Biogenesis of a Perfume


There are three periods in a perfumer’s life. In the beginning, they start with an enthusiastic fever. After the first year of training they dream of writing a book to teach perfumery. A few years later they are sure to be a creative genius, piling up thousands of raw materials to create fascinating accords and has a very hard time with stupid people who always criticize their perfumes; evaluation people, marketing people, even customers.

Now, much later, I can tell you that after 52 years of trying to understand perfumery, I have become very modest. My most important quest has been to define what the essential building blocks of a perfume are and what useless elements are just “piled up” in a formula.

Two things are very distressing for a creative perfumer. One is that they will be obliged to show the product just achieved. The other is that somebody who will put a lot of money into it, seriously risking the loss of his or her good reputation will put the perfume on the market.

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