One of the first famous female perfumers, Germaine Cellier (1909-1976) was a creator ahead of her time, relying on short formulas to paint dazzling abstractions and treating notes as colors, much like a painter would. She was not afraid to use a large quantity of the aggressive aroma-chemical isobutyl quinoline in creating of the leather accord for Robert Piquet Bandit or 8% of galbanum for infusing Balmain Vent Vert with a fierce verdancy. She was also responsible for Robert Piguet Fracas (1948), Balmain Jolie Madame (1953), Balmain Monsieur Balmain (1964), and Nina Ricci Coeur-Joie (1946).
It is said that she was a striking woman—elegant, tall, thin, blond, blue-eyed. She had a sharp sense of humor and was full of vitality. She posed for André Derain and counted other famous painters and sculptors among her friends. …
Cellier was born in 1909 in Bordeaux and subsequently came to Paris to study chemistry. In her article, Jeannine Mongin notes that at the time fragrances were composed chiefly by the perfumers attached to the perfume houses such as Houbigant, Caron, Coty. Fragrance companies such as Givaudan, Roure Bertrand Dupont and others would supply raw materials and specialty bases. However, Roure, under the direction of Louis Amic and his team pushed for the fragrance companies to create finished fragrances and to engage fashion houses to market them under their names, thus establishing a synergy, which is often taken for granted.
It is in this climate that Cellier, who was working for Roure Bertrand Dupont, was able to give free reign to her creativity and to compose fragrances for fashion houses such as Robert Piguet and Pierre Balmain. From the sinister beauty of Fracas to the effervescent verdancy of Vent Vert, her unique talent and nonconformist vision are without a doubt.
Reference: from an article by Jeannine Mongin (read the article in its entirety at Société Française des Parfumeurs, in French).