PER FUMUS

a journey of the senses by FLACONNEUR

“The Story Of Fragrances”

On December 3rd of last month, the International Fragrance Associate of North America (IFRANA) released a short perfume documentary on their YouTube channel. The video takes a somewhat oversimplified look at perfumers, technicians and the IFRA’s favorite buzzword, consumer safety. For those of you who are not aware of what the IFRA is about, the IFRA’s main purpose, in their own words is “to ensure the safety of fragrance materials through a dedicated science program.” There has been much debate regarding the IFRA’s purpose statement as well as the actions they have taken in the fragrance industry. Some fragrance enthusiasts feel that this video is just another attempt by the IFRA to downplay the organizations overall stifling effect on the creative process as well as the art of fragrance making.

The two most recognizable perfumers in the video are Christophe Laudamiel and Carlos Benaim. Christophe Laudamiel is the nose responsible for acclaimed fragrances such as Tom Ford’s Amber Absolute and Abercrombie & Fitch’s Fierce. Laudamiel began his career as an intern at Procter & Gamble and later moved to fine fragrances working as a perfumer for the company. The other perfumer is Carlos Benaim, who has created some extremely successful mainstream fragrances such as Ralph Lauren Polo and Calvin Klein Eternity. Benaim was a chemical engineer before entering the world of perfume. In 2004, Benaim was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Society of Perfumers.

The material contained in the video is not terribly thought-provoking or earth shattering. The information presented is just a subtle overview of the fragrance industry as seen through the eyes of the IFRA. There have been several documentaries trying to cover the fantastic world of perfume and perfume making. The popular BBC series “Perfume” that was released in 2011 seems to have started a trend. This video is worth a watch regardless.

If you are interested in learning more about the IFRA and the IFRANA, you can visit them at The International Fragrance Association and The International Fragrance Association of North America.

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