Our interview series "Meet the Founder" continues: This time around we spoke to Zarko Ahlmann Pavlov, the founder of the Danish fragrance brand Zarkoperfume. The Danish perfumer combines innovative fragrance molecules with classic French notes and Scandinavian flair.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career path so far.
I am 51 and have two wonderful children - Isak, who is 12 and Olivia, who is 20 years old - and a wonderful woman who I have been married to for 32 years and who is my rock. She supports me in every aspect, whether it's work or in private life, she is a really powerful woman and I owe a lot to her. I started my career at a young age when I travelled to wonderful France to learn about wine production, cognac and champagne. Then I switched to high-end designer clothing and opened two beautiful shops of my own, as well as an online shop, but I needed another challenge. I dreamed of starting my own perfume brand, not with a license, but wanted to do everything myself. So I started studying perfume composition in 2008. It took me several years to finish everything and in 2013 I was finally able to get Zarkoperfume started.
2. What inspired you to start your company and what is your philosophy?
The inspiration of Nordic culture, in which less is more. And of course, all the water that surrounds me as well as the forest right in front of me, including its elements. It's important to mention that I wanted a perfume brand that would travel back in time and bring back the perfumer as the central figure. Without thinking about costs, freely choosing really exclusive raw materials and creating fine fragrances. The composition of perfume always has a story to tell.
3. What is the story behind the brand name?
Well, that's actually very easy. My name is on the bottles because my name is Zarko. But I also wanted to show that this is the only real perfume house in the Nordic region, where I select the ingredients, mix and mature them then finally bottle them.
4. Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
That's pretty difficult to answer. No one can see into the future and to be honest, I wouldn't want to even if I could. The secret of my life is to wake up and live one day at a time. To put it briefly: I live one day and one fragrance at a time.
5. Which perfume is your personal favourite?
My firstborn - Molecule 234•38 - is a masterpiece. It took almost 5 years to create.
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