Occult - the interview

I reviewed Occult in September (read it here) but I wanted to know more as I am obsessed with scent. Below is an interview with Alex and Hollis - the team behind Occult.

What inspires you?

A: I don't really know how to categorize what inspires me. Whether it's an image in a magazine, a really awesome website, or just the way someone states something in the moment...you can just feel it. I guess anything that makes me reconsider my worldview.
H: Time. Alex, is that weird? I romanticize these times that I never actually lived through and as a result, I have these really pretty ideas of "how great it was". I'm inspired to recreate these images. And sometimes I'll be inspired by a really good album...that's a cooler response.

Why did you create a fragrance?

A: I think it started the summer before our senior year of college. I was at Hollis' apartment, and she was telling me about all the different aspects of her internship at a fragrance house. She really sounded excited and knowledgeable about it, so I said something like "why don't you make your own fragrance?" I think it also had something to do with the fact that we were both about to graduate and we were kind of nervous about "the real world". Hollis wasn't sure about going the corporate route, and I had been working in fashion for a while but wanted to leave. So we wanted to do something of our own, where we had control over the creative process and the development.
H: Creating a fragrance really began as a way of taking control during a confusing point in my life. I was both studying and working in the fragrance industry and had so many processes imposed upon me that didn't mesh with my idea of creativity and expression. I was inspired to make something that followed my own guidelines and that I could be in charge of, regardless of success or failure. I was fortunate enough at this time to have Alex behind me, encouraging me to sit down, asking, "Ok, so what's the plan?"

What was the creative process behind Occult - the name, picking the specific notes of the fragrance, packaging, etc?

A: It came out of a mix of the things Hollis and I were interested in at the time. I was exploring a lot of occult themes in my illustration, especially Tibetan mandalas and the wheel of life. Hollis had gone to college in California for a while and part of her studies were the different cults that developed there in the 70s. Also, I think we were watching the Virgin Suicides and some other films which have become totally cliche in this current Tumblr-based obsession with teenager-dom.
H: Haha I like how Alex notes, "at the time". For me, I've always been inspired by all of these themes, late 60's-early 70's obscurity, especially on the elusive West Coast. When I was in Los Angeles at school, I enrolled in the best class -- Southern California in the 1960's. Aside from the hackneyed themes, we explored some really interesting history about these cults that would arise out of this counterculture. They'd be these rich twentysomethings that lived in these new gothic mansions in the Hollywood Hills or on these ranches out in the desert and would recruit these lost teenagers from the area. I think Occult is an ode to this movement -- sensual and naive. Even the notes (patchouli, plum, leather, opulent musks) convey this idea of a deep, rich mystery.

Are there any other scents on the way from you?

A: Eventually we hope to come out with a second fragrance, but we're both super busy right now getting our careers started and getting more momentum behind Occult.
H: I hope so! The second fragrance is panned out for the most part, but I'd like Occult to grow legs before we move the support system.

Now you have whet my appetite even further, Alex and Hollis. . . .the next fragrance! I hope you will come back and share the details of it when you are ready to do so.

No comments:

Post a Comment