Designer Payal Singhal recently collaborated with homegrown fragrance label All Good Scents for a limited edition perfume called Tender Intense. The contemporary fragrance label’s luxe new scent is a rich blend of sensual and strong, with three note scales comprising fruity and musky mixed together. The one-of-a-kind partnership between renowned designer Payal Singhal and perfumer Rajiv Sheth (Creative Director All Good Scents) is nothing less than a celebration of brilliant design and magnetic fragrance. To know more about this association, we interviewed both Payal and Rajiv about the creation of Tender Intense and partnering together for a fragrance. Excerpts from an interview…
This is a first-of-a-kind collaboration for you both. Tell us how this partnership came about. Also, what was the process of ideation and creation of this perfume?
Rajiv Sheth: We were looking at collaborating with a fashion designer for our couture edition. Our PR team then introduced me to Payal (Singhal) and that’s how we met. I saw her work and thought that it was a wonderful idea to collaborate with her as we do have similar attributes; our brands are both modern, Indian, contemporary, and homegrown.
Payal Singhal: Yes; the idea was to create a global product, which is homegrown. Rajiv has kept in mind the target audience, which is the millennial girl. You know most girls have a signature perfume… this perfume could be someone’s signature scent too, and that was the idea. Through this fragrance, we wanted to give people to know that we do have beautiful homegrown perfume brands and not just International ones. Also, it was a great opportunity for us to give our name to a perfume.
(Rajiv) How did you decide on collaborating with Payal Singhal?
It was chance that we met. I’m not a big fashionista; in fact, I’m not very aware. I didn’t know a lot when I met her but now that I know her I think she’s a fabulous designer. I really like the patterns and prints created by her. Fashion is something very natural for perfume. And fashion and fragrances go together.
Were there any aesthetics particular to Payal that worked best for this collaboration?
Rajiv: Yes, absolutely. You see the packaging of the perfume, we’ve taken her print and made that as our whole package. And the fragrance itself is in sync with her print. It’s got both blues and pink and also is contrasting. In fact, the scent itself is contrasting. It’s both soft and pastel, and strong. Also,
Payal: Yes, it’s both strong and sensual. A fragrance has to come from a very abstract idea and you have to make it tangible. The look, the feel, the smell, the notes that you put in, it’s all an idea of who the woman is. Here it’s about an Indian woman who is global… a woman of today. This fragrance is for everyone. Hopefully, it’ll become global too. I mean, why not? This is made by an Indian manufacturer in Grasse, France. This should be exciting for an Indian consumer… it also has the global packaging.
Rajiv: Payal knows her consumers, their taste and I know the fragrances. That’s the reason we’ve worked together… to combine these two so that the Indian costumer likes it.
(Payal) Coming up with a fragrance vs working on a design — how different or similar are these?
We divided our work. He (Rajiv) created the fragrance while I worked on the design. You have to do what you’re good at. I’m not a perfumer and Rajiv has a 16-year experience. There is a synergy between the two.
(Payal) Did you have a say on what the notes should be?
No, not really. I mean he knows what works the best when it comes to a fragrance. He got the sense of what the consumer wanted. So he has come up with something floral and musk in the end, which shows that it is not just a flattery perfume… it is strong. He’s taken the idea of what people wanted and manufactured it in a physical bottle. He’s got the essence of the collaboration.
(Payal) You collaborated with The Desai Foundation and The Label Life recently, but both on apparel. And now, there’s a fragrance collaboration. Are partnerships something that the brand is looking forward to now? Also what next for Payal Singhal?
Honestly, this wasn’t planned. The Desai Foundation, more than a collaboration, it was a charity I was working with. We donated our prints to them and a percentage of that collaboration goes to a charity every month. It’s not like Payal Singhal is just going to do collaborations now. As and when an opportunity comes to us, where we can expand our product line, lend our name to a brand for a good cause, or even get a chance to create a collection line (like for The Label Life where the product line is priced at Rs 4,000, which is not a price range for our products), I would love to do it. It creates a wider reach and audience for our brand. And eventually, it’s all in the effort of building the brand.
(Rajiv) Do you plan on collaborating with more Indian designers for All Good Scents?
Rajiv: Absolutely. You know, we’ve just begun. This is the first one and we’re definitely looking forward to doing this more often.
Payal: We are hoping that a lot of designers will have their perfumes out with All Good Scents.
(Payal) You will soon be showcasing your upcoming Summer/Resort collection at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2018. Tell us about that?
This season’s collection is called Saira, which means traveller; and it’s based on her journey to explore Islamic art and architecture fused with local cultures (here: Persia). When you combine Islamic architecture with Persian architecture, it gives birth to a completely new design philosophy. We’ve kept this in mind, and explored Morocco, Persia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan. We’ve got a beautiful bouquet of embroideries, prints, and used a lot of jaali work, filigree, intricate patterns in this collection. It’s basically a dedication to Islamic art and architecture.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.