Designing a fragrance is an art that requires delicacy, a love for nature, and a nose to pick a smell that tickles emotions and creates an irresistible aroma. The CEO of Basenote, Asad Saeed has it all. He has been in the business of perfume making for an over decade and has designed customized fragrances for big brands like J. by Junaid Jamshed, Almirah, Sapphire, Diners, Zellbury, and many more. In an exclusive conversation with us, he shared what it takes to create a delightful fragrance and how his love for nature and art has helped him in the process. Excerpts:
Tell us about your brand, Basenote, and how it differentiates itself from other perfume makers in the country.
Basenote is a unique fragrance brand that strives to create captivating scents that evoke emotions and memories. Also providing a complete 360 solution for desirable packaging. What sets us apart is our commitment to using the highest quality ingredients & materials and our meticulous attention to detail during the perfume-making process. We take pride in offering a diverse range of fragrances that cater to individual preferences, ensuring a personalized olfactory experience for our customers.
What’s your first memory of fragrance — or even a particular scent that left a lasting impression?
My first memory of fragrance dates back to my childhood, when I encountered the intoxicating aroma of blooming jasmine flowers in my school’s garden. The sweet, floral scent captivated my senses and left a lasting impression on me. It was a transformative moment that ignited my passion for fragrances and their ability to evoke emotions and memories.
From where do you take inspiration for your fragrances?
Inspiration for our fragrances can be found in various aspects of life: nature, art, culture, and personal experiences. We draw inspiration from the beauty of nature, the vibrant colors of a painting, the rich heritage of a culture, or even the emotions associated with a cherished memory. By infusing these elements into our perfumes, we create unique and captivating olfactory compositions.
Tell us about your favorite fragrances that you have composed at Basenote and why you love them?
It’s difficult to choose just one favorite fragrance from our collection, as each one holds a special place in my heart. However, if I were to pick, I would say our fragrance “Charm by Sapphire” stands out. Its enchanting blend of floral and woody notes creates an ethereal experience that transports you to a whimsical dreamscape. I love it because it encapsulates the power of imagination and evokes a sense of wonder and beauty.
What is your best advice for improving a person’s sense of smell?
To improve your sense of smell, I recommend taking time to consciously explore and appreciate different scents. Engage in activities like smelling various natural ingredients, such as herbs or flowers, and try to identify their characteristics. Additionally, practicing mindful breathing exercises while focusing on scents can help train your olfactory senses and enhance your ability to detect and appreciate different aromas.
If you could create a fragrance for a historical figure, who would it be?
If I had the opportunity to create a fragrance for a historical figure, it would be for Cleopatra, the iconic Egyptian queen. I would design a fragrance that captures her legendary beauty, mystique, and allure. It would be a complex blend of exotic spices, precious flowers, and luxurious resins, reminiscent of the opulence and grandeur of her era.
How many fragrances could you be working on at the same time?
At any given time, we could be working on multiple fragrances simultaneously. Perfume creation is a delicate and intricate process that requires careful formulation, testing, and refinement. While some fragrances may be in the early stages of development, others could be undergoing final adjustments before they are ready to be introduced to the market. This allows us to continuously innovate and offer a diverse range of scents to our customers.
Do you have any new launches planned for the upcoming season?
Yes, we have some exciting new fragrance launches planned for the upcoming season. We are constantly innovating and exploring new scent profiles to cater to evolving tastes and preferences. Stay tuned for our upcoming releases, as they promise to offer unique olfactory experiences that will captivate your senses.
If you were to create a perfume that best defines the personality of Pakistani celebrities such as Mahira Khan, Mehwish Hayat, Fahad Mustafa, Sajal Aly, and Humayun Saeed, how would it be?
For Mahira Khan, I would create a fragrance that combines elegance and charm with a hint of mystery. It would be a sophisticated blend of floral and woody notes, reflecting her grace and versatility. For Mehwish Hayat, the perfume would exude confidence and vibrancy. It would feature a lively mix of citrusy and fruity accords, representing her dynamic personality.
Fahad Mustafa’s fragrance would embody charisma and masculinity. A combination of aromatic spices and warm woods would create a bold and captivating scent. Sajal Aly’s fragrance would be delicate and ethereal, capturing her ethereal beauty. Soft floral and powdery notes would create a romantic and enchanting aura. Finally, for Humayun Saeed, I would create a fragrance that exudes strength and elegance. A blend of rich woods, warm spices, and a touch of leather would represent his charismatic and commanding presence.