V Monkeys, the sibling duo of Andrea and Chiara Valdo behind JUSBOX perfumes, sit down with us and introduce their music-inspired perfume brand, which combines fragrances notes with the power of music. Here, they share their passion for fragrance notes, jet-setting inspirations and how they created their retro revival fragrance names
How did you come up with the concept of combining music with perfume?
V Monkeys: How many lines can we write? It is a very long story but to make it very short: music and perfumes have so many things in common, from the language to the effect on the mood and memories. It meant we could talk about two subjects we love at the same time.
You were both born in Milan. Which Italian influences have inspired your brand?
V Monkeys: Of course, the MADE IN ITALY label is an incredible inspiration for us. We were born in a country where design, craftsmanship and creativity have been present for centuries, and perfume even originated close to where we live now in Florence.
Which travel destinations inspire your collections?
Andrea: I love the little Italian villages where it seems that time has stopped and, in contrast, I really like to feel the energy of big cities where it seems the time goes faster, such as New York, London, Berlin and Tokyo.
Chiara: The deeper you get into other cultures, the more you get inspired. Basically, you can find sources of inspiration everywhere – just stay connected with your eyes wide open.
How do you come up with the names for your perfumes, such as Micro Love and Beat Café?
V Monkeys: Every fragrance is inspired by a specific period in time, by a generation and, of course, by the bands or singers who represent this.
Beat Café is about the places where artists were meeting at the beginning of the 1960s. If we close our eyes we can hear Bob Dylan singing in that atmosphere.
Micro Love is about the 1990s, when technology started to be developed very, very quickly, the microchip started to be more present in our lives than our friends, and U2 was warning us, during the band’s Zoo TV Tour, to use technology with love in a proper way.
Which words would you use to describe the Icons fragrance collection?
Andrea: Modernity, high-end, quality, creativity and cool luxury
Chiara: Modern, sophisticated, qualitative, inspiring and empathizing
What is your favourite musical era and which fragrance notes encapsulate this?
Andrea: I love the 1970s: the mix of rock and psychedelia. The smell of patchouli really encapsulates this musical era well.
Chiara: I love the 1980s and the 90s, when such incredible music production became alive and possible. So many notes describe that era: tuberose, magnolia, sandalwood, vanilla and amber.
Your fragrance collection is stocked exclusively at Selfridges in the UK. Which of your perfumes best portrays the city of London?
V Monkeys: 14Hour Dream but you will have to go to Selfridges to understand why. We have something really exciting launching this autumn that we feel sums up another side of London. Watch this space!
Which fragrance notes do you think portray the social media generation and why?
V Monkeys: All the synthetic notes. They are cold and they find it difficult to live without the natural ingredients.
Which perfume from your collection would you choose as your signature scent?
Andrea: Beat Cafè because it is deep and elegant, but choosing a fragrance really depends on my mood at the time. If you were asking that question tomorrow I could answer something else.
Chiara: Black Powder – I’m rather addicted to it and it surprises me every time I wear it. It’s warm and embracing but strong and powerful. I recognise myself in it but, as Andrea said, of course it changes depending on my mood.
Has there been any surprise feedback from customers?
Chiara: I love the comments we receive by email from customers. They write to congratulate us on the concept of the brand, how it is applied in every product detail, and why they have fallen in love with our fragrances. It is so nice and always such a compliment to read such different point of views.
Which fragrance notes would you use to describe the fashion capitals of New York, London, Milan and Paris?
Andrea: Jasmine for Milan; vanilla for Paris; bergamot for New York; and leather for London.
Chiara: Amber for Milan; rose for Paris; musk for New York; and leather for London.
Where is your favourite city for shopping?
Andrea: This is a very difficult choice but I guess it would be London. You can really find everything because people aren’t scared to show their personality so the product selection on offer is unbelievable.
Chiara: This is too difficult – I would buy wherever every time!
What do you love most about London?
Andrea: The mixture of classic, old-fashioned and traditional with edgy new trends that you can find in the same street, and even sometimes in the same venue.
Chiara: I love London and I love the British culture so much. It was the reason why I decided to study languages at high school, because I wanted to know much more. I had an English Bulldog, the love of my life! I simply love London because it can perfectly match modernity and tradition. I love the elegance and the energy but most of all, I don’t know why, as soon as I land, I feel free.
What’s been your biggest fashion collaboration to date?
V Monkeys: Our collaboration with the cool Italian fashion brand CoSTUME NATIONAL.
What can we expect from JUSBOX in 2018 and beyond?
V Monkeys: We are full of creativity so be ready and follow us!