Edmond Roudnitska: 8 posts

The Art of Perfume Course : Grasse and Gardens

The first day of our perfumery course started at the Edmond Roudnitska garden and the Art et Parfum studios. I intended to give an overview of perfume techniques and to analyze some of the greatest perfume masterpieces, and this corner of Provence was the perfect start. Roudnitska founded Art et Parfum a year after the end of WWII, and this 70 year old enterprise is still thriving under the guidance of Michel Roudnitska, Edmond’s son and student.

Roudnitska’s garden is a beautiful place to visit, especially during the spring months when every leaf looks fresh and dewy and every blossom seems like a gem, but it’s not a museum to the great master. Besides Michel, three other perfumers work out of the studio–Céline Ellena and Eric and Jean-Claude Gigodot. Céline Ellena moves her hands when she talks as if conducting an invisible orchestra, and she’s utterly spellbinding. She shared her thoughts on perfumery and what makes her work as an independent creator both challenging and exciting.

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Christian Dior Eau Sauvage : Fragrance Review



Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Whenever I hear a reference to elegance in perfumery, I invariably think of Christian Dior Eau Sauvage, because few existing fragrances are as exquisitely refined as this composition by the great perfumer Edmond Roudnitska. Of course, elegance can be achieved in a number of different ways, but the effortless, streamlined sophistication of Eau Sauvage has an immediate appeal. In many ways, the beauty and the genius of this fragrance lie in its perfect balance: a balance between different elements of the composition, between simplicity and complexity, between artistic merit and pure pleasure. Eau Sauvage is one of those rare perfumes that have plenty to say, but that are easy to understand.

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Christian Dior Diorissimo : Perfume Review


Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

A whisper of Christian Dior Diorissimo on this cold day makes me imagine spring. I glance at the dark rooftops covered with white patches of snow, black outlines of icicle draped trees against the grey sky and even though the landscape is morose and silent, I can almost feel the warm breath of spring. The frozen winter vista is almost scent-free, which I find renders rich, oriental fragrances somewhat overwhelming. Instead, I tend to reach for citrus, iris, orange blossom and other delicate white floral fragrances. Like Venice covered in snow, the impossibly transparent and airy Diorissimo (Christian Dior) is a perfume whose beauty is only enhanced by the cold. Then again, just like Venice, it is beautiful regardless of time and season….

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Rochas Femme New and Vintage : Perfume Review



Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

“Let me tell you, I created [Rochas] Femme in 1943 in Paris during the worst days of the war in a building that had a rubbish dump on one side and paint factory on the other,” remarked Edmond Roudnitska about one of his most sensual compositions, a perfume that smells of woman’s skin and ripe summer plums.

Some perfumes become classics because they are based on appealing, commercial accords (carnation and patchouli, patchouli and maltol, to name some examples), and others gain the status of legends because of their haunting beauty, even if it presents a challenge. Femme’s beauty is arresting and spellbinding, its main accord heavy like a heart filled with longings. …

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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.

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