Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bertrand Duchaufour: "My work always seems to come from bumping into someone unexpectedly"

How romantic is it for a modern day perfumer to get initially interested in perfumery because he fell in love with a girl with great taste in fragrance at 17? (She was wearing Chanel's No.19) And is it any wonder that Guerlain's Mitsouko and Jacques Fath's Iris Gris still remain to this day the olfactory monuments by which consequent artists set the bar?

Bertrand Duchaufour, perfumer for Comme des Garcons, L'Artisan Parfumeur and Penhaligon's among others, who trained at the Lautier Florasynth group in Grasse while also working at Florasynth Paris and Créations Aromatiques (the two companies merged in 1997), is revealing these and other interesting points about his tastes and work perspective in a short & sweet interview hosted on Osmoz.com on this link.
Worth a read!


  1. Helg, thanx for this link to the BF interview. Any perfumer gifted enough to create Timbuktu, Avignon, Al Oudh AND Jub. XXV has got to be worth getting to know; what a master. (And how lovely he was inspired by Chanel No. 19 -- one of the scents that was always wafting about in the background in my home as a kid. Great school of perfumery, no?)

  2. Malena14:38

    Dear E. :-)

    Thank you for the link! It was an interesting read & I don't doubt for a second that B. Duchaufour loves the smell of the earth *lol* It shows in many of his creations.

    While I've problems wearing several of his perfumes (the basenote comes out a little too rooty for my taste), I fell for his "Traversée du Bosphore". It's really charming & has lots of different stages - there's so much to discover while the fragrance unfolds on the skin.

    & I totally agree, it's very romantic indeed that he became interested in perfume through a girlfriend :-)


  3. Michael

    you're welcome! Hope you're very well :-)

    I think his earlier compositions when he wasn't as "rock star"-known were determinedly the ones which brought him to the fore and thus deserving of extra recognition for that push (it's a different thing to be someone who is already well-known among cognoscenti and thne release such individual style perfumes, I believe).
    Timbuktu has been close to my heart from the beginning, it's so unique, there is a muddiness to it, a dry quality to it too, yet subtle. It doesn't glob you on the head at all.

    As to No.19, quite different from what he composes (haughtier, powdery), but a great reference all the same. One has to wonder whether the perfumers of tomorrow will have all those great references to touch their memory lobe when they grow up....

  4. What's up with spamminess? Another one bites the dust!

  5. Malena,

    you're most welcome and glad you found it enjoyable. It's not faux intellectual trying to impress which makes for a well-paced read, while at the same time it provides essential nuggets of information.
    And I should think that the smell of the earth is indeed a sine qua non of Bertrand's compositions, one should arrive at that with eyes closed and hands tied behind the back. It's so apparent if one smells them....

    It's interesting to note that his "rootiness" has progressed though to less pointedly earthy (such as were Timbuktu, Sienne L'Hiver etc) and more "layered"-dived-opened up compositions lately, like Traversee du Bosphore which is sweeter than we are used to (coming from him, I mean) and uniting some references which are not necessarily so "programmatic" given the concept, less expected than an oriental.
    For instance, Traversee du Bosphore indeed,: what did YOU expect initially, before trying it out and hearing about notes/ideas?


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