Ketrin Leka Basile is a finalist for the CEW Beauty Insider Awards

Ketrin Leka Basile is a finalist for the CEW Beauty Insider Awards, the industry’s highest honor, announced in New York City. CEW Awards celebrates innovative new beauty products. Basile has been nominated for the Indie Fragrance Category.

Ketrin Leka Basile has created fragrances that have defined leading brands. With over 13 years of experience she has created delightful and sweet fragrances with the perfect cosmetic scent. 

“Growing up in Albania, I didn’t get introduced to the fragrance world in the same traditional way as if I had lived in France, yet I Indulged in scent at every chance. My most cherished childhood memories are fragrance-filled… the mimosa lined streets of Tirana in early March, the rose scented lemonade my grandmother would make during the summer, our house’s balcony, filled with geraniums and carnations. My family moved to New York City twenty one years ago where my love of scent brought me to discovered the professional world of perfumery,” said Ketrin Leka Basile for NY Elite Magazine. 

“Today, I find olfactive inspiration in my love of photography and how visual storytelling translates to scent. I can look at a photo and immediately start imagining a fragrance that’s shaped by the details of the image. To me a photo worth capturing is one that conveys a range of rich emotions and so I approach fragrance creations the same way. It’s these emotions that make a fragrance beautiful, unique and memorable,” added Basile.


NY Elite Interview with CEW Awards Finalist Ketrin Leka Basile

NY Elite: Congratulations on being finalist for the CEW Beauty Insider Awards, the Indie Fragrance Category. Describe the experience of being honored. What does this mean for your career?

Ketrin Leka Basile: Thank you! I was super excited to find out that one of my fragrances made it as a finalist for the CEW Beauty Awards. I am very new in my profession. I have only been a perfumer for a few years even though I have been in the fragrance industry for almost 13 years. Seeing my fragrance nominated next to fragrances created by more seasoned perfumers gave me a sense of accomplishment.

NY Elite: Tell us a little bit about the role you perform at your job and your profession.

Ketrin Leka Basile: My job is to write a recipe of ingredients which work together in harmony and create a scent that delivers a story. I collaborate a great deal with Fragrance Evaluators, whom function as project leaders. Their job is to smell my creations and give me feedback to guide me so that my fragrance meets all the expectations of the client. The fragrances that I create are applicable to different types of products that range from perfumes and body sprays to fragrances that go into a personal care product like a shampoo or shower gel, and even household oriented products like candles, air fresheners and hand soap.

NY Elite: What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Ketrin Leka Basile: Having been nominated for the Indie Fragrance category has definitely been the newest highlight, but overall the highlight of my career as a perfumer has been working with many natural ingredients … Essential Oils, Resins and Absolutes. They behave differently from single molecule materials. I find them very intriguing to observe in a composition. I am lucky to be working for a company with a great heritage in natural and organic raw materials and as a result I have access to some very beautiful oils.


Everyday at work


NY Elite: What products represent the best of beauty innovation? 

Ketrin Leka Basile: his question is a bit out of my expertise as my company focuses on fragrance and flavor creation and any innovation is related to specifically those two categories, but they do in turn translate to beauty product eventually. For example, a very cool beauty innovation I am proud to talk about is a collaboration that Robertet is doing with Ginkgo Bioworks where they use enzymes to ferment unique fragrance ingredients. The reason this is so exciting is because not only does it lead to new materials, but the way they are harvested is very sustainable and environmentally friendly. This allows us to grow rather than manufacture the material therefore reducing the footprint of the process. We can only hope that this new technology platform will eventually roll over to the manufacturing of consumer goods in general, enabling companies to make better and greener products.

NY Elite: Which are your personal favorites?

Ketrin Leka Basile: I personally love trying out new and innovative beauty products, whether it’s a new packaging design or a concept idea or the technology that the product brings to market. I feel there’s too much development going to on right now but one of the newest trends is the fragrance layering. This is an innovative product concept because it allows the consumer to express their mood and personality through fragrance. The Black and White Collection from Commodity Goods which contains Book is a perfect example. Each fragrance in the collection is uniquely crafted and well balanced enough to be worn on its own or layered with the others in the collection. Another great concept is also fragrance products that offer health benefits.

