Interview With Mr. Yvo van Regteren Altena of YVRA Fragrances
Our new fragrance collection is a series of special scents that we have found in hope to inspire and complete your wardrobe. We offer you four alternatives, all made by YVRA, fragrance house from Amsterdam.
Traveling the globe as a lifestyle journalist, Yvo van Regteren Altena met perfume virtuosi, the world’s great ‘noses’, and was privileged to unlock the secrets behind spellbinding scents. His knowledge and passion resulted in his first creation: YVRA 1958.
Recently we had a chance to speaking with Mr. Altena about his creative process, his brand's authenticity and commitment to quality in all different aspects of life.
What is your personal story behind YVRA brand and how did it all start?
I've been working as a journalist for so many years writing about beautiful things in life, but a love of perfumes started at an early age at my grandmother’s house. She would never left the house without dousing her décolleté in perfume, and my siblings would then challenge me to guess the name of a perfume she used for a day.
Later on, through my work I had a opportunity to befriend some of the world's finest perfumes such as Jean-Claude Ellena (Hermès), Jacques Polge (Chanel) and François Demachy (Dior). One of my dearest experiences was meeting with Michael Roudnitska, the son of Edmond Roudnitska. Michael, a perfumer in his own right, showed me his father's desk on which the original Eau Savage was developed. I was always interested in perfumes, but only recently I decided to start creating my own.
You seem to be very passionate about your brand and your products are very well thought out. Tell us about your creative process?
It takes at least 5 years to become a real perfumer who can then start creating their own molecules. I am not able to create my own molecules yet, but I do not need to either. My approach is rather different as I mix my favourite ingredients in different levels, until I find the formula I like. For example, I take bergamot from one perfume and patchouli from another and then I play around with the strength and the notes, in the same way a classical music composer would compose his work.
Tell us a bit about your preferences for sophisticated ingredients and production details, such as being vegan fragrances and only using highly concentrated formulas?
When I first started out, I wanted to make a perfume that works beautifully after a long distant flight. It should be sophisticated, not too overwhelming but definitely always there, with you. Since then, I wanted all my perfumes to become something that people come back to, to become part of their lives. As I have total freedom to make perfumes I believe in, not being forced to base them on a specific budget or a campaign image, I only use ingredients and formulas that will stand the test of time. Our fragrances and our packaging are totally different from the high fashion fragrances available in the market today.
You started with original fragrances such as ‘L’essence de L’essence’ and then expanded into mood boosters and most recently automobile scents. What can we expect from YVRA in terms of new product lines and collabs in 2022/2023?
My aim is to be different. Millions of liters of chemical windscreen washer fluid flow over our highways every year. YVRA 1958 gives the ecological answer with both an eco-friendly and delicious smelling wiper fluid. Then I developed l’Essence de Désinfectants, which is the perfectly scented antiseptic response that frees hands and home surfaces from bacteria, due to its more than 80% alcohol base.
Ever since I launched YVRA 1958, customers were asking me to launch this fresh-spicy citrus fragrance into a shower gel. With its lively and invigorating character, YVRA 1958 is the ideal component for a Hand & Body wash. Hence I recently made it into a high concentration of perfume oil, adding pro-vitamin B5, to moisturise, cleanse and refresh the skin.
What is your own favourite scent of the moment and why?
Aiming to create ultimate niche fragrances that literally has no equal, my favourite ingredient in all its forms is patchouli. Japanese research has long since shown that the sense of smell plays an important role in the physiological effects of mood, stress, well-being, and working capacity. Exciting patchouli, elegant patchouli, mysterious patchouli, Indonesian patchouli, Himalayan Patchouli, they never fail to impress me. Patchouli perfumes aren’t just woody or earthy, they can also be used to deliver fresh, fougère, and sweet perfumes too.
If someone wants to start building a fragrance collection, which three types of scent would you recommend starting with?
To begin with you should start with a day fragrance, an evening fragrance and a fragrance that goes from day to night. Once the first three types are acquired, you can slowly expand the collection with something that is either more niche, or you can expand your options within the genre or the family you like. In the case of YVRA fragrances, I would recommend following:
YVRA 1958 is a citrus-like scent with bergamot, orange flower, cedar and tonka bean, ideal as a day fragrance.
YVRA 1965 is spicy, woody, sexy and very distinctive scent with pink pepper, saffron, incence and patchouli. This fragrance is ideal for evenings.
YVRA 1979 is warm, mysterious and powerful scent with cedar, vetiver and guaiac wood. It works in the office during the day, but it also works at a dinner date at night.
YVRA 1991 is a firm and refreshing overture thanks to bergamot, petit grain and rosemary. For me, this fragrance is a great option during daytime, throughout the year.