When it comes to the world of niche and artisanal perfumery, it’s easy to obsess. As perhaps one of the most elegant and esoteric nomenclatures of art and science, haute perfumery has the ability to bottle the very best of artistic human endeavour. And while we know that scent stimulates the region of the brain responsible for authentic emotional engagement—its effect on our psyche stronger than sight, hearing, touch and taste combined—what of the sensory agents who engineer these triggers? Those who seduce, intrigue and move us to think and act. Neue Luxury peeled back the label to reveal seven of the brightest and most talented noses alive.
Jean-Claude Ellena is undoubtedly one of the worlds most celebrated perfumers. Born in Grasse, on the French Riviera, as the son of a perfumer, Ellena became the first student of the Givaudan perfumery school in 1968. In 1983 he joined Givaudan Paris as chief perfumer and in 1990 became one of the founding members of the Osmothèque, an international scent archive based in Versailles. Since 2004, Ellena has been the exclusive in-house perfumer for Hermès, as well as creating an incredible body of work for Amouage, Balenciaga, Bulgari, Cartier, Christian Lacroix, Frédéric Malle, Lalique and Yves Saint Laurent throughout his career.
Born in Strasbourg, France, Antoine Lie has always obsessed about the smell of things. Balancing the demands of an insatiable perfume industry with the artisanal sensibilities required to create lasting and memorable works, Lie has often been described as both subversive and commercial in the same sentence. Supporting this claim is the dichotomy and depth of his work on a broad spectrum of unique scents including Wonderwood (Comme des Garçons), Eau de Protection (Etat Libre d’Orange) and RED +MA (Blood Concept). After working with the major perfume houses and luxury brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna, Givenchy, Kenzo, Tom of Finland, Valentino and Versace, Lie joined the Paris perfumery team of Takasago in 2011.
Sylvie Fischer is somewhat of a rare ingredient in the olfactory world, as the daughter of a perfumer; she was raised in the world of fragrance. Driven by a deep love of art, Fischer commenced her apprenticeship at the age of 20 followed by an internship at French fragrance house Robertet. Having refined her skills under the watchful eye of Pierre Bourdon and Michel Almairac, Fischer then took up her current position at Takasago. Having been ‘the nose’ behind an incredible breath and depth of both commercial and haute fragrances, Fischer’s collaboration with master perfumers Francoise Caron, Antoine Lie and Nicolas Bonneville for fragrance house Nu_Be, is notable for its exploration of elements inspired by the origin of the cosmos.
Jean Jacques began his career as an accomplished jazz musician, working with notes and tones of an entirely different nature. After securing his degree in biochemistry in 1993, he entered ISIPCA in France and began practicing at Quest International, working alongside Pierre Bourdon then Maurice Roucel. In 1994 he was recruited by Kao Corporation and in 1997 moved to Takasago. With Sergei Rachmaninoff noted as one of his great idols, it is no surprise that Jean Jacques has created a spectrum of intriguing and complex creations such as Balmya for Balmain, Absolutely for Givenchy, Pour Homme for Ted Lapidus, Tous Les Parfums for Masaki Paris, Sun Rise Women for Jil Sander and C’est La Fête for Christian Lacroix (co-created with Francis Kurkdjian).
Born in England and raised outside of Hamburg, Germany, Mark Buxton is above all a hedonist, wine connoisseur and talented cook with a passion for antiques. With over 25 years of experience in fine fragrance creation, Buxton has collaborated with leading international fragrance houses and luxury brands as diverse as Givenchy, Versace, Van Cleef & Arpels, Paco Rabanne, Lagerfeld, Burberry, Cartier, Chopardand Ferré. His unique sensory handwriting was discovered when he created the first fragrances for Comme des Garçons Parfums and which in turn quickly positioned him as a visionary in haute perfumery.
Photo by Mikael Vojinovic.
Bertrand Duchaufour commenced his career in 1985, working as a perfumer with the Florasynth Group in Grasse, France. Since 2008, Duchaufour has been a ‘perfumer in residence’ with L’Artisan Parfumeur, one of the world's most unique and avant-garde fragrance houses. Following two fundamental principals, Bertrand believes that balance is achieved when opposites attract and that nothing is lost or created, only transformed. Distorting and deconstructing elements of nature, this olfactory artisan has created fragrances for many of the world’s best houses including Penhaligon’s, Amouage, Comme des Garcons, Givenchy and Christian Dior.
JEROME DI MARINO
Having lived more than 10 years in Nice, a cradle in the perfume world, it was anatural evolution for Jerome di Marino to become a perfumer. In 2008, Marinojoined Givaudan as a trainee alongside Nathalie Cetto and in 2011 joined Givenchy’s olfactive cell with Françoise Donche. Joining Takasago in 2012, Jerome started training under the guidance of Francis Kurkdjian. After followingthe mantra: ‘everything comes to those who wait’, we strongly believe thatMarino’s time is now.
Neue Luxury • Issue 4 • Design • Feature • BY Neue Luxury SHARE
A total work of art
Adolphe and Suzanne Stoclet epitomised the early 20th century haute bourgeoisie aesthetic. The most obtuse and daring of their projects was the Stoclet Palace, a private mansion designed to transport its inhabitants into a wonderland of grandeur and luxury.
The memories of scent
Francis Kurkdjian is a formidable French born perfumer who, aside from running his own highly successful fragrance empire, finds the time to continuously create superior scents for houses such as Burberry, Nina Ricci and Kenzo.
Editions de Parfums
Memories are so often olfactory. Although every scent is made of a simple combination of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen and sulfur, the experience of scent is both subjective and personal. Selecting a fragrance for another is often one of life’s most intimate and difficult acts.