Monday, Mar 04, 2013
Inspiring Interview: Tracy Pepe's Nose Knows
Meet Tracy Pepe. Ms. Pepe has been on the forefront of scenting spaces and creating sensory collateral for over 20 years. As a result of working with such companies as Remax Legacy, George P. Johnson and Edelman, she has received awards such as 2012 Best Scent Marketing Campaign and the Innovative Product Award by A.R.I.D.O. Distinguished Lecturer to a variety of organizations, she holds many nominations and accolades for her work, and is held in very high esteem for articles in support of sensorial solutions where space is concerned.
Stacy Garcia: Tell us a little bit about your concept of relating scent and color.
Tracy Pepe: Color and scent is not really my concept. It is a scientific fact that scent, emotions and color are connected and influence human behavior. As a perfumer, scents are often classified with color. Choosing scent for a room should be about how scent makes us feel, not necessarily if we would wear a scent or even if we personally like it. Color is the same way- you add color to a room to create an environment and to impact the emotion of the space- by thinking about scent and color now the impact is greater.
SG: We believe in inspiration through collaboration and sharing what inspires us. Where do you find inspiration for the scents you develop?
TP: I am inspired by color and taste. Color creates depth, meaning and impacts our lives. This is easily translated into scent. Taste is based on scent and I learn combinations by exploring flavors.
SG: What are some of your biggest challenges when coming up with these scents?
TP: Time, money, and patience-- we live in a society where we "drive through" everything. Appreciating good ingredients, apothecary blending and the time needed for artistry is often neglected. The world generally wants to pay nothing for everything and they want it now. This is why I offer a very niche service to very few people.
SG: What would be one of your dream projects to work on?
TP: A fashion show. I would love to capture a designer's visions, translate the collection and emotion, empower the music and diffuse the space with a blend that captures all of this.
SG: We know that the experience someone has in the hospitality environment is very important to achieving success in the industry. How do you feel scent effects and overall experience someone will have?
TP: Scent is the most powerful to impact ones experience. It can transport you back in time with a single whiff. Scent can be the positive or negative and can change any visual experience in less than a second. Scent can add the love or the tears and keep you in that expereince far longer than any other sense.
SG: If you weren't a scent designer, where do you think you would be?
TP: Chef- owning a restaurant.
SG: Which scent is your personal favorite outside of work?
TP: I do not wear fragrance, it impacts my work. My husband has his favorite scent, but for me that is pillow talk.
SG: "So, What's all the Sniff About?" was your first book on scent design. We hear you are in the process of writing your second. What will this one be about?
TP: My first book captures some of my clients and was published over 15 years ago for the public. My second book is on scenting spaces and how scent and color are influences that better design. This book is for the design trade. I am planning to teach designers how to do my craft or scent design.
SG: We do a lot of work in hospitality and know this is an industry you are very active in. What is some of the work you have developed for hotels or spas?
TP: It is difficult to comment for I respect my clients and their privacy. Hospitality is an industry that caters to all of the senses, making someone feel welcome. Inspiring them that their home away from home is a hotel is an art. Scent captures emotion of home and translates it for the hospitality industry.
For spas, I know this field very well and many do not always capture the 'true wellness' of each of their spaces. There are very few spas that actually use scent as part of their branding strategy and I find that bizarre.
SG: What is your favorite travel destination?
TP: South of France and the Philippines
SG: How would you spend your ideal Saturday?
TP: Every Saturday is ideal for me, for it is my day. I live in Toronto so in the winter months my St. Bernard--Boo and I often go on long walks. We enjoy coffee at our local shops and we then read and catch up. At 2:00 pm it is my sensual "martini" bath, an opporunity to re-charge, relax and enjoy myself and replenish my sould. My martinis are my creations. I add music and oils to my bath. Later that day, I cook and my husband and kids usually hang out. We eat together and enjoy the evening. In the summer I go to local markets in the morning and in the evening I like to cook what I discovered there that day. Boo joins me on the deck for a second martini.
SG: Thank you Tracy for sharing with us!
Thank you for an enjoyably interview, I appreciate your interest and I am honoured that you find Scent Design as interesting as I do. Be authentic and smell everything! Tracy Pepe