Today we are initating new Persefume column: scent-related interviews. You will meet various perfumers, brand creators, shop owners, photographers – people with real passion for perfumes. We are starting the series with conversation with Mr René Dekker known as the owner of the biggest private Thierry Mugler Parfums collection.
René Dekker lives in Germany, works as laboratory chemist, adores Space Age. He laughs that actually his whole family loves to collect different items – for René these are perfumes.
In René’s Mugler collection we can find truly rare pieces: limited editions, special bottles, factices, accessories, special presentation materials, never realeased products, testers, Mugler sources, make-up line, sets, jewels and much, much more… He agreed to talk with Jakub of Persefume about his wonderful hobby.
Jakub: Thank you for the opportunity, René! Please tell us: why Thierry Mugler? Why this brand picked up your interest and how did it all begin?
René: First as 8 year old boy I started to collect perfume bottles, especially miniatures. Two years later I got my first extrait and one day as sixteen I have seen the first bottle of Angel. It was blue – new in this time and such a heavy gourmand, with chocolate and vanilla, not very common notes in 1992. I liked Gothic culture, scents with accords of Patchouli, so Angel was so perfect choice for me: different, delicious, mysterious and deep. I love everything with stars and glass, so it was perfect to start a big LOVE. I began with a miniature Angel bottle and the collection grown very fast. In 1992 and during following 10 years it was very hard to found rare items without the internet and I was too young back then to visit perfume conventions.
How big is your collection nowadays, do you still miss some special items?
Honestly, I dont know how many bottles I own in my collection nowadays. I have 200+ Myrna Pons miniatures, ca. 150 Guerlains, a few hundred various miniature bottles, but the biggest collection is Mugler. I think that I have more than 1000 bottles from Mugler. Yes, I do miss some special items, especially bottles in the price range of3000 Euro or more. This year I found two of these special bottles and one is on the way from the United States.Some of them are limited to 20 bottles worldwide up to a maximum of 150. Now I am looking for six of them to add into my collection.
I wonder – are they all just collectible items, or are you using them on daily basis?
In the past I used some of the bottles, but now I try to get them in new and unused condition. Now I buy all bottles I want in two pieces. One for my collection and one for my daily use.
Do you have your favourite Mugler fragrance, which ones you consider as bit less interesting? Do you perhaps have favourites among other brands?
My favourite Mugler Fragrance is Cologne. I adore this scent in the summer with temperatures over 30°C. And I love Oriental Express from the new and very rare Les Exceptions Line. Its a wonderful, not sythethic vanilla scent with some smoke inside. I am not a big fan of Womanity. I dont like the scent, the ads, the campaign they made for this scent some years ago. And you do not see it very often in the stores anymore. Yes, I have a lot of favourites from other brands, especially Guerlain – love Metallica and Mon Precieux Nectar. And the 2002 Version of Addict from Dior, vintage Must Extrait from Cartier and the long discontinued Relax from Davidoff, a brand, who is not longer interesting for me with all the new launches. But Relax was a real gem for me.
Does Clarins Fragrance Group (owner of Thierry Mugler Parfums) know about your passion, do they support you in finding rare items?
Yes, they know my passion. I heard from people all over the world who work for Clarins, that they see my collection during business meetings. Clarins doesn’t help me a lot (but they always very nice!). The only thing I got was 2 liter of factice water for my bottles in the past – but this was like 10 years ago.
However, they are are some people who work for Clarins/Thierry Mugler who support me a lot.
Jayson Marrero is one of these guys. He works at Saks Fith Avenue in New York and he helps me to find me almost everything I look for, especially the super rare collector bottles.
You have also started small Guerlain collection – any wishes to expand it, why this brand feels special to you?
Guerlain is always very special. I really wish I can collect Guerlain, but there are too much bottles on the market. i have only 150 Bottles from Guerlain and use them all, so it is not really a collection. But I LOVED this brand long before I found my passion for Mugler I was wearing Guerlain very often.And I have a collection from Myrna Pons, a small company from Spain, the most bottles are from the 1930 to 1960. I love them too and never use one.
René’s Guerlain bottles
René’s Myrna Pons collection
René’s Myrna Pons collection
Jakub: Thank you so much, René for this interview and sharing private pictures of you amazing collection with Persefume readers! Good luck with hunting more of Mugler’s treasures!
Photos via René Dekker – all rights reserved.