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Cover Story: 20 to Know

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: January 10, 2008, from the January 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 12 of 13

The site is designed to be easily accessible, offering personalized beauty solutions to meet consumers’ individual needs and aspirations—featuring a product library, how-to videos, detailed user ratings and reviews, and an extensive community element.

Carlos Benaim
International Flavors & Fragrances

A classic is built on an underlying frame of artistry that stands the tests of each generation. Carlos Benaim has aced those tests. An engineering student who “accidentally discovered” a fascination with fragrance and perfumery, Benaim celebrates his 40th year as an IFF perfumer in 2008.

Benaim’s chemistry internship began with a three-week detour in the company’s perfumers training lab, sparking an instintaneous interest in scent. He began his career at IFF upon graduation. His first “big” success was Ralph Lauren’s Polo. Calvin Klein Euphoria and other classics have since been added to his resume, and he has been witness to changing fragrance trend landscapes and adapted to each. For Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds, he left the lab and spent time with Taylor at her home, talking about her favorite flowers and conducting blind smell sessions.

His work earned an American Society of Perfumers’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, and his creations have won a number of FiFi awards. Persistence, he says, is the most important quality in the industry. “You have to have a strong ego to absorb all the rejections on a daily basis,” he told Perfumer & Flavorist magazine in a 2004 interview. “Many times we are pushed into meeting a brief deadline, and that is definitely not a source of creativity for a perfumer. So, the important thing is not to get caught up in the briefs and the test, but to really explore your own creativity, your own artistic side and to come up with interesting ideas and pursue them with diligence.”