You’ve seen this exercise before, the question is what perfumer living or dead, would you choose to make you a signature scent? I’ve read the question and always think it depends on what it is, or was, that the perfumer did best ? Meaning, which genre of scent did they excel at composing?
If you choose to wear chypres, you’d have to resurrect Francois Coty as a composer. Nobody knocked them out of the park the way he did. And personally, I love chypres. You could insist on Jacques Guerlain, but he was so good at orientals, that I kind of hate to make him budge. No, for chypres, in the dream of perfume enthusiasts, it would have to be Coty. Among the living, no question, Michel Roudnitska. He does beautiful lasting ones.
If, however, I were casting about for a leather perfume, it would be Ernest Daltroff. Tabac Blond, En Avion anyone? No question, Daltroff for leather scents. So far so good, and for a live composer of leathers, alright, because of Baladin I’d choose Patricia de Nicolai.
Now the question of the floral breaks down two ways, aldehydic and non aldehydic. If I wanted aldehydes, I would go for Vincent Roubert, and quite frankly I might knock on his door for straight florals as well, though I would go and pester Olivia Giacobetti for those or possibly Nathalie Feisthauer, and for aldehydic perfumes I would go to Francis Kurkdijian. He gets the light abstraction of the sub-genre right.
Citruses are a matter of ….sorry. You thought I would say Edward Roudnitska, right? Well, no, I find myself not a fan, but I loved the original Eau de Hadrian which was a perfect memorial of the Tuscan countryside right down to the scent of the cypress trees, which are as frequent there in old cemeteries as panicle hydrangeas are in New England ones. That’s a scent I truly miss.
The green perfumes are difficult, I think I would have to get either Jean Claude Ellena to do a green jasmine, because he loves jasmine and has done a tea one in Bulgari Eau Parfumee, so why not a green jasmine? Or else Germaine Cellier.
For gourmands I would head to the man who is the contemporary master, Pierre Guillaume. I don’t write about him enough, but he really is a wonderfully interesting perfumer with quite a body of work behind him now and his Bois Blond (a beer/green/wheat scent) and Cadjmere (a vanilla shawl of a perfume) are among the most interesting fragrances of the oughts.
For fruity florals, and I know many perfume lovers would forgo this sort of scent, but I like it, the choice is simple, Pierre Bourdon.
Orientals I seldom wear but they would be Serge Luten’s if I did now, and Jacques Guerlains’ back in the day.
Overall, I wonder who I would choose as a personal perfumer? It’s a difficult question. Possibly I would choose Olivia Giacobetti who never composes a scent I don’t like, or perhaps the wonderful Jean Kerleo, if only to ask him to re-gild Sublime, which has been missing its golden glow.
Who would you choose?