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Monday, November 15, 2010

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Bertrand Duchaufour, Perfumeur with L'Artisan Parfumeur

Bertrand began as a perfumery trafinee in 1985, joining the Lautier Florasyth Group in Grasse.  A year later, he was a qualified Perfumer and ready to realize his passion.  In 1988, he moved to Paris with Florasynth, and ten years latter he joined Créations Aromatiques. 

Bertrand loves art, with a special interest in the native arts, in part because it remains anonymous like the artists who created it.  To him, creating fragrance is an art form.  It is an expression of life itself.  Bertrand creates paradoxes with fragrances.  His creative process follows two fundamental premises.  First, he believes that balance is achieved when opposites attract, like yin and yang.  Second, nothing is lost and nothing is created, instead everything is transformed.  He distorts and deconstructs nature, playing with contrasts such as vegetable notes mixed with animal notes, light with dark, synthetic, man-made materials with natural compositions. 

Part of the L’Artisan Parfumeur “family” of Perfumers, Bertrand has been responsible for the creation of Méchant Loup, Patchouli Patch, Timbuktu, Dzongkha, Poivre Piquant, Piment Brûlant and Fleur de Liane. 

Bertrand has also been the nose behind a host of well-known fragrance creations for other houses such as Fahrenheit Fresh for Christian Dior, Cipresso di Toscana for Acqua di Parma, Flora Bella for Lalique and a number of Comme de Garçons scents.  Peachy Deegan met Bertrand recently and we are so pleased to present him as our latest Mover and Shaker!

Peachy Deegan: What are your first memories of your sense of smell? 
Bertrand Duchaufour: The cosmetic products of my mother, her lipstick perhaps.

How has the perfume industry evolved since you first became involved?
It evolved with a systematization of the iconic message,  more standard fragrances, boring...

What scents do you enjoy the most? 
Hearth !

When we review perfume sometimes it reminds us of the sensory experience in reviewing wine or other alcohols.  Do you agree? 
Yes of course!

What makes an excellent parfumeur? 
First of all, memory, and a good artistic sense as well.

When we met you at Henri Bendel we said we admired how you are excellent at what you do and how brands that slap a celebrity name on a mass-marketed perfume disappoint us.  What is your secret to having a leg up on these marketing machines?
I have found success through my own inspirations from life, and my creations are not dictated by the mass market. So, perhaps it is a case of honesty of craftsmanship and art trumping mass marketers…

What fragrances are your most favorite and why? 
Dior Homme, Mitsouko of Guerlain, Femme de Rochas, Macassar of Rochas, Yatagan of Caron

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence? 
The genius of the great and famous artists

What are you proudest of and why? 
My son because he is wise.

How do you like New York compared to Paris? 
[New York is ]Active, energic, young powerful and big...

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do? 
Exhibit my paintings, exhibit my tribal art collection and create a new design perfume brand.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? 
Every museum

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? 
Arnold Lieberman showroom (Tibetan buddhist and trantric art)

What is your favorite drink? 
Good wines and champagnes, good teas and coffees

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? 
I liked TAO restaurant in midtown nearby central park

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? 
The new Highline

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? 
Doing Tai Qi Chuan in Central Park

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? 
Visit the Neue Gallery (one of the best exhibition of Schiele and Klimt )

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience? 
I remember an amazing concert in blue note jazz club in greenwich village in 1981 and an anonymous jazz group concert in Harlem the same year, very exciting.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here? 
Hum... I don't know exactly, I would say that in NY everything is overrated and nothing underrated. It's in american nature to optimizing everything, maybe too much.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it? 
Product Alert!  That is where you talk about perfume.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you? 
I try to be a simple man in the buddhism sense.

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