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Interview with Sylvie Jourdet

Sylvie Jourdet, Creassence founder and perfume designer, shares the behind the scenes in perfume creation, tells us more about her passion for perfume and explains how Creassence came to life.

1/ How does one become a perfumer? Was it for you a true calling or rather an interest that you developed with time?

Back in the days, one would learn on the job how to become a perfumer, by working closing with a master perfumer and building experience from him. But today, there are various courses and graduate degrees that exist in order to be trained to become a perfumer.

I was initially leaning towards a cosmetician career when, during my studies, I discovered the art of perfume creation. It was a true revelation and that’s when I knew I would become a perfumer.

Being a perfumer is an ever evolving job that requires to be constantly learning new things but also to have a perfect knowledge of all the raw materials used in perfumes. The beauty of it is that my passion grew years after years, along with my knowledge.

2/ What are the various jobs involved in the creation of a perfume?

The perfumer designer devises and creates the perfume which means that after having imagined the smell, he or she writes the formula, carefully selection each ingredient and their shares. The perfumer assistant then weighs this formula making sure that he or she’s following the instructions given by the perfumer designer very closely. In bigger companies, the perfumer designer is also often supported by an evaluator who guides his or her work taking into consideration the marketing and business sides of the project, to make sure the perfume meets the desired objectives. At Creassence, our clients appreciate the fact that they can liaise directly with the perfumer designer without having to go through anyone else.

3/ What is the starting point to create a bespoke perfume? Is it an aroma, the description of an atmosphere, another perfume used as a point of reference? 

Each project is different because each client is different so our creative approach varies every time. Some brands have a rather precise idea of the type of fragrance that they want and are able to describe it using references such as existing perfumes, food flavourings, scents of nature…

But most of our clients expect a very original and creative fragrance so we work closely together in a more abstract and multi-sensory way looking at their brand image, the story of their perfume, their marketing concept, company values…

In each case, after having carefully listened to their needs, I first devise in my head a perfume that fits them which means that before writing down the formula I think about it, I smell it. The “olfactory melody” takes shape in my head and only later will I create a formula which will be the starting point of the perfume creation.

4/ What are the necessary steps in perfume creation? Creassence’s perfume creations are made in France but are they created in Paris or in Grasse?

The formulas are created in our laboratory in Paris. This is where we do many tests: we weigh ingredients, evaluate options and do trials. Once the formula is validated, the production of the fragrance takes place in the factory in Grasse.

5/ Similarly to the fashion world, are there trends in the perfume industry?

Indeed, there are a lot of trends when it comes to perfume, even if the cycles are longer than in the fashion world. However, most of our clients look for original and exclusive perfumes which tend not to follow the trends or seasonality.

6/ Finally, how would you say Creassence is different from other perfume houses in Paris?

Creassence was created in 2000, at the very beginning of what we call “niche perfumery”. The idea was to offer to those young and new brands a creative olfactory signature and making our savoir faire, legal expertise and knowledge available to them. At the time, it was something completely new as the big laboratories were not interested in working with small brands making small orders.

As we grew, we continued to innovate and listen to our client needs. We now offer a complete full-service approach to those young designers and assist them during all the steps of the creation of their project: we help them source the perfect bottle, create a beautiful packaging, design their offering. It is a completely bespoke and personalised service that goes beyond just the perfume creation.



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