Designer, stylist and creative director Ugo Mozie pieces together the rich scents of Africa to launch his new fragrance MOSAIC. The perfume tells a tale of African history and luxury, a history that dates back to the ancient royals, alchemists and treasure merchants of Africa.
I caught up with Ugo to get the back-story to the creation of his perfume, the process, and the inspirations for MOSAIC Parfum. “I wanted to create a product that could pay homage to my ancestors’ creativity and innovation. I’ve always been a collector of scents and perfumes, so when the opportunity came for me to create my own, I knew I had to go ancient and timeless with the vibe.”
From the details of the bottle to the decadent case, Ugo has been spot on but what struck me most was his research into the North and Western accounts of African royalty. Mozie relays his-stories, occasionally posting portraits of royals, women and men… rich, educated, “black..[and fine] as ever” – something we hear too little of. These portrayals are rarely seen widely especially those of the original African moors who conquered Spain, Portugal and Sicily from the 8th Century. As well as introducing scientific techniques, education and a modern infrastructure, these Black African’s exuded a sense of style adorned in richly decorated garments, embroidered robes, jewelled head wraps, sandals and not forgetting the stacks of gold and riches they held in tow. The Moors ruled Spain for over 700 years and although their history is not taught widely in school, their legacy is felt today across Western Europe.
This style and demeanour is evident in Ugo’s work, a refreshing creative resurgence of the AfroWave. As if to say – this wealth of culture has lasting impact.. .don’t you ever forget it. Ugo tells me about his well-travelled journey to curation. As a renowned designer for the likes of Maxwell, Beyonce, Dave East and Wizkid, he has seen it all. Who better to compile a cultured scent like MOSAIC… “Creating the perfume was about a 1 year intricate process. Trips to Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa were very important in finding the identity of the product. I fine tuned it by going with my instincts.”
The fusion includes: a hint of vanilla, dry oud, subtle much, cedar wood and sandalwood. A new twist on ancient opulence. As if it was archived straight out of the belongings of richest man in history: Mali Emperor Mansa Musa. Or maybe a wise man.
It’s evident in the way Ugo speaks with humility about himself and so passionately about his brand, that he’s embedded MOSAIC with a message of African enrichment… “One of the most important factors of the MOSAIC brand is the philantrophic alignment. I truly believe that giving back is the only way to move forward. AAUW fights daily to create opportunities for the less fortunate and break the gender barriers placed by unjust leaders. For this reason, [we] stand by them as well.”
Through the form of fragrance, Ugo has unveiled a historic image of African history, packaged for a modern time and laced with a history that has often times been obscured and diluted.