Fragrance Lovers

Fragrance Lovers: Elena Cvjetkovic aka The Plum Girl

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“I feel scents as silent poetry, invisible soul-deep impressions”.

Elena Cvjetkovic

You may know Elena Cvjetkovic as The Plum Girl, a multi award winning blogger who writes about niche perfume from her home in Zagreb, Croatia. Elena earned a place in the top five finalists in the 2018 Fragrance Foundation awards with her review of our very own Cuir de Russie. You can also find her perfumed prose on Cafleurebon. You may also have enjoyed our recent live feed with her, which you can watch again here. Here are the questions Clara put to her:

What Question do you get asked most often?

People often ask me, “Why The Plum Girl?” My answer? The first victim in Patrick Susskind’s novel Perfume was the Plum Girl.

What is your first Scent Memory?

The scent of my mother’s skin and then summertime. As kids we were sent to relatives on a farm for the first part of the holidays. My great uncle had so many different animals on his huge farm as well as fruit, flowers and vegetables.. I remember how a clean barn smells and how a dirty barn smells. I recall the smell of horses, of rolling in wheat, fresh plums, mud, rain, wet hay and the smell of a cow’s belly when I was milking it. The second part of our holiday would be on the Adriatic coast where I remember the scent of sea grass, shells crabs, rocks, pine trees and immortelle.

What was your first fragrance?

Growing up in former Yugoslavia, there was no fragrance available unless you travelled abroad. My mother had a bottle of Chanel No 5, but I wasn’t allowed to wear it. I maybe had rosewater or lavender water, nothing else. My father bought me a bottle of Poison for my 18th birthday. The first I bought myself may have been Dune or Paloma Picasso. I also loved Gucci Envy.

How many perfumes do you have today?

I try and stay under one hundred. I’m not a collector, I’m a user, I like to use it all up until it’s gone!

photo by Elena

How did you discover us?

I followed you on social media and then we talked and got to know each other. You sent me some samples and eventually I visited you in Paris. I remember you used to be based very near to the Arc de Triomphe.

What does fragrance mean to you?

Fragrance is art. Art moves something inside you so I regard fragrance as an art form. It’s liquid emotion.

When did you get serious about blogging?

For years I was serious about perfume but kept it to myself. I went to two weeks of workshops in Grasse in 2016. I try and go every two years. A French woman asked me what I was doing there. I told her I came to learn. She asked if I was in the industry or looking for a job, but I said no, I just came to learn. She asked me a question that inspired what I did next. She said “What are you going to do with this knowledge? How are you going to share what you’ve learned?” Answer: write a blog!

What does the fragrance industry need in the future?

This year proved that everything can change in a matter of days. The industry needs to adapt, have more transparency, more inclusivity and more authenticity. It all goes back to core values. In tough times, turn to your core values. What do you stand for? Who are your perfumers?

What advice would you give to someone who wants to choose a perfume

Take your time. Do it the old fashioned way. Enjoy the whole process of acquiring a new perfume, no blind buys, enjoy the choosing. Discover your preferences. Surprise yourself. Wear it at home, in the morning, the afternoon and evening. Give it time to develop on your skin. Follow your nose!

What’s next for you?

More reviews. I am constantly trying perfume, even wearing it to bed! I also write for Cafleurebon. I am also creative director for a perfume about to launch.

Clara Feder is Le Jardin Retrouvé Creative Director. She’s also a writer and a ghost writer with more than 20 published books. Her art has been exhibited all over the world and she creates synesthetic and multimedia exhibitions and displays for the brand.

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