Les Senteurs celebrate 25 years with Meet the Perfumers events

by Grant Osborne, 09th September, 2009

To mark the 25th anniversary of the UK’s oldest independent perfumery, Les Senteurs has arranged a month long celebration of the finest luxury fragrances on the planet.

From October 1st throughout the beginning of November, the store will host a series of ten evenings, each featuring a talk from one of the most exciting and talented perfumers, including the legendary Mr Frederic Malle and the award winning Mr Lorenzo Villoresi.

Places are limited and must be reserved at a cost of £20, redeemable against purchase on the evening. Contact Les Senteurs on +44(0)20 7730 2322

Here is the line up as told to us by Les Senteurs. Please contact them for more information.

The Perfumers:



Exotic, gorgeous, philosophical Ben Gorham is a shooting star in the LES SENTEURS galaxy since launching his brand with us in 2008. Tall, dark Ben, the son of an Indian mother and Canadian father lives and works in Sweden and the USA.

In his late teens Ben studied interior architecture in Toronto, and is a graduate of the Stockholm Art School. A true all‐rounder, he is also a professional basketball champion. Obsessed since childhood by the emotions of scent, his first professional venture was a range of scented candles, all named for women who had played a significant role in his life. His true brainchild was yet to be born.

This was the set of eight perfumes branded as BYREDO, all inspired by events and personalities of Ben’s own life, interpreted by his colleague, the nose Jerome Epinette. Starting with “Green” and memories of a half‐ remembered cologne worn by his father, through the Indian garden picnics of “Chembur”, the Dutch icy glamour of “Fantastic Man”, the earthy sex of “Bal d’Afrique”, right through to the snowy purity of his latest, “Blanche”, every creation is a jewel. BYREDO is well‐named; a charming play on words from “redolence”, a sweet and beguiling scent. Come and be entranced by Ben Gorham at LES SENTEURS and discover his inner magic.

Thursday 1 October 2009, 6.30pm – 8.30pm



Italy’s most celebrated perfumer was born in Firenze in 1956, and still lives and works in that most lovely of cities, drawing his nourishment and inspiration from its centuries of perfume tradition: it was in Florence that the future Queen of France, Catherine de’ Medicis patronised Santa Maria de Novella who prepared her unguents, toilet waters and scented gloves. Her personal perfumer, Rene Ruggieri, was a Florentine. It was through Florence that exotic and precious ingredients passed on their way to northern Europe from the trade routes of the remote Orient. Lorenzo is, like so many great perfumers, a living link between past and present, stimulated by the ancient traditions of Italian perfumery.

After graduating in philosophy in the 1970’s Villoresi travelled extensively in the Middle East, gaining a deep understanding of the peoples and their customs in his search for raw materials which he combines with the natural products, harvests and sympathies of his homeland. “I wanted to realise a dream – spices and essences have always fascinated me. Perfumery became my passion and my profession.” Fortunate man indeed to have brought that dream to reality!

In 2006 Villoresi was awarded the prestigious Prix Coty for Perfume and its glittering Lalique trophy for his lifetime achievements: he joined a select group of winners who include Sophie Labbe, Maurice Roucel, Alberto Morillas and Jacques Cavallier. A true privilege to introduce this remarkable man to you at LES SENTEURS.

Monday 5 October 2009, 6.30pm – 8.30pm



Mona di Orio – the name has magic. The supremely glamorous di Orio has both French and Italian blood; the tradition of both great perfuming nations runs in her veins. Fascinated from infancy by the magic and mystery of smell, Mona remembers the especial scent of sun‐baked earth, summer evenings, and the sprinkle of water on the red and green of geraniums in her grandmother’s garden. Years later, this memory became a work of art, a treasure – Mona’s first creation “Lux”.

As a girl in her early teens, Mona saved for months to buy a tiny flacon of her longed‐for “L’Heure Bleue” from Guerlain; unable to wait until she came home, she removed the stopper in the street – smelled ‐ and had to weep for joy. Through sheer persistence (and, we think, her charm) she persuaded the great Edmond Roudnitska, a key creator of fragrances since the 1920’s, to take her on as an apprentice and laboratory assistant. Surely he divined in this frail‐seeming girl a genius, a poetic imagination and a resilience to match his own.

