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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Patricia Bilodeau, Perfumer

Patricia Bilodeau has been a perfumer for over twenty years. She started her career at Florasynth in New York , continuing at Dragoco for ten years, then Haarmann & Reimer for over four years.

Patricia is truly passionate about her work and has a deep love for fragrance. She started learning to develop fragrance in the traditional perfumery method of a formal apprenticeship and over the years she had the chance to work with many talented perfumers and evaluators. She approaches each fragrance as an abstract art form, allowing shapes and colors to inspire her approach to the structure of each perfume.

She enjoys being in the outdoors and her favorite hobby is cooking, which she finds to be the perfect way to unwind and escape. She considers concocting novel tastes and textures with food as creative as creating a perfume. Patricia approaches both art forms with the creative abandon that comes from “thinking outside the box” and is a member of the American Society of Perfumers and Cosmetic Executive Women.






Peachy Deegan interviewed Patricia Bilodeau for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: When did your realize you wanted to be a parfumeur?
Patricia Bilodeau: It happened gradually. There was no precise moment although I always knew I was interested in scent from a young age.

How has your career changed during your different positions at various firms?
My career expanded as my level of responsibility increased. As I was given more complex and exciting projects to work on I have been able to expand my palatte and knowledge of fragrances.

What are your favorite and least favorite scents, and why?
I do not "play favorites". I respect all scent for what it is. Creating fragrance is an art, with lots of different artists contributing to the craft.

What mistakes do people make when choosing perfume?
Purchasing a fragrance that they do not wear because they didn't take the time to test and "live with" a fragrance first. Fragrances change over time and vary with the person wearing them. People should try a fragrance first before purchasing to see how it wears on them.

What mistakes do people make when wearing perfume?
Perhaps wearing too much fragrance - this could distract some people. Sometimes your nose gets accustomed to your "favorite" fragrance and you don't realize how much you've sprayed on.

What have you learned most about scent in your career?
That I love it and never tire of what I do. Each day brings a new challenge!

What is your favorite place to be in NYC?
Central Park - it's like an oasis.

What is your favorite shop?
Hard to pick. I like to shop.

What is your favorite drink?
I really enjoy tea. I drink an assortment throughout the day and I'm always looking for something new to try. (Maybe you should meet our friend Tracy Stern and visit Salon Tea!)

What is your favorite restaurant?
I'm a real foodie and LOVE to cook. Destination restaurants are really not my thing. Combining ingredients in food is similar to combining ingredients in fragrance - you never know what is going to work until you try!

What is your favorite thing to do in NYC that you can do nowhere else?
I think we are blessed with a cultural diversity that is uniquely enjoyable. Each person contributes something new to the environment.

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