Thursday, June 20


El.Arden For Beauty
Dear readers,

After eight years of perfume writing here in the on-line space, following my first works devoted to the Art of Perfumes, it's time to announce a change which has been in the air for a while. New perfume raw materials from all corners of the world were presented today in Paris at the Société Française des Parfumeurs. A very special day for those who know me closely.
My new official position doesn't allow me to publish too much about the perfumes launched under various names on the market. I have decided to permanently close this address. If there are texts you loved, you can save them the next days. After, they will not be accessible anymore on this address, excepting several introductory articles - around 10-20 from the myrrhiad of my texts. They will be put in a book with other many detailed texts I wrote when it will be possible, if I have time and a good secretary. There are more than 5000 articles written in the past 8 years in various languages and websites (about a thousand only about aesthetics, formulation and creation), for more than 1,7  million perfume lovers which speak only one language - the Perfume. You can still discover many things on various other websites & forums about the new launches. I will preserve the beautiful addresses on the right bar of this page.
We'll see each others very soon in a new Beautiful context. The round bottle you see on top is "Je reviens" in red (the original was cobalt blue, cca eighty years ago).
I wish you a fabulous summer in the Perfume universe. There are many magnificent surprises.


I wish to thank all of you, my dear readers, for the kind and beautiful words you e-mailed me after the announcement I made yesterday. Hundreds of e-mails I hope to answer in private. It is not a goodbye message, but a new dawn in a new context - Beauty. It is not the critic, nor le discours which matter - but only the personal relation between the scent and the woman, an un-compromised beauty which is not changed by fashion or reformulation. The art of perfumes is a form of love - the Judgment of Pâris on Mount Ida. Hermès, a golden apple from the Garden of the Hesperides, which has the inscription "for the fairest one", Pâris, Hera, Athena, Aphrodite and the beautiful Helen.The Perfume, as wrote a beloved writer from La Sorbonne, has a mythical and divine dimension we could not neglect. It is the first form of ART.

There are several books written in the last decade that I recommend you as an introduction. Each of them represent something for me and each represent something for the new Renaissance of Perfume. First, there is Chandler Burr, who organized in 2012 the first American exhibition devoted to the 8th ART at MOD - New York. He published The Emperor of Scent and  The Perfect Scent. The second book made Jean Claude Ellena famous and ensured the success of Hermès. Perfumes: The A-Z Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez will guide you with the new genre which emerged in the last decade - perfume criticism. For the scientific background of the perfume, I recommend you the opus Scent and Chemistry the edition updated by the well known scientist Philip Kraft - he invented all the musks which adorn your skin in all products you use. If somebody loves your skin its because of a captive ingredient. There are also two literary novels which present the wonderful universe of perfume and its endless romances. The Perfume Lover which describes the birth of an artisan parfumeur and The Book of Lost Fragrances which presents the lost and re-discovered ancient book of formulae.

Among the modern perfume houses I presented on this blog, I wish to underline several which had a significant olfactory contribution to the new Renaissance of the perfume - Divine, Arquiste, Kilian, L'Artisan Parfumeur,  Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Patricia de Nicolaï, Olfactive Studio, Francis Kurkdjian, plus a more personal choice Le Huitième ART, inspired by me and my writings. This new decade was undoubtedly dominated by the work of several great names: Alberto Morillas, who signed an impressive number of ultra original creations à Genève, Daniela Andrier and her work for Prada in Paris, Yann Vasnier with Rodrigo Flores Roux for Arquiste and Tom FORD in New York, Calice Becker for Kilian. It is, obviously, a very short list for 1300 new launches this year, but the very good start for the appreciation of the art of perfumes and its new Renaissance. I left several articles on this blog, among them my L'Heure Bleue, the key perfume I love so much. After the blue hour, a new dawn for Beauty.