Experimental, perfectionist and infinitely patient, Mona has given us “Carnation” her evocation of that quintessentially French writer Colette; “Amytis” which portrays the Queen of Babylon amid the Hanging Gardens; and that violently sensual and luxurious painting of the Moroccan night, her homage to Serge Lutens, “Nuit Noire”. “Oiro”, that witty anagram of her own name, saw a personal dream realised – a perfume that (like “Joy” 70 years before) triumphed with a super‐abundance of jasmine, flowers more precious than gold and more recently “Chamarré” an exploration of the French word meaning “explosion of colour”. Tonight introducing her latest creation “Jabu”, LES SENTEURS welcomes a great artist and a dear friend.

Thursday 8 October 2009, 6.30pm – 8.30pm



Isabelle Doyen – like Mona di Orio – became intrigued by the magic and mystery of scent as an infant; she is a graduate of the ISIPCA ( Institut Superieur International du Parfum de la Cosmetique et de l’Aromatique) where she now occasionally lectures and teaches. She is universally celebrated as the collaborator of the late Annick Goutal, for which company she continues to be the Nose.

An experimental and poetic perfumer, always seeking to expand her own horizons as well as the limits of perfume, Isabelle recently joined forces and minds with business man Rene Schifferle and launched “Les Nez”. Unfortunately, their gifted co‐worker, the superb Sandrine Videault cannot be with us on this occasion.

Rene has created his own LesNez Parfums d’Auteurs for whom Isabelle has devised three of her most virtuoso scents, which Rene describes as “the kiss of life” to the international perfume market. His professional background is in carpentry and woodwork, and so Rene developed an interest in fragrance through using his sense of smell in assessing the quality of aromatic and odoriferous woods for his furniture.

From childhood, Rene remembers the scent of Nina Ricci’s “L’Air du Temps” and Gres’s immortal “Cabochard”: like Isabelle, he found his olfactory yearnings were stirred at an early age, dormant in the system until finding a suitable creative outlet. His inspiration is Frederic Malle, who himself has done so much to develop and improve the status of 21st century perfume. Fall under the spell of Les Nez and share in the delights of this creative partnership.

Monday 12 October 2009, 6.30pm – 8.30pm



Isabelle is the long‐term collaborator with Parfums Annick Goutal, an intimate friend of the late Annick and creator of over a dozen of that House’s most treasured scents including “Songes” and “Gardenia Passion”. Isabelle continues the partnership with Annick’s daughter “Camille” in whose honour “Eau de Camille” was devised. She has also created for the Prince de Broglie’s own perfume range “Le Prince Jardinier”. Isabelle has been a highly successful working perfumer for over two decades. As a very small child growing up in the island paradise of Tahiti amongst exotic flora she became mesmerised by the magic and mystery, power and wonder of scent. Aged four, she experienced an epiphany very similar to that of Mona di Orio – indeed, this childhood revelation of perfume seems to be one thing most of our Noses have in common.

From time to time, Isabelle lectures and teaches at the ISIPCA (Institut Superieur International du Parfum de la Cosmetique et de l’Aromatique ) of which she is a graduate. A true Renaissance woman and all‐round star perfumer, Isabelle also finds time to be a wife and hands‐on mother of young children.

We are honoured to welcome Isabelle to celebrate 25 years of Annick Goutal at Les Senteurs.

Tuesday 13 October 2009, 6.30pm – 8.30pm



Marc‐Antoine is the creator of Parfums d’Empire , probably the most romantic of niche perfume houses, which finds its inspiration in the manner in which lost cultures and civilizations have responded to fragrance and integrated with its spell. His debut was “Eau de Gloire”, an hommage to his hero and fellow Corsican, Napoleon Bonaparte. Other masterpieces include “Eau Suave”, referencing the life of the Empress Josephine; the bagnios of old Istanbul, “Cuir Ottoman”; and the Court of the Russian Tsars – “Ambre Russe”.

