Edmond Roudnitska on Inspiration


Edmond Roudnitska, the creator of fragrances like Christian Dior Diorissimo, Eau Sauvage, Eau d’ Hermès and Frédéric Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse speaks on what inspires him to create a perfume.

It’s very variable. It’s never actually done twice in the same manner. It depends on the idea one has. I work with ideas, an idea for a perfume. A thought comes to my mind. I foresee, I visualize a certain form for a perfume. I try to construct it. I try it with the raw materials I lay out for myself. I try first to outline or sketch out the form with products that are most familiar to me, and then I try to modify it, and, step by step, this study goes along, because a study of this nature can last several years, and as it does, I might have my hand on some new raw material, and I say to myself, ‘Well, now, this might be just the thing I need to complete the form.’ And that’s how the experiment progresses.

And when are you satisfied?


Quote from “Perfume” by William Kaufman. Photo from art-et-parfum. Image by Michel Roudnitska.



  • Robin: I wonder how many perfumers today have the luxury of time in the way that ER did, as in “a study of this nature can last several years”? I have a feeling that the answer is not many. October 14, 2005 at 10:16am Reply

  • mreenymo: And don’t forget that he is also the nose behind Parfums delRae, one of my favorite lines. :):)

    Hugs! October 14, 2005 at 11:21am Reply

  • mreenymo: Oops! I always get those two mixed up. LOL! So I think it’s the son, Michel, whose creations I like even more. 🙂

    Hugs! October 14, 2005 at 12:00pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: You are right, of course. Not many do. In fact, I recall reading an interview with Sophia Grojsman, in which she was complaining about just that. For this reason, I thought that it would be interesting to see what the process of creation was like for Roudnitska. He created few fragrances by modern standards, but every single one is a gem. October 14, 2005 at 10:29am Reply

  • Marina: Le Parfum de Therese is one of my absolute favorites. I think it is truly a work of art, so multifaceted, so *gorgeous*. October 14, 2005 at 10:52am Reply

  • parislondres: ITA with Robin. Great quote dear V! Hope you are well.

    Hugs! October 14, 2005 at 10:54am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, how can I not but agree with you wholeheartedly.

    I also like Roudnitska’s response to the last question: a sign of perfectionist, no less. October 14, 2005 at 10:54am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Thank you, dear N! I also highly recommend the book, which is excellent. October 14, 2005 at 10:55am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, that is Michel Roudnitska, Edmond Roudnitska’s son, who is the nose behind Delrae. I am glad to hear that you are a fan as well! October 14, 2005 at 11:26am Reply

  • Tania: I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never smelled Diorissimo, Eau Sauvage, or Eau d’Hermès. I know, I should be slapped. I will remedy that as soon as possible. 🙂 October 14, 2005 at 11:35am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, well, it has already been remedied for you! No need to slap yourself. 🙂 October 14, 2005 at 11:39am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I love Delrae line, especially Bois de Paradis and Amoureuse. They are fascinating compositions. October 14, 2005 at 12:03pm Reply

  • Tania: Too late! My cheek is already stinging. 😉 October 14, 2005 at 12:08pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, what did you think of Diorama? I do not remember whether I asked or not already, but I am very curious. October 14, 2005 at 12:23pm Reply

  • Katie: T, you’re not alone: I’ve not tried any of the four perfumes V lists in her post. There’s always going to be something old or new to try, and it’d be crazy-making to attempt to keep up with it all, right? That said, I can’t keep forgetting about these perpetually. It comes down to a terrible oversight on my part. October 14, 2005 at 3:04pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, it is true–there are too many things to try. There are some things I consider essential, and any of Roudnitska’s creations are among them. October 14, 2005 at 3:08pm Reply

  • Evan: I wholeheartedly agree with all of the above. The elder Roudnitska is an inspiration to me.

    Tania, get the old Diorissimo. I’m not sure about it specifically, but given Dior’s penchant for tinkering with (and destroying) their classics, I’d be surprised if they haven’t messed with it too. October 14, 2005 at 6:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Evan, the new Diorissimo is not particularly changed, although it is definitely different from what I remember. I recently found a vintage bottle, and I am happy. Realistically though, if I were to try the modern version for the first time, I would have liked it as well. Diorissimo was my mother’s signature fragrance for a long time, and I even wore it when I would rehearse ballet parts such as Les Sylphides. It has an ethereal quality that suited that ballet particularly well–misty moonlit park, sylphides dancing with the poet in search of his ideal… From that first time, I have taken to wearing different types of scents when studying new ballet, although when I still lived in Ukraine my options were fairly limited. October 14, 2005 at 6:50pm Reply

  • Tania: Note to self…seek Diorissimo… October 17, 2005 at 5:10pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: You most definitely should seek it out! October 17, 2005 at 7:35pm Reply

  • mahmood akhtar: hi EDMOND ROUDNITSKO i am very happy to read about your ideas work i myself do like this though i am a very small perfumer i have gain much after meet world famous perfumers interviws and about perfumes thanks mahmood akhtar August 2, 2006 at 2:21pm Reply

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