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SoChic Stories

A conversation with Johanna Monange, scent designer and founder of Maison 21g

Join us for our conversation with Johanna Monange, founder of Maison 21G. From the 23rd of October to the 25th of October, Maison 21G is bringing you unique perfume making ateliers. You can discover three private workshops: Love Atelier, My First Scent and Perfume Creation. These workshops are part of the Voilah! French Singapore Festival 2020 and are organised along with So Chic. Scroll down to access the workshops or find them on the events.

Did you know we remember 35% of what we smell and only 5% of what we see?
Johanna Monange

When did you develop this love for perfume?

It happened when I arrived in Grasse, where I trained as a nose for 3 years. My company hired me because I was an expert of China and could speak Mandarin. I was bringing the knowledge of Asia and they were bringing the knowledge of perfume, so every day I started to smell the raw material and associate them.

It was a 2 years process to learn each ingredient and how to blend them. I was living in Cote d’Azur and was a wonderful environment living with creative people, so perfume making became my passion.

What sparks your passion and creativity?

Scent is really personal.

It says a lot about you, who you are, what you want to drive as a message about you, and it’s really connected to all the senses.
Scent cannot be touched or seen, so you really need to connect it with the other senses.

I have worked with Michelin chefs who design new recipes, and marketing chiefs to explain the different facets of their brand.
I work a lot with photographers who capture the soul of people.
It’s a bit the same, I capture your soul when I make your perfume. So this was my idea – to connect scent, which is intangible, to other senses.

What led you to create Maison 21g?

When I was working for all the famous brands, the problem is that they need to instantly please the whole world. When you’re a very famous brand, you need to reach alot of people. We tested so many scents to launch them and I needed to please Chinese, French, American and German consumers, so you handle the same kind of recipes and you don’t want a perfume that has too much signature because some people will either love or hate it. I found it a bit sad because we were losing the soul of perfumerie.

What I love is to start with a super creative idea, to work with the “nose” to make it special for the brand. It is how I came up with the idea to create something tailor made for each person because I think each person is unique with strong personalities and characters, and you have many personalities. I wanted to give people many opportunities to have different scents that can fit their different desires, moods or occasions in their lives. That was the idea to understand a person and what they want to do with their perfume.

So instead of chasing the perfect dress or the latest branded perfume made in millions copy, don’t you think it’s time to take control of your Scent Identity? How come you still smell like everybody? We are all unique and each of us deserves an exclusive perfume.

Watch our video and discover a special tip on how to wear perfume!

French Shopping, Dining & Lifestyle guide in Singapore