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.

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Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art
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