Damiana is a writer, editor, and educator in the scientific and medical fields, and the author of ISniffBeforeISleep, a blog inspired by fragrances she sniffed at night, as a pleasant coda to a long day. She has been discovering and wearing fragrances for as long as she can remember, and started collecting miniature bottles at age 11.
What question do you get asked most often?
Because of my blog, people often ask me if I sell perfume, so I always have to explain I just passionately write about it. Because of my collecting, they often ask me whether I actually use my fragrances or just keep them on a shelf, so I tell them I use my miniatures for display and wear all the fragrances from my full-size bottles. Many also ask me why I need so much perfume…
What’s your first scent memory?
My oldest scent memories are my dad’s pipes, my scented erasers and dolls, and the inside of my mom’s purses as I looked for forgotten lipsticks inside those purses as a little girl. I also vividly remember the wonderful, distinctive scent of stationery stores in Italy (cartolerie) and the sweet aroma of blooming mimosas in spring. I often evoke these memories in my reviews and articles.
What was the first fragrance you bought?
The first fragrance I bought with my own savings was the original Dolce e Gabbana for Women (red cap). I discovered it through a friend and became hooked on it very quickly. This is one of the fragrances I
purchased over and over again, and still happily wear on occasion. Once, I purchased a brand new bottle only to smash it on my tile floor a few days later. But, I did not despair and bought another bottle the
very next day!
How did you discover us?
I found out about Le Jardin Retrouve after connecting with Michel Gutsatz on Facebook three years ago. He told me about his and Clara Feder’s fascinating project of reinventing his father Yuri’s original
formulas, so I later purchased the full discovery set. I also participated in their Perfume Revival project. I am a lover and proud owner of Cuir de Russie and Oriental San Souci, and I am always captivated by
What does fragrance mean to you?
To me fragrance is a state of mind, and a snapshot of life instants and vivid memories. I love how it can soothe, uplift, or motivate me, and how it transports me back in time, depending on what I pick that day, week, or month. Also, I enjoy fragrances’ ties to other sensorial experiences by evoking colors, images, textures, and their cultural, artistic, and historical inspirations. Finally, I love how fragrances bring people together through shared samples and scented stories.
What do you think the fragrance industry needs in the future?
I’d like the fragrance industry to continue to encourage and embrace diversity. For example, it’s been refreshing to read about more Black perfumers working for major perfume houses, as well as learning about several Black-owned brands. Also, I am happy to see more women in leadership positions and to read about the industry’s increased promotion of genderfluid fragrances. I am always interested in different interpretations of scent and eager for more perspectives, so I hope to see more brands become dedicated to these causes.