Edmond Roudnitska: 8 posts

Edmond Roudnitska on The Art of Perfume


“Not all perfumes are works of art (no more that all musical compositions are masterpieces) or incline one to grant them artistic status for the simple reason that they are more and more composed industrially and less and less by professional artists. As a result of this industrialization, which tends to replace true creative perfumers with prolific “mixers” and also vulgarizes the product, we have entered a period of artistic decadence with profit being the excuse for any kind of deformation of the product no matter how blatant” (see the full article here).

This statement by Edmond Roudnitska, a perfumer who was, first and foremost, an artist, inspired me to ponder, if perfume has a status of art, what are the criteria to judge its artistic merits? If the formula is an artwork, can it be reformulated?  Or is it just a luxury commodity good? These are tough questions, and I do not have ready-made answers, however I would love to hear other opinions and to explore this topic further.

If you were to name a fragrance that should have a status of art, what would it be?

Photograph: Edmond Roudnitska, from art-et-parfum.

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese : Perfume Review



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

Frédéric Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse was created by Edmond Roudnitska, one of the most influential perfumers, the nose behind Rochas Femme, Diorella, Diorissimo and Dior Eau Sauvage among others. According to Frédéric Malle’s site, Le Parfum de Thérèse was composed in 1960s by Mr. Roudnitska for his wife, Thérèse. Upon the death of the master perfumer in the 1996, his wife allowed for the fragrance to be released to the public through Frédéric Malle.

Le Parfum de Thérèse is one of my favorites from the collection. The burst of sunny mandarin is followed by tart sweetness that reminds me of cantaloupe. A dry note of pepper softens the sweet fruity accord before green, yet animalic jasmine reveals itself. It is faint at first, however it becomes deeper over time. Roudnitska’s treatment of indoles–perfume materials that smell of decay and moth balls–in jasmine is fascinating. By amplifying the dark notes, he creates a genuinely sensual fragrance that straddles the fine line between seduction and repulsion.

While jasmine intensifies, violet and rose swirl out of the spicy green plum accords in the middle notes. The entire composition rests on a dry leathery base touched by earthy notes of vetiver. A fragrance both seductive and elegant, it unfolds gently on the skin, never failing to surprise me. I find something new in it every time I wear it.

Photo: Auguste Rodin, Fugit Amor (before 1887), marble, Musée Rodin, Paris. Photo by E. & P. Hesmerg.

Chanel Cristalle EDT and EDP : Perfume Review



Rated 4.5 out of 5.0

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

Eau de Toilette

There are some fragrances that one cannot forget, even if for one reason or another, the love affair is suspended, and the bottle is not replaced. When I moved to the US, my perfume bottles were left at the old apartment and, alas, never retrieved. Cristalle was one of them. And then recently I stopped by a Chanel counter and reached for the slim oblong bottle. As the mist fell upon my skin, I was immediately swayed by its luminous clarity. Of course, I had to have a bottle right away.

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