When I chatted with Alberto Morillas at the London launch of Penhaligon's Iris Prima (the full interview will appear on Basenotes) I asked him about co-authoring Amouage's Opus VII with Pierre Negrin. As soon as I handed him a blotter onto which I'd sprayed the scent - just to jog his memories of working on it - he closed his eyes, smiled and let out a deep sigh.
"Ah yes, I remember," he said. "For me, it's the smell of a stone with the sun on it. A lot of galbanum. That's what we started with: a special, CO2 extraction of galbanum. When I smell this, I remember Egypt. I don't know why."
Did the process of working on the fragrance differ from his other projects?
"It was very interesting because we started with very different ingredients. And Christopher Chong is very passionate. I like to have this type of challenge. When he came to see me in Geneva, I showed him a new accord which I wrote in front of him, and I made it, and he loved it. This is why I like to work with this sort of person. It gives you inspiration. It gives you air."
PS Be sure to come back on Friday for another one of our inter-blog list projects.