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  1. #1
    rach2jlc's Avatar
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    May 2006
    US (KY) & Japan

    Default Process of Landing a "Nose"

    I'm sure there is a topic of this somewhere (or an article to which can be linked), but I was just curious how a particular "nose" is chosen for a scent or company? Or, more specifically, what the process is whereby a particular nose makes a scent for that company or house (not the process of MAKING the scent, but before that... how he/she is CHOSEN to make that scent).

    I'm sure that there are all sorts of stipulations set by clients, but is it something like the process where an actor is chosen for a film? Is there a list of top choices and they get to "try out?" Or, is it maybe like book publishing, where a nose makes a scent and sends it around to many different houses hoping that one of them will pick it up and sell it?

    For example, when creating a scent for Dior Homme's boutique line, did Annick Menardo have to compete with others to have Bois d'argent chosen (did Jean-Claude Ellena also submit something?), or was Menardo hand picked beforehand to create a scent according to a certain rubric? And, if so, why him over somebody like Olivia Giacobetti, who also makes some very good stuff? Who's to say that given a similar rubric, Giacobetti, Polges, or Ellena could have made a "better" Bois d'argent (if that makes sense)? And, finally, like book publishing or (sometimes) acting, does a nose get a percentage of the sales of the fragrances he/she makes... i.e. Does Ellena make 2% off of each bottle sold of Bigarade Concentree or Jardin sur le Nil?

    I'm just curious and thought it might make for an interesting discussion (and a diversion from the ubiquitous "Make me Recomendations!!!" threads) , because we always talk about how a particular nose created YYY scent for XXX house, but I've never heard anybody talk about how that relationship comes about or really what that relationship entails.
    Last edited by rach2jlc; 14th January 2007 at 01:13 PM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  2. #2

    Default Re: Process of Landing a "Nose"

    This is indeed a great topic!
    Some weeks ago there was an article about Jean-Claude Ellena in the german paper 'Zeit'. It described his career, his approach to fragrances and his successes and defeats (searching for 20 years for someone to buy his green tea fragrance and then seeing that ckone by another parfumeur becomes one of the best-selling fragrances ever - Ellena says this other parfumeur is not his best friend;-). He is now under exclusive contract under Hermes, though there is a clause in his contract, that he may engage another parfumeur in case he has a creative black out and hermes wants a new fragrance. Ellena fighted for this clause! In the article he also said, he had a hard time to create Un Jardin sur le Nil because he just didn't find anything that smells like that until he found the green mango(I think it was that, could be wrong, read it weeks ago).
    Before his contract he tried to sell his fragrances and fragrances companies asked him to make certain perfumes.
    Interesting sidenote: He almost never wears fragrances, only at high festivities!

    Hope someone else can give us more insight on this topic!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Process of Landing a "Nose"


    Your interpretation leads me to believe that "noses" are creative freelancers, and that some of them are fortunate enough to land long-term contracts with particular houses.

    In this scenario, a nose with several best selling fragrances under his or her belt would command a higher price than a newcomer or relative unknown. Sound plausible?

    Great thread John!
    “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

    ~ Robert Brault

  4. #4
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    the Dirty South

    Default Re: Process of Landing a "Nose"

    Recently, Chris Sheldrake left Serge Lutens to become the head nose for Chanel. This could hopefully lead to more varied Serge Lutens offerings, and perhaps bring more inspiration to the derivative and uninspired Chanel's mens fragrances.

  5. #5
    rach2jlc's Avatar
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    May 2006
    US (KY) & Japan

    Default Re: Process of Landing a "Nose"

    That would be nice to have something more innovative from Chanel. I love Egoiste, Antaeus, and PM... but Allure Homme and Allure Homme Sport? BORRRRRING!

    Anyway, as per ukulele's interesting post, it does sound like fragrance making is almost like publishing or acting. Until you get a contract with an exclusive publisher, you go around and peddle your wears hoping that they'll be picked up... sometimes it takes hours, sometimes years. And, like publishing or acting, sometimes people get fame, fortune, and exclusive contracts for things that aren't that great (CK one!)
    Last edited by rach2jlc; 14th January 2007 at 08:20 PM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

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