Sofie Albrecht is a Belgian fragrance expert, blogger and freelance journalist. She comes with a new book called “Parfumwijzer” which is a guide that helps people choosing their fragrance more effectively and easily. Sofie gives her tricks and explains how she did to become an expert and what is the next move in her career.
How did you get into this industry?
Well as a child I dreamed of becoming a perfumer. I started working as a student at Planet Parfum at the time it was Cloquet. And then I started studying Political and Social Sciences. But to become a perfumer I had to go to France and my parents weren’t not keen of that idea. So I just stayed in Belgium and studied languages. Then I did an internship at L'Oréal in the PR department as an assistant. The last day of my internship I got an offer to work for the magazine Weekend Knack. This is how It all started.
What can we expect when reading your book “Parfum Wijzer”?
I show my side as a journalist. You'll get to know the side of me when I was frustrated because as a journalist you write and share everything you know... and then one day It disappears. I try to show people that perfume is more than just a brand or a bottle. There is a whole industry, history and business behind, that is much more important. This I what I try to show my readers.
What is the best way to choose a fragrance
Firstly you need to know that a typical nose can only distinguish three different scents at the same time. Then everything start to mix throught eacht other. The most people decide within the five or ten minutes. But perfume is constructed differently. You have the first top note which includes the most of the fresh notes and after fifteen minutes comes out the floral scents. It's only after half an hour even after an hour that you get that base, the heavier base. This is what makes you sometimes go home and wondering why you just picked that nasty perfume. There is also too much attention for the new fragrances but that is not necessarily better. So try to pick a fragrance with your NOSE and not with your eyes.
Have you ever thought of having your own perfume line?
Actually now I’m going to a perfume school. Being a perfumer is a very technical job. At the same time creating and knowing all the ingredients you should use is quite nice. But It's still a tough market. So having my own perfume line is not my priority at the moment. I just love putting my passion in helping people making a better choice.
If you would compare perfume, what would It be?
I would compare it to wine. Too many similarities in there.
3 words that describe you
Gosh ... what a difficult question actually ... I have not really think about it.
I think passion. I am very passionate. If I want something, I go for it. Versatile and... honesty
Three classic fragrances?
Chanel N ° 5 that's my number one classic fragrance. Angel by Thierry Mugler is I think a very important perfume. However it is not my kind of smell. To finish I would say Eau Sauvage by Dior. It is a men's fragrance with a floral cologne scent. And the smell lasts for a long time. Besides I love the fact that women wear men’s perfume. And vice versa. Why would you actually believe what a marketing manager has decided about your scent. Smell and wear it.
As a woman you also have a bad day? What's your "save-the-day" product?
Perfume. It can bring you such in a different mood and It makes me feel better. And I wear different perfumes. I don’t attach myself to one smell. So yes, I wear perfume to put myself in a cozy mood.
Imagine yourself going to "THE EVENT" of the year. And suddenly someone stole your bag. What product would you run for?
For my cell___phone, it's my agenda. But when it comes to a beauty product than I would say perfume. Actually I got some fragrances that I got from a very important person and It’s very personal and emotional. So I will definitely run.
Next which fashion icon (living or dead) would you like to strike a pose in a picture?
Coco Chanel. Firstly, because she was someone with an incredible personality. Very brave and strong. This is also the approach I have in perfumes, wear something that gives you character.
What do you say to motivate yourself?
You have the most wonderful job in your life. You do what you want and live your dreams. It’s a luxury that many people don't have.