Persons of Interest is the passion project of Dino Caracciolo, owner and designer of Crown Shaving Co. and 4th generation barber. This line of Canadian-made perfume disregards gender lines and are a bold expression of Dino’s art. Each fragrance is masterfully crafted in Ontario, Canada from the best ingredients available and are designed to invoke a feeling, memory or experience when worn. We had a chat with Dino about how he started Persons of Interest and what philosophies drive his brand.
Nathan Gareau: So Dino, we've known you and your barbering brand Crown Shaving Co. for years. I know you came from a family with a barbering and styling tradition, and that you strive to create products that are better than what is typically available in a barbershop. How did making barbering products lead to you starting a high-end perfume brand?
Dino Carraciollo: Scent has always played a major role in my day to day life, POI (Persons of Interest) was really born out of a desire to fill a creative void that I was feeling. With Crown Shaving Co. the expectation is to have barbershop type scents, but with POI I have the freedom to create gender-neutral boutique-type fragrances.
I'm fortunate to have built great relationships over the years with various fragrance suppliers and manufacturers, giving me the ability to work closely with amazing perfume houses and senior chemists that have helped me on this journey. Scent is a powerful thing. Just like music it can take you back to a time and place, triggering memories and feelings. A good fragrance should create a multisensory experience, it should engage the senses, trigger an emotion and resonate with the user.
I am definitely taking my time with this project and not rushing or trying to get into as many retail stores as possible. In fact, it’s the opposite; I am being extremely selective as to where the brand is positioned. Specialty shops like Kent of Inglewood have a customer base that appreciate both quality as well as luxury, and these are the consumers that we hope to appeal to.
POI fragrances are currently bottled in small batches, made to order and filled in 30ml bottles here in our studio. The fragrance blends contain essential oils as well as fragrance oils and perfumers alcohol, they are phthalate free, animal cruelty free and do not contain any animal by-products.
The collection is currently offered in 10 scents.
NG: Thanks Dino, that's fantastic! Your creative flair shows through with these scents, and you clearly have the same dedication to quality that you do with Crown Shaving Co.
Where do you draw inspiration from when designing your scents? Do you have a favourite story that has led to a certain fragrance?
DC: Thank you Nathan. In the way that music is like a soundtrack to our lives, there are so many memories associated with scent at different periods of our lives, so I just try and think back to what my favourite fragrances were over the years. Everything old is new again and every fragrance somehow has similarities to past ones, so I really just like to try and come up with ideas and scents that spark an emotion, a memory or just a feeling. Sometimes that feeling might be nostalgic, or in the case of younger people that haven’t experienced many fragrances, it might be a whole new experience!
NG: That's definitely one of my favourite things about the POI line, how you’ve remixed classic scents in a modern context. Supernova and Havana Conference are probably my favourite examples.
From the lineup, which scents do you wear most and for what occasions?
DC: I’m glad you get it! Havana Conference is definitely my Saturday night go to during this time of year. I am switching it up between the freshness of Supernova & the smoky sweetness of Tabac Noir as my daily scent during the week.
I’m happy to say that the response to all current fragrances has been positive, and we are always working on new formulations to see what boundaries we can push.
NG: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat Dino. I look forward to seeing what POI does in the future, and I bet our customers will as well.
Kent of Inglewood is thrilled to be stocking our first ever Canadian-made perfume line. We push ourselves to carry as much local product as possible, so this is a big moment for us. Personally, I’m loving the green freshness of Supernova. It’s perfect now that summer has had a chance to arrive in our neck of the woods. I can already predict that the smokier scents Havana Conference and Sex & Cigarettes will make it into my winter repertoire.