Interview
Liberty Meets

Jan Ahlgren

Designer-turned-perfumer Jan Ahlgren talks personal style and shares the story behind his exclusive-to-Liberty fragrance line, Vilhelm Parfumerie

Shop Vilhelm Parfumerie

@LibertyLondon

Jan Ahlgren has taken an unusual route into the world of scent. It was his experience working with leather and bags that finally led to the creation of Vilhelm Parfumerie. Ahlgren says: “I became inspired and intrigued by the practice of glove makers in 17th and 18th century France imbuing their leather with scent.”

“Our mission as a brand is simple: create the most beautiful, dynamic perfumes that we can.”

This in turn led to a realisation that scent was: “The perfect pursuit, one that would marry my love of design with my growing passion for perfume. I love to see people reacting to scents, being momentarily transported to another place and time.”

Named after Ahlgren’s grandfather Vilhelm, he describes the perfume collection as: “A tribute to the glamour and aesthetic of [my grandfather’s] era, expressed in our contemporary aesthetic and olfactory language.” It is this mixing of the past, present, inner and outer charisma that Ahlgren believes creates a real personal style:

“Style is not defined by sartorial choices alone. The music that you listen to is part of it. What you read, how you express yourself, even something as subtle as your smell.”

For him, this personal element is best expressed in the scent Dear Polly. A tribute to the perfumer’s wife and business partner, this fragrance is: “A love letter, the idea was that it’s a scent we both love and can wear so that even when we are apart, we have the comfort of each other.”

The collection of eight eau de parfums for men and women is launched earlier this year, exclusively at Liberty, our fragrance hall tying in beautifully with the brand’s ethos: “Liberty is both elegant and warm and inviting at the same time, an institution while remaining vibrant and exciting.”

Liberty London

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