Monday, December 5, 2011

Karen Khoury: Perfume Inspirations for Estee Lauder & Tom Ford

"I love fragrance and I have lots of ideas. I can be inspired by a piece of art. For example, Pleasures was inspired by Georgia O'Keefe's paintings and Beyond Paradise by a painting I found in a gallery in the old section of Paris. I have fragrances inspired by travels. Fifteen years ago when I made my first trip to Turkey, I was enamoured by the spice market.

I brought some home and had them analysed and put into fragrances and in Morocco I became obsessed with the smell of thya wood and the beautiful bowls they carved out of it.
I took the pieces home and we recreated Bois Marocain for Tom Ford.

And I find women incredibly inspiring. I think women in different cultures share common threads, but the way in which they are expressed is influenced by the culture. It's so fascinating. When I start to understand that I see certain notes, certain ideas in my mind.".

Thus reminisces Karen Khoury, creative director for 27 year and Senior Vice President at the Lauder Companies Inc, responsible for the creation of numerous best-sellers in her career from Calvin Klein to Lauder to you name it.

photo of citruses & lilac flowers by Meg Smith & Associates via Laurie Arons


  1. Anonymous15:58

    Near the end of the article, it says, "It has the spiciness of pink pepper, which is not used very often in perfumery." Seriously? It's practically featured in every fragrance composition nowadays.

  2. Yes, I thought it's rather non sensical and thus ommited it.
    Pink pepper WAS something novel around when Pleasures was first issued. I think they mentioned in the press release, if I recall correctly, that it was the first one to make use of it.
    At any rate, she might have meant that it's rarely used in Middle-Eastern geared perfumery, though I doubt it, personally ;-)

  3. Oh and btw, pink pepper isn't really spicy. It's rose-y. :-)

  4. Anonymous18:50

    I love learning about perfumer's inspirations. It makes me appreciate the perfume even more.


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