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Let There Be Light: 50 Years of Hedione

By: Jeb Gleason-Allured
Posted: August 23, 2011, from the September 2011 issue of P&F magazine.

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Firmenich master perfumer Jacques Cavallier was just a child when he first encountered Hedione, which he calls "the first universal transparent note." His father, also a perfumer, had come home with a sample intended for perfumer Edmond Roudnitska, whose breakthrough Eau Sauvage (Christian Dior) was powered by a 3% dose of the new ingredient. Cavallier's father handed the boy a blotter, which he held up to his nose, declaring, "I smell nothing." Cavallier's father urged him, "Keep the blotter beside your bed and you will tell me more tomorrow." Seated in Firmenich's Paris creative center decades later, Cavallier recalls, "During the night, I was awoken by a smell. And in the morning, on the blotter was the beauty, the grace of a jasmine field in the morning—a jasmine that was greener, less animalic ... Hedione is a perfume itself."

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