Born in Corsica, raised in Morocco, Marc Antoine grew up surrounded by exotic scents of the natural world: perfume was his nursery and his nutrition. After gaining a Doctorate in Chemistry, he took a Diploma from the Ecole Internationale de Perfumerie at Versailles, where he now also lectures. His other great passion in life is equestrianism and the world of the horse: he pays tribute to this in “Equistrius”, an evocation of the stable culture of Imperial Rome.

In the six years since he launched Parfums d’Empire, Marc‐Antoine has become a highly respected figure in the perfume world. Stylish, personable and witty he is much admired by his peers for his daring and adventurous scents. A great delight to have him with us, to introduce his latest fragrances “Trois Fleurs” and “Wazamba”.

Friday 16 October 2009, 6.30pm – 8.30pm



One of the youngest and most intriguing perfumers in France, Pierre Guillaume made his debut with his astonishing “Cozé” in 2002, initially designed for use by himself and his father. He was born in 1977, the son of a wine collector and connoisseur; consequently, the young Pierre grew up with his innate abilities and fascination with scent trained and refined at home.

Pierre Guillaume went on to graduate as a chemist and then joined the Laboratoire de Formulation Industrielle founded by Christian, his father. Fascinated by the conjunction of the arts of chemistry and perfumery, he then fulfilled the full flower of his genius, creating Parfumerie Générale, a suite of perfumes of astonishing colour, vibrancy and imagination. To this end Pierre has perfected the photo‐refining process, by which his creations are, as it were, polished and made silky‐smooth by exposure to ultra‐violet light, temperature adjustment and ultra‐sound. The result is diamond‐sharp brilliance and a feeling of total luxurious assurance, comfortable volupte and adventure without bizarrie.

From the diabolic notes of sulphur in his staggering “Cuir de Venunum” to the languorous floral ingenuity of “Brûlure de Rose” and “L’eau de Circé”, Guillaume is a master to his fingertips; expert at awakening new emotions and conjuring memories. As he himself advises, when it comes to choosing a perfume, in the final analysis ‐“Follow your heart”. We know you will all fall under the spell of this gifted artist and magnetic personality when you meet at LES SENTEURS.

Monday 19 October 2009, 6.30pm – 8.30pm



Christopher Chong is the Creative Director of Amouage, a House of great opulence and luxury founded in 1983 by the Omani royal family to redefine and restore the great art of native Arabic perfumery – blending exquisite locally obtained ingredients with Western traditional expertise to create masterpieces of scent. The inspiration of the finest silver frankincense from the Dhofar Mountains in northern Oman is an integral signature accord of all Amouage scents; and great noses such as Guy Robert, Maurice Roucel and Lucas Sieuzac have created for the brand.

Chong has overseen the creations of “Jubilation XXV” and “Jubilation 25”, to mark Amouage’s 25th anniversary and the immense smoky, rosy “Lyric”; his role is to conceive the mood, feeling and style of a new fragrance which is then sent to several different noses to bring it to fruition. He is immersed in the culture of fragrance, of Oman and of the history of perfumery: Christopher brings enormous imagination and artistic style to bear on the creations of this unique House, a perfumer who conducts the olfactory orchestra rather than composing the notes

Struck by the power and magic of perfume aged four, Christopher Chong pursued this stimulant relentlessly and holistically: he studied humanities at university and is also a trained opera singer, wittily observing “I used to sing the notes: now I smell them!” . Tonight Christopher will introduce the latest Amouage Oudh based fragrance for men and women; Epic. Welcome to Christopher Chong, a very special man on a very special evening!

Wednesday 21 October 2009, 6.30pm – 8.30pm



Marie‐Helene Rogeon, one of the most elegant women in France, is a descendant of the legendary couturier Paul Poiret who founded ROSINE in 1920 as a gift for his daughter of the same name. Poiret was one of the most exotic designers of his day, popularising exotic fabrics and gorgeous colours which he used to interpret oriental styles such as harem pants, turbans and the hobble skirt. His daughter sold a lavish array of scents, mostly created by Henri Almeras who later thought up “Joy” for Patou in 1930.

