The Life of the Perfumer Christophe Laudamiel – An Extract from "KyotEau: Bottled Memories".
How about the work life of a perfumer? The confidentiality of perfume formulas pulls a blanket of mystery over the perfume industry. However, Christophe Laudamiel is willing to shed a bit of light.
In his words:
“Half of his life is spent writing fragrance formulas to surprise and to create all kinds of envies and wonderful sensations for the happy few: clients, friends, and family.
Another half of his life is spent filling up trashcans with rejected fragrances from people who cannot smell or cannot judge but who think they belong to the happy few! The other half of the trashcans is what it takes to create a magic fragrance: a lot of expertise and a lot of trials and errors because not even perfumers can predict a scent in their minds just by looking at its formula.
A further half of his life is spent running around the lab looking for the suitable material in a jungle of 2,000 bottles or so to determine the correct next ingredient for his recipe of more than 80 ingredients.
Half of his life is spent thinking of how he can be more clever than nature by trying to tame ingredients and making them smell like what they don’t want to smell like.
Half of his life is spent thinking of how he should be shrewder than certain people sitting across a meeting table with different agendas.
Half of his life is spent thinking of how he can translate into a scent what someone cannot describe with words, but only with faces and emphatic gestures.
Half of his life is spent traveling either across Manhattan or across oceans, because the ingredients, the scent palettes, the fragrance collections and atmospheres won’t travel in the Internet in a zip file.
Indeed, there are many halves in a perfumer’s job, but they constitute the many facets to create the magic formula.”