The Art Of Scent
L'OFFICIEL Singapore|May 2021
These days, scents are all about personalisation. Johanna monange, scent designer and founder of maison 21g paris, would know. With over 20 years of experience in the perfume industry, she speaks to us about her relationship to perfume, the importance of a scent wardrobe, and more
Kimberly Ong

Perfume has always been deeply personal and transportive. (Just purview writings on fragrances to get a whiff of such – a Chanel N°5 can go from being described as “a sparkling drink on summer’s day”, to smelling like “rolling around on crisp white sheets in a silk nightgown.”) It is this ability to give us magic, even in the most mundane of moments, that has made it particularly pandemic-proof.

And even as the pandemic plods on, the desirability of bespoke fragrances lingers. After all, we wear fragrances for the delight in wearing it for ourselves, not just to attract others, contrary to what age-old wisdom suggests – so it would only make sense to create a scent that is uniquely our own. Enter Maison21G Paris. A perfumery house that offers the experience of creating customised blends of scents according to your personal preferences, it has since expanded rapidly over the past year, with plans for global expansion.

“It’s the same as going to the restaurant… You can’t impose on every guest to take beef. What if I don’t like beef?” says French founder Johanna Monange, who made Maison21G’s debut with a boutique in Duxton Hill, Singapore, in 2019. “We first discover what you like or don’t like, how to pair our scents with other scents, and for what occasion it is perfect for.” This comes unlike traditional perfume marketing, where brands will convince you to buy a perfume with lots of advertising, she says. “Instead of pushing things onto people, I prefer to understand who you are and guide you to create your own perfume. We’re just here to teach you and transmit our knowledge as scent designers.”

What attracted you to the world of perfumes?

It was purely by chance. Usually, you come from a family of perfumers in France, transmitted from father to son. For me, I studied international business and I was deeply passionate about discovering new cultures, which led me to go to China in the last year of my masters to study at the University of International Business and Economy (UIBE) in Beijing. After graduation, I found a job under a company called Mane, one of the last prestigious French perfume houses, and trained at their Grasse perfumery school for two years. I learnt about raw materials, how to recognise a palette of 2000 molecules and essences to create iconic accords in South of France, in Grasse. I was surrounded by people who were very passionate about perfumery, and I fell in love since. Since 22 years ago, when I entered the perfumery world, I never exited. When you touch this world, it’s impossible to step away from it, it is so addictive.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM L'OFFICIEL SINGAPOREView All

Timeless Pieces Of The Past Year's Collection Are Reimagined

Timeless pieces of the past year’s collection are reimagined, reflecting Braun Büffel’s love for juxtaposing modernist furniture design and time-honoured german engineering

1 min read
L'OFFICIEL Singapore
December 2021/January 2022

How Love Transcends All

The festive season has always been held up as a symbol of the TRADITIONAL family structure. This year, we revisit the notion of family by putting the SPOTLIGHT on three diverse families, showing that despite their differences, these stories don’t need to be melodramatic or overwrought; they can be quotidian, too. A polyamorous single mother, a pair of national athlete sisters, and a married lesbian couple tell us about how love transcends all

10+ mins read
L'OFFICIEL Singapore
December 2021/January 2022

Has The World Of Collectable Art Finally Gone Digital?

Has The World Of Collectable Art Finally Gone Digital?

7 mins read
L'OFFICIEL Singapore
December 2021/January 2022

Fight Hyperpigmentation This Festive Season With IZU Clarity Control

This December, this easy-to-use and effective treatment will have you saying goodbye to hyperpigmentation and acne scars in little to no time

1 min read
L'OFFICIEL Singapore
December 2021/January 2022

Opposing Forces

Staying true to the spirit of the line, Cartier’s latest additions to the clash de cartier series marry aesthetically contrasting elements like pearls and spikes