When Marie Helene re‐established ROSINE in 1991 she decided to reformulate all the fragrance formulae she had inherited, and stamp her own personality on the brand. From her beautiful Palais Royal boutique Marie‐Helene launched what soon became her signature scent, the beautiful “Rose de Rosine” with its velvety, slightly fruity opulence. More recently, Marie‐Helene has continued to concentrate exclusively on rose scents in all their infinite variety – yellow roses, roses with orange blossom, roses laced with lemon, green waterside roses, a blaze of fiery Indian roses.....she has worked with several leading noses to refine and define her inspiration. The immortal Francois Robert transmutes her vision into reality as he has done from the beginning; the great Pierre Bourdon created “Roseberry” for her. Like all the great Houses, ROSINE perfumes have their distinctive “griffe”; in this case, a soft, sweet caressing quality which has been likened to the fall of rose petals, coupled with remarkable clarity and tenacity.

Marie Helene is especially proud of “Rose d’Homme”, a harmony which successfully challenged the traditional perfumery belief that rose and lavender oils are impossible to harmonize. We welcome Marie Helene with great respect and affection and we hope to also be joined on this evening by Francoise Robert, schedule permitting. (Added 15th Sept: Robert will now be attending)

Thursday 22 October 2009, 6.30pm – 8.30pm


Darkly handsome David has a very solid and extensive background in the handling and directing of perfume: for many years he worked all over the African continent as a distributor of classic brands; he has managed Penhaligons and Laszlo cosmetics; and worked as Export Director for L’Artisan Parfumeur, Jean Laporte’s exquisite niche House.

In 2005 David set up “Different Latitudes” with Loic Le Guen to function as an outsourced commercial department for niche and artisanal brands on an international level. Young and vigorous, a Renaissance man, with a Master’s degree in Philosophy, he is now co‐ founder and brand developer of the fabulous “Frapin” line, sold exclusively in the UK at LES SENTEURS.

Frapin is the oldest and most recherché of French cognac producers with a pedigree going back to the year 1270, the name they chose for their first scent. Under David’s expert eye, this pioneering perfume was joined by four others – “Esprit des Fleurs”, “Passion Boisee”, “Caravelle Epicee”,“Terre de Sarment”, all created by Jeanne Marie Faugier. This autumn sees the launch of the fifth scent, Sidonie Lancesseur’s “L’Humaniste”. Both ladies, working with Frossard and the Frapin family, combine mutual passions for creating perfumes and cognac, using the similarities between the two processes to produce hymns to the scent of the vineyards, the sunshine, the flora and warm earth of France. Spicy, exotic, dark, sweet perfumes with a wonderful freshness and joie de vivre are the resultant treasures. We invite you to share the experience over a glass of cognac with the charming Monsier Frossard.

Friday 30 October 2009, 6.30pm – 8.30pm


As the grandson of Serge Heftler, founder of Parfums Dior (his own mother worked on the formula for “Eau Sauvage”) and the nephew of cinema personalities Louis Malle and Candice Bergen, Frederic was born into a glamorous, hard‐working world of perfume, artistic creativity and original pioneering thought. No doubt this environment contributed to his choice to study the History of Art at New York University , refining and extending his cultural and artistic sensibilities.

In 1986 Frederic joined the leading French perfume laboratories of Roure Bertrand Dupont where he met and worked with some of the most renowned Grands Nez in the business, an experience which not only expanded his vision but laid the foundation for the future conception and inauguration of EDITIONS DE PARFUMS. For, after many years as consultant for leading international perfume companies and seized with the idea of bringing back luxury and integrity to fragrance, Frederic launched his own House in 2000. Nearly a decade later, he is an international legend.

Uniquely simple, like all brilliant ideas, Frederic’s notion was to approach top noses and invite each to create his or her own “dream perfume”, a scent they had wanted all their careers to create but been prevented by limitations of commercial perfumery. Throughout the creation of every perfume, Frederic’s judgement, imagination and taste were brought to bear in a symbiotically collaborative partnership. Accessible to both sexes, such scents as Maurice Roucel’s “Musc Ravageur”, Edouard Flechier’s “Une Rose” and Dominique Ropion’s “Vetiver Extraordinaire” have become household names, already included in the pantheon of immortal classics. We welcome Frederic, a true pioneer of 21st century perfume.

Early November 2009, Date TBC

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    • AnthonyDG | 9th September 2009 16:37

      Oh I so wish I could attend this..