There’s no disputing the power of scent. It can be magical, such as noticing the intoxicating fragrance of a love interest for the first time. It can be nostalgic, a mere whiff of something as simple as bread baking or the salty sea air catapulting us to childhood memories. It can be sentimental, a spritz of a particular fragrance transporting us to the last event it was worn. Certain fragrances remind us of people in our lives, whether it be the grandparent who has worn the one signature fragrance their whole life, the fragrance worn by a lifetime partner, even the aftershave worn by a teacher or colleague. It can instantly evoke an array of emotions, enhancing our mood, or reminding us of memories pressed between the pages of our minds. It also makes a statement.
A lot of importance is placed on fragrance, from choosing the right one to make us feel confident at a job interview, to the almost-impossible task of deciding on the perfect fragrance to wear on our wedding day. The choices are endless in stores and online. There is an array for every age, occasion, season, mood and budget. Once upon a time it was solely the big fashion houses and cosmetic companies releasing fragrances. Now it seems as though every celebrity experiencing their 15 minutes of fame assigns a fragrance to their name, often at the expense of quality. Navigating the fragrance world has never been more complicated. Whereas once a signature scent was the norm, people will often alternate between many, purchasing new ones each year. In a sea of similar scents housed in different bottles, how do you stand out in the crowd?
Enter Manos Gerakinis
The fine luxurier and entrepreneur who has injected his passion for fragrance and love of luxury into his own eponymous collections, which have been garnering attention for their heady notes and sillage (the French word for fragrance trail). Currently available in Greece and online, they epitomize luxury, from the scents themselves, to the bottle design, to their exclusivity. My advice for choosing the perfect fragrance is to note how it makes you feel,” says Gerakinis. “Besides the obvious which is how it actually smells on your skin, perfumes are powerful enough to portray feelings and that is what makes them truly unique.”
Unique is a term that seems to personify Manos. Having made a name for himself managing the luxury department at Harrods, where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Valentino, Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana, and experiencing the finer things in life exploring the world with his grandparents from a young age, he has poured months of research into creating bold unisex scents that make a statement and leave a lasting impact. “I create strong fragrances for unique people. I want people to choose my fragrances because they want to express themselves in their own unique way, because their strength is their uniqueness.” he says.
An avid fragrance connoisseur, Manos began collecting fragrances from a very young age. “I thought of fragrances as little treasures that captivate memories, and I was fascinated,” he says. “Creating my own fragrance was always in the back of my mind and once I was given the opportunity, I grabbed it. My initial goal was to create a powerful scent that was able to captivate anyone in the room. I wanted an alluring scent, mysterious and poetic and for that reason I started to look out and discover various essential oils. It took nine months to complete my first bottle of ‘Sillage Royal’ and during this process I came to realize that I had a talent for creating beautiful scents.”
There are currently three collections available in the Manos Gerakinis range.
The first is Parfums de Jour, easy to wear fragrances for all year round. ‘Immortelle’ is his hymn to Greece’s nature, paying homage to the everlasting flower that grows on the rocky pastures of the Mediterranean coast and is associated with ancient Greek mythology. A floral oriental with top notes of clove and cinnamon, heart notes of immortelle and milk, and base notes of brown sugar, sandalwood and patchouli it is an intriguing blend and pleasantly addictive. There is also ‘Peony’, a mild floral blend.
The Sillage Collection, named after the trail a perfume leaves in the air, consists of three fragrances. “Sillage Royal is my very first perfume and it is a mysterious and sophisticated fragrance that will captivate those around the wearer,” says Gerakinis. With its delectable blend of notes which include, Top Notes: Smoke Note, Cardamon, Saffron, Curcuma, Heart Notes: Persian Rose, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Oud, Base Notes: Musk, Amber Notes, Balsamic. The perfume has been living up to its name in reviews across the world. ‘Sillage Suave’ is an oud-based fragrance easily worn throughout the day. ‘Sillage Galant’ is a strong woody fragrance for those men and women who live their lives to the fullest.
The Haute Parfums collection consists of two fragrances and is ideal for those who want to indulge in modern luxury. “Quintessence’ is a cosmopolitan and fine extrait de parfum that contains pure silver,” says Gerakinis. “The second perfume of the collection will be available later in 2017 and it will contain pure gold.”
Every Manos Gerakinis perfume narrates a story of its own and as he himself describes, “I am simply a composer or a poet of some kind who uses scents to write his stories. The first and foremost is inspiration and that is not made to order.” Manos is, of course, the perfect ambassador for his fragrance line, stylish to a fault, citing his personal style as classic with a twist, and with a soft spot for accessories. And like a true fragrance devotee “I like to let my fragrance make the noise.”
Manos does not create with a particular muse in mind, but when it comes to influence his maternal grandmother has played the biggest role. “She was a woman of high standards and aesthetics,” he says. “She introduced me to the French ‘Savoir-Faire’, classical music and fine arts. I am blessed in a family that provided us with the stimulus to reach our full potential.”
As one would expect, Manos is inspired by beauty, and he has been surrounded by it his whole life, whether it has been in the nature of his picturesque hometown Kavala in northern Greece, the architecture and artworks of European cities he has frequented, even the luxury designs of the fashion world. “Man’s greatest heritage is the pictures he collects and his memories,” he says. “That doesn’t necessarily mean he has to travel, it means that he has to be open to collect beauty and then compose it into his own palette. Anything can be inspirational in the right time: a night walk in Athens, a rose garden, the markets, an editorial spread, a talk with a friend, a book, a painting… anything really!”
Gerakinis is also founder and editor-in-chief of the successful Closet on the Go, which enables people to create an online closet of all their clothes, shoes and accessories, as well as style outfits and shop the latest trends. Touted as the future of online shopping, the idea came to him upon returning to Greece after over ten years living in London realizing that he had many duplicates of shoes and accessories and feeling a need for an online closet.
Currently based in Athens, the self-proclaimed citizen of the world, is happy focusing on his fragrances, and will be adding more to his range within the next two years. As we wait with baited breath to discover the news ways which Manos will tantalise our senses with the myriad essential oils he has at his disposal to create bottled decadence, we will have to remain content with being able to source his current collections in Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete and online at manosgerakinis.com/parfums.