Perfumers on Perfume : Archives from the Osmotheque

I was preparing the materials for my ISIPCA lectures when I remembered a wonderful series of articles that the Osmothèque kindly made available to me. These articles were Ernest Beaux and Ernest Shiftan, two legendary perfumers representing different styles and times. Re-reading them made me realize once again how cultured and thoughtful were these great creators–and how much effort they put into each accord. One other article in the series was written by a perfumer Robert Bienaimé about Paul Parquet, the author of Fougère Royale and Le Parfum Idéal. The articles were translated into English by Will Inrig, so many thanks to him as well.

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I hope that you will enjoy reading these articles, if you haven’t done so already. Or perhaps, it’s time to revisit them. They’re as enjoyable and relevant as ever.

Perfumers on Perfume : Ernest Beaux on Fragrance Masterpieces

Perfumers on Perfume : Paul Parquet

Perfumers on Perfume : Ernest Shiftan

If you have any other historical topics that you would like me to explore, please let me know in the comments.

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8 Comments

  • Claire M: I loved the article by Ernest Beaux. Such an interesting person he was. I wish more perfumers wrote about their craft. Do you have other recommendations? I have books by Mandy Aftel, Jean-Claude Ellena and Edmond Roudnitska. November 20, 2023 at 9:36am Reply

    • Victoria: Guy Robert also wrote a very nice book on perfume, but it’s been long out of print. Dora Baghriche, a perfumer at Firmenich, also have a lovely small book on scent and her profession. November 21, 2023 at 2:03am Reply

    • Lauren: I am a perfumer-in-training and I think there are a few reasons for this. 1) There are few perfumers in the world in general. 2) A lot of perfumers work by instinct, and most don’t put a huge amount of conscious thought into why they work the way they do, so they don’t know how to articulate that process into words. 3) Fragrance inspirations can be extremely emotional/intimate. A lot of people in general do not want to expose their hearts that vulnerably, especially not at work. November 22, 2023 at 9:51am Reply

  • Aurora: Fascinating articles, thank you Victoria. It’s sad that some of the perfumes evoked are no longer in production, I would have loved to smell Le Parfum Idéal for eg. But I have La Rose Jacqueminot, Chypre, l’Origan and Emeraude by Coty, listed by Ernest Shiftan and how I love his Intimate. They all write very well. November 20, 2023 at 12:08pm Reply

    • Victoria: They do, don’t they! I really enjoyed these pieces and I also wanted to revisit all of the fragrances they talked about. November 21, 2023 at 2:04am Reply

  • Alityke: A thoroughly engaging read. Thank you for sharing them November 21, 2023 at 4:27am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m so glad that you also enjoyed them. November 22, 2023 at 7:08am Reply

  • Nefertari: An excellent article that gave me a deeper understanding of a perfumer’s career and creations. Thanks for sharing!
    I really want to know if Germaine Cellier herself left any written records or writings. December 20, 2023 at 2:14am Reply

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