Go inside the global perfume industry, follow the stories of perfumers, scientists and marketing gurus on their quest to win over the next generation of consumers.
Something Old, Something New
Today, all perfumers face the same challenge: how to make their fragrance stand out in a market crowded with product. We spend a year with two very different perfume houses as they attempt to win over the next generation of consumer.
In Paris, the ancient house of Guerlain looks outside the family for the first time for its next perfumer-in-chief. But Thierry Wasser has to tread carefully – adapting the iconic fragrance Shalimar for the 21st century without upsetting the old guard.
Getting the concept and packaging right is as important as important as the smell. But will buyers get this liquid rendition of rock and roll?
Bottling the Memory
Perfumers are molecular chemists and sensual creatives who seek to trigger pleasurable memories and associations through our most primitive sense. The second film in the series follows three different types of perfumer to find out how they do it and what it takes to become one.
Jean Claude Ellena is in-house nose at French brand Hermes. We spend time with him in his studio in the woods, musing, sniffing and then creating a fragrance inspired by a secret garden. American Christopher Brosius is the Proust of perfume, a punk star with a mission to create scents that that can speak to us of times past. There are more astronauts than there are perfumers – so how does he spot the right stuff in students who may not be aware they have it?
The Smell of the Future
The fragrance industry used to cater for the tastes of London, Paris and New York, but times are changing. New economies are the future, but what we like in a smell changes with time and location, and perfumers have to a lot of homework to do.
The fastest-growing market of all is Brazil, where citizens are obsessed with everything fragranced. We’re with perfumers as they peer into bathroom cabinets to monitor minute shifts in taste, and with an American scent guru who has to get up the noses of Latin adolescents in order to define the smell of the next version of a body-spray.