Guerlain’s grasp perfumer Thierry Wasser on why the Gulf is a continuing supply of inspiration
DUBAI: Guerlain’s grasp perfumer Thierry Wasser isn’t any odd man.
The nostril behind a number of the maison’s most iconic fragrances, Wasser joined Guerlain in 2008 to fill the footwear of his predecessor, Jean-Paul Guerlain. This made him the fifth-ever perfumer in the home’s historical past and its first non-family title.
Wasser was not too long ago in Dubai to disclose Guerlain’s newest bee bottle, designed in collaboration with Lebanese designer Nadine Kanso, and he spoke to Arab Information about his position at Guerlain and the way the Gulf Cooperation Council area continues to encourage him.
The maison’s newest fragrance, Reve d’Amour, housed in a bottle designed by Kanso, is one Wasser described as a pageant of white flowers.
He stated: “I additionally wished one thing linked to Nadine, which is the cedar wooden – it’s the symbol of Lebanon.”
The Center East, particularly the GCC area, is essential to Wasser. He famous an encounter with an Emirati man 15 years in the past, which led to the creation of Santal Royal in a bee bottle designed by artist Tarek Benaoum.
“I created Santal Royal after a dialog with an older gentleman who stated, ‘you European individuals don’t know the way to design a giant wow fragrance.’ And he defined to me what a perfume means for an Emirati.”
From that dialog, Wasser discovered how some Emirati males rub rose oil on their nostril and beard earlier than greeting somebody.
“GCC, for me, isn’t solely about enterprise but in addition a supply of inspiration. The importance of perfume right here is profound in comparison with Europe and America,” Wasser added.
He identified that energy, diffusion, and long-lastingness had been essential within the area.
“In Europe, you set fragrance in your pores and skin. Right here, fairly often, it’s on the garments. And if you happen to study concerning the longevity of the composition on garments versus on the pores and skin, you write your method relatively in another way,” he stated.
Wasser turned a perfumer by likelihood and revealed that his preliminary commerce was medicinal herbs.
“I bought kicked out of college after I was 15 as a result of I discovered it boring and bought a diploma in botany as an alternative,” he added.
Throughout the Seventies, the Swiss nationwide joined Givaudan Perfumery College in Geneva, the place he found he had a knack for scents.
He stated: “The pinnacle of the college was struck by my capability to explain scents utilizing phrases – that was my sturdy level.”
After graduating, he labored in Paris and New York earlier than his appointment at Guerlain. His expertise on the maison has been distinctive in comparison with his roles at different firms.
“Guerlain could be very particular in comparison with its competitors. Since 1828, they manufacture all the pieces they promote – there are not any frozen pizzas within the kitchen.”
He discovered the artwork of producing and sourcing from and with Jean-Paul Guerlain.
“Beforehand, I used to be solely designing fragrances. With Guerlain, all the pieces begins from scratch. I spend 35 p.c of my time sourcing flowers within the fields,” he added.
From the Indian state of Tamil Nadu comes jasmine, vetiver, and mimosa whereas pepper is sourced from Madagascar. With a vertically built-in provide chain, Wasser is usually knee-deep in flower fields and is aware of his suppliers effectively.
He stated: “Jean-Paul Guerlain was sourcing the bergamot from the south of Italy from the identical household, which is now in its third technology.
“Perfume is incarnated by the individuals who choose the flowers and rework them into the oil. So, after I odor a rose from Bulgaria, it has a that means to me as a result of I do know the pickers and transformers. There may be an emotional cost to all these totally different substances, and that’s why I feel our fragrances are alive,” Wasser added.