1 min read
L'OFFICIEL Singapore
December 2021/January 2022

Bold & Beautiful

As Part Of Louis Vuitton’s Bicentenary Celebrations, The Maison Has Just Released A New Novel In The Form Of Louis Vuitton, L’audacieux. The Book Is Written By Former L’officiel Editor-in-chief Caroline Bongrand. Here, She Tells Us About The Training She Had To Undergo To Write The “true Tale Of Courage And Vision”, And What Surprised Her Most When She Was Researching For The Novel

3 mins read
L'OFFICIEL Singapore
December 2021/January 2022

How Art Works

Singapore-based gallery and boutique advisory, art works turns 10 this year – and it is still growing thanks to the successful introduction of its online gallery this year. Here, art works’ managing director troy sadler talks about Singapore’s growing appetite for art

4 mins read
L'OFFICIEL Singapore
December 2021/January 2022

12 Days Of Christmas

From beauty’s finest gift sets to fun advent calendars, there’s something for everyone this festive season. Here, we unveil our top picks of gifts to spoil yourself and your loved ones

2 mins read
L'OFFICIEL Singapore
December 2021/January 2022

Come To One's Senses

Meet Cartier’s nécessaires à parfum collection – a treat for both the eyes and nose

1 min read
L'OFFICIEL Singapore
December 2021/January 2022

Get Into The Holiday Spirit With Maison 21g's Personalised Home Scents And Fragrances

Allow The Effects Of The Maison’s Ambrosial Aroma To Help You Relax And Embrace The Comfort Of Christmas

2 mins read
L'OFFICIEL Singapore
December 2021/January 2022
RELATED STORIES

Welcome the Scents of Summer

Spritz, spray, layer, and repeat.

1 min read
CBS Watch! Magazine
July/August 2021

A Rare Egg

Egyptian ostrich egg perfume case

1 min read
Archaeology
September/October 2020

El perfume que Michelle Pfeiffer tardó 20 años en crear

Quería que la industria de las fragancias fuera más transparente, y se topó con una negativa. Así que la actriz tomó las riendas del asunto, lidió con el rechazo y creó Henry Rose.

10+ mins read
Entrepreneur en Español
Septiembre 2019

New Perfumes That Announce, Enhance And Prolong The Feeling Of Summer

Setting sail to conquer new sensorial territories, The Maison Louis Vuitton continues its beautiful and emotional journey with three new perfumes.

2 mins read
360
Saweetie Issue

Chanel Perfume: Classy And Elegant

Summary: One of the most distinguished brand name in the perfume business that almost everyone knows about it and is familiar with its unique logo, and surely Chanel perfume is the very last name in quality as well as style making it amongst the most highly regarded of all perfumes. Keywords: chanel perfume,Coco Chanel,Chanel 5 perfume,woman perfume,Ernest Beaux,Chanel gardenia perfume,Discount chanel perfume

2 mins read
Fashion Couture Magazine
Swimsuit Issue August - October 2019

Fragancia celestial

En el sur de Francia, los fragantes campos de jazmín inspiran el perfume más embriagador del mundo.

6 mins read
National Geographic Traveler en Español
Julio - Agosto 2019

Olores de la Provenza

Aroma celestial. En el sur de Francia, campos de jazmín inspiran el perfume más embriagador del mundo.

4 mins read
National Geographic Traveler en Español
Mayo 2019

How To Make A Perfume Smell Expensive

Small fragrance creators such as Maelstrom in Paris are influencing a $49 billion global industry.

7 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
August 06, 2018

Scents, Solids And Splendour

Henry Jacques’ Clic-Clac reinvigorates a century-old tradition of personalised flair.

3 mins read
Robb Report Singapore
January/February 2022

Clic-Clac By Henry Jacques - A Fusion Of Fragrance And Fashion

A fusion of fragrance and fashion, the old and new, the utilitarian and extravagant, is the Clic-Clac by Henry Jacques. The maison’s CEO Anne-lise Cremona tells Yanni Tan in a Singapore-exclusive how the ultra-luxurious solid perfume accessory is a trailblazer.

4 mins read
Prestige Singapore
January 2022