AGANOVICH Let's Murder The Moonshine
“In matters of perfume, more than anywhere else, it’s all about what you’re trying to evoke” – Brooke Taylor
Let's Murder the Moonshine, the first perfume created by the duo behind Aganovich, is indeed a concentrate of evocations, both olfactory and narrative. Its creation is the fruit of two encounters: the first between Nana Aganovich and Brooke Taylor, and the other with Arnaud Poulain, the Nose and founder of Eaux Primordiales. The fragrance, inspired by the workshop of the Irish painter Francis Bacon, combines creative madness and devastating passion. Burnt wood, gouache, incense and ink notes sum up the creative energy and « terrible beauty » that exude from the painter’s work. A whole world, intimate and personal, unveiled during an open-hearted interview.
Let's Murder the Moonshine, no less?
We borrowed this title from the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. I found it in the very first book that Nana gave me, a first edition of his essays. I fell in love with Futurism, the manifestos, Marinetti himself, and especially Let's Murder the Moonshine, a founding text that led to the creation of Futurism. We even named our first show after it. Nana gave me this book at a time when we were both completely insane. What I mean is that our encounter was probably not in our best interests, and it marked the beginning of a crazy era for both of us. At the time, she made her face up like a clown every day. When I met her, she had five passports and wads of cash in her handbag. I really wondered what I was myself getting into. She was both very provocative and very professional. She got into Central Saint Martin after a twenty-minute interview! We spent the next two or three years exploring London in and out, from its dingiest dives to its five-star hotels. We voraciously devoured the city, which was pretty new to both of us. Let's Murder the Moonshine has a lot of that in it. It’s about murdering the night, making the most of it...
Your meeting with Arnaud was unexpected, too.
Arnaud was in one of our groups of friends for a long time, without us having understood who he was or what he was doing. He doesn’t talk much. He’s very tall, with a strong rugby-player’s build, and we would never have imagined he was a perfumer, even though he clearly looked like a man who knows how to do things. One night it was pouring down, Nana and I went for a drink at a local bar, and we happened to bump into him. It was the first time we really talked together, he started telling us the stories he puts in his scents, and we lost all sense of time. Arnaud seeks inspiration in his past, in his region of Northern France, so important in the history of France. The Germans, the war, the territory... He's a man of the land. He draws on his feelings, on the memories of his father and grandfather to do what he does.
And how did he approach your fragrance?
The research began a bit by chance. I was going through old files for a family reunion and started sorting out and putting aside important, touching photos, like a mood board. Those of my grandmother and grandfather, to begin with, extravagant personalities, constantly drunk. They were clearly very rich for a short time, before blowing their fortune on the high life of the ’20s. They totally embody the spirit of the Roaring Twenties. I found a picture of Nana's parents. Photos of squats. Experiments we had done on clowns, with reference to Nana, of course. Pictures of my best friend, Las Vegas, Nana's adopted half-brother, who is also very clownish, very tragic. Two chefs, exhausted in a restaurant, who had marked me. And the workshop of Francis Bacon, who is in our eyes one of the most beautiful and singular artists.
We then asked Arnaud to drop by the studio. He came, looked at the mood board, and left. Three days later, he was back with a sample he handed us saying, “This is it”. And, indeed, that was it. Like a paint factory that caught fire in the night, the chemical smell of which spread through the forest. Something direct, like a blow to the head. We did some refining but he’d pretty much nailed it.
Any other perfumes on their way?
Yes, we’re going to create a whole range of perfumes under the name Aganovich, but with Arnaud. It’s a nice little bridge, like all true friendships. And it’s a privilege to work with someone we know and trust, with so much experience.
Who is this perfume for?
We both love it and wear it now, as it’s unisex. I’d say it's for those who recognise it.