Scents have the function of taking us back to the moments we live in; no matter how much time has passed, we take a journey to our memories with a perfume. Nishane designs these unforgettable moments as a tribute to different emotions and moods.
Founded by Murat Katran and Mert Güzel, Nishane is the first niche perfume brand based in Istanbul. “We define ourselves as a brand that appeals to timeless, elite and refined tastes with its artistic touches. Believing that the sense of smell affects human relationships, memories and souls, we carry out storytelling with our perfume designs.” They describe Nishane with her words. “Collection Rumi” inspired by the words of Mevlânâ Celâleddîn-i Rûmî, “Shadow Play Trilogy” inspired by the traditional shadow play also known as “Karagöz and Hacivat”, “Collection Imaginative” inspired by the short novel “The Little Prince” and People of the World The “No Boundaries Collection”, designed to give a hopeful message about the disappearance of emotional boundaries between people, are examples of Nishane’s collections blended with storytelling.
Murat Katran, Mert Güzel
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Nishane spreads these stories and scents to more than 120 countries. We talked about Nishane with Murat Katran and Mert Güzel, who wrote this special success story…
Nishane is a Turkish brand from Istanbul that has made a name for itself abroad and is in its 10th year… How did this story begin? What inspired you?
Murat Katran: The story of our brand started completely by coincidence. As creative directors, a friendship that started with long conversations about perfumes, which we quickly realized was our common passion after we met at a mutual friend’s birthday, turned into a partnership with the birth of NISHANE. Even when we first decided on the name of our brand in 2010, we had no doubt that NISHANE would become a global brand. We set out with this determination. However, when we started this journey, we realized that the perfume creation process is a very deep kind of art, and it took us five years to feel that our collection was ready to open to the world, due to our quality, originality and artistic concerns. After this meticulous work, we made our world launch in Milan in 2015.
Mert Guzel: NISHANE is a brand established based on the sense of smell, which is effective in perceiving our environment. We define ourselves as a brand that appeals to timeless, elite and refined tastes with its artistic touches. Believing that the sense of smell affects human relationships, memories and souls, we carry out storytelling with our perfume designs. As NISHANE, our aim is to enable people to appeal to their souls through their sense of smell and to contribute to their accumulation of special memories. The main inspiration for our first collection was the multi-layered historical, cultural and natural beauty of Istanbul, where we were born and raised. In the following years, we took the story we wanted to tell as the main inspiration and presented collections and continue to do so.
What advantages did Nishane have from being born in Turkey?
Murat Katran: Turkey is an interesting country where western and eastern cultures oscillate between a unique harmony and conflict. This country promises you a skill that you cannot achieve in different countries, such as being able to assimilate the traces of both sides. Music, works of art, nature and the richness of the four seasons are what make these lands special, and we have the chance to make the most of it.
We create a story, and that story directs emotions in a certain way. We think that when you tell this story from the perspective of these lands, it will be more understandable all over the world. We feel great excitement and pride when the story we want to tell reaches the other party through a perfume.
Mert Guzel : Istanbul, which we can define as the summary or center of this country, has always been one of the most mysterious and popular settlements in human history. When you try to feel even a little bit of the rich heritage of this city, you immediately start to dream! These lands have hosted many different cultures and religions until today, and this endless cultural richness inspires us every day. Istanbul is almost a bridge between civilizations and we are very happy to have the advantage of benefiting from this cultural diversity.
The names of your perfumes and the artworks inside shed some light on the stories behind the scents, but they always give the feeling that there is more behind them. How does the creative process of a perfume develop for you?
Murat Katran : Creating our perfumes means a carefully planned, challenging and long process for us. In this process, we first experience the pain of determining the story we want to tell with our new collection. This critical decision sets the tone for the entire creative process.
Once the story becomes clear, we outline the type of perfume that will best tell this story and focus on choosing the perfumer who can best present this design with our guidance. This collaboration is of critical importance in achieving the success we aim for with our new collection.
We dive into the world of scent notes with our perfumer and work hard to reveal the aromatic symphony that will tell our story in the best way through countless experiments. Seeing that we have achieved the goal we set out to achieve at the end of this process gives us the feeling of a miracle happening every time. These little ‘miracles’ of ours make our brand even stronger globally.
What could be the inspiration for the birth of such deep scents, what do you draw from?
Mert Guzel : Our sources of inspiration for the birth of deep scents are quite diverse. We feel very lucky because we don’t need any extra motivation to get inspired. We have a great interest in many forms of art and everything in life can influence and inspire us.
The wide range of art and aesthetic elements in every field, from painting to music, from nature to architecture, are a source of inspiration for us. Color palettes, sensory experiences and various facets of life are among the elements that inspire our design process to create deep and expressive scents.
Travel is also a great source of inspiration. Different cultures, geographies and traditional aromas give us energy to create new and unique perfume compositions. For us, every moment, every place and everything is a potential source of inspiration, which gives us constant creative energy in the creation of profound and expressive scents.
What does Nishane’s first home collection, ‘The Doors’, promise? What products are in the collection?
