• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Fragrances are people’s emotions expressed in a bottle – Olaseinde Olusola

Olufemi Olaseinde Olusola, is a renowned cognoscenti behind the Seinde Signature Salon De Parfum brand that has disrupted perfume merchandising in Nigeria with superior innovations. In this interview, he speaks of activities in place to mark his 62nd birthday celebration, one of which is the ‘Seinde365’, an agenda to giveaway over N100m worth of niche perfumes. He also hints on how people tell different stories and express their feelings when creating fragrances.

Tell us some of the activities in place to mark your 62nd birthday celebration?

We recently announced #Seinde365; an agenda to giveaway over N100,000,000 worth of niche perfumes. But majorly, this is probably the greatest opportunity explored by any yet to bring awareness towards artistic perfumes, which is what the Seinde Signature Salon de Parfum brand is about.

To mark the 62nd birthday, I am doing a 365-days birthday gift galore for all comers! No one is excluded! It’s all about sharing at least one bottle of perfume a day for the next 365 days in celebration of my 62nd birthday.

The start day is on May 8 (birthday day) itself to now last till at least May 7, 2025. The primary idea is to bring awareness to [artistic] artisanal perfumes.

At least, one lucky person would get a free bottle of a niche fragrance per day! So, in total there would be 480 bottles to give out in over a year span! Anywhere you meet me, just ask for your perfume thus: Where’s my niche perfume?; and you might just get lucky.

How would you describe Mainstream perfumes and niche perfumes ?

Mainstream are big corporations that have factory for shoes, bags and clothing. They don’t have factory for perfumes. One bag could be as much as 30,000 pounds. Their marketing department just thought to do something for the poor. They thought to do something that anyone who enters the space can just buy. So they got a third party to create something for them. This is so that anyone who can’t afford the bag can at least afford to buy the perfume. Perfume is not their main thing, so it can’t be the finest. They know this because right now they do private label. Most of them are now doing final mix that they are selling.

How will you describe fragrances ?

Fragrances are art works. They are people trying to put their emotions in a bottle and tell a story about what they are creating and some of the stories are very true. There is a perfume I have. The guy that created the perfume studied the gods in Nigeria and created a perfume called ‘Esu’ to encapsulate the character of the ‘Esu’ god. In this sense Esu is a liar. This perfumes lies and tricks you. If you wear it, it smells in a certain way and the next minute, it is changing to something else. Because Nigerians are very religious, some people will see it and try to avoid it. Someone else who is from Romania created ‘Osun’. He has never been to Nigeria but he created a perfume against River Osun in Osun State. It is talking about the god to fertility. So he tried to create something that depicts it. So many fragrances come with different stories and try to depict different things. If you look at Electimos, it is using the Roman methodology. Some are even trying to talk about the kind of food they eat and how flamboyant they are. They try to create a fragrance that fits that. We have Sospiro that uses fruity musical notes to create perfumes.

Each niche brand has a concept that they are following and it is very meaningful. It is not just about smelling nice.

Take us through your journey of setting up Seinde Signature

This is a business that we informally started during the pandemic. The business came out of the passion that I have for fragrances. The journey has been very interesting and has taken me all over the world. I have become so known in the fragrance community worldwide. I am even more popular outside Nigeria than within Nigeria. In Nigeria when you have money you think you have everything. Sometimes, when people tell me they only use one perfume, I ask them if they eat only one food or wear only one cloth.

You are 62 years now and at 62, many are already thinking of retiring. Do you already have a succession plan ?

I am thinking of it. My children are working with me. I already have a succession plan. My daughter has now relocated to Abuja and handles things from that side. My son is joining me. So I couldn’t be happier. I can retire anytime I want.

What is the future outlook for Seinde Signature ?

We intend to be the biggest in not just Nigeria but the whole of Africa. So, we will change the landscape of perfume and bring in a lot of innovation into the business. Seinde Signature will still go into manufacturing and we will open our own factory here in Nigeria. Right now, we are still in school and trying to study. We won’t rush into things. As a matter of fact, I have a lot of pressure from a lot of manufacturers international and locally who want me to make my own perfumes. But I’m not the kind of person that rush into things I’m not vast in. Right now I will say I’m in school. Before the end of this month, I am going for a show in Grasse. I want to understand how they do the bottles, the labels, etc. So, when we eventually establish ours, it will compete with anyone from any part of the world. We have to understand how they also do the pricing. So, we will not just rush into things because we have the name or channel. We have to validate the quality of what we do.

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