MARIO ANDRES LOMBARDO, MASTER PERFUMER OF ATELIER OBLIQUE
Where do you live now? Berlin
Fragrance philosophy in a nutshell: Pure poetry under a Bauhaus coat.
Favorite note in the world? Oh, this is a hard one. There are so many notes I love. Perfume-wise, I would go for deep one note: Maybe it is amber. Metaphorically, it is the scent of a salty tear rolling down a cheek and hitting the corner of a fragile smile. As a natural note, it would be the smell of my children, especially when they are asleep.
Least favorite scent? I guess it is the smell of fear.
If you could choose one baby, what is the fragrance you are most proud of? I think it would be Closer. It has this wide spectrum from a very fresh and bright top of lemon, grapefruit, and fig, to a very deep and dark base of oud, leather, and vetiver, which appears strongly when the top notes slightly varnish.
What did you have for breakfast this morning? Double espresso and avocado on fresh bread.
What does your home smell like? Like fun and some of our scented candles. Today, it’s Closer.
What fragrance do you wear? Recently I don’t wear any, but if I would I always pick woody and dark compositions.
First fragrance you owned? I think it was Tabac. But I quickly changed to the first Comme des Garçons in the early ‘90s.
What fragrance(s) did your parent(s) wear? My mother always smelled like roses. This was her most important note, specially in her creams. She used to have different fragrances like Clinique Aromatics Elixir or Ambra Watteau, to name a few. My father’s was Tabac, too, but he always carried a silent note of old books and China ink as he spent most of the time in a libraries or over architectural plans.
What inspires your bottle design? It is old German design and architectural tradition combined with a touch of French elegance. I am very affected by Mies van der Rohe's way to work with proportions, although I could never live in one of his buildings—I chose another way of living.
Most nostalgic scent? A very powdery cleanser we used to wipe the floors with back in the ‘70s in Argentina. I still sometimes sniff it out when we travel the Mediterranean regions. It instantly beams me back to my childhood in Argentina. Unfortunately, I don’t have the name, because I haven’t dared to ask the person who was cleaning.
What does Berlin smell like? This varies from season to season. The summer smell is like a sea of lime blossom and hot asphalt. During the autumn, we have this breeze of wet and warm leaf piles hanging in the air. The Berlin winter is harsh and cold; the smell is an icy blunt concrete, a bit like wet ceramic. Spring comes always late in Berlin, but when it arrives we have this mix of cherry blossoms and freshly cut grass scent, which I deeply love.
If not making perfume, what would you be doing? Design
Last good book you read? The Polyvagal Theory by Stephen W. Porges
Least favorite fragrance trend? Opulence
What does 2020 smell like? Like pure adventure.
How do you unwind? Traveling
Guilty pleasure? I smoke when I feel pressure or stress.
Best advice I’ve gotten: Everything will be good in the end.
I won’t leave home without: Without pants and a coffee or two.
Coffee shop order? Two double espressos.
I’m at peace when: I feel freedom.