How do I identify a good perfume

"You have to be able to identify with your perfume"

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  • Text: Gina Sergi; Photo: Guerlain

Its name is not like that of its predecessors - its name is water. As the first perfumer of the house of Guerlain, who does not come from the family, Thierry Wasser created, among other things, the fragrance “Mon Guerlain Intense”. In our interview, the Swiss lets us immerse ourselves in the fragrant world of Guerlain.

annabelle: Thierry Wasser, you developed Mon Guerlain Intense. What is the fragrance?
Thierry Wasser: The fragrance should be an ode to femininity, it should celebrate it - a tribute from Guerlain to women. Lavender and vanilla are the main ingredients, as is so often the case with Guerlain. Sandalwood and patchouli support the fragrance with a woody note.
Angelina Jolie is the face of the fragrance. How does the scent suit her?
Angelina Jolie is committed to helping people around the world. The perfume stands for strength and self-confidence. The intense fragrance is supposed to describe a multi-faceted woman like Angelina Jolie.
“Intense” is Mon Guerlain's fifth flanker. Do you still need a variation in fragrances?
The demand for something new is great, so yes. “Mon Guerlain” is also a popular perfume. We bring several new products onto the market every year.
How do you find the right perfume with such a large selection?
The offer is huge, so you should take your time when choosing. It is important to test the perfume on the skin, not just on a strip of paper - the skin is alive. Guerlain also offers a perfume test to find the perfect fragrance.
How does this test work?
With the help of digital and professional fragrance advice, you are guided through the Guerlain perfume world. After a few minutes, three perfumes from 64 fragrances are suggested that correspond to the tester's fragrance preferences. The favorite can then be filled into a selected bottle and provided with a personal engraving.
Is that how you found your perfect fragrance?
No, I found my scent when I was thirteen: all of my classmates had facial hair back then. My face, on the other hand, was still hairless and baby-smooth. To feel older, I bought the "L’Habit Rouge" fragrance from Guerlain. Ever since I've been wearing this perfume, I've felt like a man - I am this perfume, my surroundings associate this scent with my personality. And that's what makes a perfect fragrance in my opinion - you have to be able to identify with it.
Do you have any tips on how to apply a fragrance?
I am amused by this question. There are no rules about how to apply perfume. It's about being comfortable with the scent. How and where it is applied, everyone can decide for themselves.
What do you find most fascinating about your work?
Well, my work is diverse, because I actually have four jobs: On the one hand, creating, which can be frustrating work - there are no rules and I quickly get lost in the different scents. Then one of my tasks is to manufacture the perfumes. Just like media work. Since I love interacting with different people, I also like this part. Last but not least, buying materials is part of my job. I am probably the only perfumer who does this myself - which I think is good, because after all, I later process these ingredients into a finished fragrance.
How do you have to imagine this purchase?
I meet with farmers and traders and sniff the raw materials. Then I choose the materials that go together best in my head and have the most intense scents.
And what do you like to do most of all these tasks?
Obviously, buy materials. This enables me to travel and get to know exciting materials and people. For example, I've been to Haiti and Indonesia this year. As a result, I am often away from home, but that is part of my job, which I love so much because of its diversity.

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