The Creators with Maya Njie
Interview with Maya Njie
For 50 years, Jigsaw has collaborated with talented creators and sourced beautiful materials from around the world. We believe celebrating craft, authenticity and integrity of design is as relevant today as it was in 1970, when we began our journey.
Introducing a new series where we speak with some of our favourite creators, as they share their creative process and what inspires them.
The first in the series is Maya Njie, founder of Maya Njie Perfumes. A niche perfume brand that began in 2016, with a clear focus on high quality artisanal blends; the scents deeply rooted in Maya’s Swedish and West African culture. In an interview with Maja, we discovered more about this unique art form and how she experiments with smell as a medium to capture precious moments in time.
How and where did Maya Njie Perfumes begin?
It started at my University of the Arts Surface Design degree in 2010 - even though I didn’t quite know it then. It was through working with visual design and scent as an added medium that I got hooked on perfumery. Exploring raw materials and mixing ingredients quickly became my favourite thing to do and I set up a corner in my home dedicated to it. It wasn’t until a few years later in 2016 after many requests from friends, strangers and local boutiques that I decided to start my brand.
What is the source of your inspiration for new scents?
It varies but generally it’s places I have visited that have made an imprint in my memory but it can also be what I imagine that these places smell like. I also find inspiration within music, film and story telling - it’s everywhere really.
Tell us about your creative process.
When I formulate a fragrance I think about the end goal and how I want to feel when I wear it. A fragrance takes many versions usually and requires a lot of patience as it needs time to mature in between trials. I like to ask friends to try my creations as they can wear differently from person to person. In the end it comes back to what I prefer and believe to be final fragrance.
What is your proudest moment to date for Maya Njie Perfumes?
I have a few. Launching with Liberty and being given the run of their windows for my campaign. To launch with Nose Shop in Japan as I love Japanese culture and see a real parallel between Scandinavian and Japanese design. And to have been asked by The Modern House to do a feature on my Isle of Dogs home - I love getting lost in their world.
Why did you choose these pieces from Jigsaw’s new collection?
I am drawn in by colour palette, style and comfort level. The coat looked so elegant and comfortable and it felt like it was made for me (and it definitely didn’t disappoint when I put it on). I love the tone and feel of the silk shirt and to add a collar to the outfit completed it for me - the two colours and styles work really well together.
Maya on Instagram @maya.njie.perfumes