edmond roudnitska: 5 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.

Continue reading →

The Art of Perfume in Grasse : The Course Program

The aim of my Provence class this spring is threefold: to explain how to smell like perfumers, to introduce the landmarks that changed perfume history and to offer a basic technical understanding of perfume composition. With this knowledge you can appreciate fragrances on a deeper level as well as fine-tune your senses in general. The class will take place on April 5-9th in Provence, France. Below is the course program.

WEDNESDAY, April 5
A welcome meeting.

THURSDAY, April 6
Day 1: Inside A Perfumer’s Garden and A Visit to the Perfume Lab

Continue reading →

Hermes Muguet Porcelaine : Perfume Review

44444

Last week I talked about perfumery as “the art of fortunate proportions,” and one of the best examples for this idea is the newest fragrance from Hermès, Muguet Porcelaine. Created by Jean-Claude Ellena just as he prepared to give over the reins of the house to Christine Nagel, it feels like a recap of his work over the past few decades. Ellena is not leaving Hermès, and he will be delighting his fans with other perfumes, and yet, there is something nostalgic in Muguet Porcelaine, a tender lily of the valley.

muguet-porcelaine

Muguet Porcelaine is also a tribute to a legendary perfumer who influenced Ellena, Edmond Roudnitska. Ellena, however, denies it, commenting that it was time to create lily of the valley for Hermès’s portfolio, but it’s hard not to spot the parallels between the two. In my review for the Financial Times’s HTSI column, I follow the clues. Muguet Porcelaine is delicate without being precious and ethereal without being evanescent. It lingers for several hours and creates an illusion of a springtime breeze.

Continue reading →

The Art of Fortunate Proportions

“The art of fortunate proportions” is how Edmond Roudnitska described perfumery. The idea is simple–all elements in the right dosages and in the right balance, but as is often the case, the simplicity is the most elusive attribute of all. Whenever I revisit his fragrances, I’m moved time and again by their grace and harmony. In Perfumes: The art of balance and proportion, my new FT column, I describe Roudnitska’s art, the elegance of Guerlain and the feisty brilliance of Germaine Cellier.

art of balance

When I speak of balance in perfumery, I mean both the aesthetics and technique. Consider Guerlain’s Chamade, one of the most perfectly balanced fragrances. From the bright-green top notes to the rose and hyacinth heart and velvety, woody notes, the perfume unfolds like a silk scroll. Similarly modulated is Dior’s Diorissimo, one of Roudnitska’s masterpieces and the subject of many articles in this column. To continue reading, please click here.

Image via FT HTSI

Inspiration in Perfumery

Perfumers

Fascinating glimpse into the creative process in perfumery (quoting famous perfumers such as Henri Robert, Andre Fraysse, Ernest Beaux and Edmond Roudnitska) excerpted from The Complete Technology Book on Herbal Perfumes & Cosmetics By H. Panda, p. 53-54.

“Different perfumers react to different stimuli. Thus Henri Robert interviewed some years ago, mentioned that he always kept an odour-diary throughout his worldwide travels. On returning to his laboratory, with the aid of these notes, he would attempt to recreate in memory the various olfactive impressions that he had received: ‘something suggested, for example, on a May morning on the Riviera or in the heat of a tropical afternoon, the impression arising from a market scene, a visit to the grand magazines or a concert.’ He might then decide to translate this or that olfactive reminiscence into a formula. … The place which he considered the most unfailingly stimulating source of odour-impressions was Paris, or to be more precise, a very small section of the Faubourg St. Honore. Here he was able to find the strongest impression of artistry, beauty and that subtle feeling of elegance so necessary to achievement in the sphere of fine perfumery.

Continue reading →

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Liz S in 5 Ways to Transition Into Fall: Oops – Poirier d’un Soir – that is what happens when you edit on a phone keyboard..! September 19, 2017 at 5:43pm

  • Liz S in 5 Ways to Transition Into Fall: I think us September babies get the best of both worlds – golden sunshine of late summer and the glorious colours of autumn! I am also wearing Miller Harris Un… September 19, 2017 at 5:41pm

  • Olivia in 5 Ways to Transition Into Fall: A Pimsleur course. I own a vintage book called Image de la France that I can’t wait to delve into once I give myself a little language review. It’s an… September 19, 2017 at 4:46pm

  • Austenfan in 5 Ways to Transition Into Fall: This year I seem to really dislike September! Having all this gloomy weather doesn’t help. Still I will adjust in due course, as I always do. It’s nice to wear… September 19, 2017 at 4:33pm

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2017 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved.