"Beauties, we’re passionate about celebrating brands from across the world. Recently, we reached out to Ruta Degutyte, founder of the perfume brand Art De Parfum to talk about her clean perfume brand… keep reading to find out more!"
What inspired you to create Art de Parfum?
I started to pay attention to scents around me quite early in my life. Probably because I had an oversensitive nose. I always knew that I would work in the industry eventually and was inspired by a trip to the South of France, when I began to understand and learn more about perfumery. The birth in 2015 of Art de Parfum was a natural next step to create what I feel passionate about on my own, applying all my knowledge I gained whilst working for blue chip corporates, as well as an independent brand marketing consultant throughout my adult life. So, to me, Art de Parfum was like embarking on a new adventure, much more meaningful and exciting.
Has the pandemic impacted your brand?
The pandemic had a huge effect on the brand – all our retailers’ physical stores were closed during most of 2020 and much of early 2021 and of course the production, which is all done in the South of France, stopped. We sold out of some fragrances and were not able to re-stock until production resumed. We are fortunate in that we already had a robust e-commerce platform, PR and marketing strategy in place. Like so many other businesses we have had to pivot. Running your own business is a roller coaster and it is not for faint hearted. I say it’s like in professional sports, daily training and resilience makes you a pro. You live and learn and sustain only if you are capable of adapting to fast changing market environment.
Why the pivot from marketing to perfumery?
Creating my own business was a liberation of my independent personality which, to put it succinctly was tired of corporate rat racing. I had the firm conviction that I had something new and special to offer the market. I saw a gap in the market for perfumes that communicated powerful emotions to clients, but in a clean, uncluttered way.
This perfume domain speaks more about my inner self. Of course there are always lots of challenges in the perfumery world, and you need a lot of experience and guts to start up something as challenging and complex, but if you truly believe in your product and invest passion in each detail of it, in time it turns out to be very rewarding.
Which perfume brands/houses inspire you?
Yes, naturally I am inspired by other brands. However, we may be inspired by the same things, but our interpretations are very different. I used to like prestigious houses like YSL, Guerlain, Nina Ricci or Dior, but things I loved 5 years or 10 years ago have changed and I wanted my own fragrances to offer something very different. I want my customers to be able to relate to my scents. For example, if you take Sea Foam, it is a Nordic sea scent. It’s connected very much to my childhood memories. I also enjoy notes that are not necessarily something I would ever wear myself, but I just love the journey it’s taking me on – the journey of discovery. It’s a little the same as meeting someone new in your life. It’s intriguing, mysterious and, yes, sometimes, disappointing:).
How do you source your ingredients?
Globally. There are no borders for me when it comes to sourcing raw materials. I hunt down the most exquisite raw materials from all over the world and bring them to the South of France where our French perfumer composes the perfumes.
- Excentrique Moi contains juniper berry oil from Finland, cedarwood from Virginia, patchouli from Indonesia, and lemon from Argentina.
- Sensual Oud contains jasmine from Egypt and clove from Madagascar.
- Signature Wild contains cinnamon from Ceylon, cardamom from Guatemala, and orange flower from Tunisia.
- Gin & Tonic Cologne contains cardamom from Guatemala, cedarwood from Virginia, and lemon from the Amalfi coast in Italy (Amalfi lemons are more sparkling/zesty whereas lemons from Argentina are juicier).
- Sea Foam contains bergamot from Italy and patchouli from Indonesia. The patchouli is actually Patchouli Coeur, a special extract consisting of the most precious part of patchouli – the dry, clean earth part, without the moldy or chocolate facets.
- Le Joker Timur Pepper from Nepal, Cedarwood from Atlas (Cedar Atlanticus).
What does your brand do to be more sustainable?
At Art de Parfum, from the very inception of the company, it has been my mission, together with my dedicated team, to minimise the ecological impacts of our operations, in both the short and long terms, prioritising the support of environmental sustainability for our current and future generations. Our products are proudly 100% free from all animal testing, we do not use any GMO-related products or endangered raw materials, and our fragrances are completely free of all nano-particles and the alcohol is derived from organic beetroot. The materials used in our packaging and bottles are environmentally-safe and the bottle is 100% recyclable glass. The box carrying the perfume is made of a natural, linen-covered cardboard material that biodegrades fully. All our packaging is made in the EU.
What is in your wellbeing toolkit?
As the mother of a 7-month-old daughter, I would say sleep and exercise. I love to play tennis, enjoy swimming and hiking near my home whenever I have the chance. Getting outside into the fresh air is vital to my wellbeing.
What is your favourite fragrance from your range and why?
That’s a tough one as there is not one that I could single out. They all remind me of different memories and moods. I love the ambergris note in Encore Une Fois which is balmy and enigmatic. I also love our Gin and Tonic Cologne which is zesty and is my favourite summer scent.
What advice would you give to other (and aspiring) fempreneurs?
I deeply believe that being genuine is the main driver in any creative process. You can not fake your true self. We all might get inspired by more or less similar things, events, news, trends, however, our take or interpretation of them will be unique.
1) Have a solid idea and plan
2) Take time doing your market research
3) Have a dedicated team to support you
4) In case of failure, have an exit plan.
What’s next for you and your brand?
I’m actually in the process of reworking one of the formulas I had started creating before my daughter was born. It’s been something I had in mind for a long time and I didn’t want to rush it. It’s been valuable for me to take this time in creating it as I’ve given it an exciting new twist since I first started the formula. I don’t want to disclose much yet, but it’s a green Japanese scent that is very nicely blended.