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  1. #1

    Default Video interviews with famous perfumers

    The Comité Français du Parfum (CFP) has set up a new website on the occasion of a perfume promotion campaign called Le Parfum, Quelques Gouttes de Luxe, which features in particular a series of video interviews with personalities from the fragrance world (click on "Parfum et Inspiration"). They are Vanessa Seward, artistic director at Azzaro, Jean-Paul Guerlain, Annick Ménardo, Jean-Claude Ellena, Mathilde Laurent, Dominique Ropion, Sophie L'Abbé, Jean-Michel Duriez, Lolita Lempicka, and Jacques Polge

    http://www.gouttesdeluxe.com/creation-parfum.php

  2. #2

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    B i g , f a t .... T h a n k Y o u !
    Last edited by narcus; 26th November 2007 at 02:48 PM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Many thanks from me too!! I can't wait to see these tonight.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Where is my Olivia Giacobetti?

    Oh well. I don't understand French anyway -- wish i did.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Thank you once again Mr Guerlain for providing us with yet another jaw dropping treat.

    Barry

  6. #6

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    So sad I cannot speak French! This interview looks very interesting.
    Current Top 5

    1. Creed Aventus
    2. A*Men Pure Malt
    3. L'instant Extreme
    4. Nasomatto Duro
    5. CDG - Kyoto

  7. #7

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Wow, I wish I could speak French.

    I think it's time for me to get serious about learning other languages...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    here's an English transcript of the first two videos. I've done them in a bit of a rush, but I hope they're helpful anyway. If people here are interested, I can do the rest in installments. The ones with Ellena, Ropion, Polge, and Guerlain are really quite interesting.


    Sophie Labbé

    Perfumery is on the one hand an art, in the sense that it's a means of expression... to me it's a means of self-expression, it makes me feel good, but it's also a means of making nature and life more beautiful to the wearer. So I'd say it's an art, but at the same time it's also a craft, because there are rules, it requires a formal training that is quite extensive, and it's also a way of life... so I believe it's both an art and a craft.

    We have an enormous amount of raw materials to our disposal, also natural raw materials, and depending on their origins there can be a very large variety of them. Jasmine can be from Grasse, Egypt, India... that alone leads to three different references... we also have many products that are a result of research, all the different aromas for our palette, and in fact we work with about... we memorize about 1,000 of them, and of course we work with the ones for which we feel the strongest affinity... the ones that we have a special preference for, that enable compatible associations.

    I was a complete stranger to the world of perfumery, and then one day I read a magazine that mentioned ISIPCA, the perfumery school. Back then I was studying chemistry, and perfumery seemed like a very passionate profession to me... I should add that I was raised in Charante-Maritime, so I had a very strong affinity with scent... but I wanted to meet a perfumer before I'd decide to enroll. He showed me the raw materials he worked with, and the way he worked too, and I was completely smitten...

    So I went to ISIPCA, where you actually had to motivate your educational choice. At ISIPCA each class had their own name, and our year was named after François Coty... and in fact, later in my career I won the Prix François Coty, which is a distinctive honor in the perfume industry, and it was the first time that this prize was given to a woman.


    Jean-Michel Duriez

    Perfumes have always been created with a specific purpose in mind. If we go back to the times of the Egyptians, perfumery consisted of inventing odors that raised our prayers to heaven - by burning incense. And if we think of the Eau de Cologne from the days of Napoleon, for instance, that was made for farmaceutical purposes... so in my opinion it's an art indeed, but one that has always been defined within a very specific context, and that nowadays has evolved into an industry.

