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Comparing Notes: Quality is Key

By: Jeb Gleason-Allured
Posted: October 22, 2010, from the September 2010 issue of P&F magazine.

"I strongly believe, and I am sure all the perfumers present today will agree, tha by using our beautiful palette of ingredients to its full potential, we can create quality fragrances that have character and signature, are diffusive and easy for the consumer to wear," said Firmenich master perfumer Harry Fremont earlier this year as he accepted the 2010 FiFi Award for Perfume Extraordinaire of the Year on behalf of himself, his colleagues and his company for their work on Tom Ford Grey Vetiver (Tom Ford Beauty/Estee Lauder Co.).

The award recognizes excellence in fragrance creation and the olfactive vision of the perfumer, focusing on craftsmanship, signature, creativity and quality. Fremont closed his acceptance by saying, “This standard of quality creates more passion, emotion and attraction for the fragrance itself, key elements for repeat purchase and perennial success.” In a recent interview, Fremont highlighted these key points in discussing the creation of Tom Ford Grey Vetiver and 2010 FiFi Fragrance Hall of Fame winner ck one (Calvin Klein Cosmetics/Coty Prestige). Time and again, the perfumer returned to his keys for successful scents: quality of materials, wearability, character and signature

Genderless Breakthrough

In 1993, Firmenich’s burgeoning New York perfumery studio received a brief from Calvin Klein for a genderless fragrance. “Calvin Klein was onto something hot at that moment,” says Fremont. “We thought it could be really groundbreaking—it was incredible.” The perfumer remembers the brief being particularly detailed. “Calvin Klein had done a lot of research and focus groups … with Generation X: their habits, what they were wearing, what they wanted and how they were communicating.” From this research emerged the idea of a “shared fragrance.” Firmenich perfumer Alberto Morillas’ fragrance was the original candidate during the development process, which featured developer Ann Gottlieb.

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