Smells Like: Sandro Sergio Petrillo
Smells Like: is Redoux's exploration of the human experience of scent through personal stories and connections.
For our tenth installment in the series, interdisciplinary creative and SSSOAPS founder Sandro Sergio Petrillo shares the meandering path of creative work, the power of a returned scent memory, and his mutual love for soaps.
Tell me about yourself and your work:
I fit pretty heavily into the multi-hyphenate creative category: a decade and a half deep into a personal lead practice spanning the mediums of audio, visual, physical and emotional realms. I've spent years cultivating a 'way of doing things', a continual expansion and refinement on process and the ability to deep dive into the mediums that hold my interest.
For years, I focused primarily in the world of underground dance music: DJing, live performance, developing curriculum and teaching music production, all the while cultivating community in a handful of Canada's wonderful cities. Moving forward, I leaned heavily into experiential design and the wielding of a handful of tools and elements to create intentional, memorable, immersive and impactful environments. I've spent years working and existing very much in underground cultures. On one hand, designing and executing projects utilizing very small budgets and up-cycled materials and on the other, consulting and designing for large scale events and world touring stage designs.
At current, I am the sole founder at SSSOAPS, a brand I started out of my longstanding love and passion for the object that is a bar of soap. Leaning into said 'way of doing things', I've been able to cultivate a project that is a near culmination of all the processes I've developed upon up until this moment in time. It is a true passion project that instead of holding intimately behind closed doors and within the confines of a hobby, I've been able to share openly and allow its reach to expand far beyond my own energies. The benefits of beautiful materials, intentional aesthetic and some sort of daily practice are enormous. In my work with SSSOAPS and now also leaning back into a handful of my other passions I'm grateful to be able to bring light to energies that I've found enormously healing, revealing and reflective for intentional living.
What scents are you encountering today?
Juniper incense, Costa Rican espresso, wet earth, spring growth (pushing through the fallen foliage of the year previous), studio juices and a fried plantain finale
Do you have a signature scent?
Not exactly, I like to switch things up and wander a bit. DS & DURGA's DEBASER is a big favorite of mine. I love the way it wears and reveals itself over the course of the day, I find it to be intimate while interestingly green and rounded, worthy of a share and boisterous "hey! smell me". Recently I picked up a couple essential oils from a small shop in Kitsilano neighbourhood in Vancouver, BC. Funny enough, the shop is called "Durga Interiors" and the keep holds a vastly deep collection of all natural aged essential oils.
The sweet smoked musk I grabbed is quite beautiful. Rich, warm tones with a touch of smoky sweetness. The other dram I acquired is an aged night blooming black lily... It's effectively a tiny bottle of magic, worn on special occasion or as a little treat to myself. The shop carries a variety of wares, ornate adornments for your home or workplace, beautifully selected and intentionally sold.
A memory you have of this scent:
Perhaps not so much a memory of the scent above but in relation to its presence: I have a very specific tie to a memorable scent from some of the souvenir shops in Honduras, Central America. When I was young my Dad lived in La Ceiba, a port city on the Caribbean coast—I'd travel down there and quite often at the end of my trip we would go souvenir shopping for those we cherished back home, wanting to bring back a little piece of paradise. There was a very specific 'old wood/cured tobacco' tone that existed within these spaces. Dust settling on hand carved bowls, pages of books sitting and soaking in sunlight and energy as potential buyers flipped through the shop. There was something so special there and for YEARS I searched for it to return to my olfactory receptors!
On a whim I stumbled into a cigar shop here in Toronto and to my absolute amazement, I had found it!!! Sometimes I go in there just to transport myself back to those moments in a place that holds such a significantly beautiful and lasting energy in my memories.
Describe yourself as a place:
Dark un-assuming entrance, secret knock to get in, double doors, plenty of windows for energy and light exchange with nature, plants, plants, and more plants, very well-tuned speakers and a modest but not overloaded collection of decently interesting and thought-provoking objects.
As a taste:
Pancetta wrapped pineapple, grilled to a crisp.
As a color:
This evolves heavily, but to go back to my roots: PANTONE 17-3014 MULBERRY
As a feeling:
Depth of the ocean and constantly flowing.
What's the last thing that brought you joy?
Tough so say. Recently I've been experiencing many moments of reflective joy. Watching the world around me and being open to the experiences I absorb is quite a joy filled existence. Seeing examples of 'shared love' truly brings me all sorts of happiness. Lessons learned through love, beings genuinely expressing through love, etc.—those types of things really get me going. Whether it's noticing growth in self or of those around me, I truly get quite a direct and abundant feeling of source shining through me. Shed a quick tear and you know it's real!Explore more of Sergio and his creativity at @sandro___sp.