Dimitri Weber Of Goldfield & Banks - Making Australian Perfumes And Taking Them To The World

Dimitri Weber Of Goldfield & Banks - Making Australian Perfumes And Taking Them To The World

So many interviews these days start with something like this: “I am waiting in my hotel and it’s 3am on zoom and Robert De Niro is running late, somewhere in New Jersey. My make-up and hair are all over the place but it’s worth …..” Blah Blah Blah.


Then also, it’s all about celebrity. “In his new role as …. For the Netflix original series … And he says, looking back on his career” Blah Blah Blah.

I will not start this interview in this manner.

Freshness is something we all crave. One on one, we crave that too. Personal. Personality. Dedication to craft. Scent. Touch. A story. A commitment to a journey. I love these things.

Dimitri Weber is these things.

Dimitri Weber is someone I might liked to have been. And it is possible I might have had his life if I’d chosen his field for a career.

Who is Dimitri Weber? Well, I did not know until a few weeks back. A woman walked into my Studio and exclaimed “Oh, you are open, I was always wondering what was inside. I love your windows.”

Most of the people who come past our Studio with the doors closed consider it to be:

a) A drug front.

b) A bordello for the rich

c) A massage parlour with happy endings.

We are of course nothing of the sort. I just don’t like humans interrupting my work and I like to deal with people one on one – which – now let me reference it back to my opening paragraph – I find personal, refreshing and having the human touch.

“You must meet my friend Dimitri, he is French, a perfumer, you two would get on so well” said the lady.

“Okay, I would love to.”

Dimitri was hard to get in touch with. In fact, he was so hard to get in touch with that I had on that last time the thought which I sometimes get when dealing with other businesses like “are they in fucking business or what?” . I really get frustrated. But the old maxim “patience is a virtue” held true on this occasion, I let it sit for a bit and I got a text which said he was off to source materials in Western Australia and would call upon me when he returned.

He did call upon me. It was worth the wait. The first thing I will tell you was that he was meticulously dressed in a casual way. A plain coloured wool like weave bomber jacket. A mandarin collar shirt in a light blue, black jeans, leather sneakers. A neat beard. Enough hair that he did not quite look middle aged but might get there soon. Simple. Elegant. The way some men I have met in Parisian wine bars dressed. Nothing too much, but not boring.

By contrast, I stood in my phenoms, my Air Jordans, a sweater and a kerchief. I was cutting silk later that day.

Let me not waste your time. I am here to promote Dimitri’s product, not talk about what I wore today…

The DNA of Goldfield & Banks is simple – take Australian native flora and make exotic scents with a story in what is a most crowded and difficult industry to find your spot. But that’s exactly what Dimitri is crafting – a niche all to himself. When was the last time you heard of a company specifically focused on Australian botanicals to deliver a uniquely Australian scent?

The last time for myself was when I smelled Naomi Goodsir’s Bois D’Ascese . I was in the midst of a bushfire and felt alarmed. I immediately conjured Norman Lindsay and his Springwood house filled with beautiful women and an imminent bushfire and then I was on the set of Picnic At Hanging Rock as the girls walked further along those rocks and vanished never to be seen again.

That is what scent does – it tells a story, or it reminds you of a story. Goldfield & Banks, from the outset, seems to have already crafted that for themselves. Only 4 and a half years old, they first started making their batch stock in Melbourne and attempted to make it all in Australia. Now they spend their time finding the best materials from the Australian landscape and then sending the materials to Europe where they become exceptional perfumes.

Since Joseph Banks first arrived in Australia and discovered more than 80 species, some of which are named after him, Banksias, we have come to find unique smells in this country that our fellow Australians would know by smell but have never had the privilege of being able to spray on themselves as a cologne.

Dimitri is making this happen. Rare timbers from the Daintree Forest in Queensland, rare Sandalwood from Western Australian deserts that died over 100 years ago and have been sitting out there in the sun ageing ever since. Rugged, rustic smells which are highly sort after not just by Dimitri but by his competitors in Europe as well. He said to me, but I won’t mention which big names he references, that a good deal of top end European noses seek out Australian organic matter from all over the country to make the smells that we then buy back as the most expensive perfumes.

As I go through the range with Dimitri, he hits me with the first one. It is his most popular. Pacific Rock Moss is its name. Let me be honest, I am now going to refer to the marketing materials he gave me because I don’t have that ability to name it by notes. Here it is: Australian Coastal Moss, lemon Italy, Sage, Geranium, Cedar Wood Virginia.

For me it is a day by the sea with something extra. You really go get that feeling of being by the ocean. I look up at Dimitri. I ask him if he can go for a walk with me when summer arrives, there is a scent that comes up off the cliffs. I can’t identify which plant it is, but the aroma is so distinct that it is arresting, and I persuade him that it needs to be a perfume. He agrees.

Then Dimitri offers me his latest perfume, Silky Woods. I don’t know what the notes are, it’s brand new, but my nose says vanilla, wood, spice, rum, brown sugar. It’s different.

Dimitri leaves me with a number of samples in a lovely tester box which presents beautifully.

Of all of them the ones that stand out are Southern Bloom, Bohemian Lime, Pacific Rock Moss and Blue Cypress. But, and I don’t wish to sound like a sycophant, they are all good.

I want to impress upon you this point in conclusion – when was the last time you heard of very unique Australian materials being turned into uniquely Australian scents done well and beautifully presented? I say never really. Not a full range anyway. This is why I want you to try Goldfield & Banks and make up your own mind. Don’t trust me, buy the tester pack for $30 and make up your own mind. That’s all I am asking.

You can see Dimitri’s range here. And yes, there are already celebrities wearing it, but can I be bothered telling you who – no, I can’t.

Wishing Dimitri every success.

LNP

Dimitri Weber Goldfield Banks Portrait

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