Fragrance Notes Issue 1, 2019 - Page 14

S L O U T G A B S L E N UG NOSES A Fearless Approach to Fragrance Angélique Nadau prides herself on putting people first and never giving up THE NOSE ANGÉLIQUE NADAU Senior Perfumer, Takasago International Corporation (USA) –– ON LIFE AS AN EXPAT: After growing up in France, “starting a new life in the U.S. was quite an adventure. I flew into JFK Airport on Black Friday and, as my cab was stuck in the craziest traffic, thought to myself, this is insanity! It was just me, two suitcases and a total lack of credit history — ha! Becoming an American citizen in 2014 was a moment of great pride and self-actualization.” ON HER PHILOSOPHY FOR CREATING: “Be tough and don’t take anything personal. Work hard—the harder you work, the luckier you get! Don’t say it can’t be done until you’ve tried and really failed. There is always a solution possible. Always try that crazy idea, it might just work, and be stable, and strong enough.” ON ENGAGING PEOPLE ABOUT FRAGRANCE: “Everyone has their own fragrance story that they’re eager to share. Fragrance is universal and brings us together. It’s a great reminder that we are so lucky to do the job we do, to work in an industry that stirs so many emotions, therefore connecting us as humans.” ON HER PASSION FOR COOKING: “I love to cook ALL THE THINGS; I have no doubt homemade meals are the number one tool to remain both mentally and physically healthy.” Check out one of her favorite vegan recipes, Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Avocado Garlic Aioli, from Angela Liddon’s blog, 14 | FRAGRANCENOTES.ORG | Issue 1, 2019 LIA DANGELICO, DIRECTOR, COMMUNICA- TIONS, FRAGRANCE CREATORS ASSOCIA- TION: How did scent or fragrance play a role in your early life? ANGÉLIQUE NADAU, SENIOR PERFUMER, TAKASAGO INTERNATIONAL CORPORA- TION (USA) : It must have all started with my mother’s fragrances. She adores them and wore many different ones. I recall Shiseido’s Féminité du Bois on her. She also used to wear Chanel’s Égoiste, which is a male fine fragrance, actually! She loves heavy orientals and generally quite unusual fragrances, which shaped my early perfume tastes. I grew up in Les Sables d’Olonne, a seaside town in Western France, and have a very fond memory of the smell of the ocean—the “real” ocean smell: fishy, seaweedy, outdoors, ozonic—not that of suntan lotion. I went to boarding school from ages 10 to 17, and often, after my Dad would pick me up from the train on Friday nights, he’d swing by the beach front, rolling down the windows and letting the sea spray invade the car. To this day, ozonic smells take me to the happiness of being back home for the weekend: the excitement that it’s Friday night and I have two whole days away from school. My mother—a fantastic cook—is also responsible for my love of cardamom and orange flower water. She introduced me and my brother to an array of tastes and flavors from a very young age. I have loved smells for as long as I can remember. I used to collect empty bottles and mini sample-sized ones as well as magazine ads. I had folders upon folders of ads neatly organized in plastic sleeves. I bet they’re still somewhere in that house by the ocean. DANGELICO: How did you end up in per- fumery and what was your journey into the industry like? NADAU: I am very lucky that out of all places in the world, I grew up in France, where there’s a definite awareness of the existence of a whole industry dedicated to perfumes. I focused on science in high school, got into preparatory classes for chemistry school when I was 18, and studied chemical engineering in Montpelli- er for three years, graduating in 2000. My first summer internship was with Robertet in Grasse, France, under the tutelage of Claude Monin. One of my happiest olfactive memories is driving into Grasse at sunset, rolling my window down, and smelling the fragrance—“real fragrance,” the 20-year-old me was thinking—from all the manufacturing facilities, mixed with the early summer outdoor air. It was wild to think there was an actual place on earth where the outside air actually smelled like perfume. My first job was at Firmenich in London as an applied technology chemist. I knew by then I wanted to become a perfumer. Being eager to work, I decided to take a job in the industry and maneuver my way from there. I’ll never forget the heart wrench when, one month after I started, I read about perfumery trainee openings on the company’s intranet. Although I was dying to apply, I did not think it was ethical to do so. Instead, I focused on the job at hand and used every spare minute I had to learn from Firmenich’s star perfumers. One of my first assignments was to study the evaporation of citronellol, and “citron”— “lemon” in French. However, as I was prepping my sample, all I could smell was rose and I could have cried! “Well, there goes my career as a perfumer,” I thought. “I can’t even smell right.” I timidly popped my head in Henry van den Heuvel’s office to ask him about citronellol. He congratulated me for not smelling with my eyes and taught me about rose alcohols. I walked away from this conversation with my chest all puffed up in pride. Afterwards, I did my best to get involved with all sorts of smelling. I remember assisting Haresh Totlani as he was training staff on basic raw materials. One day, he complimented me on my keen sense of smell, asking if I had ever