Antoine Lie Interview: His Close Encounters of the Guava Kind for ERIS PARFUMS Delta of Venus

It's been a week since ERIS PARFUMS guava-centric floral fragrance Delta of Venus launched, and I can finally take a breather and spend some time talking about the cool backstory. 

Fun fact: ERIS perfumer Antoine Lie had never before smelled a fresh guava, one of my favorite fruits. I really wanted a fragrance centered around it, so I shipped him some.

Here are some impressions from Antoine Lie's Close Encounters of the Guava Kind! (Aren't tropical fruits a little like aliens? Another time, I will discuss his adventures with Durian fruit!)

BH: You'd never smelled a fresh guava before. What was your first impression?
I was expecting something like passion fruit, but guava smelled completely different. When I opened it, after it was fully ripened, the scent was much stronger than when you cut open a tropical fruit like a pineapple or a mango or passion fruit. The scent fills up the room very quickly. 
The first impression I got was a sulfuric aspect mixed with a juicy opulence. It wasn't sweet but rather creamy, almost like yogurt mixed with slight sugary and bitter / sulfuric notes. It's a very unique combination. I liked that it had many contrasts, like many things I like to work with. The funkiness mixed with the juiciness was very interesting for me and that's what I wanted to capture.
I've never worked on a fruit like that before. It didn't feel boring like a peach, apricot or apple, which are already overdone in many different fragrancesI'm glad I discovered something new. It was challenging, actually, to recreate or at least to get as close as possible to what made guava interesting to me.
BH: Was it difficult to create a complex fruit accord from scratch?
The challenge is to get the balance right between elements:  juicy / creamy / opulent / fruity / mango-ey, pineapple-y structure with the sulfuric and funky aspect. It was difficult to find the right balance, but I think I managed to do it, and then to mix it after with other elements to create Delta of Venus.
What did you think of the taste of guava?
When I bit into it, I didn't really like it. I'm not really into these kinds of fruits. For me, it was not as interesting or as complex compared to the smell of it. That's why it was much more interesting to smell it than to eat it. But perhaps that's why I'm a perfumer and not a flavorist.

Italian Bergamot, American Grapefruit, Iranian Galbanum, Egyptian Violet Leaf, Egyptian Jasmine Sambac, Haitian Vetiver, Sandalwood, Guava Accord (created by Antoine Lie exclusively for ERIS)