    How to become a créateur-parfumeur... I don't think you can find two individuals who followed the exact same path. I think that each person finds a different way to get there. I my case it all started in a very simple way... I was very young, about 8 or 10 years old, when I started collecting perfume samples... don't ask me why, I really don't remember... but by the time I graduated from highschool I was a true perfume connoisseur. I recognized perfumes on people, I knew about all the latest launches... I didn't know anything about their composition since I wasn't a trained nose, so I was unaware of their ingredients, but there you go, I had become an amateur perfume expert... and when I did my exams I found out about this school for pefumers, this school called ISIPCA that still exists today, and I went to this school, after which I started working in this industry, thanks to this school of course, and also thanks to all I learned on site in Grasse... you have to remember that when you have a creative profession, especially when you create perfumes, you learn every day of your life, until the very end... I still consider myself a student, and I plan to continue my studies for a very long time.

    So what is required, in my opinion, is a passion for perfume, and I think that was the case for me... I have this passion since a very early age, and this gift allowed me to succeed in this profession... after that, you really need to work hard, to smell and have new ideas, it means making lots of trials, never stop, try new things, open new doors, get inspired elsewhere of course, not necessarily in perfumery but also in other areas... in my case it's gastronomy, but it can also be photography, we often get photography exhibitions here, I meet photographers... and of course fashion, because perfume is quintessentially tied to the world of fashion and luxury in general... so it's about finding inspiration in other areas, that refresh our ideas and impressions within our profession of perfume creation.
    Last edited by Marcello; 27th November 2007 at 03:42 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    thanks marcello! i wish i knew french!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Welcome Barry! Of course I was very pleased to finally see Jean-Paul Guerlain 'live'!

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Barry View Post
    Thank you once again Mr Guerlain for providing us with yet another jaw dropping treat.

    Barry
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcello View Post
    here's an English transcript of the first two videos. I've done them in a bit of a rush, but I hope they're helpful anyway. If people here are interested, I can do the rest in installments. The ones with Ellena, Ropion, Polge, and Guerlain are really quite interesting.
    Marcello, I know some French but I'd love it if you'd translate the Guerlain-interview too - that is if you got some spare time!
    Last edited by Mr. G; 27th November 2007 at 06:47 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  11. #11

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    I'm def interested in Ellena and Guerlain.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Okay, here's the Guerlain one. I'm off to work now, I'll do the Ellena video tonight.


    Jean-Paul Guerlain

    My first olfactive memory is obviously that of my mother and her Eau de Cologne, and the second one - I'll make you laugh... my parents lived in an apartment in the rue du Maréchal Maunoury in Porte de la Muette and we were evicted by the Germans who requisitioned the entire building... and that happened on my birthday, or on the day we celebrated it, I'm not quite sure... and despite all that, my mother was so sweet, she wanted to celebrate my anniversary, so she ordered a strawberry cake for me... and to this day I still remember that strawberry cake!

    I had a great olfactive memory, which is one of the essential assets to a perfumer. As for the rest, I think that you need a certain type of... well, I think it helps a lot if you have a certain romantic inclination... and some culture, that helps a little too.

    I made my first perfume for the queen of England, who paid a brief visit to Paris. And then after that I made Vetiver, because the Mexican market demanded... back then 80% of our turnover was with vetiver, but Carven had just released an excellent vetiver eau de toilette, and our director over there said we should do a modern rendition of our old vetiver, which was in fact an essence of vetiver in alcohol... and my grandfather, who was 82 or 83 years old, said to his nephew: you errm... you annoy me, I won't do it... we'll hand it over to the little kid. And that little kid was me.

    Luxury is something pretty. Luxury is pretty and discrete. Luxury should not be flashy.
    Last edited by Marcello; 28th November 2007 at 10:23 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcello View Post
    If people here are interested, I can do the rest in installments.
    .
    Thanks Marcello
    It's a great pleasure to read
    I am very interested in the interview with D. Ropion)
    Last edited by DreamerII; 27th November 2007 at 10:55 AM.
    "PLAIN LIVING, HIGH THINKING" O.W., De Profundis
    Real beauty: 1) Frederic Malle 1-20 2) Chanel Egoiste 3) YSL Opium pour Homme edp 4) TF Noir de Noir

    Noses: 1) Jacques Cavallier 2) Maurice Roucel

  14. #14

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    here's another two...


