Andrey Oleynikov is somewhat of an unusual creator, as he has practiced and honed his perfumery craft through two completely different social and cultural epochs. This has taught him to never just resort to the typical tropes, clichés and “tricks of the perfumery trade” - but instead to diligently pursue his own path.
The uniqueness of his approach ultimately lies in the uniqueness of his ingredients. From childhood, Andrey got the nickname "Alchimik" (Alchemist), as he, from early age, extracted and analyzed any that he could get his hands on: flowers, plants, roots, fruits, moss, buds, the bark of trees and bushes etc - giving him deep insight and experimental skills, which serve him as the base for his unorthodox perspective on perfumery today.
“Any truly original fragrance is born in the perfumer’s imagination first...and in a fragrance laboratory second. The source of inspiration itself can be purely semantic, a sudden flash of inspiration or when musing about a topic, phenomenon or piece of art.”
“Another inspiration for a perfume can be an existing set of fragrant components, which is not presented in the form of a perfume, but in a different form - like traditional Indian incense, a blend of spices, an old medicinal prescription etc. In this case, the process of creating a perfume starts to resemble a historical reconstruction.”
“Inspiration for creating a perfume can also just occur abruptly - for example, during a walk in the park. Suddenly, the scent from a poplar tree seem to possess notes of cinnamon and amber. Chemically, this may not be the case, but still, back in my lab, I immediately try out how these components interact. I'm always looking for a harmonious combination when titrating these extracts and components.”
“Another important factor in composing a perfume is the dialog with the person who commissioned it. Besides my personal intuition and clarifying the customer’s personal taste, knowledge of the principles of a traditional system like, say, Ayurveda, are very helpful, too. Every person responds differently to the world, especially regarding aromas, as this type of perception occurs within the deeper brain structures which are responsible for our “olfactory world view””.
“Smells that occur in nature have always played a colossal role in communication - between representatives of one species, and between genera, families, and even different kingdoms of different living beings. In a way, I think perfumery can be considered the art of moderating these relations for human society."