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Perfume Past and Present: Preserving History at World Perfumery Congress

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Old perfume bottles

 

Speakers at WPC

There are some fragrances that become mainstays in perfume culture and are worn by multiple generations. Though these fragrances pass the test of time, the way the fragrance is created and by whom doesn’t always survive. In recreating historic fragrances, there are challenges. 

On June 5, 2018, during the World Perfumery Congress, Luca Turin, Ph.D., Stavros Niarchos Researcher at BSRC Alexander Fleming, and Saskia Wilson-Brown, executive director for The Institute for Art and Olfaction will be presenting “Restoring Perfume’s Past and Future Models.” During this presentation, they will present a case study on the recreation of Iris Gris, along with providing a deeper look at similar attempts in the perfume industry. Additionally, they will provide the history of Iris Gris, recent recreation efforts and the current culture of transparency.

The drive towards transparency in perfumery emulates a similar drive in the independent film industry in the late 2000s, which led to a flurry of directors and producers having to spend the lion's share of their time blogging rather than filmmaking. Same goes for niche and artisan perfumers, at the moment, and it's only increasing,” said Wilson-Brown. “It certainly seems that the industry is paying attention, as the drive towards transparency is coinciding with a drive towards naturals-only and increased (often mistaken) concern about the dangers of synthetics. So transparency is now becoming short-hand for educating and calming a ‘chemical-phobic’ public.”

During this class, attendees will learn about the methodologies, strategies and challenges when recreating lost formulas in the contemporary perfume industry, the history of early 20th-century perfumery, recent efforts to relaunch vintage scents and how transparency has changed the industry.