Meet with Daphné Bugey,
the creator of the Soenga perfume.
Based in Lisbon, Daphné Bugey is an independent perfumer, and perfume consultant for Firmenich, whose laboratory is in Paris.
After starting her career in “body care”, she specialized in fine perfumery, still known as alcohol-based perfumery.
Daphné develops fragrances both for large international houses (Dolce & Gabbana, Kenzo, Jean-Paul Gaultier or Hugo Boss) as well as for more niche brands (Le Labo, L’Artisan Parfumeur or Penhaligon’s).
What exactly is your role in the Barro Negro collection?
As part of this first collection, Noé has developed a series of black ceramic objects, including an interior perfume diffuser. I have created the “Soenga” fragrance to be used with this object. It is a pure, oil-based fragrance.
What sparked your interest in this collaboration?
Personally, I am happy and grateful to have the chance to live in Portugal. So I made an immediate connection with the concept of the MADE IN SITU project. The idea of collaborating with Portuguese artisans is a great way to get closer to the culture of the country. In particular, the human adventure of MADE IN SITU appealed to me; I was interested in working with Noé, with his team, with the artisans.
Xana Monteiro and Carlos Lima are a duo of Portuguese ceramicists based in Molelos, Tondela. For over three decades they have been developing an extensive body of work in black ceramics, respecting the traditions of pottery as well as keeping an open mind to new creative challenges. As promoters of this art form, they are true masters of Barro Negro and have been performing an important and innovative artistic practice at national and international art biennials.
What made you accept a collaboration with Noé, a French designer?
Mainly, the fact that we were already very fond of his aesthetic work. Furthermore, he was able to form his ideas around our work method, which resulted in a process of discussions, and encounters bringing to life the pieces in this collection.
What was your role in the Barro Negro collection?
We are artisans, we made every single piece of this collection by hand, based on Noé’s designs. Some pieces were co-created after our encounters with Noé in the atelier, seeing some sketches and us making clay mock-ups for Noé, adopting a “hands-on” approach, allowing ideas and initial concepts to become something unique, born out of that specific moment. Other pieces were adapted due to technical viability. We tried to find solutions together, changing certain details in shape, texture and proportions, in keeping with the clay production techniques we work with and the firing of the individual pieces.
Choosing a new country means leaving one’s comfort zone, looking at and perceiving things in a different way. I grew up in Brittany in France, was living in Paris and I was looking for a place to breath and look at the horizon, it was a time in my life where I really needed the sense of space and a place with a sense of origin. These points are necessary and inspiring for my work. In Portugal, the geographical positioning gives this opportunity, the ocean and the land.
I have worked a lot in my life, loving specifically my time with craftspeople, I also find industry fascinating, the whole process that involves humans. I wanted to find a place where the designing was part of the production.
Portugal is a country undergoing change –it feels now that it is in transition, rooted in heritage but currently in motion and this dynamic is one of its assets. It feels to me like one of the only countries that always comes back to itself. It has been anchored by necessity in certain traditions, this strong connection can still be found here. The country remains attached to a certain form of “simplicity” which, in my opinion, is essential. To choose Portugal is to take up a new approach – to get physically closer to the work of craftspeople, in their workshops.
It is captivating to be a foreigner in a new country it feels fresh and invigorating. Sensation created this project, the moments of excitement with explorations, like the beginning of a love story.
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