Hi Gia. Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hello! My name is Lygia, but you can call me Gia. I am an Indonesian perfumer living in Paris. I have loved perfumes since I was little, thanks to my Mom. But it wasn’t until I attended ISIPCA that I found my calling to be a perfumer. I did my perfumery training in France, Indonesia, Shanghai, and India. In 2021, I quit working at a fragrance house and decided to start my own business, where I collaborate with brands to direct and create fragrances.

    What inspires you when creating as a perfumer?

    When creating perfumes, believe it or not, my clients inspire me the most. I think the connection is very important for me. When the connection is strong, my creativity spikes up–that’s when I can visualize the scent I want to create: the shape, color, and texture, and translate them into raw materials. My raw materials are my tools; people are my inspiration.

      Can you recall your first encounter with scent/perfumery that affected you deeply and drove your passion towards this industry?

      My mom wears perfume, and she has always had a signature scent for a long time. Her perfumes that I remember the most were Samsara (Guerlain), Angel (Thierry Mugler), Light Blue (D&G), and Hypnotic Poison EDT (Dior). Those perfumes I know by heart. However, I didn’t know that perfumery schools existed back then, so I didn’t immediately want to become a perfumer. It was when I attended the olfactory class during my studies in ISIPCA that I fell in love with fragrance raw materials. I was in awe when I smelled Jasmine absolute and Lavender essential oil for the first time and couldn’t stop smelling them! I discovered many interesting scents for the first time–it was like nosegasm every day! Perfumery lab easily became my favorite subject at school, and I could not turn back since then.

      My school is closely related to Guerlain because Jean-Jacques Guerlain founded it in 1970. So when I was there, we had several seminars about Guerlain, where we had a smelling session of Guerlain’s perfumes. They were so inspirational. Besides, Guerlain perfumes are the most studied perfumes in the fine fragrance classes because they are the pillar of today’s perfumery. So I guess Guerlain took part in making me want to become a perfumer. I hope to create extraordinary perfumes just like Guerlain!

        What is your most special perfume and what’s the story behind it?

        I can think of two perfumes now. The first one comes from the Guerlain house called Mitsouko. I don’t really know why Mitsouko reminds me of my childhood. My mom might have worn it when I was little, although she didn’t remember. Anyway, Mitsouko feels so nostalgic. It feels so close to my heart.

        The second is my wedding perfume, Iris Nobile, by Acqua di Parma. The perfumer is Francis Kurkdjian. I bought this perfume in Padova, Italy. I still remember it clearly. It was winter, so it was cold–and even colder because I cycled to that store in the city center–but I was so smiley when I cycled home with this fragrance in my bike’s basket. I decided to wear that perfume on my wedding day, and it was perfect. 

        How would you describe Normal Estate and what can you tell us about the creative direction you‘ve created for Normal Estate?

        For me, Normal Estate is an artistic brand with a big passion for fragrance, design, and people. When creating the concepts for NE’s first three perfumes, I started with a story about a home and the space inside it: how a house needs good airflow, how contrasting elements create textures and make the house looks more alive, and how scars and imperfections exist as time goes by because people live inside it.
        For human beings, our body is our home. This home is where we can freely express ourselves and grow even when things are not perfectly balanced. It's a space where contrasting feelings can coexist and where it's normal to have conflicting thoughts and emotions. It's a place where making mistakes is acceptable, and where scars are not seen as flaws, but rather as proof of a life well-lived.
        I then translated this story into olfactive descriptions and raw materials ideas to portray three different emotions. We presented it to the perfumers and gave them the freedom to transcribe the story into a fragrance creation. And voilà, 024, 019, and 007 were born!

          Tell us 3 things that replenish your mind and soul.

            • Spending free time with my husband
            • Eating good food
            • Having a good night sleep

            You’ve been living in Paris for almost 6 years now. Can you make some recommendations of places where we can go to indulge in sensorial experiences?
            The first thing that comes to my mind is the boulangeries! The smell of freshly baked bread is one-of-a-kind. This is something I miss the most when I am not in Paris.

            Next is the Parisian gardens. My favorites are Jardin de Tuileries, Jardin de Luxembourg, and Parc Monceau. Parks are crowded in the summer because that’s the time to go on picnics and enjoy the weather. During winter, some parks turn into Christmas markets, and there’s where you want to be because they sell hot wines and all amazing winter food!

              1. Don’t forget to visit the museums. Your sight will be delighted by all the paintings and sculptures by famous artists.
              2. Sit by the Seine river to watch the sunset. It’s gorgeous.
              3. Jovoy, Printemps, and Le Bon Marché (my favorite 3 to shop for perfumes) have a big collection of exceptional brands if you want to shop for perfumes. However, you can also visit famous brands’ flagship stores. My two favorite streets are Rue Saint-Honoré and Rue des Francs Bourgeois.

            Is there any other hobby or passion that you would like to pursue outside of perfumery?

            Coffee. I want to have a coffee roastery and become a barista one day.

              Lastly, what do you wish to see in the future of our local fragrance industry?

              I wish to see more creative and authentic development and higher-quality perfumes.