Speaking about IFRA, Wasser told Bendeth:
I have to follow the rules of IFRA which the European Commission uses as the basis of their legislation. I am required to follow them, as does the fragrance industry globally.
IFRA recommendation #43 could have changed Mitsouko dramatically because of its regulation on oakmoss. My love for Mitsouko made me push the oakmoss supplier to get as close as possible to the original version without having the specific molecule which is not allowed by IFRA. I do have now a natural oakmoss which is IFRA approved.
Due to the IFRA regulations, there are some materials that I can’t even purchase anymore! Even if I wanted to make a reconstitution of a vintage Guerlain in the way it was originally created, I can’t find the raw materials! They are gone, the oil, the oil companies and growers are all long gone or discontinued.
You know, strictly for my own sake and education, I wanted to recompound Mitsouko, Shalimar, and L’Heure Bleue in their original forms but getting the raw materials required was not easy.
I went to Calabria and asked a supplier to provide me with the raw bergamot oil before any processing and I would able to recompound those classics. I also sourced some Musk Ambrette down in India. You have no idea of the amount of time, energy and patience it takes to track down practically non-existent raw materials and suppliers just to have them for my own use and knowledge to use in trials. These are ingredients that IFRA has deemed illegal for release to the general public, so even if I wanted to release a vintage version of a Guerlain fragrance, we cannot do so because of legislation.You can read the rest of this fascinating interview next week on Basenotes, which features exclusive images, such as the one above showing Wasser in Calabria, Italy sniffing Jasmine Absolute.