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Exposing the Perfumer

Posted: April 3, 2007

In her article in the May issue of Perfumer & Flavorist magazine, Michelle Krell Kydd explores what it means to be a perfumer. She also discusses the need for fragrance houses to communicate with consumers and educate the public about the process and art of perfumery. Here, P&Fnow talks to Kydd about what it takes to be a true perfumer, the importance of “unveiling” the perfumer, the "imposter syndrome" and the Jean Carles olfactive training charts.

P&Fnow: As you see it, what are the advantages of heightening traditionally trained perfumers’ profile in the industry and media?

Krell Kydd: The average consumer lacks a concrete understanding of who perfumers are and what they do. In the United States, consumers are familiar with brands and products. The explosion of fragrance releases over the years has diluted the perceived value of brands. Because of this, consumers, who are smarter than most marketers give them credit for, want something more.

In the Internet age, fragrance connoisseurs and individuals with an interest in perfumery share information on blogs and virtual communities. The names of perfumers along with histories of their respective creations are now a regular part of the blogosphere—which is not always true of print media. Curiosity regarding the perfumer is a natural extension of perfume’s DNA—it is an intimate product that literally touches the wearer. People don’t let strangers get that close, so why wouldn’t one want to know more about a person who is touching their heart with something beautiful? 

P&Fnow: In your educated opinion, what are the makings of a genuine “perfumer”?