment with the Spanish fashion house, Cruelles was posed a complex question – how do you capture the atmosphere of a time and the pulse of a place in a bottle, especially after it’s all long gone?
Cruelles realised ‘the translation of a place, in this case Ibiza, into a fragrance [had to be done] through the usage of specific ingredients.’ Expanding on the process, Cruelles said, ‘we have chosen a coconut water [base] to let us feel that freshness, that sparkling note and solar touch that you can sense when smelling it.’
‘Also the green galbanum notes can transport us to the shore of the beach, whereas the sand lily can make us think about the countryside. The bohemian spirit of the whole island has been infused in the fragrance by the patchouli... Each ingredient selected has the power to place us directly in the island and revives its mystic side, the breeze of the sea, its sand and the heat of the sun.’
Anderson spent time in Ibiza when he was young and this fragrance is a love letter of sorts to the luscious summers he spent there, ripe with discovery and indulgence. ‘I wanted to capture that sense of letting go and ecstatic abandon into a fragrance’, Anderson says. ‘Something volatile and fickle, just like a breeze.’
Cruelles drew on Anderson’s own memories to craft the scent, as well as her own. ‘During my youth I also spent most of my holidays there, so my memories of this wonderful island helped me as well in developing the scent,’ Cruelles says. ‘But Jonathan had a really clear idea of what he wanted to create – a fragrance capable of transporting you to Ibiza, to make you feel its sun, the sea and its wonderful countryside as well as make you part of the most fun and irreverent side of the endless summers on the island.’
The result is a scent as delicious and sweet as popsicle, and it looks like one too, with a vibrant multi-hued bottle evocative of a technicolor sunset. To top it off, the bottle comes encased in a cylinder box decorated with a classic Paula’s pattern of mermaids, seaweed and sea horses.
Suited for both men and women, Paula’s Ibiza translates the hippie rococo aesthetic of Paula’s through the lens of Loewe’s cool minimalism to create a sweet scent that celebrates summertime fun. §