It is my pleasure to share with you today my Q&A with popular perfume vlogger Steven Gavrielatos from Redolessence.
I have been subscribed to Steven for a long time, ever since I discovered his thorough reviews on YouTube. In each review video he talks about a fragrance’s smell, packaging and performance respectively, resulting in a great archive of information. About 3 years and almost 10,000 subscribers after his first upload, today Steven has several mini series, including reoccurring appearances by his lovely fiancée Jen and intriguing interviews.
Below are Steven’s thoughts about the vlogging process, working with Tom Ford and Thierry Mugler, and how to keep the “spark”.
1. How did you get started in blogging/vlogging, and what made it attractive to you?
First and foremost, I would like to thank you for considering me for an interview! I read your blog often, and I am honoured to be a part of it.
My subscribers may not know this, but my YouTube career as a fragrance reviewer was preceded by failed attempts at maintaining a YouTube channel. I once had a channel on which I recorded acoustic guitar covers. Before that, I was uploading comedy sketches that I had filmed with the help of a few friends. None of those channels ever took off, and I think that’s because I was doing it because of the popularity. When I started reviewing fragrances, I decided to do it only because I wanted people to know that I was out there. After stumbling across the YouTube pages of other established reviewers in the community, I had the urge to let people know that I exist. I, too, am this crazy guy obsessed with fragrances. I, too, have a large collection. The thing that made it attractive was the overwhelmingly positive feedback that I received in the form of likes, comments, and subscriptions. After people started watching my channel consistently, I knew that I had to deliver.
2. What has been the best thing that’s come out of your blogging/vlogging experience, and why?
It’s hard for me to summarize what the one best thing that happened is, but I will gladly list what some of the best things are. It was humbling to have the opportunity to meet and interview Francis Kurkdjian on my YouTube channel with my good friend Carlos Powell (video below). John Pegg of the Kerosene brand was nice enough to make me my own fragrance, which he called Four Dark Corners. Andy Tauer of the Tauer Perfumes brand shared my videos on his Facebook page. Companies such as Thierry Mugler and Tom Ford have sent me free bottles so that I may review them on my channel. I was recognized by a subscriber in my local Sephora. Among all of the things that happened to me, the most rewarding was establishing so many relationships along the way. From reviewers to subscribers, I’ve made a lot of friends, and I cherish those friendships.
3. If you could do it all over again, would you change anything? What is it, and why?
If I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I don’t think I would do anything differently. A lot of good has come out of my vlogging experience, and there’s no guarantee that things would happen the same way if I were to make any changes. If anything, I would have probably started reviewing at a much younger age. My passion for fragrances has been around since I was ten years old. It would’ve been great if I started reviewing when I was still in college.
4. What is your blogging/vlogging process? Does it start with a product, an idea, or something else?
This is such an excellent question with varied answers. Often times, I just look at my collection and think, “What’s a fragrance I have been wearing a lot recently that I would like to review?” Other times, I host subscribers’ choice videos where my subscribers choose which fragrance I should review. Most recently, I was tagged by Lupe of TheLupeXperience to film a video on the fragrances that I like to layer. On my channel, there’s a fair balance of videos that I decided to film and videos that other people decided I should film. I’m actually quite thankful for the latter since there are times when I can’t make up my mind on what video I should make!
5. What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers/vloggers?
No matter what type of videos you decide to make, make sure you are passionate. Whether you’re reviewing Jordans or making “Let’s Play” videos for the gaming community, make sure you have a genuine interest in what you do. Too often we see YouTubers getting “burned out” and they make videos announcing their departure from the community. In said videos, they talk about how the “spark” is gone. Now, imagine an avid music listener getting “burned out” because he/she heard too many songs. That just doesn’t happen. If you love what you do, you think about it all the time, and it doesn’t feel like an obligation.
6. Any product(s) you’re currently obsessed with? What makes them stand out?
There is never a time when I am not obsessed with a fragrance/product! Lately I have been wearing a lot of Acqua Decima by Eau d’Italie. That’s a fragrance that really puts me in the mood for summer! It smells like a mojito! Also, I have recently discovered Scent Trunk, a subscription box service that sends you fragrance samples tailored to your personality and preferences. I had a subscription to BirchBox in the past, and I always looked forward to the fragrance sample. Scent Trunk is exclusive to fragrances, and that’s what makes them so great. They also make the discovery process less daunting and intimidating.
7. A product you hated in recent memory? What made it so horrible, and does it have any redeeming qualities?
One thing my subscribers can tell you is that the fragrances I love far outnumber the fragrances I dislike. The reason for that is because I have much reverence for the art of perfumery. As much as I review and talk about fragrances, I would never claim to be an expert in their composition. I have a lot of respect for perfumers and what they do, which is why I rarely dislike products. If I were to dislike something, it would most likely be an aspect of the fragrance other than it’s smell; perhaps a faulty atomizer or poor performance in terms of longevity or projection. With that said, one fragrance I’ve tried in the past year that wasn’t to my liking is Pop Pour Homme by Andy Warhol (video below). That fragrance contains a lot of dihydromyrcenol, which makes it smell like liquid soap spilled on an aluminum counter. Yuck! Its redeeming quality is that it can be purchased for fewer than $10.
8. Favourite fragrance/beauty related blogs to read/watch?
To start, I enjoy reading your blog! Thank you for all of your hard work and information! I also often read articles posted on Fragrantica. However, I mostly watch other YouTube videos for information on new fragrances. When you’ve been following a reviewer for years, you have a very good idea for his/her taste in fragrances and how it aligns with your own. Channels I watch include Robes08, DracDoc, MyMickers, Fragrance Bros, mrzayas81, etc. I apologize in advance for all the great channels I haven’t named, but there are too many to count.
9. Do you ever look at your fragrance collection and think ‘that’s enough’? Do you think that you ever will?
I’m not oblivious to the fact that I have enough fragrances to last me multiple lifetimes. However, my fiancée thinks I am in denial! I understand that there is nothing that can be accomplished with 400 bottles of fragrance that cannot be accomplished with 4 bottles of fragrance. Being that I am a collector, it’s hard for me to quantify what ‘enough’ is, but if I were to guess, I would say that I’ve had ‘enough’ a long time ago!
10. What does the future hold for Redolessence?
My channel is constantly growing and evolving. I always think up new segments to introduce to my channel and ways that I can improve my reviews. Most recently, I integrated subscribers’ comments in my videos. In the near future, I will be introducing an informational segment on my channel called ‘Red’s Lessons.’ In these videos, I will answer frequently asked questions such as “How do you apply cologne” and “What is the best website for purchasing X brand of cologne?” I hope that this segment will be an opportunity for my subscribers to be more inquisitive about the fragrances they own and for them to learn more about these fragrances in the process. I will also be filming more episodes of my original series, UnSCENTsored (video below). Soon, I will also be upgrading my audio and video to improve the overall quality of my reviews. To conclude, we don’t know what the future has in store for us until we get there. I may wake up tomorrow morning with an idea for something to do to my channel, and I may implement the change immediately. You never know! Thank you, Gil, once again for allowing me this opportunity. Best of luck to you, and thank you to all who are reading!
I would like to thank Steven for taking the time to share his ideas with me. You can find him at his channel.
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