Sunday, August 7, 2011

Perfumer Portrait: Yves Dombrowsky

Just six major multinational corporations, nick-named The Big Boys in Chandler Burr's in depth analysis of the fragrance industry The Emperor of Scent, are responsible for almost everything that we smell in our day-to-day lives, from deodorants and functional products (down to toilet cleaner) to luxury perfumes.New Zealand isn't among the countries you first think of when perfume or indeed scent business is mentioned. And yet there is thriving perfume industry in New Zealand, powered by the growing local natural cosmetic companies. Participating to this growth is "olfactory artiste" and designer of scents Yves Dombrowsky.

The French-born, Auckland-based perfumer is one of very few professional perfumers working in the country with such scent creations under his belt such as America's Cup fragrance, the scents for creams and cleansers by Antipodes, Trilogy and Health Basics, and the smells of washing powder and soaps by Ecostore. Another one of his creations is ambient scent for Nike and Supre, as in-house perfumer for Ecomist, meant to ignite the desire to "shop till you drop"; if you believe in the adage that smell is the most primitive sense and the one which acts directly to emotion, that is.
"I used to work in the field of environmental microbiology and as part of this role I was exposed to the potential of essential oils and this is when I familiarised myself with their smells. It wasn’t until I went to France as part of a project I was working on that I had my first introduction to a perfumer [a veteran at Chanel]. Impressed by my olfactory abilities, he invited me to stay longer to perfect my basic knowledge and return to New Zealand as an agent for their company. After a few years, I set out on my own and invented my own way to design and market perfume - it is now my passion." [source]

Dombrowsky has created perfumes for Rodd & Gunn, Jonah Lomu, Stitch Ministry and Native for Men; and is also working with Trelise Cooper to create a new perfume for her range (The perfume contains both bergamot (familiar to most through Earl Grey tea) and orris root (a flavour in Bombay Sapphire gin), both inspired by two of Cooper's favourite drinks. 

Dombrowsky's perfume "bar" (a variation on the perfumer's organ) houses 179 perfume "bases", each nuanced with notes that evaporate at different times, each base illustrated with photos and explanations about the notes, so as to guide clients into a personal discovery through scent. "Every perfume is numbered, and has a matching system to go with it," he explains."With this we have thousands of different formulas for creating a scent."

[Source of quotes]

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