Perfume

OSM: A Q&A with Perfumer and Owner Kyle Mott-Kannenberg

Kyle Mott-Kannenberg of OSM is on the blog today!  

Kyle recently moved from Los Angeles to Nashville, changing from a fast-paced life in production design to the slower pace found in the land of perfumery and scent. Discover what the 2 digits for each fragrance stands for, how Kyle’s husband plays into the brand, and where you’ll find Kyle on a fall afternoon, cold beer in hand. 

Let’s begin!

Q. OSM stands for Olfactory Sense Memory. Can you tell us how you came to naming your brand?

We had already worked out the concept of the brand which is about connection and memories. It’s about our senses, olfactory specifically but visually as well, and the power that scents have to viscerally bring back memories. Aesthetically, we loved how those 3 letters looked together. From there, it was a lot of brainstorming regarding the 3 letters and then Olfactory Sense Memory hit.  

Q. You recently moved from Los Angeles to Nashville. Sounds exciting! What prompted the move?

Yes, it is exciting news! My husband and his business partner were looking to open a retail store and Nashville was the place with the most promise for such a venture. Fortunately for me, perfumery is an endeavor that just requires a lab and an internet connection, both of which I quickly set up when we arrived at the beginning of March 2020.

Q: How long have you been interested in scent and perfume? H ow did you start learning about it? What did you do prior to becoming a perfumer? Did you have any mentors along the way? 

My interest in perfume and perfumery began in the mid 2010s when I was making scented candles and thought there must be better options out there for fragrance. I was not pleased with the options that were available. I wanted to learn to build them from the molecular level.

My degree in chemistry helped a bit with my understanding of the concepts and mathematics involved. However, the biggest help was the assistance and instruction I received from PerfumersWorld and The Perfumer’s Studio in Los Angeles. Stephen Douthwaite, Ryan Chadwick and Christopher Gordon were infinitely helpful in getting me started and mentoring me along the way.

Before becoming a perfumer, I worked in Los Angeles as a production designer for film, television and commercials. In that profession you have to move very quickly and make fast decisions. Quite the opposite, perfumery demands patience and time which was definitely a welcome change especially after becoming a stay at home dad to our new born son in 2017. When he was napping or sleeping, I was working on the inaugural line of OSM which was released at the end of 2018. The time from inception through development until release took just about 2 years.

Q. Each of your fragrances has a number. What do the numbers mean?

Yes, the fragrances all have a 2 digit number. The idea is to name the fragrance for the 2 digit year or the age when the memory occurred that inspired the fragrance in the bottle.

15 by OSMFor example, 15 is named for the year I was married, 2015. It’s a scent that is built from the memories of that October day in our backyard in Hollywood.

Q: Your packaging is amazingly colorful, each piece a work of art. Did you design these? 

Thank you! Yes, my husband and I designed the artwork and packaging. There definitely was a learning curve for me with regard to developing the packaging, but I love a challenge and accepted this one enthusiastically. They are meant to be collages of the memories that are contained in the bottle.

Q. You were a finalist with 15 for the Art & Olfaction Awards 2019. Can you tell us more about what this means to you?

It was an honor to be acknowledged by such a fantastic organization that champions independent and artisan perfumery. They do such good and important work in the world of fragrance. I was stunned when I received the news and so excited that a fragrance from our first line up was chosen from such an amazing field of other perfumes.

Q. Your fragrances are genderless. How did you come up with that decision and why?

We didn’t necessarily make that decision. It just seemed that the only way to describe them. Both my husband and I have been blind to gender when it comes to fragrance, we have always just worn what we liked. So, it only seemed right that our line should reflect this as well.

Q. We love how each of your fragrances is connected to a personal memory of yours. If you had to pick only 1 that you could wear forever, which one would it be and why? 

Wow, such a hard decision because I love them all so much! I feel like this is Sophie’s Choice. If I had to choose at this moment, I would pick 84. I just love the animalic nature of it and the big dose of narcotic jasmine absolute. Plus it reminds me of the 80’s (the good parts.)

LIGHTNING ROUND

Q: Outside of fragrance, what other creative outlets do you have?

Baking, crochet and graphic design.

Q: Where do you consider your happy place? 

Fall evening, porch swing, cold beer with my husband and son.

Q: What is your favorite word?

Cooperation.

Q:  What is your least favorite word?

Can’t.

Q:  What turns you on?

Knowledge, creativity, reasoning and solution finders.

Q: What turns you off?

Entitlement and indecisiveness.

Q: If you could describe your brand in 3 words, what would they be?

Interconnected

Evocative

Colorful

Q: What’s next for you?

In addition to expanding the development part of our business, BlendbyOSM.com, we’re developing a retail bath and fragrance experience as well as collaborating with our customers on upcoming releases. 

OSM is featured in the April 2020 Collection with their fragrance, 15, and 84 is featured in the August Collection for 2020. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram!

Photo credit: OSM

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