Elizabeth Minett began her career as a blogger and model in Canada, but four years ago she decided to enter the competitive world of home fragrances with her own brand called Cander.
Making that happen wasn’t easy.
The fragrance world is notoriously tight-knit and clubby; to access the best people and materials is difficult especially if you have no previous history in the industry. Like the fashion business, it’s who you know that can open the right doors.
Elizabeth was tenacious and with her distinct point of view about scents and she managed to pique the interest of Emmanuel Philip, a 20-year veteran of the famous maison Cire Trudon and a master at creating fragrances for virtually every industry sector.
Elizabeth Minett, founder and creator of Cander Paris, and Emmanuel Philip, master perfumer with Cire Trudon, France’s oldest perfume house.
Being a great “nose” requires equal parts chemistry training and intuition. The very best can channel the most obscure and rarified notes possible, blending materials and essences with masterful techniques that can take years to learn.
Together the two innovated the tightly edited collection that is Cander Paris. These are intimate and sophisticated fragrances that are layered with notes that combine the concept of nostalgia and memory with the earthiness of organic materials such as citrus, spices, and smoke.
The nose knows: Emmanuel in his laboratory where he developed the components of Cander’s unique fragrances.
We asked them to share with us the creative process in bringing these remarkable scents to life.
FONFRÈGE: In a world full of designer fragrance candles, how do you think Cander breaks through the noise?
ELIZABETH MINETT, FOUNDER: Most of the designer candles out there are from very established, often historic brands. Cander is new and contemporary.
FONFRÈGE: Emmanuel, were you able to understand what it was she wanted as a client?
EMMANUEL PHILIP, PERFUMER: I always go by a feeling and my intuition and I think that Elizabeth also had all the right elements for this lovely collaboration. With all my projects, the most difficult aspect is to succeed at visualizing and transcribing the client’s vision, and for the most part, it’s a very complicated thing to achieve. With Elizabeth, her creative vision is always simple, clear, precise and fluid, all of which considerably assist in and ease the creative process.
FONFRÈGE: What was the challenge for both of you in establishing Cander’s unique fragrances?
ELIZABETH: There were many challenges but nothing good is built without them. For one, I was a complete outsider to the world of perfume, especially French perfume. It’s much easier to go to a perfumer in LA for example, but working with such a world-renowned French nose — and a manufacturing house like Cire Trudon — is typically not accessible. I believe establishing a new luxury brand is an ongoing process, because it’s a balance of offering something new, being current in people’s minds, but staying true to your product. Luxury is really found in providing quality over quantity.
FONFRÈGE: Elizabeth, your first scent is called quite simply, Scent 01. How would you characterize it?
ELIZABETH: The name Scent 01 is an ode to its creation process, being our “first baby” so to speak, and the first step of many in creating a collection. Scent 01 is heavily influenced by my childhood growing up in Canada. Firewood and pine were year-round scents irrespective of the season. Childhood is the beginning and first chapters of your life. For better or worse, it’s important for people to keep those first chapters close to their hearts.
EMMANUEL: For me, I’ve learned that to design the actual fragrance requires remembering that it’s not just about creating a perfume but rather, an ambiance and a feeling that should take people to another place and spark their imagination. I applied this methodology to Cander in creating the five fragrances with purity, simplicity, but also with a lot of richness achieved through essential oils, resins, and absolutes.
FONFRÈGE: Do you really believe a fragrance can influence people’s behaviour?
ELIZABETH: Fragrance is an emotional experience, it’s about love. Our fragrances are really what set us apart. They are a “new look” at mainstay scents such as Rose, Sandalwood, and Firewood. People fall in love. Anyone can have this experience, but we cater to people who want an exquisite scent in their home, who appreciate fine fragrance, and aren’t afraid of something new.
>> Shop the Cander Paris collection now at Fonfrège.com.