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Vogue January 2020 Cover(1)

Having always been fascinated by perfumes, ANNA TORRENTS has made her dream into a reality: the creation of her own brand, GENYUM, which combines her two passions, fragrances and the artistic process, with a completely original concept.

“I was obsessed with perfumes and essences when I was young. When my mother went travelling, I would ask her to bring me samples and collect them.  I was no more than eight or nine years old. And that obsession never left me.  Also, when I went to my friends’ houses, I would go to the bathroom to smell their mothers’ fragrances.  I could recognise them by their perfumes and classify them. I still do it. I enjoy trying to define people by the scents they use and I’m not often wrong.” This is how Anna Torrents (Barcelona, 1982) refers to the foundation on which one of the most original olfactory worlds of Spanish signature perfume was built. It is a collection of fragrances that are “cooked” over a low heat with the patience and care of an artisan, linked to the art world but following a different approach. “I want to connect art with perfume, but in a different way. With more of a connection to people, to artists and their way of working. What I want is to create personalities through the sense of smell.” Transforming the essence of these crafts, their bohemian way of life and the scent of their creative spaces into an aroma has been no easy task.  Coherence must be established between the concept and the smell.  “I have worked with a different perfumer for each fragrance. In the beginning, the briefing was wild and the proposals, although fantastic and very creative, were just not what I imagined.  We had to reconsider the process.” This usually starts with a conversation between the artist, who must define the key elements of their work (for example, the smell of oils, watercolours, worn wooden spatulas and turpentine that permeates the atmosphere of a painter’s studio, or the dust, iron and stone that are characteristic of a sculptor’s workshop), and the perfumer, who must be able to render these into exquisite perfumes. “The idea,” she explains, “was never to focus on the final product, but to make the brand into a platform that pays tribute to artists’ talent and everything behind their creative process.” Initially, Anna thought that the fragrances could have the “bio” label. However, she soon realised that this premise could compromise the creativity, quality, and sophistication that she was seeking. The project had to change direction. “Then ingredient sustainability was opted for, from farming to workers’ salaries, including not using any raw materials in danger of running out.” Nearly the entire process is somewhat manual.

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