The Aesthete: Alberto Morillas talks more personal taste

The master perfumer concludes his list of likes with the dangerously delicious chocolate almonds, shopping in Knightsbridge and Seville’s Feria de Abril

Alberto Morillas at home in Geneva
Alberto Morillas at home in Geneva | Image: Beat Schweizer

My style icon is Lapo Elkann for his provocative and hyper-creative style. He wears daring, colourful outfits but always with an Italian elegance.

An indulgence I would never forgo is Amandes Princesse chocolate almonds from the Geneva confiseur Auer. Opening the packet is dangerous because each almond tastes better than the previous one. About £25 for 250g; Rue de Rive, 1204 Geneva (+4122-311 4286; chocolat-auer.ch).

Les Senteurs, Knightsbridge
Les Senteurs, Knightsbridge

The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a Tibetan statue of Buddha that I brought back from Jaipur. I forgot to declare it to customs so it cost me dearly but I enjoy looking at this statue so much.

An object I would never part with is my wedding ring, which obviously symbolises my love for my wife, without whom I would never have got to where I am today. My memory of our wedding was that the party was beautiful, but that I found the organisation of the seating plan very stressful. I’m a perfectionist – every detail counts.

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An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Seville, where I grew up. I like to go to places I know because I find it very important for my creativity to have consistency. I go back in spring for the Feria de Abril when everyone is outside to have fun. It is a fusion of music, flamenco, lights and colours and brings back many childhood memories. 

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Knightsbridge for the unrivalled elegance of its shops and level of service. I visit Crockett & Jones for shoes and Harrods for a long visit to the perfume hall; it’s so important to know what others are doing, so I smell everything and talk to the salespeople to get feedback from customers on my creations. I buy own-label marmalade in Harrods Food Hall, which is a place of fascinating theatre. I visit Zafferano to order the Milanese veal escalope and saffron risotto and love to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum: I discovered the V&A during the McQueen retrospective and the fashion collection is unmissable. I’ll also detour to Belgravia for the selection of dream perfumes at Les Senteurs, which has one of the most beautiful shop fronts in London. Crockett & Jones, 155 Brompton Road, SW3 (020-7581 2694; crockettandjones.com). Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, SW1 (020-7730 1234; harrods.com). Les Senteurs, 71 Elizabeth Street, SW1 (020-7730 2322; lessenteurs.com). Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 (020-7942 2000; vam.ac.uk). Zafferano, 15 Lowndes Street, SW1 (020-7235 5800; zafferanorestaurant.com). 

Auer Amandes Princesse chocolate almonds, about £25 for 250g
Auer Amandes Princesse chocolate almonds, about £25 for 250g

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Picasso. The periods and the subjects vary enormously during his career, but there is always a touch that identifies that he is the author of his works.

The best gift I’ve given recently was a perfume I created as a gift to my daughter Véronique after the birth of my granddaughter, Bianca. I infused everything I love: mandarin, bergamot, delicate Bulgarian rose and white musk. 

Morillas’ conservatory
Morillas’ conservatory | Image: Beat Schweizer

My favourite room in my house is the conservatory. A magnificent light passes through it and I have a glorious view over my garden, which is a source of creative inspiration throughout the seasons.

The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing include my osteopath Philippe Lamy because I get stressed and it affects my back muscles – when you are travelling so much you need to have some help. Bensaid Samir at Coiffeur Le Prince cuts my hair once a week; it’s a very old-style barber shop in Geneva and I don’t have much hair, but he cuts it so it looks like I have more. I have a manicure and pedicure every week, too, with Laure, who comes to the house. Cabinet d’Ostéopathie Philippe Lamy, Rue Gustave Revilliod 3, 1227 Les Acacias, Geneva (+4122-301 6423). Coiffeur Le Prince, Rue du Prince 10, 1204 Geneva (+4122-311 4250). Laure Garsault, +4179-615 8799.

Lapo Elkann
Lapo Elkann | Image: Getty Images

The last music I downloaded was The Magic Flute by Mozart, because it’s an opera that makes me feel strong and gives me energy. 

If I didn’t live in Geneva, the city I would live in is Madrid without hesitation, for its history, grandeur and elegance. A stay in Madrid always consists of a visit to the Prado permanent collection to see the works of Diego Velázquez; the Ritz terrace for an aperitif of my favourite sherry, Tio Pepe; and dinner at Casa Lucio, which is like a tavern with hearty family-style food where you could find yourself next to a table of toreadors or the King of Spain. Then I’ll go to San Ginés for the best churros con chocolate and on to the food markets – most go to San Miguel, but I prefer San Antón or Antón Martin. Casa Lucio, Cava Baja 35, 28005 (+34913-653 252; casalucio.es). Chocolatería San Ginés, Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5, 28013 (+34913-656 546; chocolateriasangines.com). Hotel Ritz Madrid, Plaza de la Lealtad 5, 28014 (+34917-016 767; mandarinoriental.com). Museo Nacional del Prado, Calle Ruiz de Alarcón, 28014 (+34913-302 800; museodelprado.es). San Antón Market, Calle de Augusto Figueroa 23, 28004 (+34913-300 730; mercadosananton.com).

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If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a gardener or landscape designer for the beauty of working with flowers.

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