Meet Ryan Richmond, IAO Winner, Founder and Creative Director of Ryan Richmond, a New York City based fragrance house with its first release, Rich Mess. Learn the three things he can't live without; how low tide in Kennebunk, Maine became his favorite scent from childhood and how he even knows how to code!
News Alert! Rich Mess won the Art & Olfaction Independent Award 2019 by The Institute of Art and Olfaction (IAO). If you aren't familiar with IAO, definitely check them out. They are a n on-profit organization devoted to access, education and experimentation with scent and we love everything they do!
Q: Tell us the story of how you got into the fragrance business. How long have you been interested in it; how did you start learning about it?
I’m quite new to the fragrance world to be honest. I’ve been friends with perfumer Christophe Laudamiel for several years now, I used to do design work for him.
When I started Rich Mess it was to creative directly for my personal portfolio. Quite often the brands I work for want to be edgy and to stand out–but in the end they revert back to their safe comfort zone.
My intention was to use Rich Mess as a platform to express myself and ultimately gain more client work. I wasn’t sure if Rich Mess was going to be a clothing line or a makeup brand, but after chatting with Christophe I took a 180° and Rich Mess evolved into a very unique scent. (We at Olfactif love that you took the 180°)
Q: Do you have mentors in the fragrance world or business world that helped you start? Who are they, how did you find them and how do they help you now or in the past?
Christophe Laudamiel! It’s fantastic knowing and being able to work with people who are talented, kind and humble all at the same time. I’ve also had great help from Bart Schmidt, who you know–that’s how I got connected to Olfactif.
Q: What’s your favorite scented memory from your childhood?
Without a doubt the smell of the beach. I grew up in Kennebunk, Maine. I love the smell of low tide, which may not be favored by most but it reminds me of my hometown and the adventures I would have there. You have to get creative when looking for fun in a small town, and the beach was a place where you could do everything and nothing.
Q:You are new to the fragrance world, tell us about your life before this, it seems so exciting!
Flattered!! Before Rich Mess I had been art directing editorials and campaigns as well as designing digital platforms for some brands you’ve probably heard of. I know how to code, too. I’m a super nerd, fascinated by the infinite canvas of the interweb.
Q: Besides fragrance, what do you lust, love and can’t live without?
In order: My partner, coffee milkshakes and expressing myself creatively.
Q: Rich Mess is your first fragrance. How did you come up with that name?
Coming up with the name was definitely a struggle! I knew that I wanted a connection to my name (Ryan Richmond). It seemed obvious to include “Rich” in there. “Mess” wasn’t a favorite by most of my peers but I love that it explains the conflict/juxtaposition and again is very close to my name.
Q: What’s next? Will we see more fragrances from you?
I wasn’t planning to develop another fragrance for quite some time, but with the success and customer feedback I would like to work on a more feminine/summery scent next (we can't wait for this!). I also have a candle and sunglasses in the works. I want to start with scent keeping that our bread and butter, then expand into luxurious objects of affection.
Q: If you could describe your brand in 3 words, what would they be?
Edgy. Sophisticated. Unique.
Rich Mess was featured in both our Men's and Women's Collection, Winter Woods, in December 2018 and we were delighted to showcase it and send a big round of applause to the Rich Mess team for winning IAO 2019!!!
*Images courtesy of Ryan Richmond & The Institute of Art & Olfaction
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