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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » December 30, 2016
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The Scent of Warsaw
December 30, 2016   
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Jan Ewoud Vos, the founder of uredistance, one of the world’s most prestigious niche perfume houses, has created a new fragrance as a tribute to the Polish capital. The fragrance, called Warszawa, will launch on Dec. 7.

Asked what words come to his mind when he thinks of Warsaw, Vos said: “luxurious, comfortable, beautifully mature and emotional.”

When Vos first heard David Bowie’s song “Warszawa” he was enchanted by the music. “The word ‘Warszawa’ moved me deeply, its sound was raw but beautiful and intriguing,” he says.

Many years later, when he visited Warsaw for the first time, he was pleasantly surprised by the stylish elegance of the women he saw in the streets. “Their proud attitude was something I found remarkable and beautiful,” he says.

Soon he became a more frequent visitor to Warsaw as he developed a partnership and friendship with the Missala family, owners of Quality Missala Perfumery, the oldest and largest perfumery selling elite and niche brands. During his visits to Warsaw he explored the city with passion, taking photographs and making short films.

Two years ago Vos came up with an idea to launch a new perfume with the name Warszawa. “I immediately knew the idea would stay,” he says. “I loved it way too much not to realize it. It would be a tribute to the history and the people I met in Warsaw—their warmth, style and strength.”

It took Vos more than two years to find a perfumer who could translate the inspirational movie he made into the right scent. It was Parisian master perfumer Antoine Lie, who had created two other fragrances for Puredistance before, who got it right. “From the samples he sent to us one stood out and only had to be adjusted slightly to be the perfect olfactorial representation of ‘My Warszawa,’” Vos says.

However, before the concept of Warszawa entered Lie’s laboratory, Vos discussed it for long hours with the Missala family. The origin of the fragrance lies in the curiosity of the artist, who never shied away from discussing its fascinating but difficult history.

“Warszawa would not be here without my friendship with the Missala family, without their attentiveness and kindness,” he says. “Most definitely, Warszawa would not be here in its current form without the inspiration from Stanisława Missala [the founder of Quality Missala Perfumery]. Her class and elegance evoked the chic of old-time Warsaw, the charm of which I saw in old photographs and paintings. Her strong character and charisma are reflected in the modern notes of the fragrance created by Lie. To put it briefly, Warszawa the city is perfectly embodied in the women I have met here. They reflect the nature of the city and thus the spirit of my Warszawa.”

Musically, Vos’s association with Warsaw was Frédéric Chopin, in whose music he found the universal desire for beauty. Yet he wanted a different sound, a new sound, for his fragrance Warszawa. He invited Polish composer and violinist Maja Pietraszewska-Koper to work on the project. The music she wrote for Vos’s inspirational movie has brought together two opposite faces of Warsaw. The strings alluded to its rich history and tradition. The electronic part reflected the dynamic growth and the modern essence of Warsaw as a leading European city.

When asked how he would describe his new scent, Vos said, “I see Warszawa as a modern classic—inspiriting, warm and luxurious. Transporting you back into time but without gettting lost thanks to something contemporary. Contemporary but never cold as modernity can be chilling.”

During the creation process, Jan spent almost a year to get to the right colour combination for the flacon and giftbox and finally chose noble green, stylish golden and chic gray hues that define the essence of Warszawa.

According to Vos, the fragrance Warszawa will especially appeal to people looking for luxurious comfort, the warming effect of “true beauty” and some form of consolation “in the cold and often unpleasantly sharp world we live in.”

As a tribute to the city, for one year Warszawa will only be available in Warsaw, in Quality Missala Perfumery boutiques, traditionally the sole distributor of Puredistance in Poland.

The launch of Warszawa coincides with the 25th anniversary of Quality Missala Perfumery.

Marzena Robinson
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