Desert Essence has launched a collection of pure and organic Essential Oils blends which are carefully balanced and don’t just contain aromatherapy properties but are also pretty to wear as a scent or use in different products around the house. I mean sure everyone who’s into aromatherapy can blend their own single oils, but these already come blended and eliminate the guess work or the need to buy many different single oils. Who doesn’t need a Mood Lifter when they are stuck in traffic or some Sharp Thought while writing a term paper?


The Commodity Goods original Cocktail Kit. It’s what they are calling now the Black and White Collection of fragrances. These are all Robertet Fragrances. Three of them are from Ketrin Leka Basile: Book, Rain and Whiskey.


NY Elite: What is your favorite perfume brand and why? 

Ketrin Leka Basile: I have two favorite fragrances. One of them is the original Chloé fragrance, I believe it’s called Chloé Eau de Parfum and the other is a fragrance I made called Rain as part of the Commodity Goods Black and White collection. I don’t wear fragrance during the week because it interferes with my work but on the weekends and on holiday, I pick one or the other. I like Chlo  mainly because I like the balance between the fresh watery rose notes and the sensual soft background.

Rain on the other hand is different. It is floral, it is green, it is watery with lacing of citrus and verbena notes. I find it to be more edgy, urban and refreshing. It reminds me of Central Park in the late spring after a rain storm. I know New York City doesn’t have a great reputation when it comes to smell, but this one just takes me to that beautiful dewy picture of wet grass and dew drops falling on leaves, which you can almost hear as they fall with the softest splash and a rainbow that always shines after the rain.


One of the fragrances created by Ketrin Leka Basile


NY Elite: How do you define Beauty?

Ketrin Leka Basile: I’m not sure if I can define it. Beauty is such an endless concept for me but if I had to put it into words I would have to say what my mother always told me and that is that beauty is a state of mind. In 2014 Dove set out to conduct a social experiment that demonstrated that beauty is indeed about how we feel about ourselves and that resonated so well with the way I was raised and so I continue to hold on to that mantra.

NY Elite: Can you reveal three beauty secrets?

Ketrin Leka Basile: These are really not secrets but getting adequate rest, which doesn’t happen often in my life, eating clean and meditating are my feel beautiful secrets. When I have gotten plenty of at least 2 of the three, I tend to feel happier and more inspired. It’s as if a clouding filter has been lifted from my eyes and I can see in colors, which in turn makes me see myself as brighter.

NY Elite:  What are you passionate about?

Ketrin Leka Basile: I am passionate about two things in life. I am passionate about my family. I have two beautiful boys with my loving husband, who inspire me every day to live life to the fullest even on the cloudiest of days. I’m also equally passionate about my job as a Perfumer. I could not imagine doing anything else in life. It makes me happy. It doesn’t feel like work. Every day starts with a struggle I really enjoy resolving and I’m upset when I have to stop working at the end of the day because I can’t get my mind off of it. If I didn’t have a life outside of work, I wouldn’t mind spending all my time blending, smelling samples and just watching my ideas come to life.


Daily life. Photo by PK Photostudio


NY Elite: What is the most exciting opportunity you have had in your line of work? 

Ketrin Leka Basile: The most exciting opportunity has been the nomination for the CEW Beauty Insider Indie Fragrance Award and it can only get better from here.

NY Elite: What are your aspirations? 

Ketrin Leka Basile: I wish one day to be a Fine Fragrance Perfumer and create something that’s going to be so extraordinary that they will compare it to revolutionary fragrances like Chanel no. 5 and Angel.  It’s not a small dream and neither was becoming a Perfumer, but with a lot of determination I was able to achieve that so why not dream even bigger.

NY Elite: What projects are you doing for 2017?

Ketrin Leka Basile: Some exciting projects I am working on right now are Line Extensions, which basically means that a couple of fragrances I made are doing so well in the market that the client wants to translate them into other personal care products like body wash, shower gel, lip gloss and candle.

This is exciting because it means that my creations are evolving as the result of the love they are receiving from the consumers.

I can’t divulge much on the details but I can tell you that they will all be smelling very good and I will make sure to post about it as soon as they hit the store shelves.


The Desert Essence line of the Organic Essential Oils blends. Photo taken by Ketrin Leka Basile at the PR event for the product launch in October 2016.


Ketrin Leka Basile with her husband, Philip Basile


Bonnie Watts (Fragrance Evaluator for Book) and Ketrin Leka Basile at the CEW Awards Luncheon at the Hilton Hotel in midtown


Ketrin Leka Basile with her sons at a recent event. Photo by PK Photostudio


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