Fragrance Notes ISSUE 1, 2018 - Page 36

NOTABLE NOSES too much on a fragrance and you don’t know what to do with it anymore. At that point in time, I leave the office and go for a coffee around the corner and forget about the work. I come back, even the next day, or later that day, and things are different. You have to be in the mood, in the right light, and things come back. I always have many projects going at once so if I’m stuck on one I move on to the next or I go and have coffee and move on to the third one. Eventually, you come back. Ahmed: What’s it like to meet someone wearing one of your fragrances? How does it make you feel? When you create a fragrance, do you have an idea or picture of the ideal consumer in mind? Benaïm: I don’t have a person in mind when I create a fragrance. When I create a form or whatever I want to create, it is more related to ingredients, to the construction, to ideas, to memories, to things. It’s not so much, “Okay this has to be a blonde, age 23.” When I encounter someone wearing one of my fragrances in the street, there’s always a very intense pleasure of having touched someone’s life, and having brought some beauty or pleasure to them. Ahmed: Do you have a favorite scent—or perhaps this question is a bit like like asking a parent to pick a favorite child? Benaïm: I love natural ingredients, the many smells and flavors. Jasmine is one of my favorites. I love the synthetic notes; I love musk. I’m very attune to the positives of the musk for some reason. I like very much to use them in my fragrances… Choosing a favorite scent isn’t easy. We have all these wonderful colors and I’m not going to paint with only one! Ahmed: You’re celebrating your 50th anniversary at IFF this year. That’s an incredible amount of history, and I’m sure you’ve seen how much the industry has evolved. Can you elaborate on one or two of the most significant changes that you’ve witnessed in perfume? Benaïm: In those 50 years, I basically saw the development of American perfumery. At the time, the way we worked was much more complicated. We used a lot of bases and a lot of naturals. The jasmine was not one ingredient; it was often a base made out of manmade ingredients. At the same time, fragrances had to be extremely powerful, extremely long-lasting, and then somehow that became too much for the public. We started to create simpler fragrances. Our ingredients became more transparent, so we started working in a different way. Instead of complicating everything, we used more transparency in ingredients. Then, we got to the point that everybody got tired of smelling like water, so we are going back to something that has more substance. 36 FRAGRANCE NOTES ISSUE 1, 2018 And so now we are in that world where there is more texture, more simplicity, with more interest in naturals. Men and women want to be smelled, but in a lighter and more elegant way. Ahmed: We are seeing more unisex fragrances available today, but we’re also seeing women wearing men’s fragrance and vice versa. Can you speak to this trend? Benaïm: In regard to unisex fragrances, there have always been men who wear women’s fragrances and women who wear men’s. But with the niche fragrance trend, a lot of these fragrances are unisex. They are about expressing an idea and have a lot of character, so they can be worn by men or women. Ahmed: In this age of massive technological disruption, many industries are trying to get a handle on how automation and artificial intelligence and machines will affect our future and humans’ place in it. I believe that art, by definition, really can’t be created or appreciated by a machine. What are your thoughts from a perfumery standpoint? Benaïm: Creativity, the magic synthesis, cannot be duplicated by a machine. On the other hand, I feel that machines could do a lot of the tedious things that we do today and could relieve a lot of the burdens of the perfumer. And so, I’m feeling good about what’s happening today. It is going to make it easier for me to work, and that allows me to express what I really want to express and gives m H[ܙH[YH] ZYY]YXH[H]H܈]܈\\[\[Y\[pNHHوܚZ[[[[[K[H[š]8&\[^\HX\\KHܙX]X\\H܈YHˈۘH[B\H[\\YH[ HYܘ[K]XY\ZHH\[ۋ[H]HX[H\YH][]Hو[H\\[H[XK]\[[\H[\ܝ[ ۙHو[H\[BY[܋YXH][H[\[][[[H[[\\Y\HXۙ[\H[[[و^\Y[\[[\\\Xܛ\%\XYBHXXX[[[\ۈX[Y[و\[Y\H[]X[] [H]H[[\[\[H\\[][[[\\[H[^H[Y[][H[[H[[\\[Y\KXH\\HXH]Y˜[X][HX]]H[\\Bو\[Y\K]\XH܂]\Hٚ[\وH[\x&\XY[¸'\˸'H]HH\[Y\Y\‘[XZ[Yܘ[[\Y[Kܙ