Murat Katran : “Doors Collection”, our home fragrance collection that we launched last year and inspired by the cultures of eight different countries, includes stick diffusers, scented candles and room sprays. While designing the scents, we took eight different doors reflecting the traditional architecture of eight countries from eight different cultures as a starting point, and when we entered the door of such a house in each country, we imagined what kind of scent would greet us, inspired by the cultural and natural riches of that country. This collection promises you to experience a colorful journey to different cultures in the comfort of your own home or office.
For example, even in cold weather, if you choose the scent named Greek Fig, which we designed based on the Greek door in this collection, you can suddenly be transported to a Greek island in the Aegean. Again, Turkish Rose, which we created inspired by our own culture, will be used with pleasure in every season and in every place, thanks to our balanced rose interpretation that we offer after a detailed study.
While designing our Lavande Française scent, which was launched during the opening party of our Paris store in recent months and which comes in addition to the eight different scents in the first collection, we wanted to create a timeless and especially seasonless scent, while also adding a NISHANE touch to France’s cult bond with lavender. We can say that the result was unique. The rich composition, which includes a powdery structure that makes you think that the refreshing and calming effect of lavender comes from the make-up table created with tonka, patchouli, orris and bergamot, is one of the most prominent scents of the series.
In your 10th year, you collaborated with famous perfumers and created new versions of five best-selling perfumes. How would you describe this collaboration?
Mert Guzel:Realizing this collaboration with carefully selected perfumers to reinterpret each perfume was a very important step when creating this special collection.
As in every creation process, we first created a perfect story to reveal the new version of each perfume. It was equally important to find perfumers who would best implement these stories. Working with perfumers who closely understand our brand’s vision, aesthetics and values, and who fully feel the spirit of this special collection, played a key role in the successful completion of our project.
This collaboration process was an experience like working in a family atmosphere. The close collaboration with the perfumers was not only a professional relationship, but also a process of sharing a vision and bringing creativity together. In this way, we had the chance to add a new originality and elegance while the new version of each perfume was inspired by its previous successes.
As a result, this special collaboration we realized in our 10th anniversary was an important milestone in continuing the legacy of our brand and carrying it into the future. Each perfume, with its unique story and the touch of famous perfumers, further strengthened the exclusive and unique identity of our brand.
The brand is receiving incredible interest in its international contacts on the 10th anniversary of its establishment. Can we ask you to talk a little bit about this?
Murat Katran: NISHANE has received a lot of attention and recognition abroad. As we mentioned in The Doors collection, we are a brand that tries to appeal to every culture, is inspired by the whole world and cares about creating a profile regardless of religion, language, race and gender, and we receive a very warm response for this. Of course, along with the fact that our products can be accessed almost everywhere in the world and the brand is very influential on social media, the success story of the brand and the scents it produces also arouse great curiosity. Each collection in the brand goes through a delicate creation process, and we are in a position that perfume lovers enjoy discovering with a wide and well-studied rich portfolio.
We encounter a loving user base at the events we attend around the world. In fact, we may not limit this interest to just the 10th anniversary, because there has been an ongoing interest and curiosity for a long time. As a brand, we strive to have a very healthy communication all over the world.
We always try to do our best to properly represent our country’s name in such a difficult field where very powerful luxury groups dominate and therefore there is great competition. This requires full-time, very challenging teamwork. The way to always stay ahead in this competitive environment is to be a trend-setting brand whose next creation awaits with great curiosity. We are happy to see that our brand is now a brand where perfumers all over the world constantly request appointments to prepare a creation together, and perfume lovers all over the world await new launches with great curiosity. Therefore, our primary plan is to take this trend-setting feature even further. In our opinion, this is a must for a luxury brand with plenty of artistic touches.
Nishane is sold at very popular sales points in more than a hundred countries around the world. The stores you opened in Nişantaşı, Akaretler and now in Paris also attract great attention. Could you tell us a little about these stores, what were taken into consideration during the design phase and what kind of experience exactly awaits the visitors?
Mert Guzel : As you know, NISHANE is a brand that meets its customers in more than two thousand luxury perfumeries, as well as chains such as Harrods, Galeries Lafayette, Harvey Nichols, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Selfridges, which are the world’s leading luxury stores, and is considered by niche perfume lovers to be the world’s top five niche perfumes. A brand that is shown as one of its brands. As a way to further increase our visibility, our goal is to open NISHANE stores in important centers of the world. We opened our first overseas store in Paris, St. We opened it on Honoré Street in November 2023. We have signed the lease agreement for our store in Rome as of January. We aim to follow this with our London, New York, Milan, Dubai, Berlin and Riyadh stores in 2024.
NISHANE Paris Store
In our stores, we generally use tones that will highlight our own brand profile. What we call silent luxury; We prefer more minimalist, calm colors and objects that are far from excess. We are going through an intense architectural process during the creation of the stores; We accompany the entire process together with our architects by being involved in every stage. If we talk about experience, the satisfaction of our visitors in our stores is of great importance to us. We do not approach those who come to our store with a sales focus, our main goal is to offer them a good experience. Our friends working in the stores sincerely embrace NISHANE and take care to establish a warm communication by explaining all the collections to perfume enthusiasts. In this way, people from all over the world have a pleasant time and a shopping experience where they get to know the brand more closely.