Following on from my first post a few weeks ago, I thought I'd share a few more quotes from this excellent fragrance book. These quotes cover a slightly later period of the 20th century, up to about 1976. While I could add a few more as a subsequent installment, I think I will stop here. I think these quotes serve to illustrate amply that perfumery is an art!
Guy Robert on Ernest Daltroff: "Today, when copycats make money, and perfumers are discouraged by lawyers and toxicologists from using some of nature's most fascinating products, Daltroff's creations are a reminder of what true perfumery is all about. He devoted his unique taste and sense of balance to a quest for fragrance perfection."
Elsa Maxwell, Jean Patou's press agent, on being told Joy could not be used commercially, as it contained too expensive ingredients (possibly apocryphal): "That's our angle. We'll promote it as the most expensive perfume in the world, a perfect peg for us. And I've got the perfect name for it, Joy. Joy, it conveys a meaning understood all over the world. Wherever perfume is sold, Joy will be the standard of excellence, just as the Rolls Royce is to cars." Hmm, I wonder if Clive Christian tried to take a leaf from this book?
Edmond Roudnitska on Rochas Femme: "The most intense emotion I have ever known was the day Femme was presented in the couturier's salon on Avenue Matignon. They had sprayed the models, the curtains, maybe even the carpets, with the perfume. It was all over, everywhere! The impact shocked me."
Marcel Carles on his father, Jean Carles, who created Ma Griffe for Carven: "He lost his sense of smell after the war. He had nasal polyps and was always catching colds. They cauterised his nose, but must have damaged his 'yellow spot', because he could no longer smell. He continued to create perfumes in his head without ever smelling them, just as Beethoven lost his hearing, yet continued to compose. I'd say he probably never smelt a lot of the great perfumes he made after the war (including Ma Griffe)".
Edmond Roudnitska on creating Diorissimo: "To me, simplicity is the consecration of an artist - any artist in any domain - be it painting, or sculpture, or perfume. Only when they reach the peak of their talent do artists begin to simplify their work."
Marcel Carles recalling Paco Rabanne's brief for what became Calandre: "Imagine its spring. A rich young man arrives in his E-type Jaguar to pick up his girlfriend. Imagine the scent of fast air, speed and leather seats. He takes the girl for a ride along the seaside. He stops in a forest. There he makes love to her on the bonnet of the car."
Philippe Guerlain: "Events such as this (Paris uprising 1968) influence a perfumer, because it is not an artificial creation from an artificial world. Perfume is a work of art, a work of creativity and inspiration, linked to something that has actually happened."
Roja Dove: "Perfumers still study Chamade because its evaporation curve is considered so exceptional."
Jean-Paul Guerlain: "For me, Chamade was Guerlain's first modern perfume after Shalimar and Mitsouko. I am still in love with it."
Jacque Polge on Chanel No. 19: "The key to No. 19 is a very special grade of iris selected by Henri Robert. It accounts for only 1% of the formula, but it makes No. 19."
Jean-Claude Ellena on Roudnitska: "His perfume breathes, has rhythm, and his unique fragrance notes arouse the desire in us to experience it again and again. Edmond Roudnitska thus proves that a perfume is not merely a mixture of fragrance materials, but a work of the human spirit."
Jean-Claude Ellena on First: "We did not test the submissions on the customer to see if they worked. The only test we did was to spray from time to time in the Van Cleef & Arpels shop on the Place Vendome - just spray, to see people's reactions. I believe that First was the last major perfume of this century which was developed in the classical manner, the last perfume not to use marketing. All our thinking was intuitive. Just two people who took responsibility for the fragrance, for everything, for the world! That's a risk no one takes today."