Perfumehead Founder Paints a Cinematic Picture Through Scent

Committed to delivering the purest and most potent expression of scent through extrait de parfum, Perfumehead, the luxury brand, crafts fragrances designed to evoke unforgettable feelings. Founder Daniel Patrick Giles embarked on this journey with a deep appreciation for sensory experiences and the profound impact of scent on our memories. Making its Canadian debut, Giles, an Ontario native, shares his unique approach to fragrance, the pivotal role of storytelling, and the significance of showcasing Perfumehead at Holt Renfrew—a momentous return to his beauty roots.

Can you share with us the inspiration behind creating Perfumehead and your journey to establish your brand?

“The inspiration for Perfumehead starts during the post-pandemic landscape. I had a deepening appreciation of sensory experiences and how scent is often our strongest memory of an environment. This insight is the core philosophy of Perfumehead, which is to center yourself in scent and breathe in your environment. We call this olfactory environment ‘The Osmocosm’ (osmo = smell and cosmo = universe). Within the Osmocosm, our ambition is to inspire people to smell their world with intention and curiosity. The promise of Perfumehead is to enhance that sensory experience through the most pure and potent expression of scent — extrait de parfum, and by creating fragrances that are beautiful, luxurious, long-lasting, and unforgettable.”

“Every place has a scent, and every scent has a story” is a profound statement that underlines your brand’s approach. Could you elaborate on how you incorporate storytelling into Perfumehead’s fragrances?

“If the Osmocosm is the universe of scent, then “every place has a scent, and every scent has a story” is our oxygen. It forces and compels us to be curious and breathe life into every scent that captures our attention. I refine that attention through storytelling. For me, scent is cinema. I use the tools of cinema to explore the depth and visual narrative of scent. My creative process involves writing an olfactory screenplay, and staging an ensemble cast of cultural muse — art, film, music, books, lovers, places and poetry — that serve as the inspirations and essence of each Perfumehead fragrance.”

“I use the tools of cinema to explore the depth and visual narrative of scent.”

Daniel Patrick Giles

How do you see Perfumehead contributing to the evolving landscape of luxury fragrances?

“My approach to luxury fragrance is heavily informed by my years working in luxury fashion and beauty — first as creative director at Holt Renfrew and then for LVMH. Those experiences gave me insight into the best luxury brands in the world and with Perfumehead, I aim to emulate haute couture’s meticulous attention to craftsmanship, quality and identity. Like the iconic brands in luxury fashion, I am building Perfumehead to stand the test of time, and to deliver a product and experience that is timeless. To do so, you need to craft a universe that is immersive and infinite. For Gucci, that’s a maximalist vision that artfully translates to vintage or the metaverse. For Perfumehead, it’s the Osmocosm. We believe every place has a scent, and every scent has a story. Through our perfumes, we are reimagining luxury fragrance one Osmocosm at a time.”

What kind of experiences or emotions do you hope your fragrances evoke in those who wear them?

“Each of our fragrances are anchored in emotion. For example, Cosmic Cowboy is inspired by neon clubs and the Sunset Strip in the ‘70s and evokes the emotion of ecstasy. Alone Together is inspired by wearing the shirt of a beloved removed the night before, and conjures the emotion of desire.”

Canada must hold a special place in your heart, as you were born and raised in Ontario and began your career at Holt Renfrew! How does it feel coming full circle now and showcasing your collection at Holts?

“I was actually born and raised in Northern Ontario. It was beautiful, rustic, and the constant proximity to nature is the origin of my love for scent. I lived in Toronto while working for Holt Renfrew, spending 15 years there before departing as their Creative Director. Essentially, I’m a country boy with city tastes. Returning to Holts as a founder, the first-ever executive to do so, is a complete thrill for me and a symbolic milestone for both Perfumehead and Holt Renfrew.”

Finally, could you describe your personal favourite fragrance from the Perfumehead collection and the story or sentiment behind it?

“My personal favourite fragrance is Cosmic Cowboy, because I created this for myself. My alter ego is a Cosmic Cowboy (my friends call me Cowboy) so it seemed like a good fit. I’ve always worn a musk scent starting at a young age with Kiehls Musk, so this is very me.”