    Jean-Claude Ellena

    I think it's a craft when the perfumer evaluates the trends in the market, observes tests panels, that's when it's a craft. It becomes an art once you manage to shake off those analyses and tests, and start to commit yourself to become a parfumeur d'auteur. That's when you actually engage the market.

    What is important is the association of odors. That is to say, to make a mental picture of them, to be able to mentally associate them, and to enjoy yourself in imagining them and associating them; that's the most important thing. So it's not the quantity of odors, but the imagination that counts.

    I've known perfumers who used several hundreds of materials to create a perfume. My way of composing is to select between 20 and 30 components. It's most of all a matter of style, a personal signature; it's a way to communicate a perfume. Some perfumers create operas... if I look at my own work, I'd say that I create chamber music instead.

    My father was a perfumer and my family worked in the perfume trade, so obviously I was a little influenced by my surroundings. Of course it didn't prevent me from becoming a perfumer, but it was through encounters that I actually shaped myself... what I mean is that there's the inevitable aspect of memorizing odors, but you also need an open attitude towards other people... it's by meeting others that we shape ourselves, that we become perfumers; and most important are encounters in the 'outside world', beyond the confines of our profession.

    I think that pleasure is a selfish thing by nature, and that luxury resides in sharing things. Based on this consideration, to me luxury is sharing... it's sharing a nice table, a beautiful table... a good table!


    Dominique Ropion

    What does a perfumer's job consist of? A perfumer works on olfactive forms. If we were to make an analogy with music, we'd be working on musical forms... there are actual olfactive forms, just like in sculpture, and architecture – coherent uniformities by which we are able to recognize a work of art. We work on a perfume like a sculptor works on a statue [...], and even if in the end it's something fleeting that we will be smelling, and we won't be able to see it – it floats in the air – there's still something very concrete about our job.

    Do you need a highly developed sense of smell [to be a perfumer]? I'd say that you need a normal sense of smell, just like most people have. I don't think I have remarkable olfactive abilities myself. The difference with people who don't work in this profession is that we memorize raw materials. We memorize all the essences, products of natural origins or absolutes, and also all synthetic products. And there are different nuances between essences... for instance, there are nuances between the essence of rose from Turkey – Damascena – and the same variety grown in Bulgaria or treated in Marocco, and you'd have to be able to recognize those differences. That's the difference with 'common mortals', so to speak; they don't go that far in their olfactive analysis.

    The average development time for a perfume is about one year. On average. In a week you won't be able to do anything. And you won't create a perfume in a month. It's like Picasso drawing things on a table in five minutes and he'd say "look, I did this in five minutes"... he'd say that in a sharp-witted way, because people would say "you did this in five minutes, and you're asking all this money for it?" and he'd reply "but you're looking at 40 years of work!" It's the same thing here. I think there's a time for the actual creation that can not be compressed, regardless of how our clients make their requests.
    Last edited by Marcello; 28th November 2007 at 09:09 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Thanks for this great thread!

    -I want to ask "Jean Duriez", why he don't put a masculine perfume in market?
    -Also didn't Hermes pay enough money to JC Ellena for buying better clothes?!!

    LoL

    Thanks again for original poster and members who put translated text here!
    Last edited by msi_21; 28th November 2007 at 10:58 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcello View Post
    I think that pleasure is a selfish thing by nature, and that luxury resides in sharing things.
    That quote alone makes this thread more than worthwhile. Thanks, Marcello!
    Lovesick the wind that carries it

  17. #17

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Thank you so much for the links, it's always very interesting to connect a voice to a face to an idea.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    I forgotten about my beloved Polge. What does he say about scents?

    p.s. I should really start learning French. It's a shame to be interested in perfumes and not to speak French
    "PLAIN LIVING, HIGH THINKING" O.W., De Profundis
    Real beauty: 1) Frederic Malle 1-20 2) Chanel Egoiste 3) YSL Opium pour Homme edp 4) TF Noir de Noir

