During challenging times I search for inspiration through art, nature, and other outlets such as going back to church in order to continue feeling positive and connected to a better, kinder, and safer world. For years, I've wanted to delve into practicing my creativity and self-expression through the written word, so since we are all still locked inside our homes, I have started this new year publishing posts on Linkedin about creativity and people who have inspired me throughout the years, and what inspires THEM. I hope that you will find some inspiration through these special people I write about, and, if you are not already connected with me on Linkedin please do so, but I'll also post some here on my Shopify site. My first interview is with none other than a great friend, Venetian Master Perfumer, Lorenzo Dante Ferro who, along with his wife Cindy, adopted me as part of their close knit family when I first arrived in New York at the tender age of 20 while working at my first job in the perfume industry. Much of what I have experienced during the years of knowing Cindy and Lorenzo are connected to scent, and scent memories during many times I've traveled to Italy where they had relocated in the mid 1980s:
-What inspires you when you compose a new formula? "My inspiration is to be original and always strive to work towards quality no matter what the request may be. My quest is to preserve the noble Venetian Art of Perfumery." -When do you know a formula is complete? "When all the ingredients and components are formulated in the most harmonious and refined way." -Tell us about your new perfumes "Cuore" and "Madre". "The beautiful city of Parma, Italy was named the City of Culture by Unesco for the years 2020 -2021 and is my mother’s place of birth. *MADRE* which means Mother in Italian, is a perfume I created as a tribute to her and to the first violet fragrance created at the beginning of the 1900’s, Violetta di Parma. It is also dedicated to those harboring a protective and nurturing maternal sense, whether or not they are mothers." - Please tell us about the memories attached to both. "At the age of eighteen, my daughter Carolina Maria was a white rose… and now twenty years later, having reached her divine maturity, she will forever be the darkest of all the red petaled roses.. *CUORE CMF* Memories – as they pertain to Madre: As a young perfumer, my mother suggested to me that I should always use violet in my fine perfume creations, even in small quantities as my special family signature and for the elegance it attributes to my creations… As they pertain to Cuore CMF: This tall, willowy and precious garden rose captures my daughter Carolina’s beauty to perfection when graced by the sunlight as it reflected her smile and joyous ways." - Besides your atelier in Gradiscutta di Varmo--just outside of Venice, where else can we find some of your works of art? "Creation of the entire perfume line Amorvero for the hotel Hassler Roma as well as creation of the entire perfume line of the Caffe Florian in Venice."
Sadly both have passed but their beauty, warmth and smiles are an inspiration as are many moments we shared such as the evening when Madre and Cindy taught me how to make gnocchi back in Parma and laughter filled the air.
I am indulging in the aroma and flavor of chocolate today because it's my daughter's birthday and her favorite treat is chocolate. The photo is of young Claire in a Signal Toothpaste ad in France that is connected to a special memory of chocolate, and how chocolate helped her have more confidence and trust in the ad agency crew who hired her as a model for the ad.
I often use metaphors when I write and since baseball was a big part of my childhood growing up, I like to use terms from this sport in my storytelling. As a rookie entrepreneur and small business owner, I admit it has been a challenge to get to 3rd base but it will be even tougher to reach home plate and I'd rather run there, versus walk. Being a small business owner has its good and bad points: The good ones are that we can forgo some of the multiple layers of management to make decisions because there is one clear goal and no politics involved. More often than not, the key to a smooth launch is the ability to pull the right talent together to make a great team. On the other hand, the downside is that we suffer from the lack of economies of scale and have to pay to play--usually all up front-- before any production lines get the "go" sign. Whether you are a small or big business, there will always be some hiccups along the way. For me, there were just a one or two foul balls, and some curve balls that went array, but my glove fits