Tell us about your background. Why and how did you become a perfumer?
I was born in Grasse and I grew up surrounded by the world of perfume. My parents also work in the industry, and a career in perfume was an obvious move for me. So I started off studying chemistry and then did a master’s degree in cosmetics, aromas and perfumes engineering at the University of Montpellier.
Tell us about your career. What exactly does your work involve at Parfums Plus?
I’ve been working for Parfums Plus for seven years. My position is perfumer head of development. I oversee the team of perfumers and their assistants. The core of my job involves developing formulas for our clients’ scented products in collaboration with the evaluation service. My everyday work ranges from a simple regulatory and/or pricing adjustment to creating formulas for new product launches on the market.
What smell transports you back to your childhood?
The smell of olives during harvesting instantly takes me back to my childhood. It reminds me of good times spent with family and friends in the olive grove and the meals we used to share to celebrate the work done. It’s a tradition that I’m really attached to. Every year, I gather my friends to come and harvest olives and then share that convivial meal.
Which raw materials are you particularly attached to?
I like warm, comforting aromas like labdanum resinoid. I’m particularly fond of Cashmeran®. In a formula, it’s a molecule that adds a real intensity to the heart notes with a very interesting strength half way between amber and musk notes.
Which accords move you the most?
Wood accords in general, and more particularly accords built around sandalwood. What’s unusual about sandalwood is that it combines a milky-soft facet with a spicy touch.
I love to smell the way that perfumers interpret it in their creations. When handled well, it’s an accord that can bring a great deal of body and elegance to a perfume.
How do you imagine the perfume trade in the future?
Changing regulations mean that perfumers have to constantly adapt, posing challenges to the way we create formulas. As a result, we question ourselves and learn every day.
I also think that raw materials that have less impact on health and the environment will increasingly come on to the market and join our palette. Lastly, the industry will need to remain attentive to consumer expectations because, however good the note is, it’s the customer who decides whether it’s a success or a flop! Who knows which accords will be all the rage tomorrow?
Any last thoughts?
Perfumes have this slightly “magical” ability to conjure up our memories and instantly take us somewhere else. A few bright floral notes like monoi, and you’re on a hot sandy beach. The next minute, a spicy orange cinnamon accord takes you to the foot of the Christmas tree. Not many things can transport us in a few seconds simply through their olfactory power. Our imagination has no limits, and neither does creation, which means that the future looks bright for the perfumery business.