    Noses: 1) Jacques Cavallier 2) Maurice Roucel

  19. #19

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Don't forget that there are more interviews under the Parfum et Savoir tab and under Les métiers du Parfum. Christine Nagel gives a good and long into about the job as a perfumer.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Cool! I often find perfumers are a little like designers in that they can talk alot of gibberish about nothing, but I still love to see and hear them!
    CAESAR SEEKS:
    Parfums d'Empire: Fougére Bengale

    CAESAR SWAPS/SELLS:
    Sa Majesté La Rose



  21. #21

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Thank you once again Monsieur Guelain and to Marcello for the translations. (and to HRH Prince Barry for bringing it to my attention again at PoL) Darn, no BabelFish this time. lol

    Also check out this site with video interviews with rising star Clement Gavarry and Laurent de Guernec. You'll find the links on the sidebar under V 1. Perfumers.

    http://whatwedoissecret.org/madebyblog/category/v1/

    If you root around the site there is also a link to whatwedoissecret.com and a nice photo portrait series of IFF perfumers

    http://whatwedoissecret.org/iff-perfumers/


    I was going to save this stuff for the Salon, but consider this an early Christmas/Hanukkah present.
    Last edited by MiaKulpa; 29th November 2007 at 07:12 AM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    here's another one...


    Jacques Polge

    Luxury in everyday life means to have no constraints, and to be completely free. It's the freedom to take your time, and to be able to do what you want to do, to have the opportunity to create the thing you have in mind.

    What I find interesting in perfumery, is that you can say things without using words or images. Although you can't see a perfume, it's a very evocative thing.

    It often happens that while I'm composing a perfume or writing down its formula, I check the quality, for instance, of the jasmin I need – should it be from Egypt, or India? Each year when the jasmin is harvested, we make our selection – it's a very meticulous job!

    Perfumery is a craft and therefore requires training. I think you need to start learning it as early as possible... the education is methodical, and it's impossible to find out in advance whether you have the talent to make a timeless creation. You need to master the craft first.

    How does one become a perfumer? I believe there are as many ways to become one, as there are noses... or at least I hope so! I became a nose by pure coincidence. At a certain point my parents and I moved to Grasse, in Southern France, and when you live in Grasse you become aware of the perfumer's profession. Had I been raised in Strasbourg, I'm not sure I would have become a perfumer!
    Last edited by Marcello; 3rd December 2007 at 09:47 PM. Reason: whoops!! thanks, DreamerII :-)

  23. #23

    Default Re: Video interviews with famous perfumers

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcello View Post
    here's another one...


    Olivier Polge

    Luxury in everyday life means to have no constraints, and to be completely free. It's the freedom to take your time, and to be able to do what you want to do, to have the opportunity to create the thing you have in mind.

    What I find interesting in perfumery, is that you can say things without using words or images. Although you can't see a perfume, it's a very evocative thing.

    It often happens that while I'm composing a perfume or writing down its formula, I check the quality, for instance, of the jasmin I need – should it be from Egypt, or India? Each year when the jasmin is harvested, we make our selection – it's a very meticulous job!

    Perfumery is a craft and therefore requires training. I think you need to start learning it as early as possible... the education is methodical, and it's impossible to find out in advance whether you have the talent to make a timeless creation. You need to master the craft first.

    How does one become a perfumer? I believe there are as many ways to become one, as there are noses... or at least I hope so! I became a nose by pure coincidence. At a certain point my parents and I moved to Grasse, in Southern France, and when you live in Grasse you become aware of the perfumer's profession. Had I been raised in Strasbourg, I'm not sure I would have become a perfumer!
    Thank you Marcello

    Small correction: it's Jacques Polge
    Last edited by DreamerII; 3rd December 2007 at 12:56 PM.
    "PLAIN LIVING, HIGH THINKING" O.W., De Profundis
    Real beauty: 1) Frederic Malle 1-20 2) Chanel Egoiste 3) YSL Opium pour Homme edp 4) TF Noir de Noir

    Noses: 1) Jacques Cavallier 2) Maurice Roucel

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