Did you enjoy my article? Sign up for updates about new fragrances, reviews of artistic perfumes and exceptional vintage masterpieces. I would be very happy if you would consider joining 1000 Fragrances, throughRSS feed,GoogleFriend connect, Facebook (more personal), or any other way that appeals to you.
Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art
Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Wednesday, June 19

Perfumer in house

Today, more than in any historic period, the in-house perfumer is the only key for the survival of a beauty company producing cosmetics and perfumes. Odors are in the public space and in the public domain. They belong to anybody who has the ability to catch and bottle them. The role of the perfumer is to ensure than the  right scents are offered under a certain name, not only beautiful, but also coherent and with a certain uniqueness. When you open the door, you recognize the house through its unique odor.
Cosmetic giants spend many hours submitting briefs to various perfume houses. They select and reject perfumes. But nothing is trashed, everything is perfectly recycled. The worst thing is to see the trial you've been working on for months launched by the competition. The rejected fruity body cream that becomes a niche perfume wrapped with an artistic discours in the exclusive range of the competition. Irony is part of the game. The main task of the in-house perfumer is "originality", being original at the right time, going back to the origins of the Beauty House to redefine it for future. There is no such thing as the "never smelt before" perfume - everything is a copy, reproduction, interpretation of something. However, bringing the right thing at the right moment is something in a universe where it takes an afternoon to  replicate a new launch. The original is the unexpected, the surprise, like un coup de foudre.
Working for many houses / briefs allows the perfumer to be aware of the zeitgeist, the trend, the fashion, the scent of an era. He imagines things and recycles them because they are his formula. Who owns the formula  sets all the rules of the game. Because the in-house perfumer doesn't work for other brands, he doesn't interfere and can be totally loyal to the spirit of the house. He has a nose in all bottles, but his soul is not "polluted" or "corrupted" by other styles.
The confusion is the dominant note today - there are so many brands today and so many new launches. In such an environment, whether it is called artistic niche or mainstream (the only difference being the price and the points of sale), it is very easy to duplicate what other did. The "re-done by". But such brands, and there are more to come under your nose in 2013, are only the result of recycling - like articles about new launches where the words of le discours are  recombined on websites and forums by "people" with pseudonyms as if they were computer algorithms. Being an in house perfumer means adding every time a new "variable" to the system - a new odor, a new molecule, a new idea, a new design - something which is unexpected because it originates elsewhere than in the bottle next door. It means also setting new standards - the quality of the raw materials, the re-definition of each olfactory family, always with a red thread.
The in-house perfumer generates the scented maze of a cosmetic house, the invisible architecture of dreams. Millions of customers, using creams, lotions, soaps, perfumes, live the dreams and desires which have been conceived for them behind the red door. Like a golden chain, a perfume is built from fragments and accords. If it is mere duplicated by a simple GC analysis, it will slowly lead the woman to their origin, to the first idea or products still on the market, to the "most holy". If the thread is fragile, not "red" enough but "blue" or "white", the consumer will be guided to other doors.
Like in religion, people adhere not to the Truth, but to the most organized system, the most coherent expression of what they already know. They adhere to order, which has the same significance as in architecture. A red thread which defines the quality of ingredients and reunites the perfumes of the house which do not belong to the same group / family or the same historic period. Rivoli / rue de la Paix   St.Augustin  / av. des Champs Elysées. Street numbers do not reveal the age of the new master when the style is as youthful as the first day.
Before I arrived in Paris, the "most holy" or the perfume lab of a house, was open only to clients and mistresses - women are muses, their skin serves to test the essence. The ART of Perfumes was a notion from the distant past with the exception of 2-3 houses which preserved a certain tradition. There was no intelligent conversation about the depths of this noble profession, except those which were too secret to be considered even real, or those too superficial to have any impact. What is not told, shared or written doesn't exist at all. In house perfumers almost did not exist eight years ago. Could you invite a woman in an empty house?

Do you know l'Amour?
A certain Beauty Gospel is translated into scents which evolve to you redefining the red thread, ni tout à fait la même, ni tout à fait une autreNew perfumes, new beauty products.

Did you enjoy my article? Sign up for updates about new fragrances, reviews of artistic perfumes and exceptional vintage masterpieces. I would be very happy if you would consider joining 1000 Fragrances, throughRSS feed,GoogleFriend connect, Facebook (more personal), or any other way that appeals to you.
Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art
Blog Widget by LinkWithin